Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust has started its new year with a much-needed break for the children by hosting a five-day summer camp in Auckland.

The 18th annual summer camp is being held at Mt Roskill War Memorial Hall and Grounds from Monday, January 11 until Friday, January 15, end the summer camp with an outdoor tour for the children.

The five-day summer camp comprises more than just fun activities, the children participating in the camp are given educational tours, poem and reading classes, art and crafts, morning exercises, yoga, aerobics, dance, outdoor sports, motivational sessions, language classes and get various life skills coaching.

Experts from different industry, council and government departments provide children workshop on water safety, phone scams, fire safety, home safety, road safety etc.

The popularity of this summer camp has grown exponentially over the years, and the number of applicants for the camp have also surpassed the capacity.

“We have been organising the summer camp for the past 18 years and every year is different with some new challenges and opportunities.

“This year we had 140+ applications for the summer camp, but due to limitation in admission capacity, we had to select only 110 and the rest were kept in the waitlist,” Roopa Suchdev, one of the key organisers of the summer camp told The Indian Weekender.

The children get to enjoy their summer holidays and learn various life skills and soft skills from professionals and volunteers at the camp.

“The industry professionals include trained experts for different forms of dance classes, yoga, aerobic and exercises, Auckland Library representatives holding reading and recitation activities, drawing, art and craft sessions, sports trainers, safety drills by St John’s Ambulance, NZ Fire Services, and more.

“We also have bouncy castles, outdoor games, magicians and theatrics showing balloon arts entertaining the children,” Jeet Suchdev, chairperson of Bhartiya Samaj said.

The organisers also get volunteers who in the past had been a part of the summer camp and now as they have outgrown, participate in the camp as a volunteer, role models and activity hosts making sure the children have the same fun and good time at the camp.

“Most of our volunteers are from the community which at one point had been the children participating at the camp, and now that they have grown, they request if they can still be a part of the five-day event and help organise the event for the children,” Mr Suchdev said.

Mr Suchdev further added that several elements are to be put together to make the event successful.

“Every evening when the event is over, we have to buy fresh fruits and groceries for breakfast, lunch and tea for the children the next day of the camp, liaise with different organisations making sure all activities of the five days are done as per schedule, children have necessary items for their reading, recitation, drawing and craft sessions.

“Everything is meticulously prepared so that children get to spend every minute at the camp doing some useful activity, and also get enough time to mingle with one another and make friend,” Mr Suchdev added.

The Summer Camp also hosts language and cultural sessions getting children, most of whom come from Kiwi Indian families get to know more about India, its heritage, rich history, and learn the Hindi language.

On the last day of the summer camp, the children will be going to a day picnic at Crystal Mountain in Swanson, and that will conclude the summer camp for 2021.

(All photos supplied by Bhartiya Samaj)