Thursday, 22 September 2016

Review: August/September Holiday Camps

Splash Birthday week: 28 August - 4 September
 

Sugar Bay splashed into September as we celebrated our fifteenth birthday with a brand new edition to the family – three wonderful waterslides! 
 

Our Splash Birthday themed holiday camp was definitely the highlight of the August/September holidays this year. Our campers had a ball preparing camp’s birthday celebration with us, as they were even involved in the cake-making and decorating for the grand party. We celebrated in style on the last day of camp with our camp directors, staff, and campers. Our directors also had the opportunity to initiate the waterslides by experiencing the adrenaline rush for the first time ever! 
 

We really took every opportunity to go all out with our Splash theme.  We played “Splashing the Cash”, and got messy “splashing with paint” and even had a “Splashy Fen Party” at uShaka Marine World’s Wet n Wild Water Park during our excursion. Sugar Bay’s fifteenth birthday and the super waterslides was truly a milestone that we’ll cherish forever!
Check out some of the pictures from our Splash week themed holiday camp. 

Ghosbusters week: 7 - 14 August
 

Things got spooky at Sugar Bay as we stepped into the August holidays with a Ghostbusters themed camp. The Ghostbuster’s hearse made a special appearance during the opening day which immediately had our campers feeling the theme. We spent all week searching for and busting ghosts. Our campers were treated with the complete ghost-busting package: slime, smoke, and even a spooky campout!
Check out some of the  pictures from our Ghostbusters themed holiday camp.  
 
Japan week: 14 - 21 August
 

Inspired by the exotic culture and the technologically advanced island of Japan, Sugar Bay went on a sensational Japanese journey during this themed holiday camp. Our campers enjoyed an unforgettable Japanese experience with integrated themed activities such as origami, sushi-making, sumo wrestling and martial arts classes. We didn’t stop there! We also went on a fun excursion to the Gaming Arcade at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping, where our campers experienced the technologically advanced Japanese world of Anime’ first hand!
Check out some of the pictures from our Japan week themed holiday camp.   

Nitro Circus week: 21 - 28 August
 

It was time to take things to a whole new level of adventure at Sugar Bay… Yes, we went extreme during our Nitro Circus themed holiday camp! Motivated by thrill, adrenaline and the love for extreme sports, as displayed by the television series and live show Nitro Circus; Sugar Bay was transformed into an extreme sports arena. Our campers participated in BMX-ing, Skateboarding, Bungee Trampoline, Water Sliding and a variety of other extreme sports. One of the highlights of this week was indeed the live exhibit by the daring extreme motorcyclists, the Le Riche Brothers and the exhilarating excursion to the indoor trampoline arena, “Jump for Joy” in Durban. 
Check out some of the pictures from our Nitro Circus week themed holiday camp. 

What a blast we had this past holiday!
Head over to our website and book online to secure your place for another fun holiday camp during the December holidays. Wondering what our holiday camps are all about? Check out this playlist featuring all the highlights. To view the finer details for each of our themed holiday camps and prices, check out our rates and dates.

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The importance of technology free holidays

 

These days, it's easy to find yourself on a family holiday where everyone is constantly on their smartphones and tablets, playing on their gaming consoles or engrossed in television.


Although the holiday season is meant for connecting and spending quality time with friends and family; technology has made it easy for us to become disconnected from our loved ones and disconnected from a true sense of what it means to relax.


Here are 5 reasons why you should unplug during your next vacation:


1. Your brain deserves a break




Technology has many of us staring at computer screens all week, and as if that’s not enough, we get home and gawk at our televisions and cellphone screens. This is very stressful for the brain. A great way to relax your mind is to unplug from the bright screens that don’t naturally rise and set and allow us to rest.


2. You will feel less stressed and less negative




The immediate need to check and respond to cellphones can increase stress levels. Research has revealed that 67% of cellphone owners check their phone even when it isn’t buzzing. It’s also been noted that social media news feeds can become a place where jealousy and competition breeds. Taking a break from your cellphones, the internet, and the media can leave you feeling less stressed and free of negative feelings.


3. You will build face-to-face relationships




Disconnecting provides people with the opportunity to spend quality time with each other in engaging ways that only come with having face-to-face conversations. Conversing with people face-to-face is definitely healthier than sending them a text.


4. You will be able to savor every moment




You cannot fully be living in the moment if you are distracted. Technology divides your attention and prevents you from relishing the present moment.


5. You will sleep peacefully

 
 
Viewing a lit-up screen during the night prevents us from falling asleep and sleeping well. Research revealed that 44% of cellphone owners sleep with their phones next to their beds to avoid missing a call or text. When the light from LCD screens enters our retinas, it disrupts our brains and affects the release of melatonin (the sleep-inducing hormone). This results in delayed sleep.


Limiting or cutting back on technology during the holidays has significant benefits for your body and soul. By disconnecting during your next vacation, you'll be giving your brain a break, reducing negativity and stress levels, building deeper relationships, living in the moment, sleeping better and recharging. When you get back into the working routine, you will be fully revitalized and ready to take on any challenge.

Head over to our website and book online to secure your child's place for disconnected holiday camp during the December holidays. Wondering what our holiday camps are all about? Check out this playlist featuring all the highlights. View our rates and dates.

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Monday, 19 September 2016

5 Ways We Reclaim Communication at Camp

In a world where our lives are posted online on an hourly basis, it’s so hard for people to accept being disconnected… not from each other that is… I’m talking about being disconnected from the internet that technology carries. Whereas in our daily lives we forget about the importance of direct communication, here at Sugar Bay camp, this is what we stand by.


Here are 5 ways we reclaim communication at Camp:





1. No Technology:

By removing cell phones, tablets, television and internet from our campers’ disposal, we instantly get rid of the whole “communication via” and our campers are forced to communicate face-to-face.


2. Ice-Breakers:

On the first night of camp, we compose a great deal of ice-breakers to allow the kids to get to know one another and communicate for the first time through participating in fun and interesting games.


3. Team-Building Activities:

Working together as a team is all about trust and ultimately teaches campers that teamwork requires communication and is the only place where everyone works towards a common goal. At Sugar Bay our campers know that Team spells, T - together, E - everyone, A - achieves, M - more.


4. Communal Meals:

Our campers don’t just enjoy freshly prepared home-cooked meals, they enjoy freshly prepared home-cooked meals in the company of our staff and one another in a communal hall where we sing, chat and enjoy each other’s company throughout a delicious 2-course meal.


5. Final Camp Fire:

At the end of every camp, before departure day, we have an intriguing and sometimes very emotional final camp fire. This is a platform where we allow our campers to communicate their emotions and feelings. They touch base on all the things they have learned and achieved at camp which money cannot buy. The outcome is really priceless and already we have campers anticipated to get home… not because of they missed their cell phones, but because they cannot wait to communicate with their parents and tell them all about Sugar Bay Camp. 

 


In this current day and age communication, especially between parents and children seems to be one big blunder. It’s almost impossible to have dinner together as a family without the cell phones and tablets also joining in the conversation. 
 
Put aside the communication between kids and their parents, kids alone cannot even communicate with one another. And, if they do communicate, it’s via their cell phones or because of something they’ve seen on their cell phones.


We have forgotten that we are breathing, walking, talking individuals who have abilities and would rather choose to communicate via technology rather than face to face.

 


At Sugar Bay Resort, we do not allow our campers to be distracted by their cell phones or any other form of technology. In our children’s paradise it’s raw, outdoor exploration and direct communication. We don’t believe in doing or hearing things via the “Grapevine”.

We are realistic about what we want to achieve in our camps, and that is children who are responsible, confident and courageous in how they communicate and in how they conquer life’s challenges.





If you are interested call Sugar Bay on (032) 485 3778, email holidays@sugarbay.co.za or visit www.sugarbay.co.za for more information.

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Why send your child to Sleepover Camp?

Being a parent is a wonderful gift, experiencing all the milestones with your child is, of course, one of the greatest highlights. Their first word, their first step, their first sleepover… Their first sleepover? That's a good question. 

 

How many parents have actually been keen on sending their kids for a sleepover without the paranoia of their child needing their parent and the parent being absent? What is the correct age to send your kids for a sleepover?

Well, that's where a wonderful camp for children and teens between the ages of 7 and 17 came along! This camp is called Sugar Bay! We at Sugar Bay have loving and caring counsellors to give your child individual undivided attention just as you do, and to show your children that they have someone to trust when mum and dad are not around as well as to support and teach them to build confidence in themselves whilst being independent.


Here are 5 Reasons why you should send your child to a Sleepover Camp: 

 


1. You want your child to get over their fears

Your child probably has nightmares just like any other typical youngster, and here at Sugar Bay we don't just comfort them, but we teach them that nightmares are normal and that it's nothing more than your mind playing tricks on you. That way our kiddies will learn to awaken from a nightmare, brush it off and go back to sleep peacefully without fear or the tears.


2. You want your child to be capable of basic self-care

What a pleasure it is to watch your child dress up by himself in the mornings before school! Especially if he cleans up well! At Sugar Bay, we ensure that our kids are able to equip themselves with these skills from a tender age so that they require almost no adult intervention and walk the footsteps of independence correctly.


3. You want your child to ask questions and make requests confidently

When your child is able to ask for what she needs and will feel comfortable doing so, you automatically feel confident and comfortable as well. We at Sugar Bay ensure that all our kids come out of their shells by firstly engaging them in various outgoing ice-breaker activities on arrival before encouraging them to share their opinions in many other team building activities which results in your kids becoming bold and confident by the end of camp.


4. You want your child to look forward to new experiences

Having an enthusiastic child who is ready to accommodate different situations and face new challenges is very reassuring for any parent. As a parent, it is vital that you always encourage your kids to be open to new adventures and experiences, and at Sugar Bay, adventure and opportunity for new experiences are a speciality!


5. You want your child to realize that separation is a sign of trust

You want your child to learn that them being away from you is a sign that you trust them and you sending them away from home should display that they can trust you. In this exciting milestone, children learn one very valuable lesson in life and that is trust. When a child's trustworthiness is made aware by the parent, the child will live up to the expectations and the lesson of trust will be learned. 

 


Allowing your kids to grow up is allowing them to try new endeavours. By sending your child to a sleepover camp you are not taking any risks, you are simply exercising trust, allowing the experience to be your child's teacher, growing confidence, exploring capabilities and assisting your child in overcoming fear! 

We, at Sugar Bay, will ensure that your kids have the necessary tools and support to tackle each new experience as it comes turn homesickness into a thing of the past! Say yes to a Sugar Bay Sleepover Camp! 

If you are interested call Sugar Bay on (032) 485 3778, email holidays@sugarbay.co.za or visit www.sugarbay.co.za for more information.

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Friday, 16 September 2016

How to improve your child's fitness

 

Recent statistics show a rapid increase in overweight children - a reminder for parents to prioritise fit and healthy lifestyles. One of the contributing reasons is the excessive amount of time children spend in front of the television, and the unhealthy junkfood consumed while watching TV. 
 
Since children are kept busy with homework and extracurricular activities during the school term; it's a better idea for parents to consider ways in which fitness can be promoted during the school holidays - when kids often have no choice but to resort to technology for entertainment.
Holiday camps are an excellent option.

Fitness and outdoor activities are often a priority at holidays camps like Sugar Bay.
Unlike boot camp, which implements a very direct and strict approach to fitness, Sugar Bay integrates fitness and promotes a healthy lifestyle in fun and creative ways through everyday activities at camp. 
 
Here are 6 ways which Sugar Bay holiday camp promotes a healthier lifestyle:

 

1. Healthy Meals

 

The kitchen staff and programmer take the utmost care in creating a daily menu that is on par with the recommended daily dietary requirements set up by the South African Department of Health. All meals are freshly prepared from local ingredients, and salads and fruit are availale at every meal.

2. Choose from a variety of outdoor activities

 

There are no compulsory activities at Sugar Bay. Kids decide what they would like to do for the day, which is ideal since it ensures that they will enjoy the outdoor experience offered by any activity they choose.

Sugar Bay offers over 100 activities, most of which are outdoors at the beach, in the ocean, lagoon, pool or on the fields. All activities promote mental and physical fitness. Some popular activities include: Surfing, paintball, rock wall climbing, bungee trampoline, dancing, kayaking, skateboarding, BMX, beach volleyball etc.

Lagoon kayaking is a great example. Kayaking is an excellent all-round exercise that involves both cardiovascular and strength training. Campers first have to walk about a kilometer to the lagoon, and then participate in warm-up activities on the beach before they begin the activity itself. While kayaking, the kids play games which creates an enjoyable experience, without the competitiveness that comes with sport.

3. Limited junk purchases



The tuckshop offers parents an option to specify how much their children can spend on snacks versus souvenirs. Since the children are served three healthy meals per day, this limit prevents children from purchasing too much junk food. The tuckshop also stocks a variety of healthy snacks, like dried fruit and nuts, to ensure that there are always healthier options available. 
 
4. Daily walks



Everyday begins and ends with an invigorating exercise routine - walks along the canopy boardwalks. The cabins are a distance from the communal hall, which means that each walk to the cabin is a healthy dose of uphill exercise, and an energising opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and forest surroundings. 
 
5. Technology-free zone

 

Camp is a technology-free zone. No one is sitting around with their cellphones, tablets or laptops. No one is missing these items either, because everyone is entertained by the company of friends and the endless options of fun activities. Camp shows kids alternative ways to enjoy themselves. Healthier, more active ways. It is for this reason then , that it's important for kids to disconnect during the school holidays.

6. Good rest

 

Unlike boot camp, Sugar Bay ensures that campers get enough rest everyday. Bed times are allocated according to age groups, and everyone gets at least 8 hours a night. When there has been an exceptionally busy day, late-wake up times are scheduled. During the day, breaks are allocated between 30 minutes and two hours, so that kids can recharge between activities.
Camp isn’t just a holiday away from home, it is the perfect opportunity to get your kids active, improve their physical fitness and encourage a healthier lifestyle while still having fun. 
 
If you are interested call Sugar Bay on (032) 485 3778, email holidays@sugarbay.co.za or visit www.sugarbay.co.za for more information.

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Sugar Bay's CIT Course/Gap Year Program

 
Taking a “gap year” has become a popular term among high school graduates. A “gap year” is an extended study leave before a student begins tertiary education, and is intended to give students more time to figure out what career/ degree they would like to pursue.


Many school leavers have decided to work as a camp counselor at Sugar Bay during their gap year to reap the benefits that come with the job. Camp counselors have the opportunity to earn an income without sitting in an office all day. This job appeals to many young adults, because of the casual and fun working environment, as well as the travel opportunities it opens up to work at international summer camps. 

 
 
Besides supervising & mentoring children, the job requires counselors to be playful, social, active and enjoy the beach & outdoors. Further perks include accommodation, food and the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.


Students who are between 18 and 28 years old, may apply to become a camp counselor at Sugar Bay. All successful applicants will be invited to participate in the staff training program, which extends over two weeks. Trainees are constantly evaluated, and upon completion of their training, the suitable candidates are selected and will be offered a position as a counselor.

 


During their staff training, beneficial qualifications are attainable in First Aid, CPR, child psychology, activity instruction, theory and practice of teaching; which are all valuable additions to a CV. In addition to taking a break from the formal schooling environment, camp counselors have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, improve self-discipline and gain valuable work experience. 
 

Adults (18-28 years old) can apply to work as a camp counselor at any time, and will be notified about the next available staff training dates if their application is successful. The counselor application can be downloaded from Sugar Bay's website, on our “Work for Us” web page.




Some learners have already made the decision to take a gap year long before Grade 12. It is for this reason that Sugar Bay also offers a Counselor in Training (C.I.T) program for learners 17 and 18 years old. This program allows learners to complete their counselor training beforehand, during a school holiday so that they are able to start working as a counselor straight after graduating high school.


The next CIT course at Sugar Bay (for teens 17 & 18 years old) will be held from 27 Dec - 8 Jan 2017.


Working as a camp counselor is a great way to make the most of a gap year in order to obtain greater clarity with career ambitions. Many counselors have described Sugar Bay as a “sanctuary” where they can be free from the desolation of everyday life and be allowed to go on a journey of self-discovery.

 


Gap years may not be necessary for all students, but it is definitely worth serious consideration. University drop-out rates are significantly too high to ignore. Unfulfilled employees working in dead-end jobs are just as common to find. In this sense then, it is better for students to avoid rushing into a career or degree and taking the time to make the right decision can prove to be more valuable long-term.

 


For more information about the CIT course, please contact Ruvika on (032) 485 3778 or email holidays@sugarbay.co.za.

For more information about staff training and counselor applications, please contact Tape on (032) 485 3097 or email staff@sugarbay.co.za.

Alternatively, you can read the information about these gap year opportunities on our website at www.sugarbay.co.za .



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Friday, 9 September 2016

Nature Education at Camp

Camp programs are among the very best ways for children to obtain an important appreciation for nature and a lifelong interest in caring for the earth.

An example of such camp programs can be found at Sugar Bay Holiday Camp, which is passionate about nature education, and where environmental preservation is a priority. 
 
The camp integrates nature education into a variety of programs, some of which include: 
 
Interactive Shark Presentation 



On the itinerary of many school tours, is the much anticipated “Shark Talk” delivered by one of the camp directors, Zoe Ellender. Ellender is very passionate about these marine species, which is evident in this gripping presentation. 
 
The purpose of this interactive workshop about sharks is to teach children that sharks really aren’t the “monsters” that they are perceived to be. Rather, Ellender wants children to learn that sharks are indeed beautiful creatures which are threatened by extinction. A claim which she supports with statistics, and anecdotes about her personal experiences in free diving with sharks.

The lesson begins with an engaging game. Ellender reads out various causes of death, and asks the children to guess how many people they think die from these causes each year. Some examples include car accidents, dog bites, falling off a horse and shark attacks etc. With each guess, she places the estimated figure given by the children on a number line for the children to see, and she then reveals the accurate (and often surprising) statistic.

To the children's astonishment, it is revealed that only one person dies from a shark attack each year, compared to the one hundred million sharks which are killed by humans every year.
While coming to terms with this horrifying statistic, Ellender explains with the aid of short, informative videos how and why sharks are killed. She also offers the learners reasons why sharks shouldn't be killed, and what the children can do to make a difference.

Environmental Conservation, Litter and Recycling Program

 

The Environmental Conservation Program at Sugar Bay begins by taking campers on what is called an “Explore Walk”. During this activity, campers explore the beach, and are encouraged to enjoy the different elements of the coastal environment. While walking, campers are taught lessons on various topics such as the indigenous shores, marine life and adaptations, waves and currents and ocean conservation.

This walk is also used as an opportunity to run the Litter and Recycling Program, in which every camper is given a bag to fill with the litter they come across during their walk along the beach. 


Rewards in the form of camp privileges are given to campers for every one hundred pieces of litter picked up. This program aims to provide an eye-opening first hand experience into the extent of pollution on our shores, and to get kids to take the responsibility in participating in the clean up - a first step towards effective environmental conservation.  
 
Farming and Environmental Education Tours

 

As part of their Farming and Environmental Education tours, Sugar Bay invites expert guest speakers to address the campers in the form of a mini-conference. 
 
One of the most popular guest speakers is Kingsley Holgate, a South African explorer, humanitarian and author who resides in the local area. Kingsley is never shy to share his adventure travel experiences with the kids, and he educates them on how to use adventure to improve and save lives. He teaches the kids about the significance of wildlife conservation, malaria prevention, water purification and overall, how to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives. 
 
Besides camp being a great escape from technology, an adventure in the wilderness and s'mores at the campfire; camp is also one of the best ways to educate future generations about the environment while having fun. This just proves that there certainly is no limit to learning at camp. 
 
To book a camp that includes nature education, please contact the Sugar Bay offices on (032) 485 3778. For more information, visit Sugar Bay's website.

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