One of the barriers to getting many students into the outdoors or on a school camp can be the perception by parents of the activities or hazards involved. So, immediately as the weather became perfect for staying for longer periods outdoors, a group of parents & students from across the Deira International School community came together for the first-ever Parent Camp at the UAQ Adventure Centre.

The invitation to attend was for anybody wanting to learn more about the fun adventures their children experience while away on the School Camps with DIS. This was considered an important initiative from the school’s point of view, in order to dispel any issues involving parental anxiety when it comes to sending students on outdoor adventures. It was a day trip filled with lots of great activities & plenty of laughs.

The morning session was divided between some of the Adventure Centre’s most challenging & exciting options. Children watched on & yelled encouragement to Mums & Dads as they scaled up the climbing walls to navigate their way to the top. Parents were also able to see first-hand how some of the children made their way up the same wall by problem-solving where hands & feet needed to be carefully positioned.

Right next to the climbing wall was the Jacob’s ladder where parents & children operated together to reach the top with a lot of teamwork! Ascending the Jacob’s ladder is all about communication & determination. Families & friends on this apparatus had a great time clambering over each other & using various boosting or lifting techniques to get as far up as they could.

A highlight for many on this fantastic day was the ever popular Zip Line! Many of the group made it to the top of the tower to have several rides on the line that starts off at around 13m high! The acceleration down the line at the beginning got hearts racing before the challenge of launching a ball into one of the targets to score maximum points.

While some were busy on the high ropes course activities, others were having a go at finding routes through the on-site Maze or playing a game of ‘Human Foosball’. At every station, there were families having a great time together experiencing the activities the students on school camps get to face.

With the adrenaline pumping through the veins, it was time to take a rest and enjoy some time aboard the UAQ Marine Club House-Boat. Lunch was served aboard the boat as we headed out to moor off the shores from one of the neighbouring mangrove islands. Everybody had a chance to launch themselves from the top of the House Boat on the slide which ends with a drop into the warm UAQ waters.

Along the way at every step were the highly qualified & enthusiastic staffs to guide & instruct our group. They ran the whole day with an efficiency that helped parents understand the level of care & attention to detail required when dealing with students in the outdoors. It shed some more light on how well students are looked after while they are away on these school camps & reassured those with any doubts.

The feedback from all that attended has been nothing but supportive & highly appreciative. Above all, it was a fun day for families to come together & have a great time. We can’t wait for the next ‘Parent Camp’ experience! ■

Words + Photos by: Haydon Kerr