Summer camps booming, parents need to be careful

May 16, 2024 - 17:33
There are summer camps to explore the countryside, life skills training and picnics, and camps combining outdoor activities with Math and English classes that last throughout June and July.


HÀ NỘI —There is just more than a month left until the end of the 2023-2024 school year, but many businesses have invited parents and students to participate in summer courses both at home and abroad, sometimes costing up to hundreds of millions of đồng. 

Many businesses have launched summer camps with many activities and prices ranging from a few million to hundreds of millions of đồng (few hundred to tens of thousands of US dollars). 

There are summer camps to explore the countryside, life skills training and picnics, and camps combining outdoor activities with Math and English classes that last throughout June and July, according to

Đặng Thị Quỳnh Anh, a first-grade student at a private school in Hà Nội’s Cầu Giấy District, one day brought home an advertisement for a 7-day summer camp in Singapore and asked his parents to let her participate.

According to the student, the company will send the ad to every class to offer students to participate in the camp at a price of VNĐ69 million (US$2,700), excluding phone bills, laundry fees and incidental expenses. 

That same evening, the parents' "chat" group was hot with many opinions. Most parents believe that grade 1 children are too young and do not have enough knowledge and skills to participate in international summer camps. However, many others considered because the summer vacation is two months long and they still have to go to work, so their children need someone to care for them.

Đỗ Thùy Anh, a mother living in Nam Từ Liêm District of Hà Nội, told the newspaper that she enrolled her child in a 4-week camp in the US with the fee of VNĐ175 million ($6,900) after carefully learning about the programme.

Anh found that many fun activities involving nature interaction and cultural and educational exchanges would be helpful for her child, so she decided to spend money. 

“This will be the first time my daughter to go to a strange country alone and participate in many outdoor activities in rivers, I was very worried about the risk. But actually, my child was equipped with good English and life skills, so I wanted to give her valuable experiences,” Anh said.

“I also carefully checked living conditions and the volunteer support network," she said.

Parents need to research carefully


Police warn about summer camp ads which are scams. Photo

In March, the Vietnamese Youth Support Centre (under the Central Youth Union), the organiser of the military semester programme, posted warning information to parents and students about the widespread presence of fake social network pages that take photos of students participating in the programme to post on many different accounts.

The centre recommended that parents carefully confirm the information before registering.

Cái Quang Bình, the centre’s director, advised that parents should come to the organisers’ offices to thoroughly learn about the location, programme content, activities, and costs before registering for any summer camp programme for their children. 

Parents should also request organisers to provide invoices from the organising units themselves not through intermediary parties to ensure legitimacy, especially in the context of complicated fraud recently, Bình said. 

Recently, the Hà Nội Police have warned about the trick of setting up fanpages such as "Skills Summer Camp - Junior Public Security Semester", "Military Summer Camp", "Public Security Semester" to invite parents to register their children to participate.

After that, the scammers asked parents to do tasks to receive commissions and then appropriated their money.

A mother in Thanh Xuân District wanted to register her child for a summer course to help her child to be disciplined, have healthy daily routines and survival skills in accidents such as fire prevention, emergency escape and first aid.

She found a page on Facebook for a camp, "Experience as a Border Guard soldier", and registered her child.

After that, she was added to a group on Telegram application to be responsible for paying the company sponsoring the programme and receive a 10 per cent commission.

After paying the bills five times and receiving a commission, but in the 6th time she did not receive the money back to her account for the reasons of "wrong process" and "wrong syntax", … At that time, she transferred VNĐ600 million ($24,000) and had all of the money appropriated.

The police warned people to be wary of information about summer camps and courses on social networks and to be alert to invitations when performing tasks to receive high commissions as well as regularly update new methods and tricks of criminals using high technology.

Regarding the parents’ desires to change their children in a short time, psychologist Nguyễn Đình Sơn, from the Hà Nội Educational Psychology Association, said that when choosing a summer camp, it is necessary to consider safety factors and whether the programme is appropriate for the child's age and educational level.

“Many people expected that after just a short to one-month experience course, they could change their child's perception and behaviour, but in reality, awareness, responsibility, love and other values ​​are formed in the whole process of a child's growth that requires constant education and companionship from parents," Sơn said. VNS