Wednesday, 16 November 2016

10 Questions to ask when booking a camp

 

There is no shortage of summer camps in North America, they are even part of the culture. The concept of an American-style summer camp is still new in South Africa and thus it is important for parents to ask the right questions when choosing a camp for their kids. Parents should be searching for a camp that prioritizes safety, educational and personal development, in a safe and fun environment.
  
To find a reliable and responsible camp it is necessary to ask the right questions. It's best to begin with the basics such as; how long the camp has been running and what licenses the camp holds, etcetera. However, to properly judge their credibility and suitability for your child, you will have to ask questions that go beyond these basics.

 

Here are 10 Questions to ask when booking a camp for your kids:

 

1. What is the camp’s philosophy? 


As a parent, you need to be comfortable with the camp’s philosophy as your children will be guided by the camp’s philosophy during their stay.

2. How does the camp train and recruit its staff? 

 

You need to find out how the camp counselors are trained and if the camp recruits them based on experience and merit. It’s always better to know that in the case of an emergency, your children will be in the care of people who are at least trained in emergency first response. 
 

3. What is the return rates of campers and counselors?

 

According to the American Camping Association (ACA), who stipulate the camp industry's standards, a 40 – 60 percent return rate is a good indication that the camp is reputable. It's reassuring to know that half or more of the children return after their first visit, and also makes it more likely that your children will enjoy the camp and want to return too.
 

4. What is the ratio of campers to counselors (a.k.a supervisors)?

 

The American Camping Association guidelines for overnight camps call for a 1:6 ratio for ages 7 and 8, 1:8 for ages 9-14; and 1:10 for ages 15-18. Day camp guidelines call for 1:8 for children ages 6-8; 1:10 for children ages 9-14; and 1:12 for ages 15-18.

A camp that can offer quality supervision is better than a camp that only offers full-time supervision. It's easy to claim to offer full-time supervision, as a camp can have one counselor looking after thirty children all day. However, if a camp offers quality supervision by allocating one counselor to supervise only three children, you can be assured that your child is getting the full attention they need and will not be neglected.
 

5. How old are the counselors?

 

The American Camping Association recommends that 80 percent of the staff be between 18 and 35 years old, and a minimum of two years older than the campers they supervise. 

6. How equipped is the camp for basic medical care and serious emergencies?

 

The American Camping Association recommends that overnight camps should have a licensed physician or registered nurse on the site every day. There need to be medical staff working at the camp and backup facilities nearby. Should your child require medication, have food allergies or a chronic medical condition; you need to be reassured that the camp will be able to handle their needs.

7. What is the camp’s approach to discipline? 

 

The camp’s practices need to be in line with your parenting principles. In the case of a conflict between campers, you need to know that the camp handles these situations carefully. Find out what the camp’s rules are and what breaches would result in a camper being sent home. It’s important to discuss the rules and regulations with your child so they can adjust where necessary before they arrive. It is also a good idea to enquire about how the camp deals with bullying.
 

8. What does a typical daily schedule look like?

 

There needs to be a balance between the level of physical and social activities held at camp. If your child favours one activity over another, it would be great to know that they could participate in this particular activity more than once, should they want to. Camps that offer a free choice of activities are definitely the better option for your child to be able to participate in activities of their preference, instead of being forced to participate in a compulsory daily program. 
 

9. How reliable is the camp’s transport?

 

If the kids need to be transported to different venues to and from camp, you need to be certain that their transport is reliable and safe. Enquire about who drives these vehicles and what qualifications these drivers have in order to be responsible for the transportation of campers. 
 

10. Ask for references

 

You need to find out about other camper’s experiences. Ask the camp for the links to their social media channels like Facebook and Google Plus. These social media channels allow people to publish reviews about the establishment which you can then read. This will give you a good idea about what other people are saying about the camp, and whether or not they are up to your standards. Alternatively, you could request quotes from past campers and the camp should willingly share this information with you. A camp that’s comfortable and proud of their practices will not refuse to share this information with you.

 
These are definitely the top 10 questions to ask when booking a camp for your kids in order to attain the best camping experience and ensure happy campers


 

Give Sugar Bay camp a call on 032 485 3778 and we'll happily answer these questions for you! Or you could head over to our website and read our Parent FAQs. When you're satisfied with our answers, you can book your camp online.

 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Sugar Bay’s President’s Award Program

Sugar Bay Resort isn’t just a fun getaway for kids and teens, we also offer courses to assist in youth empowerment, such as our Counselor in training (CIT) course and the President’s Award Program. 
 
History of the President’s/The Duke of Edinburghs Award: 

 
 
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was founded in the United Kingdom in 1956 by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. This award recognizes adolescents and young adults for completing a series of self-improvement exercises and is renowned internationally by 144 nations.

In South Africa, the award was first established in 1983 under the name The Gold Shield Award. In 1992, after the appointment of Mr. Nelson Mandela as the first president of a democratic South Africa, the name was changed to The President's Award for Youth Empowerment. 

In its 33-year history of youth engagement in South Africa, the Award Program has reached over 150,000 young people in the country.

There are over 14,300 active participants in South Africa and the Award Program is currently being used by over 250 Award Units nationally (community youth groups, residential youth facilities, schools and correctional centers) as a workable framework for youth empowerment. 
 
It is being increasingly sought to provide a framework for youth-at-risk, providing them with a positive, affirming alternative to the social challenges which they face within their communities.

What does the President’s Award Entail? 
 
The President’s Award is an exciting personal challenge for young people between the ages of 14 and 24. 
 
There are 3 levels to the President's Award (Bronze, Silver and Gold) and each level requires completion of certain minimum requirements in each of the 4 categories.

The 4 Categories include:

1. Service To learn how to give useful service for others.
2. Skill To encourage the development of personal interests and skills.
3. Physical Recreation - To encourage participation in physical recreation and improvement of performance.
4. Adventurous Journey - To encourage a spirit of adventure and discovery whilst undertaking a journey in a group.

The Award Program is not a once off intervention but is a longer term process, taking between 3 and 5 years to complete all three levels of Bronze, Silver, and Gold.

Benefits of the President’s Award:

  • Looks great on university applications and job applications.
  • Builds self-confidence.

  • A great way to give back to the community.
  • Provides leadership opportunities for youth.

  • Provides recognition for young people in the extra-curricular sphere of the school environment.
  • Provides a simple, meaningful framework for self-development, self-discovery and self-reflection.

How to achieve the Bronze Level at Sugar Bay:

 
For the Bronze Level in the Adventurous Journey category, participants will be required to complete a 2 day, overnight journey consisting of 6 hours of planned activities each day.

At Sugar Bay, we'll achieve the first day's requirements by completing a 12 km beach walk and 5km hike through the sugar cane to reach our final destination of “Camp Out”. 

 
Campers will be led by an Adventurous Journey Instructor who will assist in teaching them shelter and fire building skills in order to set up camp and cook their meals before resting their weary bodies after a day full of achievements. 

The next day, campers will follow a similar route along the Zinkwazi Lagoon in a kayak, eventually arriving back at Sugar Bay with time to reflect on their journey before dinner.

When is the program offered & who is eligible? 
 
This unique opportunity will be available to pre-registered President's Award participants ages 14+.

Our next President’s Award Hike will be taking place during the following holiday camp:
The President's Award Program at Sugar Bay is the same cost of the camp during which its held, there are no additional fees. There will be an additional packing list and questionnaire required as part of your regular camp paperwork.

If your child is interested in completing this Bronze Award during their week at Sugar Bay, please ensure that they are already enrolled in the President's Award program,and that they bring all their documentation to camp.


Call us on 032485 3778 to book for our President's Award Program.
 
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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Upcoming December/January Holiday Camps

 
It almost feels like yesterday when we were dreaming about a sunshine-filled December and spending our summer vacation with all our lovely campers at Sugar Bay. Well guess what? Before we knew it, summer and December have arrived! We have planned four incredibly themed camps these upcoming December and January school holidays. 



Finding Dory Week: 9 - 16 December

 



Join us in an underwater adventure with Nemo and Marlin as we join in the search for the loving and often forgetful little blue tang fish, Dory.



Highlights:

  • Excursion: Ushaka Marine World Themed Water Park & Aquarium.

  • Beach Art Classes: Shell art, Beach in a bottle, Up-cycling of items found on the shore.

  • California themed Beach Party Night.

  • School of Fish Talent Show: Winners will be treated to a special Sushi dinner.

  • Be-kind-to-one-another-campaign”: As inspired by the voice of Dory herself, Ellen De Genres and her daytime talk show. Every day of the week will begin with this uplifting topic.

  • Ellen and her DJ stage-setup: Just like the talk show, Sugar Bay will host its very own The Ellen De Genres show everyday. Our very own Ellen will walk through her audience and dance while her awesome DJ drops the beat in the background encouraging campers to sing and dance.
The price of this unforgettable underwater experience?

Book now and begin finding Dory!


Candy Land Week: 16 - 23 December

 

Things often get sweet around camp, but our Candy-land theme will seee our camp transformed into a kingdom ruled by flavourful characters and sugary experiences. The sky will rain candy and turn camp into Candy Land. You simply cannot miss out on this sweet, summer camp experience.


Highlights:



  • Stay-over Excursion: Galleria Ice Rink.

  • Excursion: Gateway Theatre of Shopping - Indoor Soccer/ Bowling/ Water Slides.

  • Sweet-Treat-Making Classes: Sweet making classes with different sweets and different flavours every day.

  • Candy Land Party Night: Peppermint Forest themed.

  • Candy Construction: Campers will use various candies to create a Candy Land Kingdom.







Outrageously Crazy Week: 27 December – 2 January

 

It's time to get crazy as we turn things inside out and upside down during Outrageously Crazy week at Sugar Bay! This mad camp will certainly be one of the highlights as we approach the new year.


Highlights:


  • Excursion: Jump for Joy Indoor Trampoline Arena – Durban.

  • Outrageously Crazy New Years Eve Party: Fireworks and non-alcoholic champagne as we do the final count down into 2017

  • Last Day of 2016 Pool Party: All day outrageous pool/waterslide party

  • The Ridiculous Show: Campers will be putting on a crazy show as part of our final stage production for 2016.

  • Outrageously Crazy Evening Programs: Including themes such as: Plumbing night, Saliva night, Crazy food-eating competition night, etc. 
     







Blast from the Past Week: 2 – 8 January

 

After springing into the new year, we rewind the clock back and travel into the past to relive some of the most entertaining generations of history. 
 
Highlights:

  • Stay-over Excursion: Super Tubes – Gateway Theatre of Shopping.

  • Educational Excursion: Shaka Land Cultural Village – Eshowe.
  • Camp-out/Camp-in: Campers can choose to either camp-out, on our exclusive camping spot on the other side of the Zinkwazi lagoon, or camp-in and indulge in our very own Sugar Bay spa, cooking classes and make-over sessions.

  • Back-in-time themes every day: 60's, 70's, 80's, Zulu Traditional Times and Modern-Day Times. 

  • King & Queen of the Era: Campers will vote for their King & Queen in the particular era (70s/80s/90s).

  • 80's Party Night: Lumo Colours themed.

  • Golden Oldie Daily Themed Classes: Including: Shrinky Dink creations, Beaded T-Shirt making, Tye-dye and Charts that topped that time.
How much to have a blast from the past? 
 
Book now to go time traveling with us!

Camp space is running out fast! If you're wondering what our holiday camps are all about, watch how we have transformed camp with our past themes.
  

See what we get up to at camp by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Instagram!






Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Sugar Bay Schools Competition – November 2016


Sugar Bay is having a super spectacular competition for all the schools we host presentations at this November! 

The Prize:

One free week at the ultimate children's paradise - Sugar Bay, during our April themed holiday camps for a learner and their best friend! 

Yep, you even get to bring your best buddy along! 

How to Enter: 
 
Get your mom, dad or legal guardian to give us a call on the same day as the presentation was held at your school. Use the Sugar Bay “Secret Code Word” - example; Sticky Tape, given to you by either Sticky (counselor), or Tape (Head Counselor) to get a R500-00 discount voucher towards your next stay at Sugar Bay. 

If we get a minimum of 10 calls within a week of the presentation at your school,  your school will automatically qualify and get entered into the draw.

 

The draw will take place on Friday, 11 November 2016.

Competition Rules:

  • Only schools with the most calls will be entered into the draw. Minimum – 10 calls.
  • Only calls from parents/legal guardians will be counted. Strictly no calls from learners.
Only learners from the following schools qualify: 

 

  • Eden College – Durban 
  • Saheti School - Johannesburg
  • Summit College - Kyalami
  • Woodlands International College - Boksburg
  • Crawford Preparatory - Fourways
  • South Downs College – Pretoria
  • Eden College – Lyndhurst
  • Curro Helderwyk – Brakpan
  • American International School of Johannesburg – AISJ
  • Cambridge College – Witbank
If you’re not a learner in any of the schools listed above, all you need to do is speak to your school and get Sugar Bay to come over and host a presentation. Thereafter, your school will automatically qualify and could possibly be entered into the draw to win the grand prize! 

Encourage your friends to get their parents to give us a call on 032 485 3778 now! 

 

Good luck! 

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
 
Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, be inspired by our Pinterest picture collections, Review us on our GooglePlus page, be apart of our experiences by becoming a subscriber to our YouTube Channel and keep commenting on all our blogs!