Time for Fun

Time for Fun

When it comes to school kids, high temperatures of summer can do little to dampen their enthusiasm. But it’s hardly their fault. After months of homework and cramming, when these overworked kids find all the time in the world to do what they love the most, their energy levels seem to suddenly quadruple.

One way these kids channelise their high levels of summertime energy is by engaging in summer camps. Every summer, thousands of children participate in such camps the world over. These camps range from two to three day activity camps to intensive three-week sports camps. For most kids, these camps are a wonderful experience as they encourage physical fitness, improve skills, enhance coordination and self-esteem and give children valuable lessons in teamwork, sportsmanship, self-discipline and hard work. And, for a child in love with a particular sport, it gives him a chance to play to his heart’s content.

Hundreds of kids from Thane are also making the most of their vacation by enrolling in the various summer camps. Take the badminton camp organized by TMC and led by Shrikant Wad, renowned Badminton coach from Thane. The camp, which is being held at Dadoji Kondeo Stadium, attempts to train students in a holistic way. Besides physical training, students are advised on various aspects of competitive sports such as importance of proper diet, exercising techniques and also mental strength. The latter is courtesy psychiatrist Dr. Anand Nadkarni.

According to Wad, "There are many aspects which differentiate a summer camp from regular coaching, the primary difference being the attention span. Kids are able to devote their undivided attention to their chosen activity, due to which they can undergo stringent training."

There are numerous benefits of sports camps. Not only does such a camp let children focus on a sport they love, it helps them become proficient at it and gives them an opportunity to gain new perspectives on the sport.

Such has been the impact of Wad’s camp that eleven-year old Zamaan Kazi from Kolhapur has decided to stay back even after the summer camp. Zamaan, who came to Thane specially to participate in this camp, says, "I am willing to wash my clothes and do my dishes if that helps me settle here. If I have to make my career in Badminton, I have to sacrifice something". This is just one example of how such camps impact children.

Around the Campfire

It’s not just sports camps that excite children. Some children prefer activity (adventure) camps over sports camps. Activity camps, especially the overnight ones, have their own advantages. Besides making new friends, which is possibly the best benefit of all, activity camps are where children often develop new interests, which often give birth to lifelong passions and sometimes even careers

Eight-year old Karran Kharas from Sulochana Devi Singhania School participated in a four-day multi-activity camp at Khopoli last week. The camp was organised by the World Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Organization (WFSKO). Apart from the regular camping schedule, this camp also held swimming competition and dance sessions. They taught the campers self-defense techniques and also organized a Karate Championship. According to Anita Kharas, mother of Karran, "One advantage to summer camp, especially, overnight camp is that it helps a child in developing sense of self esteem and independence. Being away from home for the first time is a big step for most children. No one reminds them to brush their teeth, wash their hands or comb their hair. They must do it themselves. And when they do, it boosts their self-confidence tremendously".

Well, camping does seem have worked in favour of Karran, who became a "Black Belt" in the Karate Championship organized during the camp.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *