Myself and Tom have spent the week down at Forres Sandle Manor school in the New Forest, running a 'Rockets and Robotics' programme for 14 children. At the end of each year, the school have a 'project week' where all the children choose from a wide range of activities to do for the week, such as cycling, needlecraft, sports and even trips abroad.
Planning what to with the youngsters this summer? If you’re looking for something a bit meatier than day trips to attractions, then you might like to look at some new summer schools teaching theatre skills, broadcasting, and much more …
As you’d expect, we’ll take this opportunity to give our own camps a plug first! If you’ve got budding innovators under your roof, then check out Tech Camp’s courses, running in London and Winchester. Here, your offspring will do all sorts of exciting things, from building robots or rockets through to coding. And they’ll meet like-minded individuals, along with tutors, many of whom are ex-campers, now reading engineering and other studies at the likes of Imperial and Cambridge.
If your young are showing any theatrical talents, the Musical Theatre Summer School is offering five-day courses for teenagers between the age of 13 and 17 plus over 18s on a non-residential basis. An eclectic mix of dance and music, led by industry professionals, it’s something a bit different and perhaps the perfect way of getting your bored teen out of their bedroom, off their iPhone and onto the boards. www.trinitylaban.ac.uk.
Another course with a difference is the Radio Summer School. www.pointblanklondon.com. Catering for the same age groups as the Theatre School, this is aimed at budding broadcasters who will be taught by professional broadcasters in small groups using state-of-the-art industry equipment. Who knows where it might lead?
Catering for younger kids, the Anna Fiorentini Theatre and Film School will teach a group of students how to make a musical in the space of a week. Ages are up to 12 for one group, while the 13-17 year-olds have their own troop. www.annafiorentini.com.
If sports are the answer, then the Arsenal Soccer Schools could be the answer. Learn to play ‘The Arsenal Way’ across four sites in and around the capital, for youngsters aged 9-17. The courses are residential, with one or two-week options available. http://soccercampsinternational.com/england-soccer-camps/arsenal-soccer-schools/.
An excellent source of summer camps can also be found at www.zampout.com. Among their courses – which are hand-picked by Zamp’s founders and thoroughly researched. One option is Stag Lodge Stables Riding School which specialises in pony riding and care so needs little introduction or selling – for ages 5 to 12 and based in Kingston, the course is non-residential and four days long. This course does what it says on the tin and youngsters will learn all there is to know about caring for and riding ponies.
Another option, Musicale Holidays are based in Harpenden, Sevenoaks and Guildford. Students bring their instruments, make music, have fun and generally have a great time during the week-long course which claims to have one year’s practice in a week.
All in all, there’s plenty of options to keep students entertained this summer with a camp that suits their individual interests.