EdVenture Niseko promises one of the most unique kids winter camp experience you’ll ever come across. Returning for another season in snow-filled Niseko, the team at EdVenture have a program packed full of adventure, designed so that kids aged between 4–14 years have an amazing time both on and off the ski hill. We speak to Tim King, who leads the EdVenture Team, about his hugely successful Niseko camps for kids and what he has in store for the 2017/18 winter season.
MnK: Hey Tim, not long now until winter starts. We can’t wait, and bet you and the EdVenture team can’t either! So, how about we kick things off with our first question. Why do you choose to hold your winter (and summer) camps here in Niseko, Japan?
Tim: Hey MnK Team, we’re excited to get out in the snow in just a few short months, and to meet the kids from all over the world who will be joining us this winter. We had a great summer program this year, and can’t wait to trade our tents, bikes and rafts for snowboards, skis and snowshoes.
Well, that’s a pretty easy one to answer first up. Niseko is an incredible destination that is renowned for its beautiful landscape, epic snow, safe environment and vibrant culture.
As you know, the EdVenture program is designed for kids, but when we’re creating our camps we like to keep the whole family in mind. We want to encourage families who might typically be city dwellers to get out and explore nature. For some families that might not be possible in their home town, so we like to provide the opportunity to do so and Niseko is the perfect location to achieve that. The region of Hokkaido has no shortage of mountain trails, forests, farms, lakes and wide-open spaces.
MnK: You certainly aren’t wrong there Tim. Can you run us through what a typical day at your EdVenture winter camp might look like?
Tim: One of the biggest reliefs for parents is that they don’t have to worry about getting their children dropped off early in the morning somewhere in Niseko; we take care of that by providing a complimentary pick up and drop off service for all of our participants.
It’s important to note that each day is really diverse, so there’s no way you’ll hear any kids saying, “I’m bored”. The children are taken to the EdVenture space at The Orchards Club House, and participate in interactive and engaging off the mountain snow activities. Activities include back country exploring, snow cave building, snowboard building and much more. Ensuring that the activities are integrated with learning, skill development and heaps of fun is really important to me as I am a qualified school teacher.
We then break half way through the day for a nutritious lunch. Following a little rest and relaxation, children are divided into small groups based on their skiing or snowboarding ability. The rest of the afternoon is spent with the kids enjoying a semi-private lesson with some of Niseko’s best teachers and guides.
Whether they are just starting out on the snow, or are proficient with skiing or snowboarding, they’ll come away from the lessons having gained something. After an exciting afternoon of exploring the ski hills, away from the crowds, we drop all kids back at their accommodation so they can fill their family in on the day’s adventures.
MnK: Wow, that is a seriously jam-packed day! Is there flexibility to the way kids can get involved?
Tim: Absolutely! We offer half day (9:00am – 1:30pm) and full day (9:00am – 4:30pm) participation options. Our recommended camp length is six days so that everyone can get the chance to know each other, and can get the most out of the experience. However, parents can choose to register their kids for one day or as many as they wish throughout the scheduled camp dates. It all depends on a family’s individual holiday plans, so we work to try and be as flexible as possible with the registration process. First and foremost, we want all families to make the most of their time in Niseko and enjoy themselves! Parents can register directly through our website here.
MnK: Sounds super convenient. Once registration is complete and families have booked their holiday to Niseko, what else do they need to prepare?
Tim: There are just a few things we ask parents to keep in mind so as to ensure that all kids have an absolutely unforgettable experience. It’s important that they have appropriate clothing to stay warm and waterproof on and off the snow.
This include things like snow boots, a snow jacket, snow pants and plenty of warm layers. In addition, they’ll need protective equipment such as a helmet and goggles if they are participating in a full day camp experience, and of course skis or snowboard, poles and boots for lessons. This can be rented from ski equipment hire shops in Niseko like Rhythm (the MnK Reservations team are great at helping to organise those things). If children are hitting the snow, they will also require lift passes.
Last of all, parents will need to organise accommodation for the duration of their stay. Both The Orchards and Country Resort offer great, affordable options for families. For accommodation in the heart of Hirafu town, MnK offer Akazora, a conveniently located apartment building.
MnK: We want to finish up by asking you Tim, why should parents and guardians book their kids in for your EdVenture 2017/18 winter season camps?
Tim: Well, firstly for those parents or guardians whose children have been attending for years, there’s a reason they want to keep coming back and that’s due to our ability to offer a varied experience each time. No two camps are the same.
Our team is dedicated to providing a positive, safe and accepting environment for all children. Each year is a new opportunity for EdVenture camp kids to make long-lasting friends and grow in confidence. What could be better than that?
For the parents or guardians who might still be deciding whether or not to sign their kids up for EdVenture this winter, get in touch with us and we’ll answer any further questions you might have. We’d love to help you and your kids have a memorable experience in Niseko!
MnK: Thanks so much Tim, we look forward to seeing you all this winter season! Best of luck with preparations for the camps ahead.
Get a glimpse into what it's like to be part of fun at EdVenture's winter kids camp by watching the video below! Be sure to get in touch with our team if you have any further questions, or would like to secure a spot for the 2017/18 camp season.