Summer camps in the United Kingdom
By Chloe Anthony
In the United Kingdom most children go on two school trips in their school career. These are usually organised
and run by their teachers. They might take the form of an activity week somewhere in the UK, day trips spent
boating or walking, staying at a youth hostel in Wales. For more wealthy pupils there are art trips to Paris, ski trips
to the Alps, or even adventure holidays run by activity centres in the UK or even as far away as Barbados or
Of course school trips help pupils to develop a closer relationship with their classmates and teachers and are
excellent experience for those who have never spent time away from home or their parents. Children learn to
work with others, experience the outdoors, do challenging things and build their confidence.
On the down side, the trips are often run by teachers who have little time or expertise in organising them. Also,
while most pupils attend, poorer families have trouble getting the money together for their children. It is not only
the cost of the trip but also the long list of clothes and equipment needed, as well as spending money.
Parents are not only under pressure to find the money to send their children on trips, they also worry if their
children are going to be in safe hands. Since 1985, 47 children have died on school trips. This does not mean
they are unsafe, in fact most school trips are very well run, but it is difficult for parents to trust teachers and
activity centre staff, whom they often do not know, with the care of their children.
The UK government now thinks that every UK teenager aged between 11 and 14 should have the chance to
spend a week away from home. Less wealthy families will pay less or nothing at all for the trip and the trip will be
organised by professionals with lots of activities, like summer camps in the US.
Summer camp is part o growing up for many children there. Last summer 6 million children attended camp for two
to five weeks at 10,000 different places. It costs between $400 and $2,ooo a week. Children have a wide variety
of activities to choose from. These might include arts and crafts, field games, cultural trips, swimming, even
sailing, canoeing, kayaking, diving, whale watching, rock climbing, mountaineering or caving in America, Canada,
Australia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Ecuador or Fiji, for example.
There was a trial run last year in the UK with 3,000 pupils aged 11 to 17 staying at camps in Birmingham,
Cornwall and the Lake District. Each camp had a different focus, some did kayaking, some hill-walking, some
drama and arts. The trips cost between 300 and 400 pounds a week, while the parents paid between 25 and 100
pounds, depending on the location and the activities offered.
All in all, school trips are something which people remember for the rest of their lives, if only because of cold
showers, thunder storms and walking through streams up to your waist in water. Spending a week with your best
friends without parents, being looked after and offered fun activities and adventure can’t be a bad thing! (538)
To run something: here: to have the responsibility for it – focus: specialty – trial run: at a ~ something is tested to
see if it works properly
Questions on the text 30
Answer these questions in complete sentences and use your own words as far as possible.
1. What is the average number of school trips a British pupil takes per year?
What are average school trips like? 3/3
two - organised and run by teachers –whole weeks or just day trips -
offering open air sports and staying/ room and board at youth hostels
2. According to Chloe Anthony, what are the advantages of school trips? 4/4
getting to know classmates and teachers better/ learning to get along
better with … to cooperate
great experience for those who have never been without their parents or away
spending time in the open air
learning to deal with difficult situations
becoming more confident/stronger
3. Why do parents sometimes have problems sending their children on such trips? 3/3
for poorer parents it is difficult to pay for such a trip and especially for
everything needed on it, for example clothes, equipment and extra
many parents worry about their children’s safety because they usually
don’t know the people who run the centres and / or are not sure the
teachers who organise the trip can manage
[actually, children have died on such trips]
4. What does the UK government do to offer more trips to children? 3/3
the opportunity to be away from home for a week, even for children
from poorer families – activity weeks, similar to summer camp in
the United States – run by people trained for it -
5. Why is Chloe Anthony in favour of school trips? 2/2
a special/very different/ new/ exciting experience pupils will never forget -
it’s good to be away from home and with your friends and people who
look after/take care of you and offer you fun activities
1. Give definitions of the following words in complete sentences
A youth hostel is a place where young people (and adults who are members
of the association) can spend the night and eat for little money/ cheaply
Everything you need for an activity is called equipment; instruments,
amplifiers, microphones for example are the equipment a band needs
In the United States, holidays for children and teenagers in a centre where
they can do lots of activities is called “summer camp”
2. Paraphrase the underlined words in the following sentences without changing
Children learn … to experience the outdoors, do challenging things
….to be /spend time in the open air , do difficult things
it is not only the cost of the trip
… what you have to pay for the trip
teenagers aged between 11 and 14
… who are between 11 and 14 years old
Children have a wide variety of activities to choose from.
… lots of different activities they can decide to do
The activities might include arts and crafts …
A part of the activities might be arts and crafts
3. Find synonyms for the words in brackets
they are (excellent) great experience
less (wealthy) rich families
most pupils (attend ) go on school trips
they have (trouble) difficulty/problems getting the money
they should have the (chance) opportunity
4. Find the opposite of the underlined words
something which people remember<<<>>> something which they forget
they are usually organised <<<>>> they are rarely organised
as far away as Barbados <<<>>>as close as ….
your best friends <<<>>> your worst enemy
Choose one of the following topics and write between 100 and 125 words.
Don’t forget a good introduction and a conclusion
1. Write an article for your school newspaper about your favourite school trip.
2. Is it a good idea for teachers to take their pupils on school trips to far away
countries like Australia?
3. Imagine you are spending a year in Britain. Your host parents are not sure
they can let you go on a one-week trip to Wales. They think such a trip is too
dangerous. Try to convince them that it isn’t .
Mixed Exercises 30
England and Wales (introduce) introduced a national curriculum for all schools in 1989. To
make sure that the curriculum (follow) was followed properly, the government (decision)
decided to test all children at the ages of 7, 11 and 14. Standard Assessment Tests (SATs)
measured how (good) well children (learn) learn/ are learning at these so-called “key-
From the beginning, not all parents were happy about/with this. Teachers said they (must)
had to spend too much time (correct) correcting instead of (teach) teaching. One problem
was the “league tables” (show) which/that showed/ showing how well all schools in
England and Wales (do) had done. The tables put lots of pressure on schools and pupils.
Even if they (try) tried (hard)hard , schools in poorer areas with disadvantaged children (can
+ not) were not able to/couldn’t get good results. Some teachers wanted their schools
(get) to get good results so much that they helped children cheat in tests.
However, the government says that SATs (improve) improve/have improved standards, by
measuring how much children (really+ learn) have really learned and finding out where
more has (do) to be done.
SATs are used by schools to tell what groups pupils should/ought to be put in, but they are
not qualifications (need) needed to apply for a job. These are the GCSEs and A-levels.
Pupils usually take GCSEs at 16.
Maths and English are compulsory subjects, but apart from these, pupils can choose lots of
others. After GCSEs, pupils can study for A-level exams. Over the past few years results
have become (good) better and better and some critics now say that the A-levels are
getting too easy.
Translate into German 30
1. It is not only teenagers who are at risk in Britain.
Nicht nur Teenager/Jugendliche sind in Großbritannien in Gefahr. /
Ein Risiko besteht nicht nur...
2. A survey showed that more than half of all seven-year-old children already suffer from
Eine Umfrage zeigte, dass mehr als die Hälfte aller Siebenjährigen bereits unter
3. When teachers were questioned, nearly 68% of them stated they thought tests at the
elementary school level were not a good idea.
Als Lehrer befragt wurden, erklärten fast 68 Prozent von ihnen, dass ihrer Meinung
nach Tests im Grundschulalter/ auf Grundschulniveau keine gute Idee seien.
4. CHILDLINE is a charity in Britain, with an anonymous phone service, which children in
need of help can call.
Childline ist eine Wohltätigkeitsorganisation in Großbritannien, mit einem
Telephonservice, den Kinder anonym anrufen können, wenn sie Hilfe brauchen.
5. Counsellors noticed a 50% increase in calls in the last year. And Adrian Brown of
CHILDLINE explains: “ We know that this figure is only the tip of the iceberg.”
Im letzten Jahr stellten Berater einen Anstieg der Anrufe um 50 Prozent fest. Und
Adrian Brown von CHILDLINE erklärt: „ Wir wissen, dass diese Zahl nur die Spitze des
6. Pupils learn and prepare for the exams over the course of the school year.
Schüler lernen das ganze Schuljahr über für die Prüfungen und bereiten sich darauf
7. When the exams are just around the corner, the stress often becomes too much for many
Wenn die Prüfungen vor der Tür stehen, wird vielen von ihnen der Stress/ die
Belastung zu groß.
8. One student describes how she felt more and more upset before her exams started: “I sat
there studying biology and after some time it seemed that I couldn’t remember anything. So I
opened my bedroom window and screamed and screamed.”
Eine Schülerin beschreibt, wie sie sich vor ihren Prüfungen immer mehr
aufregte/aufgebrachter wurde:„Ich saß da und lernte Biologie, und nach einer
gewissen Zeit schien es so also ob ich mich an nichts erinnern konnte/könne. Also
öffnete ich mein Schlafzimmerfenster und schrie und schrie.“
9. The next day, she had no difficulty passing the biology exam.
Am nächsten Tag bestand/machte sie ihre Biologieprüfung problemlos/ohne