Summer Camps

178

Unite diversion and integration.

By Nara Anchises

Luciana, Conrado, and Flavio.

In Brazil or Canada, for many children summer is synonymous with fun at summer camp. Also called Day Camp or Camps de Jour, this is a great and quick way to integrate into society. A native of Rio de Janeiro, Caio Conrado, 12 years of age, loved the experience he had last year and will repeat it again this summer. New to Montreal in 2008, he wanted to participate in the activity as a way of making friends in a new country. “I am counting down the days”.

His parents, Flavio and Luciana, helped him make the choice: “We saw many options together, but at the end, the decision was his to make”, explains the father. Diversified or specialized in languages, arts or sports, they offer varied programs, stimulating abilities, well-being and development.

Caio tried many activities for the very first time such as tree climbing, badminton and dance. Their son’s joy made his mother feel a lot better. “He would come home happy and for me this was very important. It is difficult for children to accept all the changes when they leave their country.

Summer camp was a great idea, mainly because he didn’t have any friends in the building where we lived and was adapting to a new school”. The language barrier was not a problem: “In my class there were no Brazilians, but it was easy to make friends”, says Caio.

In some provinces, parents count on government aid to pay for these activities. Luciana thinks it is worth the investment. “We don’t want a babysitter, we want something that will be pleasurable and something that helps”.

A good summer camp has to have qualified professionals, sports activities, recreational and artistic activities with a focus on socializing, team spirit and integration, with programs adapted for each phase and ability of the child.  It is possible to find summer camps in neighbourhood associations, schools, universities, churches and clubs.