Gone are the days when summer camps for kids were restricted to just art and craft, swimming, music and dance. A number of establishments have introduced interesting programmes like fishing, archery and sailing camps, besides workshops on robotics, animation, and theatre.
For instance, Thiruporur Game Fishing (TGF) club’s summer camp is offering training in outdoor activities like angling, archery and air rifle shooting. The camp also includes fun activities for kids between the age of eight and 15. “When I heard about TGF summer camp, I immediately registered both my kids in it. It has given my children a rejuvenating experience and exposure. The camp not only taught them the nuances of fishing, but also helped them build a relationship with the natural world,” says Vasanth, whose kids Yazhini and Rajesh, attended the camp.
With a fee of Rs 1,100 per day for a child, the camp is led by a group of four instructors, and goes on from noon to 6 pm.
“The camp is all about getting out into the wild,” says Prithviraj, organiser of TGF summer camp.
“These days, parents and kids want to try out something different. People are scouting for camps that are beyond the usual,” says Nilma V Shah, secretary, Tamil Nadu Sailing Association (TNSA), which is organising a sailing camp for children. “We started classes to create awareness about sailing among kids. Now, this has become a sought-after summer course,” says Nilma. “I think the experience sailing offers is unique to each kid. It is fun, and at the same time, helps kids get over the fear of water,” she says. The summer sailing programme, which was started by TNSA in 2009, now has two batches — the first batch started on May 3 and the second begins from May 31. The programme, which costs Rs 7,500, includes an introductory theory class on sailing, training within the inner harbour and concludes with a race for all participants .
Apart from the sailing camp by TNSA, Royal Madras Yacht Club (RYMC) is organising a sailing camp for kids aged seven and above, in eight batches. Priced at Rs 5,500 per kid, RMYC has a limited number of 12 seats in each batch.
While outdoor activities are getting their share of people, indoor camps on robotics and animation are also catching up. Hippocampus library, a Bengaluru-based educational enterprise, is organising robotics and aerospace modelling classes as part of their camp Yakaboo, for kids. The camp also includes activities like storytelling, music, dance, public speaking and more. “Children today are tech-savvy and interested in learning anything related to robotics, animation and graphic designing. That is why we introduced robotics and aerospace modelling classes in our camp,” says Chandini Kanna, managing director, Hippocampus. Apart from Camp Yakaboo, there are about half-a-dozen robotics summer classes happening in the city for kids aged five and above. They are priced between Rs 2,500 and Rs 7,000.
Theatre is another avenue that parents and kids are exploring. Vijay Viswanathan of Alchemy Kids Theatre Club, which is organising its 12th edition of camp, says, “Our summer camp provides a platform for kids to experiment and explore their creativity through experiential learning. Children get to explore avenues in theatre, like scripting, costumes, set, casting, sound, light and direction.”
“The theatre camp has helped my son overcome his inhibitions and let his imagination run free,” says Sri Vidhya, mother of eight-year old Aravindh, who attended a summer theatre camp last year.
Other camps on theatre include a five-day workshop called The Big Top Festival by Highkicks, for kids aged eight and above. Mirage Institute of Filming and Photography is conducting a workshop on filmmaking and acting for kids in the age group of eight to 16.