SURVIVING A long, hot summer with a bored, restless child is hard enough for most families. But for the parents of James Pickford, it's often much more of a challenge. James, 10, has attention deficit disorder (ADD), a condition believed to affect about 3 per cent of children, making them hyperactive, restless, impulsive and, at times, almost uncontrollable. As a result, children with ADD - sometimes called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - also find it difficult to focus their attention, are unable to follow instructions and have difficulty completing tasks. Carers face a challenge in keeping them occupied. James' stepfather, Peter Inglis, says that, although James is now on medication that helps him concentrate at school, holidays are always hard for any family with an ADD-diagnosed child. 'Exhausting is probably a more accurate description, actually,' says Inglis. 'ADD kids vacillate between being 'very up' and 'very down'. When James is 'up' and therefore motivated, he verges on hyperactive, such is the energy he musters in his enthusiasm to do what-ever. When James is 'down', there's no way he can be motivated. He can watch TV for days at a time, or he simply becomes a rebellious little devil.' However, the family hopes this summer will be different. James' parents have signed him up for a five-day summer school for children with ADD. There, under the guidance of sports instructors and experts in the disorder, he'll get a chance to go kayaking, rock-climbing, camping, learn first aid, and develop his social skills, independence, creativity and self- esteem. The Goal camp - which stands for Growth through Outdoor Adventure Learning - is being run by Premier Sports. Managing director Nicole Arnulphy says the programme is based on similar specialist facilities, including the US-based Soar (for Success Oriented Achievement Realised) camps that focus on children with ADD. 'Children with ADD are often extremely bright and intelligent individuals,' says Arnulphy. 'They simply find the school classroom doesn't provide then with either the inspiration or creative outlets for their extremely active and fertile minds. 'We aim to provide such an atmosphere and outlets, thus also eliminating any feelings inadequacy or low self-esteem, as experienced during the course of the normal school year.' She says the activities are intended to encourage the children to work together, formulate plans to successfully complete activities as teams, develop communication skills and decision-making, and apply what they learn. The $6,000-camp lasts five-days, from July 1, and will have up to 20 children, with about one member of staff (including the camp's on-site psychologist Cath Whyman) for every three children. 'The purpose of Goal is to encourage young people to develop an understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses,' says Whyman. Then, they build on these, find strategies to deal with weaknesses 'and develop a strategy-building and positive attitude towards obstacles'. Based on the success of similar camps overseas, Whyman says families may well see an improvement in the youngsters' self-esteem and self-discipline. The camp, in Sai Kung Country Park, will be divided into two segments, each lasting two-and-a-half days. During the first, the children will learn how to read maps, use a compass and plan an expedition. During the second, they'll spend two days hiking, camping and learning to be self-sufficient. James says he's excited about the course, which he thinks sounds 'cool, creative and challenging'. 'I'm really looking forward to doing rock-climbing and kayaking, which should be awesome,' he says. 'I also want to complete the first-aid and CPR courses that we'll be able to do while we're there. This might mean I'll be one of the only kids at my school who's completed these courses.' The camp means just as much to his parents. 'The Goal camp is an opportunity for James to develop new skills, make new friends, and exert all that pent-up energy,' Inglis says. 'It will also provide us with some downtime while he's off conquering the wilds of Hong Kong. This camp is tailor-made for James.' For more details about the Goal Camp, contact Premier Sport, 9278-2774 or e-mail email@example.com .