Making the right choice

Summer camps

Making the right choice

Summer holidays have begun and in tune with it, a number of camps have sprung up for children across the City.  For some parents, summer camps are a blessing, while there are those who believe that these are a waste of time and money. Although it keeps children occupied, they say that the activities are no different from what the children do in school.

Some parents find the two-month summer break a chance for them to spend quality time with their kids. Nakul Shenoy and his wife Vishaka are working parents. The couple has three children — Iresh, Ishaan and Inesh — who are still in primary school. Nakul says it is better if the kids stay at home and enjoy  what they do  than go to camps.

  “Our kids are very young and are at a stage where they can’t really keep themselves productively engaged. However, this is the best time and the kids will soon outgrow this phase. The boys keep themselves engaged by fighting and doing their own thing. Why take that joy away from them by sending them to camps?” he asks.

Anamika Iyengar, an employee with HP, doesn’t really believe in the concept of summer camps. She has never sent her 13-year-old daughter Aishani to one. She feels kids can learn and do so much more at home. “This is the time parents get to spend with their kids. There are so many constructive things you can do at home rather than go to camps that teach the same things that are taught at school,” she observes.

Anamika and her family live in an apartment where there are lot of kids who spend time together. “My daughter and I do a lot of things together like playing games, shopping and going to the library. In addition to picking up interesting story books, I also get informative books like the ‘Tell Me Why’ series which not only keeps her engaged but gives information as well,” adds Anamika.

There are parents like Durga Prasad, a consultant, who don’t rely on summer camps to keep  children creatively engaged. “My wife, more than me, spends a lot of time with our daughter Nivedita. We get her interesting puzzles, books and also take her out. I think summer offers children a good break and they must be left undisturbed to do their own thing,” he adds.     

Suchitra Madhukar, a yoga instructor has two kids — eight-year-old Rohan and four-year-old Ritvik. She is planning to join hands with their family friends and chalk out a few activities to keep the kids engaged. “We are not sending them to any camps, a few of us have thought of a couple of activities that we believe will keep the kids occupied in a productive manner,” explains Suchitra. She also feels that this is necessary to drive them away from gadgets. “They are so hooked onto gadgets these days. Such activities will divert their attention for a while,” she adds.   

Educationists too have their own views. Swati Popat Vats, an educationist, points out that summer camps are meant to cultivate a hobby, a skill and make new friends.

They are mainly life-skills oriented. “But today with increasing competitiveness, high costs and commercialisation, summer camps have totally lost their old world charm and are boring and repetitive and children are reluctant to go there. Most of the camps offer the same activities as schools like art and craft, dance, aerobics etc,” she sums up.

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