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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. The holiday camps look great! How do I book places for my kids?

A. We run holiday camps throughout the year during the following school holidays - February half term, Easter (excluding Bank Holidays), all summer and October half term. We don't run camps during the May half-term or at Christmas. Bookings are taken through our online payment system where you'll be able to book as many days as you like and pay securely online. If you'd like to book places for more than one of our camps, simply complete another booking form for each camp you'd like to book onto.

Q. How much does it cost?

A. Our mini and multisports camps run from 09:30am to 4:30pm each day and cost £15.00 per day. We also offer a wraparound service which costs £1.50 for an early drop off (08:30-09:30am) or for a late pick up (4:30-5:30pm). These can all be booked online either at the same time or as separate bookings. Some specialised holiday camps may cost more, which will be clearly stated on the booking form (ie rowing camps, adventure camps etc). We don't offer discounts for siblings or multiple days and we do not accept childcare vouchers.

Q. How will I know that my booking has been confirmed?

A. Once you've completed our online booking form and made your payment you will receive an email confirming the details you've submitted and the dates you have booked! If you have any problems or queries at this stage just get in touch and have your booking reference number handy to help us track down your booking. You can email the team at teamdurham.holidaycamps@durham.ac.uk.

Q. What does my child need to bring along for a day at camp?

A. Here's a short kit list of what to bring along for an action-packed day at camp:

  • Trainers (that can be used both inside and outside)
  • Suitable clothing for playing sport indoor such as shorts and t-shirt with names written on labels (skirts and dresses are not appropriate)
  • Layers for outside activities (jumper, tracksuit bottoms, hat)
  • Protection from the sun (sunblock, sunglasses and a hat)
  • Refillable drinks bottle (labelled with name)
  • Rainproof jacket
  • Lunch and snacks (we have two snack breaks during the day so the more snacks the better!)
  • Children should not be wearing jewellery (earrings that cannot be removed should be covered)

Q. What does a typical day on camps look like?

A. Activities change every day so that no two days are the same. We do this so that children are exposed to as many sports, games and activities as possible which makes it more varied and fun for them. A copy of the timetable for each day will be on the sign-in desk each morning so you can see what is planned for that day. Some examples of activities include dodgeball, football, tennis, badminton, volleyball, dance, parachute games, arts and crafts and even trampolining and inflatable assault courses! For a better idea of what a day at camps entails, please watch our short video.

Q. What is your policy regarding children bringing/using mobile phones at camp?

A. We ask that children do not bring a mobile phone to our holiday camps. If a child is in secondary school and the parent/guardian has signed our 'Child arriving/leaving holiday camps on their own permission form' then we understand that these children may wish to bring a phone to camps. In this instance, we ask them to keep their phone in their bag throughout the day and not to use it unless absolutely necessary and then with the consent of one of our staff. Our camps are sports and activity camps with a strong focus on interaction, working together and socialising with each other.

The use of mobile phones in this environment is often an unnecessary distraction, can isolate children and is also a potential safeguarding concern which makes keeping all our children safe a more challenging task. We do not store mobile phones so if a child is uncooperative in keeping their phone in their bag we will call parents and ask for them to come and collect the phone and possibly their child if their actions are continually disruptive.

Q. Our circumstances have changed, what's your cancellation policy?

A. If you book any days and then wish to cancel, a refund will only be provided if we can refill the place with another child. This is to ensure we have sufficient staffing for all camps and to minimise late cancellations. To cancel and request a refund please email Phill at teamdurham.holidaycamps@durham.ac.uk who will try to fill the place in order for you to obtain a refund.

If the day you would like to book is showing as FULL, please send an email with your child's name, their age, the day you require and your contact number to us at teamdurham.holidaycamps@durham.ac.uk and we will add you to a waiting list and contact you if a place becomes available.

Q. I'm running late for pick up, what do I do?

A. Parents or carers must notify us as soon as possible if they are unable to collect by the booked pick up time (4:30pm for our standard day and 5:30pm if booked late). You can contact us on 0191 334 4735 or 0191 334 2178. Beyond 5:30pm penalty fees will be charged after a first offence at a rate of £10.00 per 10 minutes. If persistent lateness continues past three offences we reserve the right to withhold or cancel future bookings.

Q. What food do we need to provide?

A. You'll need to provide a refillable water bottle, a packed lunch and plenty of snacks for the day on camps. Please note that we have a strict no nuts policy!

Q. We'll need to leave early from camp for our family holiday, can we book half a day?

A. Unfortunately you can't book onto the camps for only part of a day, but if you do need to pick up your child at any point during the camps (whether for a family holiday or dentist appointment etc) you can email us to let us know. Our email address is teamdurham.holidaycamps@durham.ac.uk. Alternatively, you can let our staff know at registration on the day.

Q. Where is The Sports and Wellbeing Park and is there any parking available?

A. You'll find us at the Sports and Wellbeing Park (formerly Maiden Castle) on Stockton Road, Durham, DH1 3SE. You can search for directions by car or public transport with Google Maps. Parking is available for drop off/collection both in our new car park and overflow car park. Please note, due to new parking enforcement, if you aren't using the centre or picking up your children you may be fined for parking on site. This won't affect you dropping off or picking up your children but please remember to sign in at the main reception desk if you'll be using our facilities during the day (i.e. using the café/gym etc). If you haven't been to our new gym yet, feel free to pop upstairs and have a look around. One of our fitness team will be on hand to show you around and answer any questions you have.

Q. My 2 children are of different ages (5 and 9 years of age), will they be together all day?

A. Camps are age-specific, so if you have a child aged 5-7 they will be in our mini-camp and if you have a child aged 8-11, they will be in our multisports camp. If you have 2 or more children of different ages (ie one aged 5-7 and one aged 8-11) they won't be in the same groups for the sporting activities. They will be together for the warm-up sessions, during breaks, throughout lunchtime and for the cool down at the end of the day though. We group children by age so that they can enjoy a whole day of fun and engaging activities appropriate to their age. Making new friends is a key part of our Holiday camps and our friendly coaches and staff are around to make sure everyone has a great time.

Q. Can my child be put in a group with their friends?

A. We create registers, sometimes a week in advance, for the groups each day. We do understand that parents may sometimes have preferences for their child to be in a particular group with another child they know. By taking all these requests on board it makes the normal smooth running of the camps a lot more complicated and time-consuming. As such, please don't be offended if we advise that we can't accommodate personal requests. Children will mix together throughout the day (please see the answer above) and we see this as a great opportunity to socialise, meet new children and make new friends.

Q. What about any Covid restrictions?

A. We are still taking precautions to ensure a safe and effective programme of events. This will include ensuring children wash their hands thoroughly, using our outdoor space where possible and cleaning equipment regularly. We will continue to follow both University and Government guidelines throughout.