Valerie O'Donovan (53) is a fan of summer camps and is sending her son Mark (15) to a computer-coding course this year. "In order to give structure to the long school summer holidays, Mark has attended lots of summer camps over the years, including a Play Ball summer camp for two years, gymnastics and a sailing camp.
"This year, we chose the Academy of Code (www.academyofcode.com) computer summer camp, due to my son's huge interest in computers and gaming, and also because he has enjoyed the weekly coding classes he's been attending with them.
"Also, he's 15 so no other camp is cool enough! During the recession years, I did budget to send him to the various camps he attended. I felt it was important to enhance his skills, provide social outlets and keep him occupied during the holidays. Not every boy likes to kick a ball around!
"I believe summer camps are good value for money, because Mark has always learned a new skill and had fun doing so!
"These courses can be expensive, but if you consider the skills learned and entertainment provided, the equipment required, rental costs and the attention to safety concerns, then you have to expect to pay for this.
"In particular, I consider the Academy of Code to be value for money as they help nurture my son's interest in computer and console gaming and provide him with skills - not currently provided in our education system - to further that interest and, hopefully, assist Mark with his future college and career choices.
"A little bit of peace for me is good, yes, but peace of mind is even better! I'd rather see him in front of a computer screen learning how to write websites, make apps and maybe even games too, rather than sitting at home playing on them!"
The Academy of Code summer camps run July 13-17 and 20-24 in Dublin, and cost €144 for five days. They're open to students aged 9-17.
'Not every boy likes to kick a ball around'