Fretting over how to occupy the kids during their holiday break? Check out our readers’ recommendations for summer camps that are both educational and fulfilling, without compromising on the fun factor.
60 Anson Road, #18-04 Mapletree Anson
Diane and Mark Taylor, and twins Oscar and Noah, Australian
‘We first chose Camp Asia as the camps were held during the school holidays. Mark and I are working, so we are often unable to spend the full week doing activities with Noah and Oscar, our six-year-old twins. We love that the camps kept them occupied and allowed them to channel their energies in a constructive and enjoyable manner.
The Camp Asia team was extremely organised and professional. We were very comfortable with entrusting our children to them. They run the camps as scheduled, without any short cuts, and they entertain and supervise the kids in an efficient manner. We could see how much fun our boys were having when they brought back the craftwork they’d created during the camp. Every day they would return home excited to tell me about what they had done at the camp.
Another reason for our choosing Camp Asia is the familiar location: the camps are held at my boys’ school, Stamford American International School (SAIS). Often, their school friends would be enrolled in the same camp, and this added to their excitement.
Noah and Oscar have attended a number of Camp Asia camps, including Sports Star and Multi-Activity. The latter was a good mix of sports, art and craft, drama and themed activities for different occasions of the year. We will definitely consider sending them to Camp Asia again, knowing how safe and enjoyable the programmes are.’
26A Dempsey Road
Phyllis Dubs, Singaporean; Nicholas and Benjamin Dubs, Swiss
‘We chose Mandarin Fun Camp at Little Mandarins because the focus of the camp was simple: to learn the Chinese language. We relocated from Switzerland to Singapore in July last year, and I wanted to introduce Mandarin to my children through a non-result-oriented programme. Little Mandarins was reputed to offer a fun way to learn the language, and the camp contents also tied in with our home-schooling lesson plans. The convenient location definitely helped ease our transition to city life.
My children, aged eight and five, attended two of the camps in August and December last year, namely “Wonders of the World” and “Chinese Kitchen”. Each camp ran for four-and-a-half hours per day for five days. The August camp was their first exposure to Mandarin and they absolutely loved it. There was a good mix of indoor and outdoor activities that held their interest. We will definitely consider signing them up for the camp again this year if their schedules permit.
After the camps, my boys unanimously chose Little Mandarins following their trial lessons at a couple of Chinese learning centres. As we do not speak Mandarin at home, Nicholas and Benjamin continue to surprise me with the rate at which they are learning Chinese words. They still can remember and sing a couple of songs they learnt at the December camp!’
Integrated International School
41 Sunset Way, #02-03/04 Clementi Arcade
Susanne, Leon-Maximilian and Claus Schwab, German, and Jan-Niklas, German-American
‘Two years ago, we chose Integrated International School’s (IIS) summer camp because the topic, “A Journey to Outer Space”, was of interest to our eight-year-old and eleven-year-old boys – they were curious about planets and space. The camp, held at Jan-Niklas’s school, IIS, focused on an imaginative journey into outer space, exploring the solar system and its elements. For us, the camp was a perfect match of topic and timing, as we were also spending the summer holidays in Singapore during that period.
Siblings were also welcome to join the camp, so it was an easy decision to enrol both of our sons. Jan-Niklas enjoyed having the company of his younger brother in a familiar environment, and transportation was easy as they could take the school bus together. Most importantly, we were impressed by the timetable, which was packed with a good range and balance of fun and educational elements. Another advantage with the holiday camps at IIS was that we could choose to enrol for either one or two weeks.
Jan-Niklas and Leon-Maximilian still talk about the camp today. They got to do many exciting activities, including creating their own jetpack and conducting science experiments. The movie party and the excursion to the Science Centre were also a great hit. We would definitely consider signing the boys up for IIS camps in the future.’
213 Henderson Road, #04-01
Eleanor Great, Hugo, Max and Ian Bellhouse, British
‘We chose the Whizz Kidz’s Dr Droid (Technology and Robotics) camp, a five-day programme held at UWC Dover Campus. As our boys are very interested in science and computing and we are keen to encourage them to grow in these areas, we decided to sign them up. It was a fun way for them to develop their logical, lateral thinking and creative skills. They also learned how to work in teams, collaborating with others and sharing their ideas.
The camp combines a range of design, engineering and programming skills into a fun and creative week of activities. The kids get to design their own robots or droids using 3D software, and then print their creation using a 3D printer. They build robots using Lego NXT Mindstorms and then program them for the grand finale: a gladiator-like contest where the robots compete for supremacy.
The camp leader, Dr Droid, was fantastic. He had the knowledge and patience to keep all the children engaged for a full week. The best part was picking them up each day and seeing their enthusiasm for what they had created; it was a very rewarding experience. The boys also had a fantastic time learning about movie-making, which was part of the camp’s programme.
We would definitely consider sending them to Whizz Kidz camps again next year!’
JSSL Singapore Soccer School
Four locations: United World College East, Victoria Junior College, Tanglin Trust School, Dulwich College Singapore
Amanda and Gregor McCallum, and son Toby, British
‘We chose JSSL Singapore Soccer School camps for our 13-year-old son as I’d heard that they promote a great balance between learning the sport properly and having fun with it. The camps were held at Victoria Junior College and United World College.
We were very happy with the well-trained staff and highly qualified coaches who were excellent with the children. The JSSL School went the extra mile to ensure that the kids had plenty of competitive games to participate in. Apart from matches within the soccer school, games were also arranged with other schools and camps; it was a good learning opportunity for all.
My son particularly enjoyed the “mini world cups”, as he loves competition. Besides competitive games, there was also a great deal of ball-work involved; the campers had to control and pass the ball from different formations at a varied pace. Everyone got to try out different positions to get a good perspective on everything. Toby also got to practise free kicks, penalties and taking corners. All of these were executed in a positive, encouraging and fun way.
The JSSL soccer school is a fantastic set-up with excellent facilities that make the kids’ learning and practice enjoyable. Coupled with the high-quality coaches who have a great passion in maximising your child’s potential, this soccer school is the place for kids interested in the sport. The camps are first class.’
Singapore American School
40 Woodlands Street 41
Chris Smith, American, Mako, Japanese, and children Lukas and Lency
‘We are enrolling our 10-year-old son Lukas and eight-year-old daughter Lency in the Singapore American School (SAS) Summer Semester camp because of the great timing – the camp is starting just after the regular school term finishes and we will have some time before heading back to the States in the summer. As I teach at SAS, I know that the camp is a great opportunity for both my students and children to explore their personal interests.
Over a period of four weeks, they will get to choose from a list of customised learning projects at the camp. Teachers will facilitate the learning process, where the students are encouraged to connect with the mentors in school, their family or the community. They get to document their learning journey and present their projects to an audience at the end of the Summer Semester. Previous topics that have been pursued include candy-making, the history of Lego, and fashion design.
Lukas thrives on making videos with the iPad, as well as playing soccer. He is excited to have the chance to explore both interests – to document his experiences through videography and learn from Real Madrid Soccer Club. As Real Madrid is one of the partners for the camp, the trainers will be working with the students through training, games and interviews.
Lency, on the other hand, enjoys dramatic arts and will focus on expressing herself creatively in a multitude of ways. Other activities available at the camp include team sports and game design.’
Quayside Isle Preparatory School
31 Ocean Way, #01-17 Quayside Isle
The programme at Quayside Isle Preparatory School has been revamped to offer three brilliant options for children this summer holidays. The first, a Drama and Art camp in collaboration with Centre Stage School of Arts, offers an energetic and inspiring exploration of performance arts for children aged three to six years. Students will be engaged in basic drama, improvisation, mime and movement as well as music and dance (weekly, from 15 June to 10 July).
The second, Fun with Fitness, has an emphasis on language arts and movement. Children will navigate activities based on stories they read in class and their imaginations, to create and construct projects. Yoga will be woven through this programme for movement (weekly, from 15 June to 10 July).
The under-threes are not forgotten with a special parents and toddlers individual class progamme, open from 15 to 26 June. Activities include musical instruments, movement and song, puppets, playdough time, crafts and painting, story time, and lots of free play.
Other camps to look out for this summer
Camp Magic Journeys 2015
Children aged from three to 12 can expect six weeks of holiday fun from 15 June to 24 July with Camp Magic; this year’s theme is “Ancient Fishermen”.
Nexus International School
201 Ulu Pandan Road
Summer Camp 2015
The Canadian International School’s Summer Camp at the Lakeside Campus offers a wide range of fulfilling holiday programmes for ages four to 17. From 22 June to 31 July.
Canadian International School Lakeside Campus
7 Jurong West Street 41
This story first appeared in Expat Living’s May 2015 issue.