Friday, 31 March 2017

5 Quick camp meals to prepare at home

We all love a delicious, wholesome, meal. However, with our fast-paced lifestyles, it is often difficult to decide on a good option that’s quick, delicious and easy to prepare.

The types of food served at most summer camps are carefully selected and tick all the boxes when it comes to being traditional, wholesome and on-the-go. 

 

Since campers are away from home, summer camps make every effort to ensure that their campers are comfortable and do not feel homesick. In doing so, traditional, freshly-made food is prepared three times daily. These appetizing meals give campers the special feeling of “being at home” when they’re at camp. It also eliminates the unhealthy and quick option of grabbing take out and teaches campers to appreciate good, home-cooked meals. 
 
With summer camp offering so many activities that require physical participation, healthy wholesome meals are a necessity. The meals served at camp need to provide campers with long-lasting energy and provide the essential vitamins and minerals required to keep campers robust throughout the day. 
 
Campers and counselors are very dynamic at camp, and this sometimes requires quick, on-the-go meals. Taking this into consideration, summer camp kitchens need to know exactly what to prepare, even under restricted time frame. 

 

To please hungry, craving, nagging little ones, here are five, quick camp meals to prepare at home:

 

1. Spaghetti Bolognaise

It’s as simple as boiling your spaghetti and adding some lean beef mince into a can of tomatoes. Combined with spices of your choice, this quick and easy dish is always satisfying. 
 
2. Chicken Schnitzel & Mash

Pop some free-range chicken schnitzels in the oven, boil some potatoes, mash them up, add a little salt and pepper to taste, and serve with peas on the side. 
 
3. Bacon, Macaroni & Cheese

Cook up a creamy white sauce, crispy fry some bacon, add to boiled macaroni, top with grated cheese and pop the dish into the oven until the cheese melts. Serve with a green salad and have the kids licking their plates. 
 
4. Fish & Chips

Catch it quick and fresh by grilling a hake fillet and some potato chips in the oven and serve the fish with a topping of freshly squeezed lemon juice. 
 
5. Honey-Mustard Chicken & Rice

Combine honey, mustard and some greens, such as basil and parsley with pre-boiled chicken fillets in the oven and serve with boiled rice. This deliciously sticky chicken dish with rice is a recipe for smiles and content tummies. 
 
This is how you serve dinner “camp-style”!

Become a follower on our Pinterest channel & check out some of the delicious meals we serve at Sugar bay on our  Camp Food Board.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

How to handle being a mom & businesswoman

Zoe Ellender is the camp director of Sugar Bay Resort.

Ellender gave up her formal career in Law and Legal Services to pursue her dream of creating a safe and fun paradise, an American-styled summer camp in South Africa, especially for children. 
 
Sixteen years later, she smiles and delegates as the proud owner of one of the best children’s camps in South Africa and being a cordial mom of three. 

Ellender shares some of the challenges of being a businesswoman and a mother and how she overcomes them:

Three years since the inception of Sugar Bay, Ellender was blessed with her first child, a beautiful daughter, whom she named Tao. During this period, Ellender was still fully involved in the day-to-day running of her business and also juggling being a mother to her firstborn. 
 
“It certainly wasn’t easy being a mother and running a business that just recently kicked-off. At this early stage of the establishment of my company, there was pressure to ensure that salaries were paid and that functions were being executed correctly. I recall when Tao was around three years old and I was a Lifeguard Instructor at camp, being so engrossed in work and passionate about what I do, I had completely forgotten to fetch her from nursery school,” Ellender shared. 
 
In 2008, Ellender gave birth to a second child, a baby boy named Cuan. During this period, she went on a six-month uninterrupted maternity leave. 
 
In 2015, the Ellender’s third child, baby boy Asher was welcomed into their family. Ellender had taken a year and a half to be with him and has now finally returned to work full time. 
 
“This was the longest time I have taken off from work for maternity leave. Coming back was a big adjustment. I felt like I was out of a job for a while,” she said chuckling. 
 
Little Asher is now being cared for by an au pair while his mom is back to being the boss on a full-time basis. 
 
“Having an au pair makes things so much easier for a woman to be a mom and run a business simultaneously. My advice to moms who are struggling to juggle their careers and motherhood would be to learn how to trust people with your children so that we can learn to let go and focus on ourselves as well as other things that matter to us. Look after other people’s children and you will understand the importance of trust. You will need to take risks so that you can eventually have no problem trusting other people with your children. You’ve got to hire great staff, people who are fantastic with children and will be great role models for them. Luckily for me, I have witnessed this first-hand having run a business that cares for children. I have been inspired by my own staff to trust others with my kids, hence, I have gained the courage and confidence to hire an au pair and leave baby Asher in his full care throughout the day.” 
 
Ellender added: “Fortunately for me, home and work is a stone throw away, and I have the privilege of working flexible hours. I love work and also love being at home with the kids. And now, being able to trust someone with my kids while I am at work creates a lovely balance in my life. I am able to focus on one thing at a time instead of worrying about all the others at once.”

Ellender’s experience of juggling her career as a businesswoman and being a mother to three children over the past sixteen years teaches parents to eliminate their own fears and allow their children to be in the care of others if necessary.

“There are certain games that my kids love playing and would like to play over and over again. I, however, cannot go on more than once. My au pair, on the other hand, has the patience to pursue this as many times as possible, and if this pleases my kids, it pleases me,” she said honestly.

“It’s all about the children and their happiness. But, with respect of course”, she added.
  
Send your kids to Sugar Bay Resort, we have so many great role models that would love to have your child in their care. For more information about our holiday camps, visit our website

Friday, 24 March 2017

5 Camp crafts you can do at home

Camp crafts are one of the most popular activities offered at holiday camps. These activities allow kids to explore their creative sides and get practically involved. 
 
Children love the idea of creating crafts by themselves and the cherry on top is being able to keep them as a memoir, or being able to eat what they have made. 
 
The fun and excitement of these camp activities can also be enjoyed at home. 
 
Here are 5 camp crafts that you can enjoy with the kids at home:

1. Friendship bracelets
 
Friendship bracelets are an integral part of camp as they allow children to bond by exchanging friendship bracelets with one another. Grab a few pieces of string from the hardware store and get your kids braiding friendship bracelets for one another. If they cannot braid, just get them some beads and let the beading and braiding of friendship bracelets begin. 
 
2. Bird feeders 
 
Most summer camps place a great emphasis on nature. Bird feeders are an interesting craft to create that promotes recycling and appreciation towards nature. All you need are some old plastic bottles, scissors, string, bird seeds and peanut butter. Create this craft, hang it up on a tree and invite the birdies home for lunch. 
 
3. Camp cookies
 
Baking is a must-do at summer camp, and nothing says “Yummy” more than camp cookies made by the children themselves. Whether it’s chocolate chip or ordinary sugar cookies, the process in baking these and then enjoying them together makes this a brilliant bonding activity. Get out the flour, sugar, butter and eggs from your pantry, switch on the oven, and get the kids baking together. 
 
4. Lanterns
 
At the final campfire, children usually carry little handmade lanterns with them. It’s an exciting craft, as the kids usually have these made during the week and cannot wait to try them out. You need old tin cans, a hammer, and some nails. Ask the kids to trace a shape of their choice onto the tin can, and you can knock little holes in outlining the shape. Once this is done, wait for dusk, light up some tea-light candles and place them inside the tin. The kids will enjoy the marvelous lighting effects of their camp lanterns.


5.S’mores 
 
The most delicious and most favoured camp treats are indeed campfire s’mores. Gather some Marie biscuits or crackers, marshmallows and chocolate and get the kids to compose their s’more. Instead of doing this the traditional way around a campfire, you can just pop them into the oven at home until the chocolate melts and the marshmallows become gooey. This is a lovely treat that will have the kids feeling the camp spirit in the comfort of their homes.
With these fun activities, camp can be just a few crafts away from home.

Follow us on our Sugar Bay Pinterest channel to see just how creative we can get at camp. 

How camp helps shy and insecure children


One reason that many parents send their kids to a holiday camp like Sugar Bay is so that they can make new friends and become more confident in a safe and fun environment, without the added pressure that often comes from school or home.

Evidently, many children have left Sugar Bay's shores having received much personal benefit from their holiday experience. They share their stories below:

Mvelo (High school student, Parktown):

"Sugar Bay changed my life forever. Before I came to Sugar Bay, I had a low self-esteem; I was anti-social and never had any friends. I chose to rather be at home, indoors, rather than playing outside because I was afraid of socializing with other kids as I felt like they would judge me. All of that began to change when I came to Sugar Bay, 10 years ago. I was inspired and encouraged to break out of my shell and socialize. Since then, I love coming back to Sugar Bay and making new friends. I’ve loved every single moment I’ve spent here at camp. Now, I have more confidence in myself."

Basani (High school student, Lonehill):

"Sugar Bay has taught me that it's okay to be me and that everyone at Sugar Bay is your friend. To this day, I am still friends with those girls from my first camp, as well as other camps I have been to thereafter. Today, I am a confident, open “social butterfly”, and I would be none of these things if it weren’t for Sugar Bay."

Matej (High school student, Johannesburg):

"I used to be a shy person who didn’t really have friends and never wanted to participate in any activities. I always pretended to have a good time, but secretly, I wanted to be somewhere else. I used to have anger management issues but all of that changed when I came here. I hope to continue to teach the kids the lessons I was taught the first time I came to camp."

 
Unlike other environments, holiday camps are specifically aimed at assisting children to overcome certain issues and to help them gain the skills they require to become confident and courageous individuals.If you are a parent with a shy and insecure child – a holiday camp at Sugar Bay is a good option to consider.

The above testimonials reveal limited information about the reviewer in order to protect the privacy of the children. However, Sugar Bay's Facebook Page boasts over 150 public reviews, which parents are encouraged to browse through if they are considering booking a camp.

Become a subscriber to our YouTube channel and check out some of the Reviews about Sugar Bay from parents, campers and schools. 

Thursday, 2 March 2017

How camp provides essential 21st-Century Skills

 
Living in the 21st century requires staying up-to-speed, but most of all, it requires being able to survive and succeed in a very competitive world.

Although camp may seem a little laid back and restraint from technology, camps understand the importance of keeping our campers up-to-speed with this fast-paced, ever-changing universe. This is why we implement and teach 21st-century skills at camp to ensure that our campers are able to conquer whatever challenges the future holds.

Here are 4 essential 21st-Century Skills taught at camp:


1. Collaboration

Camp teaches kids to work together effectively within a diverse group and how to compromise to accomplish goals as a team. Most camp activities require that campers be placed in groups or put into teams with people they aren’t familiar with. This diversity pushes them to collaborate and value one another’s contributions.

2. Creativity
Camp provides campers with the opportunity to be creative. Camp activities such as stage production, cooking and baking, and arts and crafts classes allow campers to demonstrate originality and inventiveness.

3. Communication


Clear communication is crucial at camp, whether oral, written or non-verbal. Campers and counselors are taught to communicate effectively with one another on a daily basis. Communication skills are taught through certain activities which help to develop camper’s listening and understanding skills, as well as practice coherent verbal and non-verbal communication.

4. Critical Thinking

Being able to complete activities and succeed at challenges at camp require critical thinking. Our campers and counselors are always problem-solving. At school, critical thinking may seem pressurized, whereas at camp, it’s a skill implemented while having fun. Therefore, there is minimal pressure and they develop without even knowing it.

Camp teaches kids these necessary 21st-century skills through interpersonal interactions, something that technology cannot offer. At Sugar Bay Resort, we understand that the only way to develop these skills is with practice. Therefore, our campers and counselors are constantly collaborating, creating, communicating and thinking critically to solve problems and succeed at camp challenges.


Follow us on our Pinterest channel to check out how we apply 21st-Century skills at camp.

5 Reasons why kids should go camping

The fast-paced, modern-day living has kept our kids cooped up in their bedrooms, mostly in the company of technology. We only realize the negative impact of this lifestyle, when we notice that our kids shy away from physical activities and socializing, dislike the idea of being challenged, lack character and have no independence. The best way to repair this “detachment from authenticity” is by eliminating technology and replacing it with an opportunity to experience something tangible. This opportunity comes from camping. Camping has the greatest impact on children and teaches them what technology cannot.

Here are 5 Reasons why kids should go camping:


1. Camp provides the opportunity to try new things.

The activities practiced at camp pushes children out of their comfort zone and expose them to new activities and experiences. These opportunities assist them in discovering new hobbies or passions which will direct them in their future career choices.

2. Camp helps with the development of social skills.


Most camp activities require children to work together as a team, hence, teaching them communication. These social skills obtained from camp are necessary for success in the long-term, whether at school or in the work environment.

3. Camp builds up the courage required to face challenges.


At camp, youngsters are always challenged to set goals and encouraged to realize their full potential. Unlike the formal schooling environment, the pressure to be an over-achiever isn’t felt at camp, therefore, allowing campers to build the courage required to face challenges at their own pace.

4. Camp helps build character.


Camp teaches and practices core values such as honesty, caring, respect and responsibility. After camp, kids are more likely to possess and display a character of kindness, understanding, sharing, righteousness and responsibility.

5. Camp fosters independence.

At camp, children can gain independence by simple, individual, decision-making opportunities in a safe environment, under the supervision of counselors. The camp environment provides peer support that allows children to quickly overcome their need for constant parental dependency.

Sending your children to camp is the perfect break away from technology, where fundamental development can be gained. The camping experience is an earnest investment in your child’s future which every parent would be wise to consider.

Become a subscriber to our Sugar Bay YouTube channel, and check out some of the reviews about our awesome camp