Navigating the minefield that is the kids holiday camp is an angst-ridden exercise that taps into every parental neurosis. Will they enjoy it? Are all ages thrown in together? And, er, will it cost me a fortune?
Take it from a fellow working parent, finding the right one can feel like the blind leading the blind – so we’re consulting the pros on this one. Enter Camp Beaumont, the country’s most experienced day camp operator with locations in London, the south-east and Devon, and the perfect brains to pick for tips on choosing the right holiday camp for your littles. Here are the questions to ask – and what to look out for. Over to you Camp B!
Make sure you ask…
What activities do you offer, and what is the child-to-staff ratio?
The secret to a good kids holiday camp is finding a company with a combination of experience, a flexible offering and variety to cater for every kind of young client – sporties, crafties, quiet kids and bomb-arounders.
Ask about the range of activities on offer, of course, but also make sure you know how many staff members are available per child. There’s no point in a camp putting on massive talent shows or archery games if everything’s going to go pear-shaped through lack of supervision! At Camp Beaumont for example, children aged 3 to 7 have a ratio of one staff member to eight children, and 8 to 16-year-olds have a ratio of one to twelve.
How will the kids be grouped in age?
We know from experience that narrow age bands work best for kids programmes, so it’s important to search for camps with smaller groups. That way, older children and teens can take advantage of more advanced activities like DJing, street dance battles or disc golf without worrying damaging their street cred by being forced to play hide-and-seek, and younger children won’t feel intimidated and shy around the bigger boys and girls.
How do I know you’ll make sure my child is happy?
A good holiday camp shouldn’t just be focused on keeping kids entertained and getting them outdoors and active, but should teach them how to relax and unwind, learn to express themselves and connect with other kids.
Nailing that holistic approach is really important at Camp Beaumont, which is why we offer Wellness Workshops across ages 5 to 16. Plus each camp location has a Designated Safeguarding Lead at hand at all times, and we have trained staff members encourage openness and expression.
How long as the camp been running?
Longevity is key with kids camps – it’s a good sign that the children are coming back for more. It’s also worth asking questions about how many activities are there on offer and which are optional, what the policy is on swimming, the flexibility of booking (can you book single days or are you locked into a week?) and also, importantly if you’re a working parent, the early and wrap around care provision.
So there you have it!
Of course, instead of going on the hunt newly armed with this info, you might decide to make life easy on yourself and book into Camp Beaumont. If that’s the case, the nearest locations across Bucks & Oxon are Beaconsfield High School, which still has space for the Feb half-term 2022 (and even better the website is currently advertising a 25% discount). The facilities at the school include a sports hall, drama studio and art room and it’s one of the most successful sites. There are no camps in Oxfordshire but if you’re close to the border with Berkshire, there are also camps at St George’s in Windsor and Leighton Park School in Berks this Feb.
You can book for one day from £38.60 up to the full five and opt for wraparound care to take the full day from 8am-6pm for another £10.
And just like that, Half Term well and truly SORTED.
campbeaumont.co.uk, tel: 01603 851000