PARENT INFORMATION

Frequently Asked Questions:

What transport options does Sugar Bay offer?

We offer two transport options to and from camp.

 

 

  1. Airport Shuttle: Book a flight to or from King Shaka International Airport, and we will do the rest. We will collect your children from the airport and drive them to Sugar Bay. When the holiday camp is over, we will drop them off at the airport so that they can catch their flight home again.
     

  2. Sandton Bus Charter: If you live in Gauteng, then you can drop off your children at our bus stop in Sandton where they will catch our chartered bus service to and from Sugar Bay along with many other campers. The counselors make the journey fun with sing-a-long songs and your kids will have new friends before they've reached camp.

 

 

Important note: All international visitors must ensure that they have the correct documentation & authorisation to enter South Africa. Please double check the requirements with your embassy. We will not be held liable if your children cannot enter the country.

What is the C.I.T Course?

C.I.T stands for "Counselors in Training" and it is our course designed to train campers who are 17 and 18 years old to become qualified counselors. Many teens consider taking a gap year once they complete school, and our C.I.T Course allows them to become a qualified counselor during a school holiday so that they may apply to work at Sugar Bay or other summer camps during their gap year. Read more information about this in our C.I.T Course section.

What can you expect?

You can expect your children to be well looked after and cared for 24/7. With a 1:3 staff to child ratio, and at least two counselors sleeping in the cabins with the children, your children are always supervised, and their needs are never neglected. The counselors become their older brothers and sisters while they are away from home.

 

As a parent, you can expect to be kept updated while your little ones are away, with status updates about our program and daily photo uploads on Facebook. We understand how much parents miss their children, especially the younger ones. Therefore, we try to make parents as comfortable as possible, by allowing them to email their children, and we also send parents an email update from their children (mid-week) with a photo attached.

 

Parents can also expect to see a more mature child upon their return home from camp. Camp may seem like just another holiday away from home, but camps are also proven to have psychological and behavioral benefits for children of all ages.

 

Who takes care of my children?

The young adults who are chosen to take care of campers are called "counselors". They come from all over the world and many of them have worked in American Summer camps.

 

Their crazy nicknames and playful personalities set a great vibe and bring a lot of excitement to Sugar Bay. Their first priority is the care, supervision and happiness of every child and they form an integral part of the Sugar Bay experience. They are also actively involved in teaching activities and in ensuring that every child is helped and encouraged to reach their full potential, whatever their capability.

 

Our top 10 activities each have a Pro-Counselor (PC) assigned to it, who has excellent experience and is capable of instructing the children in that particular activity .

 

Before hiring our counselors, we ask for a criminal background check, details of their previous experience with children, we request their previous employer references and find out whether they are comfortable with being around children 24 hours a day. We ask that all candidates fill in an application form, have a telephone interview, attend staff training and then approved applicants move into the practical side of our selection process. We ask applicants to work a trial week (unpaid) and thereafter, if all goes well, we’ll employ them. During training, we cover all activities, teach candidates how to instruct a variety of age groups, complete First Aid and CPR training and an introductory lesson to child psychology.

 

Click here to see who the Pro-Counselors are before you even arrive! Alternatively, you can also see our office staff who work behind the scenes to ensure that your kids have a great time, are kept well-fed and safe.

The care and safety of your child.

The only thing more important than having fun at Sugar Bay is the safety of our campers. We guarantee that your child will be in the best of hands.  

 

We follow international camping standards

As a parent, the safety and security of your child is of paramount importance, which is why Sugar Bay adheres to international safety procedures as recommended by the American Camping Association, which is the same body that regulates all US Summer Camps.

 

24/7 Supervision

We offer 24-hour supervision for your children. A counselor even sleeps in the cabins with the children so that they are never alone. Our 1:3 staff to child ratio allows each child to receive individual attention and care.

 

We have a strict buddy rule that prohibits any child to be alone with any one single person, and our top-notch security systems ensure that we know who is where and doing what at all times.

 

Qualified staff

We care about both the physical and emotional aspects of every camper. Our staff are fully trained to handle anything from bullying, bed-wetting to emotional issues. Each staff member completes a thorough 2-week training course that equips them with all the skills they require as a camp counselor and for working with children.


We also have our own team of qualified lifeguards who are available at all times and during all water activities. All staff are trained in First Aid and CPR. 

 

Safe and secure premises

The resort itself is equipped with high-tech security and is separate from the beach front for security reasons. The resort is enclosed by an electric fence and is patrolled by security guards, and is also monitored with surveillance CCTV cameras. An armed response unit is on standby 24 hours a day with an unrivaled response time. We also operate a cash-free system at Sugar Bay so that we are not a target for robbery.

 

Water Safety

Each child completes a compulsory swim test when arriving at Sugar Bay, which allows us to evaluate and make a note of their swimming strength. They are then given a colour-coded rash vest which helps identify our campers when they are on the beach, in the sea or in the lagoon.

 

Professional health care facility

We also have a fully-stocked Health Centre and require full medical disclosure for all our young guests. There is always a doctor on call and Alberlito private hospital in Ballito is only 25 minutes away or Umhlanga private hospital is 45 minutes away. Children who participate in any of our specialized activities (high ropes, BMXing, skateboarding, paintball) are required to wear protective clothing and safety equipment at all times.

 

Read more about our safety protocols in our Safety and Security section.

Accommodation and meals at Sugar Bay

Our facilities are unbeatable by any other camp in South Africa. Please feel free to call our offices and set up a tour so that you can see our facilities for yourself. Additionally, you can explore our camp map and view pictures of our facilities here.

 

Accommodation

The children sleep in spacious wooden cabins which are nestled under large canopy trees with covered verandas where they can enjoy an indigenous forest view. Two or more counselors are assigned to each cabin for around-the-clock supervision. Each cabin is elevated on stilts with more than adequate en-suite bathroom facilities which include showers and toilets. Our cabins are a comfortable retreat where adventures are recounted, songs sung and laughter fills the air.
 

Boys and girls cabins are in separate and secure areas. Children are housed in cabins according to their grade. This structure allows campers to be part of a close-knit family group.

 

Food

What we eat is a critical ingredient in the recipe for a fun-filled holiday. Sugar Bay cuisine delicious, nutritious and is is freshly prepared on the premises. The smell of freshly baked bread rolls really gets the appetite going, and our vegetable patch supplies some fresh ingredients to our salads. Parents whose children have never eaten vegetables before even ask us for our "secret" recipes. There are fresh salads at every meal and, of course, there are always plenty of seconds. Three large meals (breakfast, lunch, supper), two smaller snacks between meals and one tuckshop visit per day ensures that the kids energy levels are kept up. Religious and dietary preferences can also be catered for on request.

What if my child gets sick?

Sugar Bay has a fully-equipped Health Center to take care of minor matters like sore throats and sore tummies. All counselors are trained in primary and secondary first aid and can deal with general bumps and bruises. There is also a trained assistant in the Health Center who is available 24/7.

 

For more serious cases, we do have a doctor on call 24 hours a day and AlBallito Private Hospital is only a 25 minute drive away. All medicine (including vitamins) are dispensed from the Health center as per parents instructions, and we require full medical disclosure when enrolling your child into our care.

Do I need to send utensils and bedding with my child?

Since Sugar Bay is a luxury holiday resort for children, you do not need to bring your own utensils and bedding. Though many camps ask you to bring your own bedding, cups, plates, knives and forks, etc. Sugar Bay includes all of this. The only item you may need is a sleeping bag for our camping night.

Can I phone my child while they are at camp?

One of the many wonderful experiences at camp is the chance campers will have to make new friends and gain a sense of self-confidence, independence and responsibility. Staying in touch with home does not always help this process. We do encourage campers to write emails or faxes as often as they would like, and we distribute email and faxes sent by the parents at meal times. In special cases, such as birthdays or anniversaries, it is possible to speak with your child if pre-arranged with the office.

 

We also send out a mid-week email to parents from their children with a short update and photograph attached. Should you want to email your child, you can send your email to away@sugarbay.co.za, or you can email them directly from our website here. We will pass the message onto your little one during the next meal time.

Can campers use mobile phones while at camp?

It is common policy for cellphones to not be allowed at summer camps around the world. This is for both safety reasons so that the phones do not get damaged or stolen while they are at Sugar Bay, and because they are a distraction to the children. Cellphones can lead to unsociable behavior and detract from their enjoyment of camp. If they do bring cellphones, possibly because they've had a long bus trip or flight, then they are kindly asked to hand it in when they arrive.

Is Sugar Bay a malaria zone?

No. Sugar Bay is far away from any malaria zones and your children are completely safe. Our water sources are also regularly tested to make sure that that are free from any harmful bacteria or substances.

What will my child do at camp?

Sugar Bay prides itself on the fact there are over 100 different activities to choose from. Our activities range from the adventurous to the artistic and include surfing, ziplining, water sliding, bungee trampolining, drama, dancing, arts, kayaking, skateboarding, scuba diving and much more! The best part of it all is that none of our activities are compulsory. Your child may choose to participate in whichever activity they please - the choice is theirs. They may even choose to learn a new skill, like how to surf, and earn a certificate for it by the end of the camp. For a more detailed list of all our activities on offer, please see our activities section.

How is home sickness dealt with?

Our camp counselors get all the children settled and help them make new friends with ice-breakers and games on the very first night of camp. They keep the children focused on camp and activities instead of what they are missing at home.

 

Sugar Bay encourages parents to be positive when dropping their children off at camp with words like "I am so glad you are going to have such a great time at camp" instead of getting teary and telling them how much you will miss them and how sad you are to leave, since this discourages the children from spending time away from home.

Will my child be bullied?

Sugar Bay has a number of methods to deal with bullying at camp:

 

1) Children are divided into cabins according to their grades. Older children and younger children are not mixed, so younger children are not " bossed around" by the older ones.

 

2) We have a strict "no bullying" policy at Sugar Bay.

 

3) We do not allow pranks or practical jokes at Sugar Bay. Someone always has to be the target and we want all campers to enjoy camp equally.

 

4) Children who do not conform are dealt with immediately. In minor cases, they are given a time out, and the counselors explain to them how their behavior is hurtful and negative to others.

 

5) Children who are aggressive and bully others are removed from camp activities and parents are contacted to collect them immediately.  

How does Sugar Bay deal with and try to avoid lost property.

  • Before every lunch time, we make announcements to encourage the children to check the lost property counter every day.
     

  • On the semi-ultimate day, we lay all the lost property in a long maze and make every child walk through it to make sure nothing in the maze belongs to them.
     

  • We have lost property calls after leaving each venue.
     

  • We encourage every child to keep their items in their day bag, and we provide hooks for each child's bag for this very purpose.
     

  • Read more about how we take care of lost property and some common myths.
     

 

Despite this, we unfortunately always end up with boxes of unnamed lost property at the end of each week of camp.

How are card payments processed?

We have dedicated another page to answering this important question and to explaining how we've secured our online process. Please read this page.

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