Things to think about before booking your child into a holiday camp
Here at Step It Up Dance we’ve been running holiday camps for kids in Edinburgh for the past six years and they have become a real highlight of our year. Having more time with a group of children than we would in a weekly class is a real treat and we’ve become skilled at observing and planning out each day throughout the week according to the children’s excitement and energy levels as well as balancing out when to focus on calmer activities. We’ve developed and honed our camps so that we have a winning format – how do we know this? We have many, many regular campers who come back to us multiple times each year and at this year’s Easter holiday camp, one of our campers even cried real tears when she realised her time with us at camp was over. Now, whilst we don’t enjoy seeing children cry (ever) we did take that as a compliment!
We know that choosing a camp for your child can be a stressful and emotional decision, so based on our experience hosting successful holiday camps in Edinburgh, we’ve put together some top tips and things for you to think about before you book …
1. What time should you arrive at camp?
We recommend arriving at camp within the first half hour of opening as this gives your child the chance to settle in and get to know the staff and other children before the structured activities begin.
2. What should your child wear to camp?
Comfort all the way. Cotton clothing like t-shirts, shorts, tracksuit bottoms/ loose trousers and trainers are ideal so that your child is neither too hot nor too cold and layers are always a good idea.
3. What should your child take to camp with them?
All good camps will try to take your children outdoors for at least part of the day but we are in Scotland, so always pack a rain jacket with a hood. Some extra underwear & a pair of trousers hidden away in your child’s bag is a good idea, just in case. A packed lunch, quite a few snacks and a refillable water bottle are essentials, try to avoid fizzy drinks for both health and hygiene reasons (trying to scrub dried up Irn Bru off the floor is never fun). Sun cream! Again, it’s Scotland so anything can happen weather-wise.
4. What should your child NOT take to camp with them?
No electronic games and if they must bring a mobile phone, please hand this in to the staff to keep safe. Most camps try to adopt a screen-free policy so that your children can enjoy good, clean, active fun together.
5. What to do if your child is worried about being left at camp
Firstly, do not stress. It’s completely normal for your child to worry if you are leaving them for the day, particularly if they’re being left with new people for the first time. Good camp staff are trained and experienced in dealing with nervous children and will do everything they can to reassure your child and help them to settle in (this normally happens very quickly). At our holiday camps, you are always welcome to text or call during the day to ask how your child is getting on, we will be more than happy to give you an honest update to put your mind at rest.
6. As a parent, how do you know whether the camp you’re considering is reputable?
Look at their website and social media, do they have any testimonials from previous campers/ parents? Do they have any photographs or videos on their website or social media that shows campers having fun? Look at how many holiday camps they run per year, if it’s a lot, chances are they’re well run and popular with families. Ask how many children will be booked in, roughly what age and how many staff will be on hand to look after them. Ask whether staff have PVG Scheme Membership (official scheme for safeguarding children), ask whether staff are long term employees or casual staff – if they’re casual staff, what experience have they had in dealing with children and working at holiday camps before? Ask how they would deal with an emergency. In fact, ask as many questions as you possible can before you book. Reputable camps would far rather you voice any concerns and ask lots of questions before booking, than find out that you booked on a whim and actually, this camp isn’t exactly what you’re looking for.
We hope these tips were useful and if your family chooses to book a Step It Up Dance summer camp this year, then we can’t wait to meet you!
Step It Up Dance summer holiday camps are running in multiple locations in North and East Edinburgh, you can view and book all of our camps here.