Keeping your kids amused and engaged over the sizzling summer in the GCC is a battle for every parent. So, why not escape the heat and try a summer camp just a plane ride away? We talked to William George who runs Cambridge Language and Activity Courses in Cambridge, England, about how a residential summer camp can benefit your little darlings…
What are Cambridge Language and Activity Courses?
‘CLAC’ runs summer activity courses in England with a focus on language learning. Children aged eight to 17 come and join an international community where everyone is learning either French, Spanish, German or English. Children from all over the world come together to have lessons in the mornings and then in the afternoons, play sports, do arts and crafts, go on sightseeing trips, have parties and many other fun activities. Everyone lives in the school with students staying two or four weeks during the summer.
How did your start?
CLAC started over 30 years ago with the idea of bringing British and international children together to learn and practice languages in a natural environment. To this day, CLAC is unique in offering international students the chance to practice English with native speakers who are also learning a language.
Why should parents consider it as a choice for the summer?
CLAC has been running courses for over 30 years and we know what children enjoy. We are also highly skilled at caring for young people, ensuring they are happy and able to make the most of their time with us. We have been recognised by EL Gazette as a Top 20 summer school in the UK.
What makes it different to other residential camps?
At CLAC, as well as having great fun doing lots of sports, games, activities, trips and sightseeing, we also give children the chance to improve their language skills. Mixing in an international environment outside class gives the children a chance to practise their language skills naturally, in real situations. This international atmosphere means students make friends from all over the world.
How do you keep the children safe?
We have a very high ratio of staff to children and rigorous systems in place to ensure welfare is a priority. All staff are chosen for their friendly and caring personalities and have police background checks to ensure they are safe to work with children. At our last inspection we were praised for our high levels of student welfare.
Who are your staff and what are the child: adult ratios?
Our minimum child to adult ratios are 5:1 but on most courses, this figure is 4:1 and in some circumstances, 3:1. Our philosophy is that if students are safe and well cared for they will also feel secure and happy, thereby having an enjoyable experience.
How much of a language will my child learn?
Students have a minimum of 18 hours language classes each week in small groups of no more than 14 students. These classes are often much smaller, taught by native speakers who have a passion for language learning. Lessons are designed to be as fun, lively and interactive as possible with a focus on communication. In just two weeks, students can make great progress, whatever their level when they arrive.
Where are your centres?
The centres are in West Sussex on the south coast of England, near the city of Chichester. The schools we use are in beautiful countryside with extensive grassland, sports fields, tennis courts and swimming pools.
Describe a typical day
A typical day at CLAC day starts with breakfast and then a morning meeting. There are then language classes all morning, split into different areas of focus, with breaks in between. After lunch students have a workshop where they practise their language through an activity, such as drama, art, cookery, sports coaching, photography or yoga. From 3pm until bedtime there are then sports, games, trips and arts and crafts.
How do you book?
Go to www.clac.org.uk and look for the online booking form, or call us on 0044 (0)1223 846 348. We are happy to help!
What are the fees?
If your child needs a visa we will assist with documentation you need to assist your application. Fees are Dhs11,374 (£1950) for two weeks or Dhs20,882 (£3580) for four weeks. Mention ‘Time Out Kids’ to get a 10 percent discount!
Summer camps around the world
Go on - persuade your mum and dad to send you to one of these!
This wholesome camp was established in 1966 and is accredited by the American Camping Association. Set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Palmyra, Virginia, the camp has a variety of programmes for kids aged from seven to seventeen, including a special equestrian camp. One week sessions are available, with no limit on the number of weeks you can attend. Kids gets to choose their activities and are housed in single-sex cabins. One week in ‘Junior Village’, ages seven-12, costs Dhs4040 ($1100 US).
573 Friendship Way, Palmyra, VA 22963, USA. www.friendshipgymnastics.com (01 800 873 3223).
Les Elfes Summer Camp, Verbier
Verbier is situated in the heart of one of the most beautiful regions of the Swiss Alps, on a plateau looking over Le Grand Combin at 4300 metres. Summer camp here is for girls and boys aged between seven and 18 years, and sessions are two to four weeks long. Les Elfes ensures ‘active participation, a very broad choice of exciting activities and a high degree of learning in a fun and very international environment, all by guaranteeing maximum safety through our caring and experienced staff’. Cost starts at Dhs15,501 (3965 CHF) for a two week session.
P.O. Box 174, CH- 1936 Verbier, Switzerland. www.leselfes.com (0041 27 775 35 90)
Real Madrid Soccer Camp
For football-mad kids! Develop their soccer skills, experience Spanish culture and make friends from around the world. Different options available for kids with ‘club’ experience or not, as well as specific goal keeper training. Day camp from age seven, residential camp from aged 14, and cost starts at Dhs4389 ($1,195 US) for one week. Their coaches will be some of the best in the world, and there is a Spanish and English class option.
Soccer Camps International, 3790 El Camino Real, PMB 2018 Palo Alto, California 94306, USA www.soccercampsinternational.com (01 650 324 9899).