A school that is high up in the mountains – sounds exotic, sounds unconventional, sounds quirky and interesting, but what’s behind it.
What we have in mind here are the mountain camps for children that have become particularly popular in recent years.
They take place, as the name implies, in close proximity to different mountain areas and various activities for children are being organized there. The main unifying motive in most children’s camps, whether in the mountains or at sea, is education.
Often a foreign language or craft training is chosen as a camp topic, such as learning a musical instrument or a specific sport, and so on.
In fact, children adore such camps. First, because the learning process there happens in an informal setting, presented in a much more fun and entertaining way, and second, because most of the time, children find many new ways to have fun.
Why are children’s camps useful? When it comes to international camps where a foreign language is taught, the effectiveness of the training is dramatically higher than if the children were learning the language at school.
This is because, in most language camps, foreign language training is taught by native teachers, which is the best way to master vocabulary, grammar, and especially pronunciation. On the other hand, is the previously mentioned informal setting in which children are educated. This contributes to the increased interest in the subject. In more successful language mountain camps, lessons are taught outdoors in nature. And the methodologies are also different, methods such as Suggestopedia, Solar pedagogy, Montessori etc. are preferred methods with a very individual approach to each child. Modern teaching methods are influenced by the audio-visual perceptions of children, thus awaking curiosity and interest in children, making it easier for them to memorize new material and begin to love the language.
Living in a foreign-language environment, even for a week or two, which is the duration of the language camp, is quite sufficient for the child to immerse himself/herself in that environment, to learn to speak freely, to remove the language barrier, even if he/she does not speak properly, and to give the best. Moreover, such camps bring children closer together, they form lifelong friendships, and very often (every year) children have enrolled again in the same camp, at the same time, so that they can spend time with their friends.
Even if we leave aside the fulfilling activities of learning a new language or a new skill, depending on the theme of the camp, if we focus only on the positive impact of nature on children, we will still be fascinated.
Mountain vacations and green schools are an extremely healthy solution for everyone, not just children. Immersed within 7, 14 or more days in the mountainous environment, the children absorb the vitality of the fresh air. Apart from the healthy effect of nature, the opportunities for activities are abundant. For example, in one of the most successful international camps in Bulgaria – Lucky Kids, located in the town of Bansko, at the foot of Pirin Mountain, children spend 6 hours of active time in the mountain. Hiking walks, picnics with beautiful views, horseback riding, cycling, football, yoga, and many other physical activities are organized here among the beautiful scenery of one of the most impressive mountains in Bulgaria – Pirin Mountain.
In addition to mountain activities, children have fun with a number of other interesting activities such as role games; evening parties with various attractive themes, pillow fight, Gala evening, etc.; swimming in the indoor and outdoor swimming pools and spa procedures, paintball (which is one of the favorite activities for children of all ages), cooking classes, dancing, lessons in Bulgarian history and learning about Bulgarian lifestyle and culture, movie nights, and so on.
The positive emotions that children experience in the green schools and camps, regardless of their duration, subject and differences in what is taught, outweigh. Children can relax, have fun, find new friendships, they learn a lot of new things about the world they live in. And the combination of these useful and enjoyable emotions that children experience with the health benefits of a mountain vacation make mountain schools and camps a favorite option for many parents.