Summer camps

Five Hong Kong summer camps to educate and entertain kids

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 June, 2015, 8:05am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 June, 2015, 8:05am

Summer  is here and for some Hong Kong children that means summer camps.  We have tapped parents and camp operators to come up with a list of five cool camps to please everyone from the tech geek to the lover of the great outdoors.

All aboard

With 500 surfers a year, Treasure Island Group’s (TIG)  Surf Camp on Lantau’s Pui O Beach is the largest surf camp in China, with 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 (nine- to 15-year-olds) is for returning surfers eager to develop surf and SUP skills, and an Adventure Camp (for nine- to 18-year-olds) with activities including  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 over 30 years' surfing experience, is looking forward to this summer's camp. “Pui O Bay is ideal for beginner surfers – the waves are gentle, the beach is beautiful and participants get a great introduction to surf life,” Smith said. More details:

Broadway beginners

Beauville Arts Hong Kong is hosting Asia’s only residential musical theatre camp from July 27 in Sai Kung. Leading the six-day camp will be experienced teachers from France and Britain who have professional training in acting, singing and dancing. Open to children aged nine and older, 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, a musical based on [US musical] Hairspray. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Yeung. More details:

Shaolin kung fu

The three-day Mandarin Kung Fu Summer Camp in the peaceful surroundings of Tai O is a fun way for students to learn Putonghua and immerse 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,” said Jessie Zhou, co-founder of Mandarin Teacher Hong Kong, which is hosting the camp. It runs until mid-August and costs HK$2,000 per person. Developed thousands of years ago, Shaolin kung fu is among the oldest style of Chinese martial arts, originating in the Buddhist Shaolin temple in Henan province, China. Students will also have time to meditate and, just like Shaolin monks, will eat vegetarian meals. Zhou says students receive a minimum of 15 hours language classes during the three days. More details:

Bring on the clowns

Aspiring clowns and puppeteers are well catered for at professional entertainers Rumple and Friends, the city’s first and only kids’ circus school. This summer it will hold summer camps at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in Wan Chai. The one-week courses (running from June 29-August 28; HK$2,500) cover circus acts (plate-spinning, acrobalance, juggling), musical theatre (singing, dancing, acting) and puppeteering. Children will be taught by professional actors and performers and the circus course by me,” says Matt Coombes, the only person in Hong Kong to have taught at the National Centre for Circus Arts in London. More details:

Make cool stuff

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 -seven years old] get to make a digital storybook while the seniors create a stop-motion animation film using Lego,” says instructor Selina Zheng. “There are a lot of technical skills but it’s also about teamwork, motor skills, creativity – and most importantly the camps are about fun.” The Genius Workshop also holds a SuperBoss Camp (for children aged 4½ to 14) where students get an idea of what it’s like to be a chief executive.