Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Counselor Training – What does it entail?

At Sugar Bay, we offer youngsters the opportunity to join our active and friendly child-loving team, by participation in our CIT (Counselor in Training) Course. The training is professionally led by Sugar Bay Director; Zoe Ellender, Head Counselor; Chaplin, Head Lifeguard; Watson and Emergency First Response Instructor; Macadamia. 
 
The trainees spend two weeks at camp participating in intense training which includes a series of practical and theoretical challenges.

Here are some of the scheduled activities for the counselors in training: 
 
Programming Manual Discussion and Test

Upon arrival, a Programming Manual is given to trainees. This manual covers subjects such as; how camp runs, how to be a good counselor and what is expected of camp counselors, the hierarchy of the staff at camp, etc. An informative discussion is held about the Programming Manual, and trainees are tested on the knowledge gained from it.

Swim Test and Rainy Day Activities Class

One of the most important skills a counselor will need to possess is the ability to swim in all bodies of water. Our Swim Efficiency Test is in place to determine the swimming strength of the individual trainee, and therefore, determine the direction they will take at Sugar Bay, whether they will specialize in water sports or land activities. The Rainy Day class teaches trainees how to host indoor activities, such as the mechanical surfboard, sumo-suit wrestling, friendship bracelet making, etc. 
 
Pro Counselor Beach Activities Classes and Boat House Talk

The Pro Counselor Beach Activities class teaches trainees how to run classes at the beach such as; sandcastle-building, beach creations, sea swim, beach sports, beach explore and snorkeling. The Boat House Talk is an introduction to all the water sports equipment (Kayaks, Stand-up-paddle-boards, Paddles and Life Jackets) belonging to Sugar Bay, instructions on how to handle them and insight on where and how they are stored.

Arts & Crafts Classes

Sugar Bay has an array of creative arts and crafts activities such as gel candle-making, sherbet straw making, balloon modeling, sun catcher creations, tile decorations, etc. These Arts and Crafts Classes takes you through the processes of these activities step-by-step. 
 
Set-up, Clean-up, and Camper Duty Training

During this stage of training, trainees are taught how to set up for activities with the appropriate equipment and decorations and how to clean up and store items away afterward. The Camper Duty Training is an integral part of knowing what duties you have been appointed as a counselor and understanding how to fulfill them. 
 
First Aid and CPR

This medical class combined with a theory test teaches primary and secondary rescue skills as well as general health-care and camp-based training. Trainees will learn how to rescue drowning victims, attend to certain injuries, snake bites, fractured and broken bones, how to make use of an automotive external defibrillator and shock, spinal injury and serious bleeding management among others. 
 
Theory of Teaching Class

An example class demonstrating an activity will be presented to the trainees. Trainees will learn how to give instructions clearly and concisely, step-by-step, learn about preparation time and cover other theory relating to teaching. 
 
Camp Out Class

Sugar Bay has its own camp out site which is an approximate two-hour hike away from the camp. During this class, trainees are taken to this site, they are given directions on how to get to the site and learn about the camp out procedures, what they need to take with them, etc. 
 
Specialized Classes

A “specialized class” is an opportunity for trainees to showcase their talents and exhibit classes that we never had at Sugar Bay before. Some examples of “specialized classes” include; yoga, beat-boxing classes, spoken-word poetry classes, balloon modeling classes, etc. 
 
Knots Test

It’s important that everyone at Sugar Bay know their ropes with the variety of rope activities camp has to offer. After a series of special knot demonstrations, trainees are tested and evaluated on their knot-making skills. 
 
Land Activities Class

These classes cover all the activities held on land at camp, such as land team building, field sports, biking, bungee trampoline, skateboarding, etc. During these classes, trainees will learn how to host these activities, how and where to store equipment and the safety protocols to ensure the activities run smoothly. 
 
Director’s Talk 

Towards the completion of staff training, we have a Director’s Talk with all trainees. During this talk, Ellender shares some of the Sugar Bay history, discusses her passion for the business and gives career-guiding advice to all the trainees. 
 
Interviews and Evaluations

On their last day of training, the CITs will be given their evaluation results from their squad leader who has been monitoring their performance all week. These evaluations are based on numerical scores and determine the success of the individual’s training as a counselor. An in-depth interview is also held with the trainees during this session, discussing their strengths and weaknesses and finding the best-suited position for them at camp. 
 
Camp Songs & Stories

After two weeks of intense training, trainees are taken to the bonfire site where they enjoy what we call “final campfire”. The purpose of this event is to celebrate the end of a camp and reflect on the week by singing camp songs, sharing stories of personal growth and making campfire smores.

This is just a basic breakdown of some of the activities trainees are involved in during their CIT training week. Our first Counselor in Training course for 2017 takes place next week, from Sunday, 2 July – Saturday, 15 July. 
 
Here are the dates for the CIT courses scheduled thereafter:
  • 6-20 August 2017
  • 2-14 January 2018
Find out more on what being a counselor at Sugar Bay is all about by subscribing to our YouTube channel. Check out our Counselor Playlist to view our cool counselor videos.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Upcoming August Holiday Camps

We’re warming our way into spring with some more incredible themed holiday camps at Sugar Bay. We’re showcasing our talents and searching for the one with the X-Factor, adventuring the Amazon, exploring the world of Emojis and celebrating Sugar Bay’s Sweet Sixteenth. You can’t miss out on these amazing August holiday camps! 
 
X-Factor week: 6-13 August

 
We’re hosting our very own X-Factor week, where campers will get the opportunity to showcase their talents and compete to win the ultimate prize; A free holiday camp at Sugar Bay! 
 
Highlights:
  • X-Factor Show
  • Biscuit-making classes
  • Spoken word poetry classes
  • Beat-boxing classes
  • Singing classes
  • Excursion – Live Stage Show
What will it cost to help my child discover their X-Factor?
Book now to be a part of the world’s biggest talent show! 
 
Amazon week: 13-20 August

 
Join us on this wild adventure in the world’s largest tropical rainforest, the Amazon. We’re bringing the jungle to Sugar Bay! 
 
Highlights:
  • Camp Survivor challenges
  • Survivor skills classes
  • Scouts classes
  • Camouflage face painting
  • Forest walks
  • Excursion – Umgeni Bird Park
How much to embark on this amazing adventure?
Book now and experience the Amazon! 
 
Emoji week: 20-27 August

 
Embark in this exciting experience as all our text messaging emojis come to life this week at Sugar Bay! It’s going to be a rollercoaster of emojis! 
 
Highlights:
  • Mood-changing drama classes
  • Spread the happiness emoji stickers – fun activities
  • Flags of the world evening program
  • Pac man game
  • Foods of the world – Taste testing
  • Excursion – Jump for Joy Indoor Trampoline Arena
The price of enjoying the emoji excitement?
Book now and express yourself endlessly with the emojis! 
 
Sugar Bay Sweet 16th week: 27 August – 3 September

 
It’s our birthday and this year, and we’re sugar coating everything at camp as we celebrate our super sweet sixteen! 
 
Highlights:
  • Balloon modeling classes
  • Celebratory cupcakes every day
  • Helium balloon games
  • Sparkler activities
  • Official opening of new indoor sports hall with basketball and soccer courts
  • Excursion – uShaka Marine World Aquarium & themed Water Park
What will the cost of this celebration be?
Book now and celebrate our super-sweet-sixteen with us! 

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Friday, 23 June 2017

Saying goodbye to your kids – the Dos and Don’ts

 
The way in which you say goodbye to your kids before a new experience can either encourage them or incite panic and despair. For children, a new experience can be scary and they depend on the support from their parents in order to respond to this experience positively.
 
Here are some Dos and Don’ts for certain first-time-experiences: 
 
Saying goodbye at school for the first time:

 

Watching your little one walk away from the car into the school gates for the first time is often a very stressful experience for parents. However, it is much more challenging for your child, be it the first day of primary school, high school or college.

DO encourage your child and speak about how exciting this new experience will be. Focus on the opportunities it will offer and the positive things to look forward to in the day. The trick is to be more excited than your child, and your excitement will surely rub off on him or her.

DON’T think of all the things that could go wrong and don’t share these thoughts with your child. Feeding your child’s mind with negative body language and expressing doubts will not encourage them to look forward to this new opportunity. Your child will emulate your anxiety, resulting in them feeling “on edge” all day long.
 
Saying goodbye at Camp for the first sleepover away from home:

 
Sending your child away for a week-long sleepover camp can be rather nerve-wracking for both parents and children. Homesickness, safety concerns and the thought of your child having an unpleasant experience are one of parents’ greatest concerns.

DO your research about the camp to put your mind at ease about the safety and enjoyment of the venue. Read online reviews, request a tour of the camp if you can and ask all your questions.

DO start encouraging your child’s excitement in advance. Research the fun activities they can participate in at camp by watching YouTube videos or visiting their website. Take your kids shopping for their camping experience. Whether you’re just getting a few odds and ends or searching for the best insect repellent or sun block, it will definitely get them excited. Be sure to tell them about how this opportunity will allow them to create new friendships.

DON’T tell your kids about how much you will be missing them. This will probably make them feel guilty about being away from home and is one of the main contributing factors which lead to homesickness. Don’t call the camp and request to speak to your child too often either. It’s best to send an email which can get passed on to your child, rather than interrupting your child’s first experience sleeping away from home. If you do call, remember to sound happy and encourage your child to share what they’ve enjoyed so far and to make the most out of this experience.

 
Saying goodbye during the first solo Airplane travel:

 

The first time on a foreign mode of transport is a scary ordeal for anyone. No parent necessarily wants their minors to be unaccompanied when traveling, however, certain situations will require them to be independent and conquer this fear.

DO Tell them about how proud you are of them for being so responsible and going on a plane by themselves. This will boost their confidence.

DO Share the interesting things they would fancy on a plane ride, such as the good food, free drinks, window seats, fun onboard games and movies etc.

DO Reassure them that they will be safe and that air travel is the safest mode of transport in the world. Also, inform them that they are not alone and that the airplane has a host of friendly and helpful staff who will be there to assist them at all times.

DO prepare them for turbulence and the speed of take-off, so they aren’t terrified when it happens. Explain that this is a normal and common thing for planes.

DON’T discuss all the things that could go wrong on this journey, such as a plane crash, or plane hijacking, etc. This is not encouraging, even as a joke, and will send your child running for the hills when it’s time to board their plane.

DON’T look or sound concerned or sad in front of your child. Your emotions have a major impact on your child’s behavior.

No matter the situation, remember to always be encouraging and speak confidently when saying goodbye to your kids. Keep reminding them of everything positive that they will experience and they will conquer their “first-time-alone” fears with confidence.

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Why summer camps can be considered an investment

Summer camps aren’t as common in South Africa as they are in the United States. This is one of the reasons why you are likely to spend more money on a summer camp than you would on a typical holiday booking at an ordinary resort or lodge. Summer camps can range from as little as four-hundred Rands per person, per night, to nine-hundred Rands, all depending on the quality of the camp and what it has to offer. You cannot compromise on the quality of a summer camp to cut costs, which is why you should view summer camp as an investment. 
 
There are many reasons why summer camp prices are a little upscale. Here’s how pricing of a summer camp can affect the experience the camp has to offer;

Safety:

 
You cannot expect a cost-effective camp to have high-end security measures in place because; high-end security doesn’t come cheap. Be it equipment or general safety assurances, if a camp is cost conscious, you will not get the best in terms of safety, which is something no parent should be willing to risk. Sugar Bay Resort, one of the first American-styled summer camps in South Africa is a safe and secure environment. The camp is protected by full perimeter electric fences, twenty-five closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) monitoring the cabins and around the camp, electronic surveillance, twenty-four-hour armed response, monitored access control at their point of entry and exit, night watchmen and panic buttons in every cabin. All equipment and gear at the camp are of the best quality to ensure the best safety possible. 
 
Staffing: 

 
Cheaper camps don’t spend money professionally training their staff and undergoing procedures to ensure that their staff is clear of any criminal activities. They also cut costs by employing fewer staff which prevents your child from getting individual attention. At Sugar Bay Resort, all camp counselors are professionally trained in child psychology, theory and practice of teaching, activity instruction, leadership, first aid and CPR training. Staff are also vetted and need to be issued with a Police clearance certificate before they are employed at camp. The counselor to camper ratio is one is to three, which is the highest in South Africa. 
 
Activities and Facilities:

 
Camps that are easy on the pocket usually charge a fee of around fifty Rands per activity and only offer a limited number of activities per day. Reason being, professionally trained instructors, safe equipment and designated areas for certain activities are fairly expensive. Kids don’t receive the full benefit of the camping experience if there aren’t enough activities, properly trained facilitators, and substandard equipment and venues. Sugar Bay is the only summer camp in South Africa that adheres to the American Camping Association’s (ACA) stringent industry standards which regulate more than fifteen thousand summer camps and have the highest standards worldwide. With over one hundred activities on land and at sea, professionally trained instructors and equipment of a high quality, campers at Sugar Bay are exposed to the best summer camp experience in the safest environment. 
 
Meals: 

 
Children require healthy meals, energizing snacks and rejuvenating beverages to keep going in a typically busy day at summer camp. The high costs of fresh produce to prepare healthy meals are the reason why you cannot expect good food at an economical camp. Kids are constantly burning energy and to keep up with their rapid lifestyles, Sugar Bay Resort implements healthy, balanced menus catering for various dietary requirements. These menus ensure kids are fed three, freshly prepared, home-style meals a day with snacks and beverages in between. 
 
Besides the exceptional safety protocols, professional staff, variety of activities, quality facilities, and healthy homemade meals, Sugar Bay Resort also teaches life skills and values to campers that you cannot put a price tag to. Every cent that you invest in a holiday camp at Sugar Bay is worth it. Don’t compromise in investing in one of the finest summer camps in South Africa, which will provide your child with the best, uncompromised camping experience. 

Log onto our website and have a look at our rates and dates