With summer holidays longer than usual this year – thanks to the recent heat spell – parents of schoolkids in Kolkata are leaving no stone unturned to ensure their children make the most of it. While some are busy travelling, many are enrolling their kids in summer camps. After two years of no action due to the pandemic, camps are back with a bang. From conventional art, culture and music workshops to physical activities and holistic development – summer camps are offering a mix of fun and learning like never before.
Art to entrepreneurship — camps offer it all
An academic and extracurricular institute in Salt Lake is organising summer camps for kids from three to 13 years for the first time. “Parents are making sure their kids enjoy these summer holidays to the fullest after two years,” said Debkanya Banerjee from the institute, adding, “Students can join workshops on art, story reading, writing, acrobatics, robotics, dance and more.”
Camps go green
Akshita Nigam, who organises summer camps, said that this year they are focusing on workshops that enable students to be one with nature – like gardening, yoga and movement therapy. “We are conducting our sessions in open spaces so that students can get some fresh air. Many are enrolling for kitchen and table manners workshop and thermal cooking,” she added.
Green activist and urban farmer Somini Sen Dua is giving a green twist to summer camps. “We are initiating plantation drives in schools. Throughout the pandemic, kids were glued to phones, so it is time for them to appreciate nature,” she said.
Holistic growth and life skills
The British Council is back with a summer camp for kids aged four to 17, with an aim to enable an interactive and engaging classroom learning experience. “It’ll give them exposure and confidence in storytelling and narration through art, drama and speech. The programme focuses on developing language skills along with values like helping others and appreciating art and music, thus ensuring holistic development in children. It also teaches students life skills such as creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. The classes are fun and help create a positive learning experience that motivates the learners and helps them develop self-confidence,” they said.
Mohua Majumdar, who organises workshops for the little ones, feels that the kids are happy to be back at camps where they can make friends and also learn new things. “I am conducting workshops on new world skills like adaptability, compassion and listening. These are generating a lot of interest among kids and parents,” said Mohua.
Physical activities a priority
Gym instructor Debasish Chandra Paloi is organising physical activity workshops for children between five and 15. “Children couldn’t enjoy outdoor activities during the pandemic, so they must go back to stretching and physical activities. We focus on running, stretching, aerobics, karate and activities that involve a lot of body movements,” he said.
A city club is conducting swimming sessions, especially for schoolkids. “Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise, and kids love to be in the water. These sessions are in high demand now because of the recent heat wave,” said Sanjeeb Ghosh from the club.
Recreational outdoor activities
An outdoor education company is back with recreational adventure camps featuring trekking and river rafting. “We want children to disconnect from technology and connect with nature. So, we choose places with no network,” said Vinita Banka, adding, “A mix of adventure, fun and learning, the camp helps children open up, become confident and learn to adapt to new environments. Working in groups and sharing responsibilities help build trust, increase cooperation and their interpersonal effectiveness.”