Due to the Covid-19 outbreak Edu4WORD was unable to carry out its planned Summer Camps in the UK with around 100 children and teens enrolled. We were very fortunate as no Parent or Guardian cancelled the trip but postponed until 2021; however, this meant that we had to adapt to a new reality where going abroad this year was not an option.
From the beginning Edu4WORD aimed high: we wanted to be a part of our community and we wished to be at the forefront of innovative educational perspectives, we were longing to impact children, teens and adults into learning about new cultures, diversity, tolerance and respect – all of this while learning English. For many years we specialised in many different programs but mostly Summer Camps, either in groups or individuals. We usually take many groups of around 30 people each, ensuring that our students are not the dominant nationality so that they are encouraged to mingle with all other attendees. It is not easy: we always go along so choosing the right group leaders is quite important; we need to know how to deal with the anxiety in Portugal and also with the students’ tears in London once we return, sad because it ended; how to deal with tummy aches and how to encourage them to take part in every activity – and accurately report it back home. We are experts in this: besides the 20+ years of experience one of our partners had previously worked at one of the leading Summer Camp agencies
in the UK, understanding what happens behind the scenes and the preparation that schools need to go through in order to host a project of the sorts.
This market is extremely profitable in the UK and we were only grasping a part of it; this year we thought differently. This year we decided that we could do a similar version of the Summer Camps we know so well, in Portugal – no need to sit around and waiting for the Government’s Foreign Office to negotiate a bilateral agreement; no updates needed on how the pandemic was progressing abroad. We would be doing this right at our doorstep, in Oeiras.
In collaboration with Oeiras City Hall – Oeiras Valley, we designed a Summer Camp for 328 students over 8 weeks (6 th July – 28 th August), heavily reliant on English classes with native English Teachers and also activities in the afternoon where children would improve their soft skills. Their mornings would be spent with 2.5h of English lessons, with a snack in between, and after lunch each afternoon had a theme: every Monday we would have Sports with Gym Teachers, Football Coaches and Personal Trainers; by Tuesday we had Lego Education; Wednesdays was all about English Culture, Public Speaking and Arts and Crafts;
Thursdays was Excursion Day, where we would visit some of the city’s landmarks such as Aquário Vasco da Gama and Palácio Marquês de Pombal; on Fridays we had Programming and Robotics.
All of this while Covid-19 was around; and this Summer Camp was the only one in Oeiras with no infections nor outbreaks – thanks to all the signs around the school (Escola Secundária Sebastião e Silva), reminding the Participants what needed to be done to prevent those, and also due to our constant surveillance and positive reinforcement.
This was definitely not the start we had in mind to this new business but despite everything that could go wrong, we prevailed. Thanks to the Secondary School, to Oeiras Valley, to OeirasEduca and also to our staff, who all worked relentlessly and with a sense of Mission the size of the World, we did it.
We are now also designing Corporate Summer Camps for companies who seek to promote the skills we foster to their employees’ children and also to promote the company regarding good practices and corporate responsibility.
Get in touch and we will make it happen.