FUN: Summer camp has long been a US institution. Picture: Flickr.com

Children’s holiday camps are great ways to beat boredom. Marchelle Abrahams takes a look at the options available to parents.

The September school holidays are here; and, if you didn’t think to plan ahead to keep your little ones occupied this week, here’s your chance to do so for the December break.

Kiddie holiday camps are becoming a great alternative for many parents looking for fun ways to keep the little ones occupied during the school holidays. We’ve done the legwork for you and gone in search of the most reputable ones in southern Africa.

Western Cape

Eco holiday camp Kids Get Wild was founded by Dr Helen and Colin Ingram in 2013.

The couple wanted to recreate their idea of a fun, safe camp for children after their own experiences at overseas camps as kids.

They have since expanded to include themed party events, school camps and leadership development programmes.

Catering for children from Grade 1 to 7, all little campers are accommodated in luxury en-suite safari tents.

The best part is the camp’s location in Waterval, Tulbagh, just an hour outside Cape Town.

The holiday programme includes more than 80 activities; and, to keep little ones away from technological distractions, no cellphones are allowed.

Summer camp date: December 10-17

Price: From R595 per 24 hours (includes meals, accommodation and activities). For more information, visit www.kgw.co.za

Gauteng

Marista Grobler has been running her children’s camping programme in Gauteng for three years. The only difference is that she chooses a different location which she feels embraces the ethos of adventure camping.

With a programme that is based on traditional camping, she takes the US scout guide principles and adapts them to her campers. “We arrange activities based on different age groups from learning how to build shelters and fires to making potjies,” says Grobler.

She prides herself on the quality service she offers, and prefers only taking small groups at a time. Grobler says parents are welcome “but are urged to keep a low profile so as to allow the children to interact and get the most out of the activities”.

Marista Grobler has been running her children’s camping programme in Gauteng for three years.

For the September holidays, she adds that they’ve already booked a camping spot for three nights at Klipdraai Caravan Park in Meyerton for learners 9 to 13 years old. Next camp date: October 3-6

Price: R1300, including meals and accommodation.

Contact: Marista Grobler on [email protected]

KZN

Sugar Bay Camp for Kids has been in operation for 16 years. Situated in Zinkwazi Beach on the KZN Dolphin Coast, it’s the only resort in South Africa that has been specifically designed and built as a children-only holiday spot.

Catering for children between the ages of 7 and 17 years old, Sugar Bay’s Selina Chetty says that the camp is operational throughout the year, catering for school tours and special holiday camps.

“Our holiday camps are themed and we have over 100 activities, so there is no time for the kids to get bored or homesick,” she says.

They have specially trained councillors on site, each trained in child psychology, which is a comfort for parents who fear teary-eyed moments. Chetty adds a way of alleviating these situations is that parents are not allowed to call their kids. Instead, they are allowed to send emails and children can reply to these. The camp also sends regular updates with pictures of each child.

Sugar Bay Camp for Kids has been in operation for 16 years.

With private access to the lagoon and beach, Sugar Bay can accommodate 200 children in 14 log cabins. There is also around the clock supervision with 1 councillor tasked with the care of 3 children.

“The most rewarding thing is watching the kids improve in their skills and growth development. They leave our camp as confident, less fearful individuals,” concludes Chetty.

Next holiday camp programme: 1 - 8 October

Price: inclusive of 3 meals a day, snacks and activities. Visit website for more details

Website: www.sugarbay.co.za