Top jobs for keen teens
ARE YOU considering camp for your children this summer? Most people are aware of their local day camps and Jewish sleepaway camps in the UK. The Israel Experience after GCSE is also hugely popular. However, as the Americans and Europeans are already aware, there are masses of incredible and exciting opportunities around the world to enrich your children’s summer.
Among the many choices for the younger child, age eight to 14, are general and specialist camps, the latter concentrating on sports such as tennis, golf, basketball, skiing, horseback riding, football, scuba diving, sailing, gymnastics and skating, for example. These camps cater for all abilities. There are also programmes centred on music, theatre, dance, art and magic.
Other programmes focus on community service such as building homes, working on Indian reservations, archeological digs, or crosscultural projects. Alternatively, you could send youngsters on a course where they can brush up their language skills or pick up a new language from scratch.
There has also been an increase in camps for children interested in the environment and for those with special needs. Allergies and other special dietary needs can be catered for. Fitness and weight loss, ADD, dyslexia, deaf and remedial programmes are on offer.
Take advantage of the weak Canadian and US dollar. The traditional idea of having to send a child to camp for the whole summer has been reviewed by many of the American camps. Now camps are flexible and are willing to take children for one- to six-week periods, which fit in with the British school summer holiday.
For these long-haul trips, your children would be escorted to and from the nearest airport and then to the campus. There are camps covering the Jewish religious spectrum, from Orthodox through to kosher-style and many provide kosher food on request.
An untapped area of opportunity is the Teenage Summer Experience. Youngsters need not wait until their gap year to participate in travel, culture and internships. These teen experiences are professionally organised, highly supervised and full of motivated teachers and children.
The Americans and Europeans start boosting their CVs in preparation for university and future employment. They use the summertime contructively, to do internships or community service programmes, as well as further study or learning a new language. Such courses are a real boost in our competitive world.
Consider letting your teenagers take summer courses at one of America’s top universities. These need not involve hours of essay-writing or sitting in libraries. They could learn photography, shoot a video, direct a play, acquire advanced computer skills; gain an insight into fashion branding, attend and perform in music festivals or take part in model United Nations workshops.
Alternatively they can explore the United States, Canada, Europe, South or Central America, or even go further afield to Africa and Australasia during the summer holidays. How about scuba diving and studying marine biology in the Caribbean, or surfing and sailing?
A positive and productive experience does not last only a few weeks, it can last a lifetime. The opportunity to broaden your childrens’ horizons, discover new interests and make new friends can be life-enriching, leading your children to higher self-esteem and equipping them to tackle the next school year and the future. Fiona Jakobi and Claudia Allan run Camp Experts, a free service giving comprehensive unbiased advice and helping you plan your child’s summer. They aim to match the camp to the child, taking into account personality, background and interests. Camp Experts was established 30 years ago by New Yorker Joanne Paltrowitz and has representatives across the world. For more details, see www.campexperts. com or call 07795 491 350
Bright-eyed campers will emerge ready to face new challenges