December school holidays are almost in full swing, and with that comes a lot of free time and a lot of enthusiasm as our kids ditch their uniforms for flip-flops. Like most parents, you might be wondering just what to do to with your kids this holiday period to keep them constructively engaged and entertained. Well, perhaps the answer is summer camp.
Traditionally summer camps are an American concept but more and more South African parents are realizing the benefits of sending their children to established, professionally-run and accredited summer camps; this is a particular relief to parents who have to work and/or travel during the school holiday period.
But holiday camps aren’t just someplace to send your children to get them out of your hair. Kids who attend professional summer camps are known to cultivate lasting friendships with peers from all over the world; aiding their growth as global citizens.
One such camp is the Kwa-Zulu-Natal based, Sugar Bay: Sugar Bay Holiday Camp opened its doors in July 2001 and over the past 15 years the children’s resort has become a part of the lives of thousands of young campers, both from South African as well as International.
The holiday camp is South Africa’s first American-style sleepover camp and was founded as the pursuit of an environment which combines passion for kids, the outdoors, holidays, sports and endless sunshine. The result was Sugar Bay, which is still the only camp of its kind in South Africa to be based on the American summer camp model. Sugar Bay offers the opportunity for children to spend a vacation away from their parents, in a safe, exciting and stimulating environment.
The camp allows kids to meet like-minded friends, grow their self-confidence, and gain a sense of independence all whilst surrounded by the natural beauty of Zinkwazi Beach. Camp testimonials attest to the guaranteed result of a “never to be forgotten” holiday experience.
Campers get to interact with trained counselors from all over the world, enabling a truly global experience. The camp boasts a secure 16-acre adventure playground which encompasses a full-sized soccer field, paintball arena, 5-sided climbing tower, obstacle course, 3 ropes courses and a 25m swimming pool with three waterslides.
The different buildings include a grand hall, dining room, arts and crafts complex, health center, indoor sports hall, and the air-conditioned theatre and tuck shop. The camp’s waterfront facility has private access to the lagoon and beach and boasts all the boats, boards and water toys required for days of entertainment.
What’s important for parents is to have the peace of mind of knowing that their children are in great, safe hands when they are away from them. Sugar Bay counselors are carefully trained in Emergency First Response and child psychology, and then selected based on their performance during their training week; staff’s criminal background is also screened prior to employment.
The camp also has the highest staff to child ratio in the country – Depending on the length of the camp, there is a 1:3 or 1:5 counselor to child ratio in addition to our team of over 30 permanent staff members, all of whom receive extensive training in First Aid, CPR and child psychology.
Sugar Bay has more activities than any other camp in South Africa – with over 100 activities on offer, each with its own class and instruction. Each program is tailor-made – For school groups, each program is carefully researched, planned and presented to schools in advance. We encourage schools to send us their own curriculum so we can suit their exact needs.
Sugar Bay runs the safest camp around, with an impeccable safety record. Strict safety protocols cover every aspect of camp life and follow the requirements of the American Camping Association.
Learners are given the freedom to structure their own day within a safe and educational framework. There are no compulsory activities. The flexible program allows children to participate in the activities that they are interested in.
Boasting one of the best locations in the world – Identified as one of the world’s 10 ecological hot spots, Sugar Bay is situated in the rolling hills of the sunny KwaZulu Natal North Coast, the camp has private access to the lagoon and beach, there is a huge diversity of ecosystems to explore.
Sugar Bay is the only camp in South Africa that is a registered member of the South African Grading Council, PADI and SATSA.
Check out this video of why Sugar Bay is worth it for the family below: