Friday, 24 February 2017

Staff Feature: New Captain Steers our Ship

After half a decade of steadily steering our Sugar Bay ship, we bid farewell to a darling duo; Sugar Bay's Tape & Paris. Thus, we announce the name of the new Captain who will be steering our ship.

Former Arts & Crafts Pro Counselor (PC), Aurora!
Our affectionate and gentle Aurora was promoted to Camp Programmer & acting Head Counselor. The Camp Programmer is responsible for the planning and organization of daily programs in all areas of camp (activities, meals, décor, etc). The Programmer also works alongside other staff members in the planning and facilitation of general camp functions. She had been under Paris's wing for almost a year and was finally given the opportunity to spread her wings and fly. And flying high is exactly what she's been doing as she carefully plans and programmes the activities scheduled at camp every week so meticulously. With big shoes to fill in her newly appointed positions, we are very confident that “Rory” will do a sterling job.


“Tape” (Kieren Horner), has been a part of the Sugar Bay family for almost 8 years. He started his career at camp as a counselor in 2008. His exceptional leadership skills soon led him to be promoted as the Head Counselor in 2012. Tape was an inspiration to many of his fellow counselors and simply adored for his witty character. 
 

“Paris” (Sasha Charnock), joined Sugar Bay in 2011 as a camp counselor. Her outstanding creativity earned her the position as the first ever Arts and Crafts Instructor at camp. In 2012, Paris was promoted to Camp Programmer because of her prominent passion for camp and commendable ability to multi-task. Paris was very flexible and could make great things happen on very short notice. Her enthusiasm and loving nature will never be forgotten at camp. 
 

We at Sugar Bay extend our gratitude to former Head Counselor, Tape, and Programmer, Paris for all the effort and love they had invested in our camp over the years. You will definitely be missed. All the best with your future endeavors! 

For all your staff queries, you can send an email to our acting Head Counselor, Aurora, via staff@sugarbay.co.za. To find out the finer details about our daily programs, you may also email Aurora at groups@sugarbay.co.za . Put a face to the voice you've been speaking to, check out the "Meet our staff" page on our website.  

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Upcoming April Holiday Camps


The first school break of 2017 is right around the corner and with 35% off all April camps, we're ready to make them a memorable one here at Sugar Bay. We have planned three magical themes for the upcoming April school holidays. Watch the trailer video above and you'll be as excited for April as we are!
 

Hipster Week: 9-16 April


Dazzle those nerd glasses and rock that moustache! It's time to be the coolest kid on the block during Hipster week at Sugar Bay. 
 

Highlights:

  • Hipster Hunt Games
  • Beach Bonfires
  • Trashion” Fashion Show
  • Hipster Board-Games
  • Epic Excursion – Durban Beach Front
  • Throwback Thursday Theme Fun
  • Starlight Movie Night on the Field
  • The Trendiest Party in Town Celebration
  • Mainstream Market Activities



Hogwarts Week: 16-23 April

 

We're calling all lovers of the Harry Potter series to join us at the school of witchcraft and wizardry for some magic and mysteries during Hogwarts week at Sugar Bay.


Highlights:

  • Cabin Allocation with the “Sorting Hat”
  • Hogwarts Quiz Night
  • Invisible Cloak Raid Game
  • Camp Out at the Forbidden Forest
  • Tri-Wizard Tournament
  • Prisoners of Azkaban Games
  • Hogwarts Themed Dinner
  • Tri-Wizard Ball
  • All camp Quidditch

 

Beauty & the Beast Week: 23-30 April

 

Belle and the Beast await all their fellow friends of the enchanted castle to join them at the Sugar Bay village for Beauty & the Beast week. 
 

Highlights:

  • Themed Art & Crafts Classes - Candle-Making/Rose Icing Figurines/Biscuit-Making
  • Themed Singing/Dancing Classes
  • Beauty & the Beast Stage Production
  • Beauty & the Beast Movie Night
  • Enchanted Excursion – Galleria Ice Rink
  • Village Games – Wheelbarrow & Potato Sack Race
  • Themed Games – Feeding the Beast/Beauty & a Beat Lip-Sync-Battle/Create-a-Beast/Capture the Rose
  • The Beast's Ball – Themed Party night
  • Pin the Rose/Collect the Rose Ongoing Games



Watch the trailer video for our April camps on our YouTube channel and have a look at how we make these themes come alive every holiday. You can also visit our website for more information about our camp and say "Hello" to us on Facebook.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Get to Know – Paris

 
Named after the city of love and beauty…

is our lover-of-pink and pretty camp Programmer, Paris! 

 
 
Paris has been at Sugar Bay for 5 years. 
 
Yes! That's half a decade! 

 
 
She started of as a counselor in August 2011, worked her way up to become the first ever Arts & Crafts Instructor and then got promoted to Camp Programmer a year later. 

 

Paris's favourite Sugar Bay activity is sea swim. She enjoys sea swim because it doesn't require any specialized equipment. “All you need is your costume and to head down to the beach. It's so much fun splashing around in the waves!” she said. 
 
Our “pretty in pink” programmer's favourite camp food is fish and chips. 
 
We asked Paris “What's the one thing people don't know about you?”

 
She replied:

“I may look like a Princess, but I love getting down and dirty playing soccer and riding quad bikes.”

Paris described herself in three words as “Happy, loving and spontaneous”, and that she is! 
 
Her favourite holiday camp was “The Hunger Games week.” “We had our own real-life Hunger Games, each cabin was their own District and on the final day of the games, a camper who looked just like Katniss, also from District 12 won. It was so unreal but so much fun!” said Paris. 
 
Paris also told us about who inspires her at camp:
“Tape! He was the first counselor I noticed at camp. He had such so much confidence, an incredible DJ voice and he was so funny! I wish I could make people laugh the way he does. He is the best head counselor we have ever had because he is wise and can help anyone be the best version of themselves.” 
 
Paris also told us that her favourite thing about camp are the waterslides. “Those things are the best thing that has ever happened to Sugar Bay,” she said. 
 
We asked Paris more about her role as the camp programmer:

“As the programmer, it is my job to make sure that every camper at Sugar Bay has an awesome time and wants to return to camp. From ensuring that we run the best activities based on the coolest themes to the yummy food we serve our campers, my job is to make certain that camp offers the absolute, best experience! I know my job is done when I hear about all the special memories that the campers have made during the week at the final camp fire. Many of our campers cry because they're sad to go home and most of the time its tears of joy due to the incredible memories they have made. I am truly so blessed to be apart of this”. 
 
We concluded our lovely chat with Paris by asking her “What would she say to anyone who has never been to camp before?” 
 
She answered:

“You have to try it! I am so blessed that I was given the opportunity to come to camp. You learn so much about life and yourself. Come to camp. You will never regret it!”

Here's more about our Sugar Bay Programmer - Paris: 

Paris, and the rest of our counselors at Sugar Bay are looking forward to making new friends with all of you. We'd be delighted for you to join our team and one day become a Sugar Bay Counselor. If you want to be a Sugar Bay counselor too, head over to our website and book online for our CIT course.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Review: December 2016/January 2017 Holiday Camps

We had four awesome holiday camps these past December/January school holidays at Sugar Bay Resort. From underwater adventures, to a trip back in time, we did it all!

Finding Dory Week: 9 - 16 December 2016

 
We went on an extraordinary underwater adventure this week with 171 campers, all in pursuit to find Dory. Our camp portrayed the “under the sea” and “California Beach” theme fantastically with floating fish, colourful coral and blue waves decorated all over our main hall. Some of the highlights of this week were the “Beach Party Night” and “A School of Fish Talent Show”. The campers also went on an exciting excursion to Ushaka Marine World, an aquarium and water park where they got to see the special “Finding Nemo/Finding Dory” tank. 
 
Have a look at our album on Facebook featuring more pictures from Finding Dory week. 
 
Candy Land Week: 16 – 23 December 2016

 
Sugar Bay got super sweet during Candy Land week and the camp was turned into the Candy Kingdom. We had 140 sweet-toothed campers with us this week who made the most of the sugary experience; playing “Candy Construction”, taking “Sweet-Making Classes” and participating in the Sugar Bay version of the “Candy Land” board game. We also went on an excursion to the Gateway Theatre of Shopping where campers went bowling, gaming in the arcade, played indoor soccer and enjoyed splashing down the waterslides. 
 
Have a look at our album on Facebook featuring more pictures from Candy Land week. 
 
Outrageously Crazy Week: 27 December 2016 – 2 January 2017

 
Things were turned inside out and upside down this week as the whole of Sugar Bay went “Outrageously Crazy”. This camp was one of the most sought after camps due to it falling over the New Year period. We accommodated a whopping 202 campers with us this week. One of the highlights of this week was “The Outrageously Crazy New Year's Eve Party”, where we stepped into 2017 Sugar Bay style, with fireworks and a fabulous get-together. We also went on an insane excursion to Jump for Joy, an indoor trampoline park where our campers got to go mad and experience the “Outrageously Crazy” theme to the fullest. 
 
Have a look at our album on Facebook featuring more pictures from the Outrageously Crazy week. 
 
Blast from the Past Week: 2 – 8 January 2017

 
We travelled back in time and had a “Blast from the Past” with 172 campers during our final school holiday camp. This week, our campers got to re-live some of the ground-breaking eras of the past. We brought back to life the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's themes and showed our campers what the meaning of “Golden Oldies” is. We also explored some ancient cultures as we went on an educational excursion to the Shaka Land Cultural Village, where our campers learned about the History of King Shaka and the IsiZulu Traditions. 
 
Have a look at our album on Facebook featuring more pictures from the Blast from the Past week. 

Find out more about our upcoming holiday camp themes on our website. Follow us on Instagram and check out what we get up to during our holiday camps. Call us now on 032 485 3778 to make a booking for the April school holidays.  

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

8 Great tips for responding to camper mail

 
These days, putting pen to paper and writing a letter has become a rare and daunting task.

People have become so conformed to sending emails and texting from their mobile devices, that writing a letter the good old-fashioned way seems to have become too time-consuming and complicated. 
 
At Sugar Bay Resort, a holiday camp for kids and teens, we challenge both parents and campers to write letters to one another the traditional way. 
 
We allow our campers to write a letter to their parents on the third day of camp. These letters are then scanned and emailed to parents, opening the door of communication between parents and their children at camp. We distribute the replies to our campers on the fourth day of camp, which gives parents a day to compose a reputable letter to their little ones. 
 
However, the replies are often very formal and lack the gist of a meaningful letter.
Although you’re receiving these letters via email, it would be very exciting for your kids to receive a hand-written letter from you. It just makes the experience of being away from home so much more remarkable and unique. 

 
 
Here are some great tips to use when responding to the letters you receive from your young campers:
1. You really have to think about what you are writing and who you are writing to.

2. You must find an unperturbed space in your mind, one that focuses directly on the person you are writing to, and what you would like to say to this person.

3. Each sentence needs to have meaning and emotion to it.

4. Avoid talking about home. Ask questions about camp rather than talking about home life. It’s important to note that as a parent, your words play an integral part in homesickness.

5. Always be encouraging and supportive about what the kids are getting up to at camp. Encourage them to talk about their new experiences at camp.

6. Avoid too many questions as this will make the kids feel pressured to write back more often than they would prefer to.

7. Avoid heavy-handed disapproval or reprimands. This is certainly an unpleasant thing to come across in any letter.

8. Let the kids know that they are missed. But avoid getting too emotional. Tackle this with a change of topic. For example; persuade the kids to describe the new friends they made at camp. This will take the focus away from the emotional attachment which the word “Missing” brings.
A meaningful letter has more significance than a quickly typed out email. It is a sentimental item that most kids view as sacred and will keep forever.

Campers love getting letters from home. It makes them feel important and helps them realize just how much they are loved, overall, building up their confidence and courage to make the most out of their camping experience. 
 
Take the time to hand write a beautiful, meaningful letter to your child using the eight great tips above. In this case, words speak louder than actions ever will. Email your thoughtful camper mail to away@sugarbay.co.za

We can’t wait to let your little ones know that you’re thinking of them. 

For more information about our holiday camps, head over to our website. For more Sugar Bay inspiration, become a follower on our Pinterest channel


Safety at Camp

 
Sending your kids to overnight camp can be nerve-racking if you’re going to be stressing about their safety. It’s important that you choose a camp that has trustworthy staff and counselors as well as safe facilities. 
 
To put your mind at ease, here are some suggested questions that you should ask concerning the safety policy of a summer camp: 
 
1. What is the ratio of staff to children?
Staff ratios are very important. The higher the number of counselors to campers, the more supervised your children will be. A higher staff to child ratio means a more controlled environment and will ensure that your kids are getting the quality supervision and attention they require. 
 
2. How has the staff been trained?
 

Your children should be in the care of staff that are at least qualified to render basic first aid, also known as Emergency First Response. You need to also question their psychological training in terms of how they would handle a case of bullying or homesickness at camp.

3. What is the camp's policy on parental contact during camp? 
 
A camp that is running ethically will not completely cut-off ties between parents and their children. The camp must allow some sort of contact between the campers and their parents during camp, like an occasional email home or a telephone line that allows parents to speak directly to their kids in a case of emergency. Some camps post pictures of the campers on their social media platforms so that parents can become a part of their children’s experiences too. 
 
4. Does the camp have a policy for screening visitors? 

A camp that places great emphasis on who can and who cannot enter the property is a camp that you can trust. Proper safety precautions should be implemented when visitors come to camp, such as CCTV surveillance and proper sign-in and sign-out facilities. 
 
5. Does the camp allow two people to be alone together, and how do they prevent it?

According to the American Camp Association (ACA), it’s inappropriate for a camp employee to be alone and out of sight with a camper, as well as a camper to be alone with another camper regardless of gender. There should always be at least three people present in these rare cases of seclusion, and one of those people must be the child's supervising counselor. This safety policy is commonly known as a “Buddy System”.

6. Does the camp conduct background checks on staff and counselors?

It is of utmost importance that the camp conducts background checks and a police clearance on their staff and counselors. This is vital as their employees will be working with children who are vulnerable and require safe and specialized care. 
 
Asking the right questions before selecting a camp will ensure your children are well cared for in a controlled and safe environment, which will help in putting your mind at ease. 

Safety is a priority at Sugar Bay Resort.  Subscribe to our YouTube channel and take a look at how we prioritise safety at camp. Call us on 032 485 3778 to find out more about Safety at Sugar Bay. We'll be delighted to tell you all about how we ensure your kids are safe at camp when they're away from home.