Saturday, 18 August 2018

Tips before you start your henna tattoo

Our body art class, one of our arts and crafts activities at Sugar Bay, has become a hit with our campers creating some original and innovative designs. From different textures, styles and colours; the art of henna has definitely become a sensation amongst our campers.

Henna is a fun and exciting way for bonding and relaxing with your kids. Here are some tips on how to get started :


1. Wash the area you plan to tattoo.

    Removing oils and grime from the concentrated area will ensure the henna stains correctly.

2. Practice on paper first. 

    Because henna will last between one and two weeks, it's best to develop a technique before                      applying the paste on someone's skin.

3. Don't get lost in the grand scale of things. 

   Start small, too big a project might uninspire you.



Fun facts about Henna : 
  • Henna (called mehndi in Hindi and Uduru) has been practiced for over 5000 years in Pakistan, India, Africa and the Middle East. The art of henna has since been carried down through generations and has spread all over the world.
  • In ancient Egyptian times, henna was used as body art for decorational purposes for occasions such as weddings and family ceremonies. Mummified bodies have been found with what appears to be henna-dyed hair and hennaed fingers to indicate royalty.
  • Because henna has natural cooling and healing properties for the skin, women in West Africa have been using it to cool down their bodies and in treating their hair, scalp and skin issues that range from psoriasis and skin damage caused by the African sun.

To view more creative arts and crafts our campers come up with at the Bay, visit our Arts and Crafts board on our Pinterest channel

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Meet Lilo: 20 camps later


Laila Mackay, popularly known as Lilo, is celebrating her 20th-holiday camp at the Bay. From Jurassic World week to Japan week, Lilo has vast experience on our themed holiday camps. On her 20th visit, she explains how camp has made her bolder and much more comfortable with herself.

"Camp boosts your confidence, you're accepted for who you are. I remember during Peanuts week, I was doing sumo wrestling, and Jack (a fellow camper) tackled me so hard that I started rolling back and forth! It was the funniest thing ever and it was all caught on camera! I was comfortable with being silly and everyone around me was amazing." 


Describing herself as fun, caring and arty, Lilo explains how she would love to become a counselor at Sugar Bay. Spending most of her time at the arts and crafts section during her stay on her holiday camps, she tells us how being an Arts and Crafts PC (Pro Counselor) would be a box ticked on her life to-do list.

"I love the feeling of independence from making a piece of art all on my own, all from scratch! I would love to teach and help other campers evolve in their creativity and love for all things beautiful."

With biology being her favourite subject at school, Lilo would like to pursue a career in forensic anthropology. She expressed how Sugar Bay has inspired her to be passionate in all her interests.

"Sugar Bay is so diverse; from sports, educational activities to all the different cultures I come across, I'm constantly being immersed in something interesting."




If you could be an animal, what animal would you be?

"Sid from Ice Age, he's down to earth, caring and he gets stuff done his own way"

What's the one thing people don't know about you?

"I used to be a picky baby! From what type of milk formula I wanted to how I  would be dressed, or so my mom says."

What's your favourite part of camp?

"The counselors! Without them, camp would just be a building. It's great to see them grow, their imperfections make them perfect, each and every one of them have their own vibe."


If your teen also dreams of being a counselor one day, you should consider enrolling them for our Counselor-in-Training course. For more information on our upcoming holiday camps, view our events section on our Facebook page. To book a holiday camp, visit our website



Breaking it down with Cashmere


We sat down with our former dancing instructor, Cashmere, on why Tina Turner is her spirit animal and how Sugar Bay has given her a global perspective.

With 18 years worth of dancing under her belt, she's performed all over the country and admits to how much she loves the limelight from her craft.

"Oh! the standing ovations and flowers after the show! I love it. It just reassures me that I was born to dance."

The 21-year-old, who's originally from East Rand Johannesburg, explained to us how she's on a dancing hiatus, and how the sky is the limit.

" I'm currently studying French and working for my dad; just learning new things. I want to grow in other parts of my being." 



1. Describe yourself in 3 words:

"Passionate, compassionate, gwitty (gangster/ghetto/witty). 

2. Hahaha, which counselor , past or present, inspires you and why?

"Afro, he used to tell me that everything you do, should be done with a purpose." 

3. How would you describe yourself as a counselor at Sugar Bay?

"Childhood influencer, one week at a time." 

4. Between Tina Turner and Madonna, who do you think would win in a performance showdown?

"Tina hands down! She's a natural performer, and besides that I love her come up. She's been through so much but managed to use that as a springboard to shoot herself higher."

5. What would you say to anyone who wants to get into professional dancing?

"Don't have an idealistic view of what your journey as a dancer should be. You won't stand on your tippy toes at your first ballet rehearsal. You should honour the process. Drake said it: started from the bottom."  

If you would like to become a counselor at Sugar Bay, visit our website for more information. 

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

When your teen wants out of summer camp

"I don't want to go, it's just not fun anymore, I'm not a kid anymore." This statement is usually followed by a well-prepped speech on why your teen doesn't want to go camping anymore, accompanied by a list of alternative activities that can preoccupy them during the school holidays.

Teenagers have different reasons for not wanting to go to camp anymore, from feeling like they have grown out of the annual excursion to wanting to invest time in things that interest them outside of camp.


When teenagers grow out of their adolescence, they want to create an identity for this new stage of their life. This is when you cue in the "I don't want to go anymore" talk.

In a 2014 survey done by Sarah- Jayne Blackmore, Royal Society University Research Fellow and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, found that teens between the ages of 14-17, were more likely to shift away from the things they loved as children. Creating new habits, hobbies and social presence.

The dilemma: wanting the best for your child, but not forcing them into anything they don't want to do. Though you may be concerned and wish to intervene, the best thing to do is explain the ways camp would be beneficial not only in their future, but also towards their character and personal growth.

Here are some benefits of camp and things you can suggest to your teen to reintroduce the excitement of camp:

1. "If you want to take a gap year or travel, you can learn from the counselors about their jobs, so you can see what different options you have."

Your teen actively participates in the decision of going to camp, giving them a sense of empowerment and self-reliance, simultaneously assisting in their vision for their career.

2. "You can enjoy a change of scenery without being told what to do and when to do it. You won't be forced to do anything you don't want to do, Nothing is compulsory at Sugar Bay."

With this approach, you are fulfiling their need to recreate themselves, giving them the freedom to discover new interests and new things about themselves at their own pace.


3. "You will make friends from all over the world." 

The exposure to different personalities from around the world will help improve your teen's social skills, enabling them to adapt in different environments.

4. "You can tick something off your bucket list. Go to the beach, learn how to skate, surf or attend a specialised art class etc."

With the 'free choice' in our vast activities, it appeals to your teens want to reinvent themselves and evolve in their new interests.

5. "I know that Sugar Bay treats older campers differently, you aren't treated like a kid. You have your own senior cabins, chill area, privileges and you can wake up late. 

This will give your teen the 'non-kid' treatment they're looking for in this new stage of their life, giving them the opportunity to be more responsible and become more independent.

6. "You can gain skills and experience for your CV by completing the Counselor in Training programme."

With our C.I.T programme, they'll obtain skills such as camp counseling, first aid (emergency first response) and CPR, junior life-guarding and water safety, crisis management and staff psychology. This will give them a sense of achievement and inspire them to accomplish so much more.

As parents, you want the best for your children, especially when they're on the road towards adulthood. Your support will give your teen room to own their decision and assist them in the transition to adulthood. With varsity, moving out of home, meeting new people and exposure to new environments all on your teen's doorstep, camp is probably the best place for them; because it teaches them to adapt to new environments, develops their social skills and allows them to be a kid again.


Do you have any advice for fellow parents of teens who have grown out camp? Has your teen enjoyed a valuable experience that you think other teens would benefit from hearing? Share your story by leaving a comment below. Alternatively, you can share your teen's experience of Sugar Bay by writing a review , or posting on our Facebook page and we'll share your story.