David and William just finished their summer soccer camp with Challenger Sports. Challenger Sports offers British Soccer Camps across the US for children ages 3-18 years. The camps range from 1 hour long to full-day programs depending on the age group.
David is 5 years old and this was his second year participating in a British Soccer Camp. He enjoyed it last year, so we didn’t hesitate to sign him up again. One benefit of British Soccer Camps is that there are many camps within a 30-minute drive from our house with different dates throughout the summer. It made it easy to choose a program that would fit into our summer schedule. With William turning 3 this year, we thought it would be an excellent opportunity for him to try it out. It’s not very common that you can find an athletic focused activity for 3-year-olds as they often start at ages 4 or 5.
Since there weren’t too many children signed up for the camp, the coaches decided to put the 3 and 4-year-old group with the 4 and 5-year-old group. We thought this would work out for us so both boys could play together.
Believe me, I know that working with 3 to 5-year-old children takes a special knack. My husband teaches PE to preschoolers through 6th graders and has experience teaching high school too. He really knows what it takes to work with young children in athletic situations – it’s not always easy. Plus 1 hour or 1.5 hour time frames are stretching it for this age group to focus on one topic – soccer. It takes a lot of creativity and planning to keep it fresh.
Our camp group ended up having children from ages 3 to 7 in it for most of the week. This was fine for my 5-year-old but challenging for the 3 years olds in the group. They couldn’t keep up or stay focused like the other kids could. William (3 years old) is outgoing and athletic and it was difficult to keep him from joining big brother’s t-ball team, but it was really hard to get him to join in at soccer.
By the end of camp, David was sad to see it end and wants to do it again next year. William was a firm “no” on doing it again but I’m sure another year of growth and development might change his mind. I would be willing to sign the boys up again next year at the ages of 6 and 4, but I wouldn’t try it again with a 3-year-old. I think 3 years old is too young to do an hour camp for 5 days unless its run by someone trained to work with children that young. I’m sure a preschool teacher could make an hour camp a blast for 3-year-olds, but not everyone has that training and special knack. The British Soccer coaches are very knowledgeable about soccer and probably most of their experience is working with kids who are a little older. The British Soccer Camps are perfect if your child is older and wants to learn from skilled coaches. Otherwise, it’s not really a “preschool activity.”
Full Disclosure: In exchange for an honest review, one child received a complimentary camp program.