Holiday Camp FAQs

Can I pay a deposit?
No, to secure the booking payment must be made in full when you book.

Do you accept childcare vouchers?
Sorry no, we can’t accept childcare vouchers as payment.

Do you accept tax-free childcare payments?
No, sorry, we can’t accept tax-free childcare account payments.

What if I want to make changes to my booking?
Plans can change, we get it! If you need to make changes, just get in touch and we’ll chat through your options. Write to us at info@accessea.co.uk or call 0131 624 4900. Please see the Terms and Conditions document you received on booking for full details.

Are there any pre-camp arrival forms to complete?
Yes, there are three. The information you give us will help us keep your child safe and sound. The forms are:

    • Child Permission form - unfortunately we can’t accept a child onto camp without this, so don’t forget to fill it in! It will be emailed to you when your booking is confirmed and we need it back a week before the camp starts. This will tell us what activities you give your child permission to do and details about who is dropping them off and collecting them.
    • Camp Medical form - letting us know about any medical conditions, medications or allergies your child has.
    • Anaphylaxis form - if your child has an Epi pen.

What do you do to keep my child safe and sound?
Before we start…

First of all, please be assured that the welfare of your child is absolutely our first priority. Before we even think about running camps we make sure all the facilities are appropriate for the use of the children who will attend. As they are run in Edinburgh Academy buildings and outside spaces we’re already off to a good start, but we risk-assess anyway.

Staff are trained in all the necessary policies and procedures for health and safety, hygiene, safeguarding, first aid, managing children's behaviour and much more. Our combination of in-house school staff and visiting specialists are all used to working with children and know the sports or activities they are delivering inside out.

At the Camp…
Staff will regularly check in with children when they are at camp to make sure they are ok. They’ll also make sure that all codes of practice are being followed, and run through checklists for hygiene, emergency evacuation, sun protection and toilet trips. Children are supervised by staff at all times, including when they stop for a snack or lunch. We do let children over 11 go to the loo (paired with a friend of the same gender), but otherwise we supervise.

At the end of the day…
When children leave camp the team will follow our secure collection procedure. This is where the info on the Child Permission form comes in - it will tell us who we should expect to pick up your child and a collection password. If anything is different, we’ll call and check with you. Of course, arrangements can change, so if things do happen on the day, just let us know who we should expect to collect your child.

To find out how we’ve been making things safe during the pandemic, please read our COVID-19 Secure Camps Policy for more information.

Who’s running the camp?
Our camps are run by in-house AccessEA staff and specialist providers. All are PVG approved and have wide experience of working with children and young people. Each camp will have a Head Coach or Camp Leader, and a team to help them deliver each activity and make sure there is an appropriate ratio of adults to children.

There will also be a Camp Manager on site, looking after the general running of each camp. They are the central point of contact for any questions about camps or about your child. It might not always be possible to talk to Head Coaches, Camp Leaders and other staff as they will be in the thick of delivering activities or looking after other children.

My child hasn’t been to an AccessEA camp before. How do you help them settle in?
We get that you might be nervous. This is a new experience for your child in a new place, but the team is used to putting children at ease and helping them settle. There’s usually so much going on they don’t have time to worry, but if anyone has a wobble, the team is on hand to help. If it’s a child’s first time at camp a member of the team will make sure they're familiar with the venue, people and how things work, and talk them through important details like where to go to the loo and what to do if they are feeling worried.

The team will take the time in the week to get to know your child and what they like (and don’t like). If they’re on the camo with a friend or someone they know from school, they’ll out them together for activities until they’ve got to know other people. Things like warm up games or team challenges help everyone get to know each other; friendships develop quickly at camp, and your child will make new buddies in no time!

Can I get some feedback on my child's day?
The Camp Manager will be on hand when you collect your child to answer any questions about their day. It will be the Camp Manager rather than the Camp Leader or other members of the team, as they will probably still be looking after other children.

What if my child has difficulty settling at camp?
It’s natural for children to feel nervous about a new activity or setting, but we’ve found the nerves soon disappear when they get started on activities. We’ve seen children go from quiet and reluctant to noisy and can’t-hold-me-back in the space of a few hours. The Camp team have worked with lots of groups before and are great at supporting children to settle in, giving them quiet time and space if they need a break and taking them aside for a chat if they seem unsure of anything. If they let you know they are not happy at the end of the day, or something is bothering them, call us afterwards or talk to us when you drop your child off. We can usually work out how to tackle their worries.

However, if your child is still not happy on the second day of camp, or if you don't want to try them again after the first day, we can offer you our Money Back Guarantee. All you need to do is call us by the end of their second day and we will refund your fee in full.

 

What should my child wear?
We recommend that children come dressed in comfy clothes that you don’t mind them getting dirty! They are going to be running around all day and might be doing things like painting and playing outside, so no ‘best’ outfits. Please make sure all clothing is named and that your child brings home all their bits and pieces at the end of the day. It's very difficult for us to locate lost property once children have left camp!

Bring waterproofs and suncream too - we don’t know which way the weather will go so best to be prepared for anything! Please show your child how to apply suncream and give them an easy spray on lotion if possible. Our team will remind them to re-apply and help our any younger children that struggle.

What shouldn't my child bring to camp?
Phones, devices, i-pads, devices in general...please encourage your child to leave these at home. They’ll be too busy all day doing camp activities to use them and devices can be mislaid or lost. Our team won’t be able to look after anything like this, so they are best kept at home for later.

We appreciate that older children will most likely have a phone. If they do bring it with them (to use when they leave or as they are coming to the camp), please let them know they won’t be allowed to use it during camp time. They’ll need to stow it away somewhere safe for the day (a zipped pocket or their bag), and we can’t be responsible if they lose it or it’s stolen.

Children don’t need to bring money (there’s nothing to buy, sorry!).

And please don’t bring birthday cakes or food to share with everyone. We love cake and we love food, but we can’t allow it because of COVID-19 restrictions and because of food health and safety policies.

Does my child need to bring food and drink?
Yes. They need to bring all their snacks, plus lunch if it’s a full day camp. The specific Camp info will tell you whether they need lunch or not. Pack lots of snacks as they are going to be active all the time they are at camp! No nuts please, we need to keep anyone with allergies safe and sound.

Children should also bring a water bottle, which they can refill throughout the day.

We don’t have a fridge to keep lunches in, so we’d recommend putting your child’s lunch in a cool bag or adding in a frozen carton of drink to keep everything cool. Please remind your children to resist sharing food (even though everyone else’s lunch always looks better right?) as other children might have allergies your child doesn’t know about.

What should I do if my child has left their belongings at camp?
Please make sure all of your child’s belongings are clearly named. This means our team can try and reunite item with owner. As soon as you realise your child has lost something, let us know, and we’ll do our best to find it. Anything we find that isn’t named will be displayed in the reception area while the camps are running, so do check on drop-off / pick-up to make sure nothing of your child’s has ended up there.

We’ll hold on to any unclaimed items for four weeks after the end of a camp, but then they’ll be donated to a local charity shop as unfortunately we don’t have room to store anything for long.

We are not responsible for any items left at camp, so best to leave anything precious at home!

 

My child has a specific medical condition. What do you need to know?
As much as you can tell us. The more we know, the better we’ll be able to care for your child and to make appropriate adaptations to make sure they are safe and comfortable at camp and can take part in all the activities. We might need to send you an extra form or two so we have all the information we need, but if you fill out the Medical Form sent with your booking confirmation for starters we’ll go from there.

If your child will need to take medicine while at the camp, let us know so we can help / remind them.

My child carries an Epi-pen, do we need to let you know?
Yes, please do make us aware of this. At least one member of the camp team is trained to administer an Epi-Pen in an emergency situation.

What if my child is ill or has an accident at camp?
We’ve got it covered, don’t worry. At least one member of the Camp team is first aid trained. Most of the time the worst we have to deal with is a grazed knee or a nettle sting, but if anything more serious happens we’ll be in touch straight away. The team will wear PPE if they have to administer first aid to keep everyone safe.

What if my child is ill and cannot attend the camp?
If your child is unwell on the day of the camp and can’t come, please just let us know. They’ll have to stay away for 48 hours to prevent other children getting ill (or longer if you have had to test them for COVID-19 and you are awaiting results).

If your child becomes ill while at camp, we’ll let you know and look after them in a comfortable, private space while we wait for them to be collected.

If a child requires medication whilst at camp, please supply it in a well-labelled container and sign a consent form (we can give you one of these when you drop your child off, or email it to you before the start of the camp).

My child needs extra help; can they still come to camp?
Yes. All children deserve a great time at AccessEA holiday camps! We can change what we do to suit your child, within the usual ratios. If they need a bit more support, an adult friend can join them. Please call us on 0131 624 4900 to discuss this in more detail. Even if there are some activities that are not suitable, we can work an alternative out between us.

 

I want to see what my child has been up to at camp, but they are not on your social media feed, why not?
Every holiday camp will have a Facebook photo album with images from each day. Hopefully your child will appear in at least some of them, but we can’t guarantee this. The team will take photos when they can, but their focus will be on the children and delivering the activities, so there won’t always be time.

If you don't want images of your child to be taken and shared on social media, please update the relevant section on your child's permission form.

 

How do you decide who goes in which group at camp?
We generally do this by age, so that children are in a group with others in the same or nearly the same school year. We’ll also try to accommodate friendship groups and put children with a pal or someone they know. This isn’t always possible if there are lots of different requests, but we’re confident that children will soon get to know other people anyway.

Where camp numbers are lower, we may merge age groups together and offer an alternative, suitable activity that will engage all ages, safely.

Will my child always be in the same group?
Yes, they’ll be in the same group all week. If you book them into more than one week, they might then be in a different group for subsequent Camps, but that will then be their group for the whole week.

My child doesn’t know anyone at their camp, will they be ok?
Lots of children come on their own and soon form friendships with other people at camp. Our team will make sure that they are included and involved and given a chance to get to know people.

 

What happens when I drop my child off?
When you arrive at camp follow the signs to the Sports Centre reception area. Someone from the team will be there to greet you and sign your child in, then show them the way to the base room for the Camp.

What happens when I collect my child?
When children leave camp the team will follow our secure collection procedure. This is where the info on the Child permission form comes in - it will tell us who we should expect to pick up your child and a collection password. If anything is different, we’ll call and check with you. Of course, arrangements can change, so if things do happen on the day, just let us know who we should expect to collect your child.

What are the arrival and collection times?
Check the details of your camp when you book (some are morning or afternoon only) but for a full day camp the standard hours are
09.00 - 17.00. You can drop children off between 08.45 and 09.00 and collect them between 16.30 and 17.00. We also offer Extended Hours with drop-off from 08.00 and pick-up as late as 18.00.

Dropping your child off is normally a very quick process but please allow extra time on your child's first day to register and to hand in any forms you haven’t already sent us. It’s really important we have all this information so we can take care of your child. Please allow a bit more time for pick-up as we have to run through the security protocols.

Please note: Due to COVID-19 parents will need to wear masks at registration and collection.

Please, if you can, avoid dropping off or picking up your child during the camp (09.00 to 16.30) as the team and the children will be fully immersed in camp. If you do need to drop off or collect within these hours please call the camp directly first to arrange this with the Camp Manager.

What if I'm delayed and will be late for pick-up?
Don't worry, we’ll look after your child until you arrive.

If you’re going to be delayed for some time, we can book your child into the Extended Session and add the charge to your camp fee. Any later than that (after 18.00) and we’ll charge you £5 for every 15 minutes beyond 18.00. This is because we’d have to keep a member of the team late to care for your child.

What happens on the day?
See The Plan on all the camp entries, as it will differ from camp to camp. In general, there will always be games and getting-to-know you at the start, breaks for snacks and water planned in and, for full day camps, plenty of time for lunch. There’s usually a group activity at the end of the session to bring things to a close.

What is included in the camp fee?
Once you book a camp, you’ve booked for everything on it - there’s no need to select additional extras or places on sessions. In camps with multi-activities these will be rotated to make sure everyone has a chance to try them out. And where we have to adjust timetables because of the weather or changes in COVID-19 policy, we’ll make sure there’s an equivalent alternative.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, we are constantly reviewing the activities for holiday camps to make sure they comply with the latest government advice.

What happens if it rains?
We either get wet, or do something else inside! If the weather is really miserable and we can’t do what was planned, we’ll come up with an alternative. If COVID-19 rules prevent us from delivering a group activity inside, we’ll reschedule for another time when this is possible.