Summer Camps Secrets


Parents often wonder the best age to send a child on a summer camp.


One common myth that many parents have about summer camps is that their child is too young to attend such a camp. Experience shows that younger children are often the ones who benefit the most.


The truth is that homesickness is less of a problem for very young children. Younger children are very adaptable. As long as they are kept busy and can enjoy exciting, stimulating activities with friends, they will be happy and thrive. They also have this amazing ability to absorb language naturally and effortlessly and to come back having learnt an incredible amount.

Teenagers, especially when going away on their own for the first time, are usually the ones who tend to be more apprehensive and find it more difficult to adapt. They tend to be more self-conscious, less ready to adjust to new environments and wary of showing enthusiasm. They often need more time to fit in. Younger children, on the contrary, are quick to form new bonds with their counsellors and to feel comfortable.

The most important factor in deciding if your child is ready or not to join a summer camp is for him/her to be motivated and show interest: often the child is ready but it is the parents who are not ready to let them go.

Another common myth is that many parents also have is that a summer camp is merely meant to help their child develop language skills. Though this is undoubtedly one of the major advantages, it is certainly not the only one as the benefits are much more wide ranging.


When joining a summer camp your child will:


  • Become more proficient in the language
  • Discover new places
  • Broaden his/her horizons
  • Learn about different people and cultures
  • Discover new interests and hobbies
  • Learn / increase competence in sports
  • Develop social and interpersonal skills
  • Develop team building skills
  • Become more confident and independent
  • Enjoy the benefits of nature, fresh air and physical activity
  • Have a fun and relaxing summer while keeping his/her mind active and engaged
  • Make new friends from around the world



Tips on choosing the best summer camp for your child


  • Check the level of supervision at the camp; younger children need more care
  • Be sure to select a recognised, experienced camp organiser
  • Always ask thorough questions about the camp and the programme
  • Homestay is usually a cheaper option but the quality is unpredictable, children often benefit more when they stay in a residential camp
  • Find out how the number of students per class, the teacher student ratio and the qualifications of the teachers
  • Make sure there is a good mix of children so your child will not just meet children from his/her own culture and language group
  • Ensure there is a good balance of sporting and recreational activities outside of the classes
  • Ask what is included in the price; it could turn out that you are paying a lot more than you were originally led to believe
  • Speak to other parents who have used the camp, if you can
  • You get what you pay for; if it looks cheap its probably not the safest option




At HK Institute of Languages (HKIL), we understand the importance of finding the right summer camp for your child. Each year HKIL offers students a choice of exciting summer courses in the UK, France and Canada, the perfect opportunity for students between the ages of eight and eighteen to experience life in a different culture. Back on home ground, a number of participants took part in a post summer camp workshop at HKIL, where they relayed their experiences to produce a booklet about their trip to Salisbury, UK. Here are some examples of what they had to say:


 “I met some new friends from all around the world and I have asked for their e-mail addresses too.”


 “There were two big fields for us to play football and games. We had activities twice a week. On Saturdays and Sundays we had excursions. My favourite trip was to Bristol”.


 “On the field trips we went to places like London, Bristol, Brighton and Longleat Safari Park. We sat in a bus and saw lots of wild animals. Then we rode on the railway and visited the animal corner. We also went to the longest maze in the world!”


Find out more here.



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