Teachers and principals play a significant role in the planning and organizing of preschool camps. Some organisations prefer to have their graduation ceremony internally in schools which requires teachers to take on the task of planning and execution.
Increasingly there is a trend within pre-schools leaning towards a graduation camp which is conducted outside the school premises. It is seen as a final coming of age event set in an unfamiliar environment which allows these young participants to put their self-management skills to the test before they leave K2 and move on to primary 1.
Whilst some schools choose to conduct an overnight camp in school, others engage consultants like us to plan with the teachers and help execute the graduation camp with them.
We understand that planning a camp is definitely an additional task on top of the regular duties of a teacher, which could be extremely stressful. Fret not, we are here to explain how a preschool camp can be enjoyable for teachers and how we can reduce your stress with our help. Our goal is to provide teachers with the best access to facilities and programmes and allow them to put more focus on the care and guidance of the participants.
Concerns faced by preschool teachers when they have a plan to organise a preschool camp and how we can help them.
a) Insufficient time to plan
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Teachers have many workloads on hand, and organising a camp will seem to be time-consuming for them. They will need to think of the theme, activities, safety and many more aspects to ensure a smooth flow of the camp.
As project managers, High Achievers can offer a series of pre-designed camp packages that are specifically suited for children aged 5 - 7 years old. We have the packages prepared and ready to present the best package to meet the objective of your camp. In one of our previous articles, we talked about the importance of a customisation meeting with clients. These meetings are the only time we require teachers to share information with us. Beyond that, the teachers can relax and leave the planning to us. We will keep the teachers updated on the whole planning process and assure them that we are on track.
b) Concern about having to brief parents
One of the most challenging tasks is to respond to questions regarding the camp from parents or guardians. We understand that some questions may be tricky to answer if there isn’t too difficult to handle as it's their first time sending their kids to the camp.
As your service vendor, we can conduct pre-camp briefings for yourself and the parents. These briefings cover contents such as packing lists, programme flow, safety briefings, emergency evacuation procedures and other relevant information that parents would require.
c) Concern that it will be too tiring to run a camp.
There will be a lot of movements and activities happening in a camp, and some teachers may think that it will be tiring to handle the situation. Through the customisation meeting, we will discuss in detail the role of teachers, Project Head and camp facilitators. Our aim is to ensure teachers are stress-free and can have fun together with the kids during the camp.
We have a facilitator to participants ratio of 1:10. This ratio is perfect for the facilitator to conduct and supervise activities during the camp. The facilitators will always be with the group throughout the day and ensure that everyone is accounted for. This helps to reduce the stress and share the responsibility with the teachers.
At night, we want the teachers to have proper rest for the next day of camp. Hence, we deploy sentries in our academy. They will ensure the safety of the kids and attend to them if they require assistance, such as going to the toilet. On top of that, KidZania Singapore also allocates safety personnel at night to ensure no one leaves the building unless necessary.
d) Concern for a suitable venue for young children
The camp venue is one of the biggest concerns for teachers as well as parents. We understand that as they want the kids to be safe and sleep in comfort, which is our aim too.
e) Concern for safety, especially with regards to COVID 19
We have updated our safety measures to reflect the current understanding of the pandemic. We will continually monitor the situation.
The following are reasons why an overnight camp is worth planning for the children
Noticing different behaviours in school and during outdoor activities
Teachers have the opportunity to observe the different behaviours and characteristics of their students when in school and at camp. The changes are usually caused by various activities and more prolonged duration that they are together.
When students are exposed to new places and events, there is a unique sense of excitement of the unknown. We all know that young children love exploration and discovery. Given the momentum, the excitement can last for days! Based on the experience of our facilitators, we have done indoor and outdoor programmes.
When they have activities in school, they are bound to do things in a certain way based on their comfort zone, given the familiar environment. When given a chance in a new environment, they are likely to go beyond and test their limits, with a little bit of encouragement and support.
Teachers are welcomed and even encouraged to join in the fun during camps
At High Achievers, we believe that camps are made not just for children, but their teachers as well. The overnight camp at Kidzania is also an opportunity for teachers to take a break and have fun with their students in a relaxed atmosphere. Besides teachers teaching and bathing the children, teachers can take this chance to have fun just like other participants. Students love it when teachers are doing activities together with them. Students are likely to take that as encouragement and an example for them to imitate.
We have been to KidZania before, so what's the difference here?
High Achievers Adventure Academy provides a new training ground for teachers and makes for excellent experiences for their students too. Other than free roleplay, some activities help to build the character of the children. We have nature trails, station activities and also campfire at night when the whole of KidZania Singapore is for us to explore.
Parents can engage children during school holiday programmes
Schools can differentiate their services to parents in particular during the holiday period as parents search for meaningful programmes to participate in. We do have some themed camps meant for holiday programmes, you can check them out here.
Before camps, the curriculum in school would help children learn too!
The lead up to the camp can be used as an opportunity to teach participants some essential life skills. Teachers can take time during school hours to integrate life skills with camp preparation briefings for the children. An example would be to show them what to pack for the camp. This creates independence which allows them to move into a growth zone. Parents can also talk to their children to prepare them and illustrate the importance of being independent.
Both teachers and participants will naturally be tired at the end of camp but that is because they have spent all their energy having fun learning and exploring together. We are greatly encouraged by the words of thanks and support which we have received from past cohorts who have chosen to run their programmes at the KidZania Adventure Academy and we look forward to hosting your school. Write to us to learn more today!
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