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Minister hopes summer camp wait list will more than halve

Owen Darrell, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, front and second from right, announced details of the Government’s expanded summer camp programme (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)

A waiting list for the Government’s summer-camp scheme could be slashed by more than 50 per cent thanks to expanded funding, it was announced today.

Owen Darrell, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, was joined by camp representatives at Strokes in the City, an art gallery that will host one of the programmes.

The camps cover everything from Futsal — indoor football — and mathematics to art and dance.

Mr Darrell revealed that last year the enrolment after registration was 490 with a waiting list of 511 students.

Anyone who does not secure a place can apply for private camp programmes or keep their children at home.

The Government increased capacity by 850 spots this year with an additional $500,000 budgeted.

Asked how many are expected to be on the waiting list this year, Mr Darrell said: “We do anticipate that there will be a wait list — with the popularity of our camps, it expands the excitement around it — but it will be significantly less than before.

“The wait list should be reduced by more than half.”

Camps available

Footy Futsal Camp


Outward Bound

Creative Chicks

Planet Math

Bermuda Dance Academy

Umin Design web development

Registration will open for the camps, which cost $60 a week, on Monday at 9.30am through www.sportsandrec.bm in the Camp Connect section under the “Recreation” tab.

Private camps can start at $150 a week and run as high as $350 a week.

Mr Darrell said: “As we approach the end of the school year, parents who cannot afford the private camps will be stressed to find placement for their children.

“This often leads to children being left at home alone or in inadequate conditions.

“To this point, the department wants to inform you of improvements.

“On May 14, I released Camp Connect on the sports and recreation website.

“Through this user-friendly, interactive portal, the reality of these partnerships with private educational and recreational groups has come to life.

“Camp Connect is the go-to hub for parents seeking comprehensive information on our summer camps and streamlined registration process.”

The Government has also expanded camp durations, so that programmes will be available between July 1 and September 6. And increased variety was expected to ensure “diverse and dynamic experiences”.

The camps run alongside the Ministry of Youth, Social Development and Seniors summer programmes, which have already opened their registration.

Mr Darrell said the Government would consider expanding its summer camps further to meet demand if the need is there in the future.

He added: “We always do a post-mortem. When you see the number of individuals we could not accommodate, it is heartbreaking.

“The Government made a decision that these programmes are something we want to invest in.”

Registration for the sports and recreation camps will open on Monday at 9.30am.

Online payments can only be made once registration is approved.

Mr Darrell encouraged parents to check the website to familiarise themselves with what was on offer.

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Published May 16, 2024 at 12:46 pm (Updated May 16, 2024 at 10:37 pm)

Minister hopes summer camp wait list will more than halve

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