11 May 2021
Fresh from getting their children back to school after months of lockdown learning, parents are now turning their attention to the looming summer holidays in a bid to satisfy off-spring’s pent-up energy.
“Bookings have only been open for three weeks,” comments Donna Douglas, Kilgraston’s Summer School Course Director, “but already they are far exceeding those of the pre-Covid summer of 2019, and there are still eight weeks to go.”
While Kilgraston’s summer camps did take place during lockdown-easing in 2020, social distancing and higher than usual teacher-to-pupil ratio requirements capped numbers: “Demand during the six-weeks was huge,” notes Douglas, “but, unfortunately, we had to disappoint many families as rules just didn’t allow us to take the numbers we’d have liked.”
But 2021 is proving to be a whole different ball game: “We had 510 visitor days’ booked over Easter,” continues Douglas, “and summer confirmations are already well above those of 2019 levels.”
Being asked to provide packed lunches and snacks, hasn’t proved a game-changer, with parents still very keen to get kids out and about on the playing fields and equestrian centre or developing skills at the newly-announced Dance and Multi-Arts camps: “We’ve had bookings from all-over central Scotland,” Douglas says, “from north of Dundee to over the Firth of Forth, parents are citing an emphasis on fun and energy outlets, especially in the absence of a lot of foreign travel possibilities.”
Camps keep age-groups together in tight ‘bubbles’ with one adult to every seven students: “Generally, children stay in small, familiar, groups all day, generating a family atmosphere,” notes Douglas, “If we reach capacity – which is looking highly likely at this early stage – a ‘wait-list’ will be created, when additional staff will be recruited if demand dictates.”