Even today, when you hark back to childhood days,especially, holidays. Granny’s home used to be every child’s favorite holiday destination. Playing, was not all about buying expensive video games and toys from the market. Kids then, were just kids!

In the present day, children are wiser. For most of them if schools were closed for holidays, they enrolled into summer camps. Forget visiting their grandparents! There was absolutely no room for lazy holidays. And now that the schools are going to be started, less do their teachers know that, for their students it was not just a holiday.

Summer camps were organized for children of different age groups; there are even different types of summer camps. Most kids join swimming, singing, dance, grammar classes, drawing and playhomes. In Belgaum, ‘explosion 2012’ a summer camp was organized by Smart Kidsz play school collaborated with Munch (a weekend playschool). Smart Kidz,  owned and managed  by Sangeeta and Ritika Soni. Munch weekend school, run by Nidi Bhati and Dhanada Sajit.

“Do you want to buy this vegetable, madam?”, questioned a boy. He was sitting across a small table which displayed varieties of vegetables. He flaunted fake rupees, pretending to have sold lot of vegetables, and in return, was generously giving change to those customers who produced 100 rupee note. This game was drawn from Munch Weekend playschool.

“We decided to introduce money in the games because we noticed that children were not very keen in the summer camps. They slowly showed interest when we told them that, if they answer any question they would win a fake ten rupees. This would also help them understand the value of money,” said Dhanada Sajit and Nidhi Bhati.

This year, around 36 children participated in the summer camp at ‘explosion 2012.’ Children were not only motivated to play different games but their teachers also stressed on teaching general knowledge and practical understanding with the help of imaginative games like, story telling, English grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, market, money bank, and so on. This summer camp was on between April 12 and April 29.

“All the parents are very happy with this summer camp. I have been conducting summer camps from last two years. This time I have collaborated with Munch, and I have added some more games in the camp,” said Sangeeta Soni who runs Smart Kids play school.

Her daughter, Ritika Soni, feels that such summer camps help improve and enhance the personality of children. “We conducted music workshop, where we invited renowned musicians in Belgaum, who educated children on different kinds of musical instruments. Added to which they also learnt a lot about kite making which was addressed by Sandesh Kaddi, informed Ritika Soni.

Not just a playschool. Many children decided on to partake in those hobbies, which they were not able to make time, because of school’s strict schedule. Some joined music classes. The brave ones joined karate.

Saptasvara, a music school, run by Nirmala Prakash, usually does not admit any student just for the sake of leisure pursuit. As Nirmala Prakash, firmly believes that Hindustani Classic cannot be taught in just summer holidays. “I don’t conduct summer camps, at all. But this year, there are two kids who have come from Mumbai and Bangalore to visit their relatives here. I am teaching them because; I could see that they are dedicated and interested in learning,” said Nirmala Prakash.

The brave ones chose to fight. Karate, was on their mind. It was not just for the fighting sake. Observing the increasing crime rate today, most parents get worried for their kids. Instead of perturbing on the above thought, they enroll their kinds into karate schools.

Jetendra B Kaktikar, has been teaching Karate in Belgaum from 1996. He is also the Chief Instructor at Karnataka school games sports Karate Association.

“Every year, during summer holidays, around 25 children enroll to learn martial arts. Children above the age of six can be trained here. This is also good for physical growth and personal protection,” informed Jetendra Kaktikar.

Children were not only busy attending hobby classes. Some children spent their holidays partaking in various competitions. When Jyoti Chindak organized National Level Roller Skating Competition in Belgaum, there were children who represented in this contest from 17 states. And, for the first time ‘Shivganga Roller Skating’ which was started in 2010 by Jyoti Chindak in Belgaum, witnessed participants from Nepal. The contest was held between 19th May and 21st May, at Shivganga Skating rink, Om nagar, Khasbag.

Poorva, Prerna and Payal, traveled all the way from Mumbai to participate in this contest. It was Poorva’s first challenge at the Nationals, and she won 2 gold and 1 bronze medals. Prerna took back home 3 gold medals. Payal being the younger one in the Mumbai team, stood fourth, but enjoyed every bit of her first attempt at roller skating.  Satish Kadam, coach, Mumbai, told Lokadarshan that Belgaum is a good place, and that the ShivGanga roller skating rink was one of the biggest in India, he had ever seen.

Aarpan Puri, coach, Nepal, was all smiles when asked about his experience, here. “It was exciting to be here! We won 5 silver and 10 bronze medals.”

The overall Championship trophy went to Shivganga skating club, Belgaum with 260 points, runner up Maharashtra with 160 points, and third place was won by Haryana with 85 points.

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