Kids camps in Singapore come in many forms – they may focus on sports, languages, art, theatre, coding, or science, for example – yet all share at least one characteristic: they have responsibility for the children in their care. Good camps therefore put the child at the forefront of everything they do; they offer opportunities for their personal growth, increased independence and self-esteem; they provide an environment where kids can feel secure and respected. Camps clearly have obligations to the kids who come each day. But what’s often less obvious, and certainly less discussed, is that for camps to provide these safe, nurturing environments, kids and their parents can also play their part.
The rights of a child in camp
Reputable camps should have core values to which they adhere, and which are available for parents to read. These should include, but not be limited to:
Safety – first and foremost, kids camps should be safe environments which restrict access to kids and staff only. To reduce the risk of infection, high levels of sanitation are now an essential feature of camp safety.
Self-expression and choice – kids should never be forced to do activities they don’t want to participate in; they should be allowed to express their opinions and make choices.
Tolerance and respect – all camp participants (kids and staff) should respect others’ opinions/beliefs and embrace different perspectives. Differences make the world interesting!
Personal comfort – kids should be offered ample opportunities to use the bathroom and should feel free to ask if they need to break from an activity to do so.
Healthy environment – hydration is important for health and mental functioning, so kids should have regular opportunities to drink water.
Support – kids should feel supported at all times, by their teachers and team mates. They should feel able to make mistakes without being judged, as making mistakes is an important part of learning.
The rights of a parent
Parents have their own rights, beyond the knowledge that their kids are safe at camp:
Communication – parents should be able to freely communicate with the camp facilitator and ask any questions they feel necessary.
Visibility – good camps should provide photos or videos that show kids involved in camp so that parents have an understanding of what their child is experiencing.
Refund of fees – parents should reasonably expect the refund of pro-rated fees if a camp is suspended or if their child is unable to continue due to sickness or injury.
The obligations of a child in camp
Many of the obligations of a child mirror their rights. For example, they should show tolerance and respect to their fellow campers. They have a few additional obligations:
Safety of others – parents should ensure that children do not attend camp if they have any symptoms of illness but especially raised temperature, fever, rashes or flu-like symptoms. Kids should notify teachers immediately if they begin to feel unwell at camp.
Harmony – children should notify teachers if there is any conflict between kids that is not immediately resolved and/or which needs the support of an adult.
Why kids should know
It’s important that kids are aware of their rights and obligations as, through observing these basic rules and values, they can help to make sure that camps are the most enriching, fun, and supportive places they could hope to spend their school holidays!
Interesting facts about Newtonshow teachers
·Just like our campers, our teachers come from many different countries (currently 8).
·All teachers speak English as a first language but most speak at least one additional language.
·Our team has different work backgrounds, including science, technology, engineering, computing, drama, and business.
· Teachers have different qualifications, with some up to Masters degree level
·The average age of teachers is around 28 years.
·The ratio of female to male teachers is approximately 50:50.
·Teachers have specialist subjects including Space, Chemistry, the Environment and Harry Potter.