Here comes the sun
The summer holidays are already here. And Goa is bustling with a range of exciting activities for those looking to learn new skills. To meet these requirements, an increasing number of organisations and individuals offer a range of workshops, crash courses and contests this summer. With fierce competition to offer a range of options, children are spoilt for choice. Establishments even offer multiple batches in their attempt to accomodate a growing number of vacationing children, while others do it purely for the love of their business.
Lemon tree Summer camp
A common during this time of the year are the summer camps, one such place is The Lemon Tree Summer Camp at Lemon Tree, Taleigao. Targeting an age group of 5 to 15, the camp starting on the 4th of April and running through to the 15th of May, aims to provide fun for the kids as well as to connect them to nature. Some of the activities they would be covering during this year’s camp include beach cycling, boating, bird and butterfly watching as well as visits to the Old Goa church and the wax museum as well as Bondla zoo. Sheryl, organiser of the camp explains the speciality of the camp, “Here at the camp, we have an individual look out for each student, wherein we observe what they are good at and report the same to their parents, thus bringing out the best in the kids.”
The camp is entirely run on the fees that are charged per month with not a major turnover. “We charge a fee of Rs. 2000 and that takes care of the spend. We don’t really look for a profit but we do earn a bit since we don’t really have to spend much on the infrastructure as it is available to us. We’ve got dance camps as well as yoga sessions and talks on aerobics and their importance, so we have to accommodate a certain sum of the capital into those events as well,” says Sheryl.
Snaden Shawn Dance Academy
Nearly four years into the business, Snaden Shawn Dance Academy sees a growing number of dance enthusiasts every year. Wilma Britto, the academy’s official maestro says that Snaden D’Souza’s talent and popularity has grown a lot over the years, which is why every year it is essential to keep looking for a bigger space to conduct these classes. “Our registration fee for the most part covers the logistics in terms of the space required for the sessions and any other cost necessary. So while we are looking to expand, everything here is done for the love of dance in Goa.”
Wilma who is a teacher by profession enjoys being a part of the summer camps because of her passion for dance and so do the others who attend the classes. The age groups seen right from children to adults come to any of the three centers in Mapusa, Porvorim and Panjim. In all, every summer camp sees an average of 500 to 800 students a year. The instructors are directed and instructed by Snaden himself to introduce and teach various styles of dance from ‘bolly-funk’ to Latino. The dance academy owes much of its success to the word of mouth phenomenon that draws crowds to the Dance Goa Dance show, an annual event hosted by the academy which is attended in large numbers.
Speak Fluent English with Mr. Raikar
With the growing importance of English as a global language, many entrepreneurs in Goa are offering Ehglish speaking courses to help those who are looking to brush up on their language skills. Tejas Raikar offers English speaking coursese to from his office in Margao. “We have a lot of students looking for jobs. Most of them are migrants from the country who only know their native language, which isn’t enough qualification to get them a job here. That is where our English speaking courses come in play. Our classes help them learn the language quickly so that they can get a job as soon as possible,” says Raikar.
The Institute which has been affiliated to the Education Department since 2005, conducts the classes in Margao. Raikar feels that even housewives attend these classes as they are unable to teach their children at home and have to send them for tuitions. “A viable solution is to teach them English at home so they can spend more time with their children and save money.” For Tejas and his assistants, it is not so much about profit but enabling people with language skills.
Hot Shot Sports Academy
With the coming of summer, arises the question of staying active and one such place that offers this is the Hot Shot Tennis Camp with venues at the Clube Tennis de Gasper Dias, Miramar and BPS Club, Margao, open for age groups of 4 and above followed by a tournament that is open to everyone. The Hot Shot Tennis Camp as part of the Lifestyle Sports is Goa’s only registered Tennis Academy. The Academy that began in September of last year will be organizing the camp for the first time with each batch going for an hour. The event that is being held in association with Gary O’Brien and his team, aims at promoting tennis as a sport among kids, in general, explains Norma Peirera, Director of Lifestyle sports, “Tennis is not a popular sport among kids today in Goa. What we want to do is to introduce the sport to kids here in Goa. The environment is very suitable around this time of the year. So basically, our month long event aims at bringing kids to the camp, to have fun and play tennis!”
N E Diniz Music Institute
Music is an integral part of the Goan heritage and it is mainly during the summer time that youngsters as well as the old prefer to learn a musical instrument. And one such institute that delivers is the N E Diniz Music Institute located at Borda, Margao. The institute that began in 1994 under the leadership of Mr. N E Diniz has over the years catered to a large number of students. As has been the case for 18 years now, crash courses for the summer for learning instruments like the organ, guitar, drums, violin and also training in soleffi is a regular.
However, Mr. Diniz is of the opinion that the number has reduced considerably and though a profit margin is on the cards, it’s not very considerable. “We started off with 300 students, but today the number has reduced to about 150 due to which our teacher strength has reduced from 10 to 8. Our profits have also been small, add to that the growing expense with maintenance of instruments and other such activities,” says a concerned Diniz. The crash courses that run for two months mainly deals with teaching the theory of music during the first month and focusing on the practical and voice training in the second. Nonetheless, this small business venture takes care that Goa’s musical heritage is not squandered off for the pop culture and is still a happy sight to watch young kids walk with their guitar cases most afternoons.
International Centre Goa
Summer would be boring if not for the range of exciting events and activities around the city. The international Centre Goa is just adding to that excitement. Known for offering a range of activities throughout the year, this summer is no exception. Italian Film Festival, Easter Day programs, book reading sessions, seminar health, seminars on media and human development, lecture series with Prasad Kariyawasam, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and Abdul Azeez Yoosuf, High Commissioner of Maldives in India, art camps, writer residency, to name just a few, are some of the workshops and seminars with which International Centre Of Goa plans to banish the word ‘boring’ out of our life this summer. Catering to various age groups, ICG’s mission to promote understanding and amity between different communities in the state through their activities Most of which are sponsored by ICG and some major national and international programmes are funded by various funding agencies from Goa and outside Goa. The programs at ICG are never organized for profit. Nandini Sahai, the director at ICG says,” The returns we get are the appreciation and the creative satisfaction we get from these programs”.
Blue Lemon Hobby Centre
Blue Lemon Hobby Centre based in Benaulim is now in its third year. Owner Evita Fernandes who has taught art and design for many years is now teaching short term art and craft courses throughout the year. “During the vacations, the response is even more from children who want to make the best of their holidays and utilize this precious time to learn something new,” explains Evita. Blue Lemon offers courses in craft such as paper quilling, punchcraft and calligraphy. “For art it is best for the children to start when they are seven years old, after their motor skills have been developed.”
The instructor who pursues this as a full time job explains that there is a huge amount of investment that goes into the classes. “The punches are very expensive, but the students do not have to take that burden as they are available at the centre itself. Of course there is profit, but I do this because I enjoy teaching and at the end of the day I am proud to have enabled the students with a new skill,” says Evita, whose students also enjoy coming to the hobby centre, where the atmosphere is a lot more fun than a classroom.
Vishwajit Phadte Art
A girl in pigtails drawing away oblivious to the world. A boy concentrating hard at getting the feel of the still shapes right on his canvas. A bunch of students clearly enjoying the mesmerizing world of art. These are the sights you see when at Vishwajit’s studio and the sights which bring a satisfied expression on his face. “Painting and Drawing is something which is unfortunately not given the right encouragement it needs in our society. There are many talented artists among us, sadly they never pursue it even a bit seriously” regrets Vishwajit Padte- a man with a cause. Vishwajit in addition to being a talented artist, initially had worked as an art director, commercial artist, visualiser in UAE, Mumbai, Singapore( at 360 degrees, Rajshree Productions to name a few). This year he started these drawing classes exclusively for adults.This summer he has opened the vacation classes for all age groups who are keen to paint and draw. Meaning business, he had invested an amount of more than Rs 75,000 required for the administrative expenses to keep his dream of seeing, people encourage art, alive. Exclusively meant for the summer, he says with the encouraging number of students he plans to continue even after the exclusive vacation batches he initially had decided upon. Art lovers now have a new added address, where they can paint to their heart’s content
Alliance Francais, Goa
Learning a foreign language immediately opens various doors. Incidentally French is ranked the second most influential language in the world! However learning a new language requires time and dedication. Keeping that in mind the combination of summer, French language and Alliance Francaise seems just about perfect. Alliance Francaise, Goa, along with their regular crash courses, private classes, regular classes in French are also holding their annual Kid’s Camp (which is over 14 summers old) for age groups below 11years. This summer camp which was originally a course called Fun with French conducted in collaboration with Indian Association of Teachers of French at Green Acres. Alliance Francaise aims to make French, the language, more interesting and more importantly want people to have fun while learning French. Through these summer camps they hope to expose children to French Language and Culture at an early age when their capacity to learn languages is at its peak, through interactive and fun mediums like song, rhyme, art,craft, indoor and outdoor games, children's theatre. etc. Marise D’Lima, President of the Alliance Française of Panjim, Goa says, “The response to the previous kids camps have been so phenomenally encouraging that often adults express their desire to enroll in these camps.” All the money generated from the registration fees get used in the material and administrative expenses generated during the course.
Sunaparanta- Goa Center for the Arts
Summer time is the v\best time to let the creative juices flow, and at the Sunaparanta- Goa Center for the Arts is aiming to do that. As a result of their successful ‘Mango Tree Art School’, they have decided to extend the camp well into the summer. Art teacher and co-ordinator of the camp, Leslie Lakhia believes that the camp will enable the kids to have a good time as well as an authentic experience, “I’m really excited about the camp because of the vision that we aim to achieve of teaching kids to make authentic art by thinking outside the box.”
The summer camp will include a variety of activities ranging from car sketching to photography and carpentry to book making, film festivals, pottery, broken tile and cold ceramic and so on. “Its exciting to teach something that I am passionate about, though we don’t really make a profit as we have to take into consideration all the supplies and prizes that go into the workshop,” says Rohan Coelho, organizer of the car- art sketching workshop.