Eurocamp, the outdoor holiday specialist, has over 180 parcs across Europe. Most of these offer entertainment and activities for children, and twenty-four have special Eurocamp kids’ clubs. So, when we were invited to try one of their mobile home holidays this summer, we chose La Garangeoire, which offers Eurocamp kids clubs.
“Mummy, Daddy, can we go to kids’ club again? Pleeeease?”
D and I usually encourage the children to try out a kids’ club near the start of our holidays; then they only go back if they really want to. At La Garangeoire, our four and six-year olds insisted on trooping off to Leo’s Fun Station every single day we were on-site. I”ve posted here about what the tranquil, medium-sized holiday parc offers to families; but our children enjoyed La Garangeoire’s Eurocamp kids’ club so much I wanted to write separately about the experience.
Eurocamp has a variety of different free clubs and activities for children aged from one to 17. Depending on which parc you choose, and the time of year, different options are available. At La Garangeoire, for instance, there had been ‘learn to swim’ weeks earlier in the summer, for one- to five-year olds. When we visited, in the week beginning 27 August, holidaymakers were offered Leo’s Fun Station, for four- to six-year olds; Mac’s Fun Station, for those between six and nine; and The Station, for older children up to the age of 12.
Each morning saw a queue of parents waiting to sign their children into the sessions, which ran every day during high season. There were activities for two hours on most mornings and afternoons, apart from the Tuesday, when Eurocamp kids’ couriers ran a four-hour session.
After registration, which included filling in a thorough health and permissions form on day one, parents said goodbye to their children at the club area, which was set in a shady nook of the parc. Sessions started inside the tent with a quiet game or crafting activity. The tents were rather warm inside, so the activities for Leo’s Fun Station were mainly based on the grassy area, under trees.
The staff were a perky, upbeat group of young people who seemed to have a good rapport with each other, as well as the children. Every kids’ courier was DBS checked and trained in health and safety. We arrived one afternoon to collect our two, to find them slathering paint all over an incredibly game courier:
Apparently it had been ‘splatter painting’ afternoon, which as well as daubing the courier, involved hurling paint-filled balloons at a piece of paper, to create some Jackson Pollock-inspired artwork.
A notice board outside each club tent showed the agenda for the week.
The longer session on the Tuesday included a trip to at La Garangeoire’s lagoon, a man-made freshwater lake with its own beach. The children had to take a packed lunch and arrive in swimwear.
Unfortunately we were on a scheduled day trip on the Wednesday, and missed Leo’s Treasure Hunt, which was the only time during the week Leo the lion, the larger-than-life club mascot (ie a courier dressed up in a costume) made an appearance.
Our two were very enthusiastic about their club activities. As well as painting and drawing there was singing, role-play and games ranging from pelmanism to tag. Older children could take part in a pizza party, a Dragon’s Den, wacky races and a swap shop. The last day for all the clubs featured a party, with musical statues, dancing and a couple of sweet treats as prizes for the games.
If you wanted a night out you could hire one of the kids’ couriers to babysit in your mobile home. And if you didn’t mind staying on-site to eat at the restaurant or sample wine in the bar, Eurocamp customers could use La Garangeoire’s owners’ free ‘Garderie’ serice in the evenings, from around 7-10pm. ‘Garderie’ consisted of a creche where children over the age of four could watch movies, make origami frogs and wire bracelets, play boardgames or do some colouring.
Leo’s Fun Station added a good deal of value to our trip. During the working week we spend a lot of time together, and it was great for D and me to be able to swim in the pool, ramble through the countryside around La Garangeoire, or have a civilized, grown-up lunch, while the children had fun creating havoc with paint. Our daughter, in particular, grew in independence during the break, which has stood her in good stead for beginning school.
Do your children ever go to kids’ clubs on holidays? What have your experiences been?
We were sent on a press trip by Eurocamp to La Garangeoire, Vendee, France for the purpose of this post. All views are my own.
You can read more about the Vendée, and our trip there, in these posts:
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