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July 15, 2011

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Few real outdoor camps

SUMMER is no vacation for most urban Chinese children whose parents send them to packed academic training programs, rather than actual great outdoors camps where kids pitch a tent and roast marshmallows over a campfire. For many kids, there's no let-up in the academic grind.

Many Chinese parents wrack their brains to find suitable summer training "camps" that help children academically or look good on their resumes. There's usually a dash of recreation, but many parents don't want their only child running around and doing anything rough, lest they skin their knee, get a nosebleed or get seriously injured.

Academic training programs are popular (with parents), often featuring a full day of English, math, Chinese composition and other useful subjects. There might be a little music, dance or painting.

Some camps cater for children's extra-curricular interests, such as calligraphy, painting, music, dance, martial arts, chess, table tennis and swimming.

There are only a few "real" outdoors camps, since most parents want their children to profit and get ahead academically by working hard during the summer.


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