As an Activity Leader myself, when presented the opportunity to observe another camp I jumped at it for three reasons. One, there is always something to be learned in childcare that can enhance kids' experiences. These skills range from learning new games to experiencing different situations. Second, it is important for children to meet new people. This spontaneity helps them adapt to situations, different people and environments which in turn helps with their development. And finally, I wanted to snoop! So, I partook in a Half-Day Camp, starting at 1pm and finishing at 4:30pm.
During my day at Ethos, I was enveloped into six activities. First, the ‘Outdoor Teamtastic’ session, which with the weather less than ideal – we’re London, what else was to be expected – we were rerouted indoors where the Ethos Activity Leaders had a range of games (including Monkey Ball, ask your kids, its fab) to ease the kids back into activity post-mealtime. I was grouped with the aptly named ‘Strawberry Sprinters’ (they were some of the most energetic children I have ever met), and while the older kids went swimming, we moved upstairs.
Here, the kids chose what activity they wanted to do – this is part of Fit For Sports’ aim to get kids involved in sports/activities they enjoy as part of encouraging an active lifestyle. With choices of badminton, football, basketball, hula hooping, and even a game or two of frisbee, the kids and Activity Leaders alike were all involved in doing something active and, most importantly, fun!
Post-Healthy Snack Time, with the kids regrouped and suitably worn out, we were ready for crafts (YAY). With Space being our theme for the week, children drew a variety of rockets and aliens, some made stars, and others simply enjoyed colouring in the sheets provided by the Fit For Sport Head office, with a particular favourite emerging as astronauts.
During ‘Super Sports’, Activity Leaders ran tennis (topical, considering Federer’s recent win at Wimbledon) and an absolute classic, football. Running two different sports was a stroke of genius as it meant kids were bound to enjoy one or the other – I can confirm this worked, with not one child wanting to sit out, a triumph for Activity Leaders and parents everywhere!
Lastly, for those such as myself embarking on a Half or Standard Day booking, our last activity began – camouflage! Now, I had not played this before, but I can assure you I will be again (I work with children, I’m allowed to enjoy obscure games). This was, in short, the most intense and hysterical game I have witnessed.
Having left Ethos, there were three things that stood out to me. First, was the impressive climbing wall (which I have been told will be used – very exciting!). Less glaringly obvious (literally, the wall was massive), I was impressed by the kids. Being in a large Camp such as Ethos, I arrived expecting a few tears, some disruption, and even the occasional minor accident. But all the children were enjoying themselves. Whether they were colouring, chattering away to Activity Leaders, playing games, or even having a well-deserved break, they remained entertained and keen to remain active for as long as possible. Also, no one got hit in the head with a football (except for me) which was a first! But, this would not have been possible without the extraordinary staff at Ethos. While I believe all Fit For Sport Staff are exceptional (truly, it is one of the highest calibre companies I have worked for), I was in awe of the Ethos team.
The success of the activities was down to their captivating charisma and caring sensibilities. While caring for someone else’s child, the priority is that they have fun: whether this be sitting out, doing sport, being creative or playing games. The Ethos team impressed me with their fulfilment of the Fit For Sport mission, with children running up and asking if they could do more activities during down time (and staff being on hand to provide a more gentle games if necessary – we can’t all be premier-league footballers all the time), and telling me their favourite kind of vegetable – some even trying to persuade me that carrots really are nice. I am yet to be convinced.
All in all, I was won over by the Ethos Camp and if I get the chance to go back, I will (although my camp will always be the best #biased).