Five Hong Kong summer camps to educate and entertain kids
From surfing to kung fu, from circus skills to musical theatre, Hong Kong is full of activities and camps for the summer.
Summer is here, and for some students that means summer camps. We have tapped parents and camp operators in the city and come up with a list of five cool camps to please everyone from tech fans to lovers of the great outdoors.
Surf camp Treasure Island Group's (TIG) Surf Camp on Lantau's Pui O Beach has courses for all ages. The Grommet Surf Camp (for five to nine-year-olds) covers water safety, beach games, arts and crafts and ocean education; Surfers Intermediate (for nine to 15-year-olds) is for returning surfers eager to develop surf and stand-up paddleboard skills and the Adventure Camp (for nine to 18-year-olds) offers kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, surfing and one night camping. Hawaiian-born Hunt Smith, who has been part of TIG surf camp for 10 years, and has more than 30 years of surfing experience, is excited about the upcoming year. "Pui O Bay is ideal for beginner surfers - the waves are gentle, the beach is beautiful. It's a great introduction to surf life."
Musical theatre camp
Beauville Arts Hong Kong is hosting Asia's only residential musical theatre camp from July 27 in Sai Kung. Attending the six-day camp are experienced teachers from France and Britain who have West End training in acting, singing and dancing. Open for students aged nine and above, it costs HK$12,800 (including meals and lodging). Beauville Arts Hong Kong director Sue Yeung says students from Switzerland and Taiwan will also attend. "At the end of each camp we perform a show and this year's is Welcome to the '60s, based on [US musical] Hairspray. It's going to be fun," says Yeung, adding a public performance of the show will be held on August 1 at Y-Theatre in Chai Wan.
Kung fu summer camp
The three-day Mandarin Kung Fu Summer Camp in the peaceful surroundings of Tai O is a fun way for students to learn Putonghua while immersing themselves in Shaolin culture. "Students get a broad exposure to Shaolin arts and history and, of course, kung fu with our professional kung fu teachers," says Jessie Zhou, co-founder of Mandarin Teacher Hong Kong that's hosting the camp. It runs until mid-August and costs HK$2,000 per person. Students will also have time to meditate and, just like Shaolin monks, dine on vegetarian meals. Zhou says students receive a minimum of 15 hours of language lessons.
Clown and puppet skills
Aspiring clowns and puppeteers are well-catered for at professional entertainers Rumple and Friends, the city's first children's circus school. This summer it will hold camps at Hong Kong Arts Centre. The one-week courses (June 29-August 28; HK$2,500) cover circus (plate-spinning, acro-balance and juggling), musical theatre (singing, dancing and acting) as well as a course to help children create puppet shows.
Digital storybook making
The Genius Workshop's Creator Camp is a week-long camp where students learn to apply technologies such as engineering, architecture and robotics to create a digital storybook. "The juniors [4½ to seven years] make a digital storybook while the seniors create a stop-motion animation using Lego," says instructor Selina Zheng. "There are a lot of technical skills but it's also about teamwork, motor skills and creativity." The Genius Workshop also holds a SuperBoss Camp (ages 4½-14) where students experience what it's like to be a chief executive.