Come summer holidays and a mother’s responsibility doubles up. Two months of having kids at home all the time, surviving their tantrums and keeping them entertained are no mean tasks. No wonder then that most mothers get a panic attack and they start looking for alternatives to keep their kids busy. And this is where the summer camps come into the picture. Those humble vacation classes teaching dance and drawing have now got a fancier moniker ‘Summer Camps’. And apart from dance and drawing, they have newer and fancier activities to engage the smart generation.
But as expected, if it’s got something to do with the kids, there has to be a debate. And the point of discussion is whether mothers are trying to get rid of their kids by putting them into summer camps. As an interested mother, I have given some thought to the topic. And this is my take on the debate on summer camps:
Why do you want to be like your mother?
Many mothers have a standard argument, “But our mothers didn’t send us to any summer camp and she still survived.” My answer is, “Yes and barely.”
During our childhood, summer camps were not popular but they are today. So why go through the same torture that our hapless mothers did.
Where is the family?
Most of us lived in a huge family with siblings, uncles-aunts, grandparents and cousins. Then in summer vacations, we went to our ‘nani’ house where we met different sets of uncles-aunts and cousins. Having a huge family rendered the need of an activity centre useless. Now, most of us stay in nuclear set ups. Being an only child with no cousins to play with, doesn’t the child need a place where he can mingle with kids his own age?
Who says they learn anything different?
Agreed, in summer camps they learn nothing which they are not already learning or are going to learn. But again, for learning, you send your child to a school. Summer camps are just for fun and entertainment. Many summer camps that I have come across have exciting weekly themes based on famous cartoons like Nemo, Star Trek, Bambi, Madagascar. Now tell me, which child could resist that? On top of this, they have cookery time (cooking without gas), exercise, drawing, art and craft and loads of other different activities.
So if you want to send your child to a summer camp only so that he learns something out-of-this-world, then maybe it’s not the right motive.
How is it a usual school routine?
Some parents argue that summer holidays is a break from the school and its painful routine. So why send the child to a summer camp and make him feel like he is in the school again? Oh my gosh! Schools and summer camps are poles apart. Even a child knows that. Show me a child who ever throws a tantrum while going to a summer camp. Summer camps don’t have tests, they don’t ask your child to come at 7 or 8 in the morning nor do they have a uniform. Where’s the drudgery?
I guess I have answered enough arguments to put some (if not more) minds at rest. But if you still have some doubts, feel free to contact me and I will listen to your side of the argument and try my best to answer it.
I am not trying to sell any summer camp here. In fact, though I have been toying with the idea of enrolling my daughter into a summer camp, I have not been able to do so for lack of a good summer camp nearby. What I mean to say here is that there is no harm in putting your child to a summer camp for a few hours in the summer vacation. It gives you a breather and your child some much-needed company.
I will shortly come up with another post on how to pick up a good summer camp.