SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Parents are struggling to figure out what to do with their teenagers this summer, as summer camps are booked up and corona measures are preventing holiday plans, reports public broadcaster NOS.
‘During a normal summer holiday of six weeks, you can get away with two, three weeks on holiday and on the other weeks hang out and relax,’ youth and parenting coach Tea Adema reportedly said.
‘Now there is little else to do than just survive and enjoy yourself.’ According to a poll by Steunpunt Kindervakanties, an organisation that oversees children’s camps, there’s been a dramatic decrease in the number of summer camps on offer this year.
The coronavirus prevention measures, relaxed on July 1, kept camp organisers from preparing activities, it said. Camps that still went forward are apparently fully booked, with demand up as many families are limited in travelling for a summer holiday.
Many also shifted from an overnight model to only holding activities during the day. Youth workers and civil society organizations have reportedly joined forces with local governments to provide entertainment for kids in response.
‘We have special activities for those who cannot go on holiday due to corona or financial reasons: we do archery, water games and kickboxing, for example,’ said Marieke van der Perk of Moove, organiser of sports activities at the Summer Caravan in Oosterhout.
Experts believe that some parents are encouraging their kids to find summer jobs, though with fewer jobs in cafes and bars, those are scarce. According to rules from the Dutch government, under-fifteens can work mowing lawns or walking neighborhood dogs.