Off topic: Camps for children in UK
Thread poster: Noni Gilbert

Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 06:49
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 6, 2011

Dear All,

I would like to find an enjoyable camp for my nine-year-old for a week or so this summer. He has a very high passive comprehension level of English, but needs to get up to speed for chatting! He went to a camp last year which was OK but not great, and I'm wondering if those of you in the UK have anything to recommend (or to warn us against - you could send me a mail if you don't want to mention too many names in a negative context!).

I didn't post under language learning because I specifically don't want to send him on a language course. He's football mad, although we'd prefer sth with more than just football, and interested in pretty much everything else as well, from athletics to cooking!

Thanks in advance for all contributions.

Noni


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:49
Italian to English
PGL Feb 6, 2011

Hi Noni

The best known name in this field is PGL: http://www.pgl.co.uk/pglweb
My brother used to work for them many, many years ago but I don't have any personal information or independent reports to offer you.
Hope that helps.


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 06:49
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Russell Feb 6, 2011

Thanks very much for that Russell. I've actually got PGL's catalogue since I knew of them. Last year's camp was also a big renowned organisation, and the infrastructure was certainly very good, but we have some reservations about such a big organisation.

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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:49
French to English
+ ...
Experience - but a few years old I'm afraid Feb 6, 2011

Hi Noni,

My boys attended the PGL camp at Dalguise in Scotland 11 and 8 years ago respectively as part of a school trip and had a whale of a time, doing every activity under the sun, as far as I can see: from abseiling and raft-building, to quad biking and archery. They loved it, but they were there as part of a group.

Good luck!

Claire


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 06:49
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Claire Feb 6, 2011

Russell's comment sent me back to take another look at the PGL catalogue, and I was doing so when your comment came in! Very useful info - I wonder if anyone can provide even more recent contributions, although they always did have a good reputation and your comment can't be all that out of date.

Noni


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:49
Spanish to English
Sorry, this is not helpful but... Feb 7, 2011

I know he already went to one last year, but do you not think he is a bit young for going so far away on his own? I just say because I used to teach English at a summer school in Ireland and there was a ten-year-old girl there who was a bit lost, so far away from everything familiar.

Of course you know your child and I don't mean to interfere, but parents don't always know what it is like for the child and how they are being treated.


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 06:49
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Lesley Feb 7, 2011

I think this is a very valid point to touch on, and something that I occasionally used to have to point out to parents when I was an agent for international courses in the past.

In our case, our boys are already seasoned "day camp" goers, and for our first incursion into the staying over mode, we waited for our son to ask to go himself (he has heard tales from friends' older children about their experiences). Last year's camp was not a huge success because we chose badly activity wise, but he has asked to go again (unprovoked!).

He has a 7 year old brother who is very jealous of the exciting things his older brother gets to do, but not yet ready to go himself, in particular because he is much weaker language wise, but both will be staying over Mon-Fri earlier this summer in a local camp.

And for the older one, we shall do the same as last year, be very close by to the camp, doing things that his little brother likes to do but which the older one deems babyish!


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 06:49
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A suggestion Feb 7, 2011

Another source has sent me a link to this organization - a very different take on camps, and very interesting. Worth nosing round the press links inside too.

http://www.fsc.org.uk/

They do conservation camps which adults can go on too - might be of interest for someone wanting to hone their language skills in a specific area!


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:49
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
up-to-date experience Feb 7, 2011

Hi Noni,
My sons (now aged 13 and 15) have been on PGL camps for the last 2 summers and can't wait to return this August.
They went to the sites at Hindhead and the Isle of Wight. They did the general activities holidays because that way we got 2 for the price of one.

Highly recommended. PM me if you want more details,
Emma


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