Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Holiday Camp versus School Camp

At Sugar Bay Resort, we offer two types of holidays; a holiday camp and a school camp/tour. Our holiday camps are typically held during the holiday period whilst schools are on break, at least four times in a year. Our school camps/tours are held throughout the year and typically host both local and international schools out of peak holiday periods. 

Sending your child to Sugar Bay on a school camp, however, isn’t the same as sending them to a holiday camp. There’s a misconception between the two, whereby, parents assume that their kids have reaped all the benefits that the complete Sugar Bay experience has to offer during a school camp. A school camp/tour is merely a taste of what can be experienced during our holiday camps, where the opportunities and fun are endless.

Here are 7 differences between holiday camps and school camps/tours:

1. The Leaders


During school camps/tours, learners are accompanied by their headmasters and educators. This sometimes leaves kids very intimidated and doesn’t allow them to be themselves. During holiday camps, we leave the teachers and headmasters at school and our campers are led by an extraordinary group of young, enthusiastic and fun adults we call counselors. Kids are freer being led by these trained professionals and enjoy every moment in their company.
 
2. Themes

Whilst school camps/tours have their own categories dividing the type of experience they want, such as; fun, bonding tour, leadership tour, team building tour and educational tour, holiday camps are based on and planned accordingly to incorporate certain themes. The themes picked out are usually chosen from the latest movies or trends and amplifies all the excitement. A good example of a themed holiday camp we hosted at Sugar Bay would be Avatar week. During these themed weeks, all activities and games are planned to incorporate the theme, for example, during Avatar week, we hosted activities such as; “Create your own Avatar”, and “Become an Avatar, Blue Colour Run”. You will not experience this attention to detail based on a theme during a school camp. 
 
3. Activities

Due to school camps/tours operating for between two to four nights, the number of activities run is limited. The opportunity to participate in a variety of activities isn’t possible due to the time restraints. However, during holiday camps, there are guaranteed over one hundred free choices of activities being offered at Sugar Bay, and, the opportunity to experience a better variety of activities is provided because of the extended duration of these camps as compared to school camps/tours. 
 
4. Excursions and Day Trips

On very rare occasions do school’s get to on an excursion or day trip during their school camp/tour at Sugar Bay. Our holiday camps, on the other hand, have at least one exciting excursion during the week. We also offer a complimentary excursion if the camper is staying for another consecutive week. Our excursions are all about having a fun day out and learning something new. Some of our most popular excursions include; ice-skating at the Ice-Rink, water-sliding and marine biology classes at Ushaka Marine World Aquarium and Themed Water Park, water sports at the Durban Beachfront and biking on the Promenade, marine biology-themed Boat Cruises at the Durban Harbor, educational trips to the Crocodile Farm and the Umgeni Bird Park, game drives at the Hluhluwe Game Reserve and trampoline fun at the Jump for Joy indoor trampoline arena. 
 
5. Themed Dinners and Themed Party Night

Only during our holiday camps do we host a themed dinner and party night. This is an event that campers look forward to all week as it allows for them to express their creativity through our fancy dress parade and dramatic dance-offs. We recently hosted a Beauty and the Beast-themed holiday camp where we ran a themed dinner based on the first meal Beauty and the Beast shared together. Thereafter, we hosted the Beast’s Ball at his castle where our male campers dressed formally and the girls showed off their ball gowns. 
 
6. Duration

Whereas school camps/tours are usually between two to four nights stay, holiday camps are seven days of unlimited fun and opportunities. This longer period of camp doesn’t only allow kids to experience more, but, also allows them to create new meaningful friendships and develop as an individual from a social perspective.

7. A Clean Slate

Most campers have shared stories of how at school they were classified into groups such as “The Jocks” or “The Nerds” etc. However, once they attended holiday camps, they realized that at a Sugar Bay, you aren’t conformed to a certain group or label. During holiday camps, everyone is free and it’s your chance to build a new reputation based on who you are and not what others think of you. This fresh start has been considered a breath of fresh air that no individual ever wants to be deprived of. 
 
As much as school camps/tours may have their perks, a Sugar Bay holiday camp is certainly not to be missed. 
 
Visit our website for finer details, check out our rates and dates and book online now.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Endless opportunities for female counselors at Sugar Bay!

Over the past few years, we’ve been noticing a significant decrease in the number of female applicants who sign up to become camp counselors. 
 
Many young ladies feel as if they cannot advance if they do not begin studying right away, and often end up disappointed after a year or two, when they realize that they stepped into the wrong career path. 
 
At Sugar Bay, we believe that high-school graduates should take time out to discover themselves if they are unsure of what career path to choose. This is why we recommend that you join the Sugar Bay family during your gap year and train to become a camp counselor. 
 
Find out the benefits you can reap from working as a camp counselor at Sugar Bay below:

Counselor-in-training (CIT) Course:

When you sign up for our CIT course, you will be in line to receive accredited qualifications that will be useful within the camp environment, including international camps, as well as outside of the camp environment. This is a significant opportunity for those who wish to travel and work at other summer camps around the world. 
 
You will receive qualifications in:

• First aid (Emergency First Response) and CPR.
• Camp Counseling

You will receive training in the following areas:

• Junior life guarding and water safety.
• Child and Staff Psychology.
• Outdoor/ adventure based counseling.
• Stress management.
• Teamwork.
• Instruction in all Sugar Bay activities.
• Crisis management

Working as a camp counselor:

Working as a camp counselor can be a great addition to your resume’. This career offers the opportunity to gain many strong interpersonal communication skills that most companies seek and will boost your chances of being employed, should you wish to move away from the camp counselor career in your future. It’s also an opportunity to earn extra income and invest it in your prospective studies. 
 
Significant Everyday Skills gained as a counselor:

• Team Building
• Sports Coaching
• Activity Planning and Oversight
• Sportsmanship
• Wilderness Survival
• Counseling
• Leadership
• Program Administration

Soft Skills gained as a counselor:

• Strong Work Ethic
• Positive Attitude
• Good Communication Skills
• Time Management Abilities
• Problem-Solving Skills
• Acting as a Team Player
• Self-Confidence
• Ability to Accept and Learn From Criticism

Why should you join the movement and sign up as a female counselor at Sugar Bay? 

 
 
Our Head Counselor, Chaplin wasn’t shy to share why you, as a fellow sister, should consider coming to work with us at Sugar Bay: 
 
“Being a counselor at Sugar Bay is the most rewarding thing I've ever done. I've met so many girls here who've become some of my closest and most valued friends. Working at Sugar Bay has shown me that I am capable of so much more than I thought I was and has really equaled out the playing field between boys and girls. The role of being a mentor and big sister to kids aged 7-17 has grown me as a person and has shown me what a massive impact you can have in someone's life, just by telling a story or playing a game. Honestly, if you have a passion for kids and would love to meet some eccentric, wonderful people, apply to be a girl counselor
at Sugar Bay.”

Girls, come make new friendships with us, grow in so many ways you never thought you could and join us on our journey to self-discovery!

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and have a look at all our Counselor video clips to get an idea of what being a counselor at Sugar Bay is all about.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Creating the exceptional camp

Sugar Bay Resort is a holiday camp for kids and teens located on the Dolphin Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. The camp has been running for the past sixteen years and has improved with every passing year. 

We recently spoke with Sugar Bay’s camp director, Zoe Ellender, to find out how she envisioned the summer camp concept and in turn, created the exceptional camp. 
 
Ellender shared that it all began with her unhappiness practicing as an attorney. She disliked the unhappy environment where the more miserable clients were, the more money you made. She engaged in some deep soul searching after her realization that her career was too negative for her, and, with the aid of a life coach, was lead into discovering what her passions were. “I love the beach, I love children, I love the sun and hate England, events management, sports, especially ocean sports, teaching, and planning and going on holiday”, she said as her face lit up with glee. 
 
“When I discovered my passions, it was a eureka moment after a period of months of being introspective. I put all these things together and this was how I came about the idea of a summer camp for kids”, she added. 

Ellender was motivated to put her idea into action after intense researching. She began by watching camp inspired movies, such as “The Parent Trap”. She spent most of her days chatting to summer camp staff that had been to America and gained lots of knowledge from them. She then discovered that in 1999, there were already fifteen thousand summer camps in America, however, none in South Africa, which was proof that she could transform her passion into a successful business. 
 
“Most camps that I researched focused on large groups at a time. I, however, wanted my camp to specialize in an individual and not just in a group. The main focus of my business idea was to offer individual attention, fun holidays, and free choices. I personally believe that children respond better to choices and it can make a great difference in how they react to certain restraints”, she said. 
 
Something that greatly assisted Ellender in creating the exceptional camp was wise words from her dad.My dad always said; “Go big”, and I did. In order to do so, I had to borrow money from the bank and do it well from the start. Thereafter, from one-hundred kids, I doubled to hosting two-hundred kids, I was able to purchase the best equipment and offer a variety of activities, which all contributed to creating the exceptional camp” she told us. 

Ellender went on to say; “I often have debrief sessions with all the counselors who have been to America. We discuss in-depth, the staff training manual, the menu, activities offered there, etc. Matching these standards or bettering them also assisted in creating the perfect camp environment.”

When asked what would be the most important thing to consider when creating the perfect camp, she answered; “To be able to take reasonable risks. Not to panic.” She elaborated by sharing how she is often questioned by people on how she handles being responsible for so many people and discussed that fear often discourages people from following their dreams. 
 
“Sugar Bay offers many sporting activities in the ocean, and that is a good example of taking a risk. However, in order to prevent the fear that comes from this risk, it is necessary to ensure that there are steps in place to prevent kids from drowning. Once you’ve done that, there is no need to panic”, she explained. 
 
“I know my camp is the best kid’s summer camp in South Africa. I know this because our campers keep coming back to camp. The hardest to convince are parents of campers who have never been to camp. Should any camper not want to come back to camp, I will find out why and fix it. Based on these principles is how I created the exceptional camp”, Ellender said in conclusion with confidence. 

 
Follow us on Pinterest and check out our exciting boards all about camp.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Why kids prefer camp over school?

Camp and school are very similar in that both are learning environments for children. However, the differences between the academic and experiential learning context explains why many children not only prefer camp, but also why they gain more personal growth in the camp environment.

Here are 8 differences between camp & school:

1. Experiential learning method

Learning is practiced on a daily basis at both camp and school. While school is more about textbook learning and studying for exams, camp promotes learning via experiential education. At camp, children get to physically participate in an activity and attain a skill from it. This method of learning seems to be what many children prefer.

2. Informal atmosphere

School provides a formal environment, which children may find intimidating and conformist. Camp, on the other hand, is a very casual environment which allows kids to learn while still having fun and without too much restriction. The quote, “What we learn in fun, we never forget” is all too true for the camp environment.

3. Supervisors are role models

Learners at school are supervised by their teachers with whom they often cannot develop a friendship, nor are they offered any opportunities to do so. At camp, kids are cared for by young adults called camp counselors. These counselors are specifically trained in child psychology, and as young adults with a passion for children they easily become role models and friends to the children in their care.

4. Diverse friendships

Some schools restrict their learners from making friends beyond their age group, and the class barriers often prevent kids from different grades and schools from mixing with one another. Whereas, holiday camps accommodate children from around the world of all ages, of all cultures and races. This exposure to diversity is healthy for children, and it allows kids to make friendships freely and to expand their worldview – all with appropriate supervision.

5. Bullying prevention

Schools have become the prime ground where bullies are born and begin terrorizing other children. The reason for this is probably because teachers are expected to spend more time teaching and performing administrative duties, rather than paying careful attention to their learners and their individual needs. At camp, the counselors supervise the children around the clock which allows them to deal with bullying as it happens and it also allows them to spend quality time with each child to attend to their personal needs. Additionally, many camps have a higher staff to child ratio than schools, which helps to create a bully-free environment.

6. Fostering Independence

Learners at school are controlled by their school rules which promote discipline and order, and understandably so. However, kids also love the freedom to choose, of which there is little opportunity at school. Camp, on the other hand promotes independence and balances this with discipline. Children may choose the clothes they wear, the activities they want to participate in, the friendships they make and the food they eat.

7. Physical activity is promoted

Learners spend most of their school day behind a desk rather than outdoors, which many children find frustrating and uninspiring. At camp, kids are always on the go, out and about, having fun and being active without the distraction of technology. Not to mention that the increased exercise they receive at camp benefits their ability to learn, concentrate and the quality of their sleep.

8. Less anxiety and more stress management

Mention exams and assessments and watch how quickly children develop anxiety. The schooling environment can put a lot of pressure on kids, whether it is peer pressure to do well, or the usual exam stress. Camp is a more anxiety-free environment, and when children to do express their anxiety, they are encouraged to communicate with a counselor and also taught coping mechanisms to help them handle their stress.




Obviously, school cannot be avoided, but the camp environment is a child’s sanctuary when  school closes for the holidays. Together, both school and camp experiences provide many opportunities for a child’s academic and personal growth. Therefore, camp is well worth considering for your child to receive the benefits of both experiential and academic education.

Like us on our Official Sugar Bay Facebook Page to stay updated on all the fun we're having at camp. 




Friday, 5 May 2017

Upcoming June/July Holiday Camps


The first half of the year is almost done! And to celebrate that we’re halfway there, we’re giving campers a R1800 discount on all our June/July holiday camps. We’ve programmed four themed holiday camps for these winter holidays, and we’ve picked the best of the bunch! Even though it’s getting a little chilly, know the sun always shines at Sugar Bay. 
 
Smurfs - The Lost Village week: 25 June – 2 July



















Join us as we embark on an adventure with our blue little friends through the forest filled with enchanted creatures to uncover the biggest secret in Smurf history! 
 
Highlights:
  • Enchanted Beach Bonfire
  • Forbidden Forest Fear Factor
  • Smurf Blue Colour Run
  • Papa Smurf’s Potion-Making Classes
  • Magical make your own Smurf Class
  • Camp out at the Forbidden Forest
How much will it cost to embark on this adventure?
Book now to go blue & become a Smurf! 

Baywatch week: 2-9 July


Sugar Bay loves the sand, surf and sea and now it’s time to do some Bay watching! Come sun-bath with our lifeguards as they do all they can to ensure the safety of the Bay. 
 
Highlights:
  • Sea Swim at the Bay
  • Surfing Lessons
  • Beach Day
  • Beach Fitness Classes
  • Life Guard Lessons
  • Excursion to the Ballito Mr. Price Pro International Surf & Lifestyle Event
What will it cost to chill at the Bay?
Book now & get ready to Bay watch! 

Pizza week: 9-16 July


 
It’s time to tantalize your taste buds this week as we feast on the most popular Italian delicacy all week long… Pizza! Don’t miss out as we literally give you a pizza our heart. 
 
Highlights:
  • Pizza-Making Classes
  • Master Chef – The Pizza Edition
  • Pizza on the Beach
  • Pizza Party
  • Pizza on Paper Activities
  • Pizza-Loving Boat Cruise
How much will it cost to get yourslice of the pizza?
Book now & take your tastebuds to Italy!

Colour week: 16-23 July 


We’ve snatched the colours from the rainbow and decided to host a colour explosion at camp! It’s going to be one colossal colourful blast! 

 
Highlights:
  • Colour Therapy Colouring Classes
  • Tie-Dye Shirt-Making
  • Colour Splash Painting Classes
  • Colour Festival
  • Colour Chaos
  • Excursion to Jump for Joy Indoor Trampoline Arena
The cost to join in the colour fun?
Book now & get colour splashing!

Follow Sugar Bay on Instagram & take a look at our weekly posts of all the fun going on during our holiday camps!


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Review: April 2017 Holiday Camps

Our April holiday camps were A-mazing! It’s no April Fool’s joke, this we reassure you. We had an all-star line up with themes fresh out the box office for each of our three-holiday camps. 
 
Hipster Week: 9-16 April 2017

We got our groove on and stepped into the sixties for Hipster week. This camp accommodated 94 campers and was our opening holiday camp for the first school break of 2017. The kids enjoyed many fun activities integrated around the theme such as; Hipster Hunts, Hipster Bonfires, Trashion Shows, Mainstream Markets and the Trendiest Party in Town. They also went on a “Hippie” excursion to the popular tourist attraction, the Durban beachfront, where they went kayaking, bodyboarding, built sand castles and had a “Wanderlust” class along the beach.

Browse through our Facebook Album to see more pictures from the Hipster week themed holiday camp. 
 
Hogwarts Week: 16-23 April 2017

There were many magical events and mysteries to solve as our campers entered the school of witchcraft and wizardry. Inspired by the spin-off movie, The Fantastic Beasts, Sugar Bay hosted a Hogwarts week themed holiday camp, which accommodated 71 campers. Our campers participated in many exciting activities integrated around the theme such as; Invisible Cloak Raid, Tri-Wizard Tournament, Prisoners of Azkaban, Tri-Wizard Ball and Quidditch. They also went on an enchanted camp out to the “Forbidden Forest”, where they had potjie, lit a campfire, made smores and played lots of fun games.

Browse through our Facebook Album to see more pictures from the Hogwarts week themed holiday camp. 
 
Beauty & the Beast Week: 23-30 April 2017

On a journey of transformation in order to break the spell, 78 campers joined us at the enchanted castle with Belle, the Beast, and all his castle servants during Beauty and the Beast week. Campers engaged in an array of activities integrated around the theme such as; Feeding the Beast, Don’t judge a book by its cover, Attack of the Villages, Beauty and a Beat and the Beast’s Ball. They also went on an enchanted excursion to the Ice Rink in Galleria Mall, where they had lots of fun ice skating.

Browse through our Facebook Album to see more pictures from the Beauty & the Beast week themed holiday camp. 
 
Become a follower on our Pinterest channel and stay updated on all our upcoming holiday camps & themes.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

5 Camp games to play at home

Restricting the kids from being engrossed in technology can be very challenging. The best means of keeping them away from their lit screens all the time is by motivating them to participate in engaging activities. Getting the kids involved in physically challenging games is the best way to actually get them active and away from being consumed by their technological gadgets. 
 
Here are 5 popular camp games that you can play with the kids at home: 
 
1. Stalk the lantern

Stalk the lantern is a game which was inspired by the army and typically played during the dark. Everyone needs to be dressed in black and have their faces painted, just as the soldiers camouflage themselves in the army. Divide the players into teams and select the same number as the teams to get representatives to form the lantern. The representatives are responsible for shining the flashlight on players in order to get them out of the game. The objective of the game is to get as close to the lantern as possible when the lights are out, without having the flashlight shine on you. 
 
2. Capture the flag

Capture the flag is a traditional outdoor game, where two teams each have a flag and the objective is to capture the other team's flag. The flag is located at each team's "base". The teams would have to find the flag and bring it safely back to their own base.

3. Treasure Hunt

The game of the pirates, as it’s commonly known, treasure hunts are a popular and also a very exciting game to play. The objective of the game is to find hidden “treasure”. The game could include searching for items, following clues as a group, or splitting into teams to race to a prize. You can be very creative with this game by creating maps as clues or using riddles that need to be solved, which makes it very interesting. 
 
4. Minute-to-win-it

Inspired by the television game show hosted by Guy Fieri, this game is basically a race against the clock, whereby contestants need to complete ten deceptively simple games to win the grand prize. The contestants have 60 seconds to complete each challenge, which increase in difficulty as the game progresses, or they are eliminated. 
 
5. Fear Factor

Also inspired by the television game show, Fear Factor is a very popular and interactive game at camp. A group of contestants are challenged to perform a number of terrifying and/or disgusting stunts. If a contestant refuses a challenge, fails in a challenge, or has the worst performance in a challenge, that contestant is eliminated from the competition. The contestant or team that manages to complete all of the stunts, including finishing the final stunt in the fastest time wins the game. 
 
These fun camp-inspired games will definitely bring the family together and keep everyone away from their devices.

Like us on our official Facebook Page and check out all the fun we have playing these games at camp in our School Camp Albums

Gap Year: Benefits of working at a summer camp


Making a career choice at the age of seventeen and committing to it for a lifetime is a pivotal decision that comes with a lot of pressure. However, times have evolved and we are no longer restricted to working one specific profession for the rest of our career. During a staff training meeting held at Sugar Bay Resort, young adults were given a career guiding lecture by the Director, Zoe Ellender, who said, “Unlike in the past, you no longer have to serve in one position at one company until you retire and get yourself a golden watch for your services. These days, you are allowed to change your career choice as many times as you want to. The diversity in occupation allows for a variation in skills, which plays a significant role in creating outstanding résumés.”
 
Her encouraging discussion with the youngsters opened their minds to realize that it really is okay to make the wrong decisions and start over, as nothing goes to waste. She also explained the importance of taking a gap year and not rushing into a career choice, especially, if you are doubtful.


Ellender shared her story of how she spent her college years working long hours to obtain her Law Degree, and one day realized that it simply wasn’t for her.

“I looked around one day and realized that everyone around me was miserable. All we had to deal with as lawyers were people’s problems. This wasn’t a happy environment,” said Ellender.

Soon enough, Ellender realised her dream to run an American-styled kids camp, a place that was happy and safe for children in a way that also nurtured their development. Ellender quit her career as a lawyer, and her husband Nicholas, who was an engineer at the time did the same. Together, they worked to build their dream, which is now a running success sixteen years on.


Members of her audience were given the opportunity to share their experiences. Here’s what some of them had to say:

“Sugar Bay appealed to me as an ideal place to work, build experience in working with young people and at the same time learn to be responsible, develop myself and gain life experiences. Sugar Bay is a great place to learn during a gap year. On both my previous visits, the counselors were true role models and I was inspired by them to be the happiest and most positive version of myself that I could be. They were always super positive and uplifting. They are also easy to relate to and I have been able to do so in my short time here. I feel Sugar Bay can be a great place for many adults.”

– Emilio (high school graduate – Sandton)

“I had left school and always wanted to take a gap year, but didn’t know what to do. I ended up applying to varsity and got accepted for B. Com. Marketing which was something I was excited to do. However, two years into studying, I found myself extremely bored and unmotivated, with no interest in continuing. So, this year, I set out looking into summer camps in America, and while doing this, I came across Sugar Bay. I sent my application and got accepted. Before arriving at Sugar Bay, I found it extremely hard to step out of my comfort zone and was very scared of change. After 3 weeks of being at camp, I have seen my confidence grow; my ability to approach change has grown and is also still growing with every passing day. I wake up every morning excited to take on a new day working with the children at camp. I feel that the children and the counselors are the reason why I have grown while working at Sugar Bay. I am loving every day here and I am extremely happy I have found something that interests me.”

– Rourke (high school graduate – Johannesburg)

Many youngsters between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six join Sugar Bay during their gap year as a camp counselor often in pursuit of becoming a camp counselor in the United States, or as an opportunity to learn more about themselves and what passion and skills might warrant a future career. The two-week staff training program allows young adults to not only gain experience working with children, but they will also be trained in Emergency First Aid and CPR, as well as be introduced to child psychology, theory and practice of teaching, activity instruction and leadership training. The significance of this experience is that it allows young adults to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses while preparing them for making important career decisions.

Become a subscriber to our YouTube channel and check out this playlist on why you should consider becoming a camp counselor.