- Why Barracudas?
Barracudas Activity Day Camps aims to provide an exceptional experience for both children and their parents during the long school holidays.
With unrivalled activities, highly qualified and well trained staff and selective venues chosen for their excellent facilities as well as dedicated and supportive Head Office staff, Barracudas is well placed to deliver on our promise to provide such an amazing experience they can’t wait to come back.
Despite this, we don’t sit back and relax. We’re always looking at ways in which we can up our game. As well as logging conversations with parents during camp with Head Office and camp staff, we send a feedback survey to all our bookers to understand how the Easter and summer camps performed.
We recently published the results of our summer camp survey but we’d like to address some of the particular issues raised here and how we’re actively working to improve our service.
Whilst we’d love to receive 100% positive feedback, we realise this is unrealistic. Here we tackle the uncomfortable but vital criticisms and hope to reassure you that we’re ready to improve.
You said and we heard!
I think some new activities would be good, my son has been attending Ashford for the last few years at Easter and the summer holidays and he did mention this year that the activities, although a large range, were the same each time.
We’re proud of the range of activities that we offer and that kids are keen to return to camp to take part in these year after year. We’re really pleased that once kids come to camp they wanting to come back so we’re keen to keep our activities fresh and exciting.
We’re currently undergoing a full evaluation of all our activities and identifying exciting new opportunities to shake things up. We’re reviewing all our activities and timetable reports and have a dedicated internal team working hard on exploring new activities that will get the kids excited and wanting to come back for more!
Both my children have a great time. Although I believe that in some activities, like karting, they do not always get a turn.
We realise that motor sports is a popular activity for the 7+ years children. As this is a high risk activity we do have to be very careful about how we run these sessions. One of the things we do to reduce the risk is to limit the group size to 8 children. This can mean that not all children get to take part in motor sports every time.
We do, however, track which children have taken part in motor sports throughout the week to make sure these sessions are spread out fairly. We’ll pick this up during our extensive staff training ahead of next season to make sure our teams are following these procedures at every camp.
Because [my daughter] was turning 8 in August and was still only 7 whilst attending she wasn’t allowed in the deep end swimming with her friends. The irony being that she is the fastest and strongest swimmer in her year and swims for the teams yet all her friends don’t but were already 8 and permitted in the deep end.
Swimming is great fun for kids and a great key life skill to develop. We’re lucky that the majority of our camps have swimming pools and we can offer this popular activity.
Our priority has to be that children are kept safe in the pool and so we have comprehensive procedures in place as well as fully trained lifeguards so that kids can have fun in a safe environment. We don’t over complicate things at Barracudas. Our swim policy has been developed through conducting thorough risk assessments of the pool area and swimming sessions. Our risk assessments have taken into account that children may not be familiar with the venue’s pool or our staff; these are free water fun sessions not formal lessons.
We ask a specific question related to swimming that every booker needs to fill in before their child comes to camp regarding their swimming ability. The swimming instructor is given a list of children who can swim 25 meters and those who can’t. The children who can swim 25 meters have to complete a quick swim test so we can be sure they are confident in the venue’s pool. If children fail the swim test or have been marked as not being able to swim they must wear buoyancy aids and remain in the shallow end. All children under 8 years old must remain in the shallow end.
We do let bookers know about our swim policies ahead of camp so they understand our policy and prepare their children ahead of camp.
We do know how much children look forward to swimming at Barracudas and understand it can be disappointing for them if they’re not aware of our policies before hand, or if they’re not successful in the swim test.
We'll continue to communicate our swim policy to parents. We'll also encourage bookers to discuss this with children ahead of camp to manage their expectations.
Drop off/pick up needs to be a quicker more efficient process for working parents.
We know that many parents are working and can be under pressure to get to work on time. It’s because of this that we have a start time from 8.30am as standard.
We consider the drop off and collection set up carefully ahead of camp to make sure we have an efficient and process for bookers. We do have a ‘fast track’ desk in place at all camps so children who’ve been before and have already handed in their Essential Information form can be registered quickly.
We also plan the number of registration desks for the number of children attending camp to try and avoid queuing and so children can pass through to their base rooms as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately some days we can experience lots of children arriving at the same time which does mean that registration can take a little longer.
We continually review drop off and collection procedures to make sure we’re operating efficiently.
I don’t think it’s right that we have to pay more for fast track registration. After the first day we should be able to speed things up without waiting behind children coming for their first day with forms to hand over.
We totally agree! There must have been some confusion here as we don’t charge anything for fast track registration. This is a quicker desks for all bookers who have already booked children in and handed in their Essential Information forms.
Sorry for any misunderstanding, we’ll make sure this is clear at camp!
We’re happy to receive all criticisms because it means we have an opportunity to identify areas for improvement. We’re continually working hard to make sure we provide the best experience for all our bookers.
We’re pleased that year on year we receive a lot of positive feedback which makes us very happy! Almost 500 bookers so far have given us an independent Trustpilot review and we’re chuffed to have a 5 star rating! Here’s some of the positive comments we received about our summer camps this year from our summer camp parent survey:
Excellent childcare services and flexible. Son had a great time and I would definitely recommend your services. Thank you
First of all I must say that my son really enjoyed his week and, having tried out several local holiday camps, rates Barracudas as the best!
This was my son’s first time at Barracudas and he had an amazing time. The staff were attentive and friendly and the activities offered were superb!!
It was my daughter’s first camp since she started preschool and we were all very worried on dropping her to a new place, as she takes time settling. However when we reached the camp we’ll had a huge relief- from campus to the staff to the whole atmosphere. Needless to say my daughter was very happy!! No wonder you guys are the best in industry.
Due to work commitments we also use another local camp facility during the summer holidays however, the quality of professionalism, staff, security and overall experience is not a patch on Barracudas so keep doing what you do!!
My son did 4 different camps this summer and Barracudas’ has come top overall. The variety offered of activities offered are amazing. I was jealous sitting at work knowing he could be trying archery or fencing. It’s fantastic.
If you’d like to find out our full results and how we measured up read our summer survey results.