The question of where to send a child for summer day camp can be a difficult decision for parents. Will the kids have fun? Will they learn some new skills? Will they be excited to go back each morning? The answer to all of these questions with TAC Sports Camp is a resounding yes.
My children had the opportunity to try TAC Sports camps for a few mornings over the March Break. With three kids ranging in age from 4 to 10, I got feedback about the camp for all their different age groups. I also spoke with the camp’s Director of Operations, affectionately known as Coach Adib, and had a tour of the camp facilities.
Now, while there are lots of amazing summer camp options for kids (see our 2015 Summer Camp Guide for some incredible options organized by province), TAC happens to be one we’ve tried ourselves and are happy to recommend to others.
Everything about the TAC Sports Camps was fun and exciting, but there were some elements that stood out as exceptional for my kids and me.
In no particular order, here are some of our favourite things about TAC Sports Camps:
- The coaches do a physical literacy assessment of each child at the beginning of camp and then place children in groups accordingly.
- Children can choose to specialize in one of three sports: tennis, basketball, or soccer. Some locations also offer martial arts. If a child isn’t enjoying one sport over the course of the week, the coaches will help that child join a new group in one of the remaining sports (though it will be harder to track their progress if they switch sports and are only in camp for a week).
- There is a French and an English stream, so children can learn sports in either official language. And even if your children have no prior French training, the coaches are still open to placing them in the French stream if that’s what you prefer.
- Parents receive progress reports at the end of camp to highlight their kids’ newly developed skills and to know which skills they’re still working on.
- The coaches take the time to really know all of the children. My kids marveled over the fact that the coaches all knew everybody’s names and all the kids quite obviously felt so good about being greeted personally every day.
- The coaches use time at the end of each day to recognize children who have made good progress or have been good sports.
- TAC Sports coaches have strategies in place to accommodate kids who aren’t interested in sports at the outset. Playing a series of easy games at the start of each day helps the kids get to know each other and gets everyone involved, then the shift to skill-building is gradual after that.
- They have a unique wristband system and 5 Star Development System which involves sorting children by ability into different groups and giving them opportunities to move up to a higher skill-level over the time at camp. (The point of this method is not to create competition, but so that children can learn with kids at their own level.)
- They are a family. On the day I visited, one of the coaches had been part of the camp herself a few years ago. And at least one of the March Break campers is going to be returning in the summer to be a Leader in Training. It’s obvious that campers love TAC Sports Camps and want to return again and again.
- Tac Sports Camps are fun. A lot of fun. And I love when my kids can be having so much fun they don’t even realize they’re learning new skills.
The week after March Break, I was walking down the hall in my kids’ school when the gym teacher stopped me to tell me that my little kindergartener had been particularly interested in participating in gym class. More, in fact, than he ever had been before. Did we do something to change him over the March Break, he joked?
I told him about the camp and he said it must have made a huge impact. So if a few mornings at TAC can boost my child’s confidence in ways noticeable by his gym teacher, imagine what a week – or more – could do this summer.