Author: Alicia Resnik
Air hockey tournaments, giant games of chess and scavenger hunts are just a few of the exciting activities offered at the Prince & Princess Club! Located at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, children can participate in camps and activities built around daily themes, experiential education, and local culture.
The club also offers an after-school program.
“Our after-school care is new. We’re looking to encourage local parents. If you don’t have a planned activity, drop the kids off for a few hours while you head back to work, get errands done, go to the gym, or visit our fabulous Exhale spa. A kid friendly dinner from the Crown & Anchor restaurant is included,” says Maya Beckles, Activities Manager for the hotel.
Previously a manager at the Bermuda Gymnastics Association, Maya’s responsible for overseeing the Prince & Princess Club, the Fitness Center, pools, tennis and local membership.
As a registered day camp, the Prince & Princess Club offers programs during all school breaks. This includes 10 weeks of summer camp beginning the last week of June and running until the first week of September. Space is limited to eight to 12 kids. All counsellors are SCARS and First Aid certified. Camp activities are geared towards children aged five to 12. All camps include lunch, and tennis lessons at the Princess Beach Club at Sinky Bay.
At the Prince & Princess Club children can expect to be busy. From crafts to ‘fun lunch days’ making their own pizzas, cookie decorating with the Pastry Chef and weekly field trips to the Bermuda Aquarium Museum & Zoo, Fort Hamilton, Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, the Botanical Gardens, Wild Island Farms, Fort Hamilton, and Kinetix Natural Movement. “We also like collaborating with other local camps that offer fabulous kid centric activities,” says Maya.
“We link education into all of the crafts offered,” says Christopher Johnson. “Over the March break, we built working Ferris wheels from egg cartons, drinking straws and craft sticks,” says Christopher, the Activities Supervisor at the Prince & Princess Club. He’s responsible for the daily operation of the club and is the contact for all parent communication. He previously worked at Kaleidoscope, the Department of Youth & Sport and ran Elliott Primary School’s after-school care program.
When the Prince & Princess Club opened in 2018, it was for hotel guests only. In 2019, it was opened to locals. “We want all children – local and guests – to experience all the wonderful things we have at the hotel,” says Maya. The hotel also offers membership tiers for families to have year-round access to the hotel’s facilities. Members get discounts on kids’ activities, as well as regular bi-weekly kids’ events.
The philosophy behind the club is for children to be invested with their hands and their minds. “It’s a well-rounded environment. Each day kids do a mindful activity such as yoga, a brain teaser or a mind challenge plus a creative activity. For Halloween we made paper mâché piñatas the old school way. All the fun stuff comes from Christopher’s fabulous kid centered, creative brain,” says Maya. She stresses that it’s not just about showing up to watch a movie. “We’re not that kind of camp!”
“Children should be who they are,” says Christopher.
“We keep them occupied.” The hotel offers the perfect environment for this. “We get them out and about doing things,” says Maya. “The hotel is an art museum. The kids explore the hotel learning about art with a scavenger hunt. We take them to the beach club to explore nature. They get to examine rock formations and learn Morse Code using reflection mirrors.”
At the Prince & Princess Club, children will meet a mix of hotel guests and locals. “It’s a great opportunity to make a pen-pal and a life-long buddy. We have a great dynamic,” says Maya. Children with special needs are welcome. Hotel facilities are wheelchair, light and sound accessible.
“If there’s a concern about needing extra assistance, please reach out to us. Fun is for everyone. We’ll make it happen!”