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Summer Fun & Summer Camps

Posted by Mother Hen on 14/05/2008. Tags: Family And Leisure

With school holidays just around the corner, like many of you, I’m exploring summer camp options for my kids. Camps are a great way to let your kids have a ‘taster’ of activities that they have been pestering you about for ages. My daughter harangued me for a long time that she wanted a pony and wanted to enroll in riding lessons. Thankfully a short summer camp soon dispelled her of the idea that horse ownership was for her. I’m not sure what put her off exactly. It might have been the fresh aromas of the riding stables or the fact she fell off, no not the horse, but some bales of hay and ended up with concussion! Either way it was a lucky escape from what I believe can be a costly pastime.

Her more recent interest in writing & video making means that this year we are on the hunt for camps which will lead her into a career as a Hollywood Producer – maybe I should have encouraged the horse riding!. Whether its film-making, horse-riding, rugby or performing arts, there are an amazing amount of camps out there with something to choose for every child. Hopefully our summer camps listings will help you find what you are looking for.

Whatever camps you choose, don’t forget to check out that it is professionally run and a safe environment for your kids. I had an unfortunate experience a few years back when my six year old daughter left a summer camp and was not missed by the camp staff until we brought it to their attention a couple of hours later when we returned with our child! Our child had crossed several main roads on her own and was fortunately for us spotted by someone who knew our family and contacted me in work. So remember to check out the camp carefully and
ask the right questions.

Just as it is good to be able to give your kids the opportunity to explore new skills, it is just as important to plan for unplanned time – (if that’s not too much of an oxymoron). There was an interesting discussion recently on the Ryan Tubridy show about ‘bubble wrapping’ our children and also a similar article in the Independent last week calling on parents to ‘take off the bubblewrap’ as experts fear that due to parents concerns about ‘predators and traffic’ we are bubble wrapping our kids and thereby ‘reducing children's resilience and their ability to survive on their own’. According to Michael Ungar, the writer of a new book titled Too Safe for Their Own Good our children are safer now than at any other time in history".

One of the messages coming out of the discussion on 'bubble wrapped kids' is to regiment our kids time less. Ignore their ‘I’m bored’ pleas this summer and encourage them to use their imagination to create their own play. Easier said then done at times – I’ll have to stock up on earplugs!!



(22-05-2008 06:35)

I have recently returned to Ireland after almost 20 years in the USA. I work 4-days per week and have a 10-year old son and a 5-year old daughter. While my youngest has fulltime before- and after-school care which will roll into fulltime summer coverage, I'm at a loss as to what to do with my son. If there are fulltime all summer camps for children of his age, I can't find them. I've found all sorts of camps that are typically weekly based; the drop off / pick up times are not conducive to fulltime employment; and they are quite expensive.

My question for the community is this - do fulltime summer vacation camps exist yet in Ireland? That is, where I can sign my child up for a single camp for the entire summer that will provide them with safely supervised fun and diverse activities with a core group of kids to provide friendship bonding and which will provide me with a single point of contact for the vacation time with work hours coverage? What do Irish families typically do when school ends and work continues?


(23-05-2008 11:10)


I know where you're coming from but unfortunately I don't think that there are fulltime sumer vacation camps in Ireland along the lines of the ones you have experienced in the states. The school summer holidays can be quite a headache for working parents in Ireland. Usually we cobble together a mixture of camps and help with childminding from friends & relatives. Quite a few will send their kids away on a residential language or activity course for two or three weeks which fills some of the gap and then fill in with local weekly camps on their return. However most local camps only run till 3 or 4pm each day which is a problem for working parents who might need childcare until 6pm. Another option might be to look for a college students who might be looking for summer work and might provide some extra childcare cover. Hope you can work it out.


(26-05-2009 09:50)

Majella s dance studio in Portlaoise run excellent camps throughout the whole summer are it is very resonably priced.Every day after camp the normal classes run so this migght help you. I have my 3 kids in there and they love it and the staff are great with the kids. Hope this helps.

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