Everything You Need To Know About The Kids Camp At Beaches Resorts

For those of you who don’t already know me, I’m a mother of two. My son (Miles) just turned four and my daughter (Isla) is eight months old. For Isla’s first trip out of the country we wanted to take her somewhere that checked off a few very important boxes.

  • Has a kids camp/included nanny service for kids under four years old, especially fully trained and certified nannies.
  • Has activities to keep the kids entertained all day, even if they aren’t in the kids camp.
  • Has plenty of food options for kids.
  • Is easy to navigate and get around with little ones.
  • Has spacious suites for families.

I knew the one resort brand that would give me everything I was looking for would be Beaches Resorts, and most specifically Beaches Negril in Jamaica.

Having been here with our son twice while he was two, I knew what to expect with everything except the kids camp. The first trip, my son got sick on day one and couldn’t go to the camp with cold symptoms. He missed going that whole week. The second trip, we brought both sets of grandparents and my sister-in-law, so everyone was on hand to help and wanted to spend time with him. This time, with two in tow, my husband (Robert) and I definitely planned to utilize the included kids camp amenities.

I’ll precursor this with the explanation that Robert and I work from home and our kids are home with us all day every day. We haven’t been away from our kids for long and we have never left them in the care of someone other than their grandparents. Letting go and leaving them in the kids camp was a huge step for us, as I imagine it can be for other parents, too. Which is why I felt it was so important to write this for you all. I get it. I was you, too. Researching online prior to arrival to hear firsthand reviews from parents (all glowing by the way) to prepare myself for that first morning drop off. Even as a top Sandals and Beaches award-winning specialist, I’m experiencing new things on my trips and bringing that knowledge back to you to help you out.

Kids Camp Staff 

Kids Camp Age Ranges

The kids camps at Beaches Resorts go from newborn babies all the way up to 17 years of age. But unlike other kids camps at resorts, Beaches has broken them up into age appropriate groups. The different groups ensure that kids will have age based activities and events throughout the day. Note: The ages that are listed at the resort are different from the website, so do not go off of the Beaches website.

Group 1: Nursery Ages 0 - 2

Group 2: Camp Sesame Ages 3 & 4

Group 3: Pirates & Mermaids Ages 5  - 7 

Group 4: Survivor Camp Ages 8 - 10

Group 5: Teens & Tweens Ages 11 - 17

My kids fell into group 1 and 2, and because of that their drop off location was Camp Sesame in the back of the building, for the smaller kids ages 0-4. Those kids share a large play area, with a quiet nursery off the side for naps in cribs and toddler beds.

Isla comfortably napping in the nursery

The older kids groups had a drop off location in the front of the building which had access to a really cool indoor playground that allows kids ages 5-12 to climb and play while supervised by kids camp staff. 

Registering Your Kids In The Kids Camp

Registration is from 9am-9:30am every morning. You can go in and fill out the paperwork to register your kid(s) and then leave them or come back at another time one you’ve registered. We chose to register them and drop them off. 

They require you to fill out a form which details any important information about your children that they need to know - including dietary restrictions, swimming abilities, health issues, and more. 

They will also ask you to create a verbal password to ensure you or anyone you authorize to pick the kids up are allowed to pick them up. This is because nobody is walking around with photo IDs. Pick something you and your child (if verbal) will remember.

What Do Your Kids Need To Bring?

There will be a list of items they request you leave with the younger kids. Every day we packed the diaper bag with items for both inside.

We put the various items in ziplock bags and labeled them so it was easy for the staff to find. It's also a good idea to label any water bottles or bottles you may bring, but if you don't, the staff will use disposable labels, if needed.

This is the list of what they request that bring:

Infants - 2 years old:

  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Rash cream (if necessary)
  • Formula & Bottles
  • Change of clothes
  • Comfy toy or pacifier (if necessary)
  • Sunscreen

For the babies, I highly recommend packing a few pairs of pants and socks. I know most people assume it's going to be warm so why pack pants? Well, inside the AC temperatures are nice and cool and to baby, it could feel chilly. Our daughter was most comfy in a onesie and pants with socks while playing inside the nursery, but while outside they were able to remove the socks and pants if she got too warm.

3 & 4 years old:
  • Change of clothes
  • Swim suit
  • Sunscreen
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Water bottle/cup
  • Snacks (optional)
  • White t-shirt (for tie-dying activity)

Just to note, the nannies will not give babies any snacks or solids. They will strictly give them formula and that is it. However, if your older children take snacks you are able to pack some and bring them for the day. We had fruit snacks and gold fish crackers for the trip and I threw a few bags in the diaper bag. My son got hungry one morning and they gave him so gold fish so it worked out.

Kids Camp Hours:

All groups for the kids camps operate Monday-Sunday from 9:00AM - 9:00 PM, with the exception of the Teens and Tweens which operates 10:00AM - 11:00PM.

All camps close daily from 5:00 - 6:00 PM for an hour long break. All kids must be picked up by 5pm and cannot check back in until 6pm.

However, on Thursdays things are a little different. The camp closes at 3:30PM and doesn't open back up until 6:30PM. This is to help prepare for the Sesame Street Parade at 5:30PM every Thursday evening.

Kids Camp Staff:

While we were there the nannies in Camp Sesame were Janilleve, Patrice, Pollyanna, Tanille, Kareen, and Sheirka. The supervisor was Monique, the manager was Sharon, and the assistant-manager was Yanike. 

They had an entire set up like a daycare. Multiple people were on staff at all times, including management, even if it was just my kids in the camp. Every single staff member we came across was wonderful with our children and with us. They were thorough answering questions we had and made us and our kids feel safe and taken care of the entire time. Next time we go to Beaches, we plan to go back to Negril because of them.

In terms of their certification and training, on their website, Beaches Resorts provides the following information: "All nannies and Kids Camp staffers at Beaches Resorts are members of the International Nanny Association, America's oldest and largest in-home child care association. To become accredited, each nanny must meet the minimum requirement of 2,000 hours of child-care services. Additionally, our nannies have been trained in safety, nutrition and child development."

In addition to that, Beaches Resorts also goes on to explain that their resort brand "is proud to be the first resort company in the world to complete the rigorous International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) training and Autism Certification! Our Kids Camps and our team members are proud to offer families with children with autism and other special needs specialized service, engaging activities and custom dining options so that all families may enjoy a memorable, award-winning Beaches Luxury Included® experience."

While there, we learned that they will be turning the old kids camp building at Beaches Negril into a safe space for anyone on the spectrum that needs a quiet, safe and comfortable place to retreat at any point during their stay. They were working on it when we were there in early February of 2024.

What Drop Off Is Like

After registration, we decided to drop the kids off then and there to see how they did. At drop off, you sign your children in and then hand all their items over to the staff along with any instructions such as bottle temperature preference or nap schedules. The staff will then ask what your plans are for the day so they know where to find you. If at any point your plans change during the day, you can call or stop in and let them know.

Dropping off the kids with Janilleve.

They will also ask you what the plans are for lunch. If you plan to take the kids to lunch or if you want the staff to feed them. If the staff feeds them, they get them food from the BBQ Park by the pool (usually chicken nuggets, burgers, fries, etc.).

Found him at the BBQ park with one of the camp staff one day,
eating lunch and drinking "Elmo's Drink" (non-alcoholic daiquiri)

For the kids who walk, it's shoes off and left behind the gate before you can enter into the playroom. This is why socks are recommended, and preferably the kind with grippers on the bottom since the floor is wood. 

One of the staff members took Isla and brought her right to the rug for her to crawl around and play with the toys there. Our son took off his shoes, said goodbye and made a beeline for the toy cars and completely forgot we existed. We tried not to linger and snuck out shortly after they began playing. Neither child noticed we had even left.

Getting ready to sneak out

"And Now We're At Sandals"

I won't lie, it was a little tough to walk away. It helped that our room block was right next to the kids camp. If we had to walk across the resort I may have been more hesitant in the beginning and missed out on this amazing experience. But knowing they were safe, secure, and close by helped calm my nerves.

Walking hand-in-hand back to our room, it was in that moment that my husband looked over at me and said "and now we're at Sandals". He was totally right. I wasn't stressing about Isla fussing for her next bottle or Miles begging me for snacks because he refused to eat more than watermelon for breakfast and it wasn't lunchtime yet.

We went back to our room, where I waited by the phone like a crazy person expecting the kids camp to call and tell me one of them were crying too much and I had to come get them. But the call never came, and after my husband came back from the gym, and I finished up my work emails, we went off to the pool and sat there at the swim up bar laughing and enjoying our afternoon.

What Pick Up Is Like:

A little after lunch time we decided to pop in and check on the kids. When we arrived, Isla had just gone down for a nap, so we decided to sign Miles out and have some time just the three of us at the pool and water park. 

When you sign your kids out, you have to provide the staff with the password you chose at registration. Then you have to physically sign them out. This is important because if you see your child anywhere on resort with their class, you can't just choose to take them from there. You have to walk all the way back to the camp and physically sign them out for security reasons and I actually like this rule.

You can also authorize other family members to sign your kids in and out, as well as your butler, if you have one and feel comfortable with that.

What The Activities Are Like

I'm not going to lie, I was a little jealous looking at the schedule every day. It looked like so much fun. In the morning, at breakfast, Miles would ask us what he was doing at Elmo's School (as he calls it) that day. So we'd look at the schedule together and go over the different things it listed. Some days it was Baking Cookies with Cookie Monster, or dance parties with Zoe and Rosita. He loved Exercise with Elmo and when Super Gover would come and read stories. 

Every time we'd pick him up he'd have some cute crafts to show us, or would tell us all about the letter and number of the day. He'd sing songs he'd learn and tell us something funny Elmo or Grover or Abby did that day when they came to visit them.

Elmo and Rosita arrived for story time

As he gets older, he'll grow out of Camp Sesame and into the Pirates and Mermaids camp, which is for ages 5-7.  There he'll do more things outside of the building like beach games, pool fun, Xbox lounge, etc.

Samples of the kids camp schedules for Beaches Negril are listed below based on age groups and are subject to change at any time.

Special Events:

I want to note that the resort also does fun special events. While we were there it happened to be Elmo's birthday (February 3rd). I had no idea about that prior to booking the trip and only found out that morning when the camp staff told us that they'd be having a birthday party for Elmo later that day. We opted to take the kids because we wanted to check it out. It was adorable! They had a cake, cupcakes, party hats, and the whole set up. It was a genuine birthday party for Elmo and then Elmo showed up and everyone sang to him. Absolutely the cutest thing, and our son is STILL telling everyone he meets how he got to go to Elmo's birthday party in Jamaica. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a kids.

Happy Birthday Elmo!

Parade & Nightly Shows:

One of our favorite events during the week is the Sesame Street parade. It takes place every Thursday night at 5:30PM. The kids camp is closed at that time, as the staff is helping with the parade, so parents are encouraged to bring their kids to the parade. It really is a lot of fun. There are balloon animals, noise makers, hats, funky necklaces, a pop corn machine, snow cone machine, and cotton candy machine, as well as a marching band, the entertainment staff is on stilts and dancing around, and of course the Sesame Street characters all of us have grown up loving. We never miss it, but for families with older kids who don't really care about the fanfare, this is the perfect time to snag a reservation for dinner at Kimonos or Yaku since not many people take reservations at this time so they don't miss the event.
Ready for the parade

Ready for the parade with his hat, noise maker, and necklace.

And for the rest of the nights of the week, make sure to check out the Sesame Street show at the theater by The Mill. Every night Elmo, Abby, Cookie Monster, Grover, Oscar, Bert and Ernie put on a show that has all the kids running around dancing with glee. It's really precious to watch your kids run to the stage in excitement to give their favorite characters high-fives or to dance to the music of the show. These shows take place every night but Thursday, at 6:00PM

Miles and Janielleve (kids camp staff member) dancing at the Sesame Street show.

Playground, Xbox lounge, Waterpark, etc.

Based on your child's age, they may do some fun things outside of camp with their class. For example, Miles has been swim trained since 18 months old, but per camp rules he has to stay with his class and can only go in the toddler pool with his class. He can't join the 5 year old class to swim in the bigger pools or water park. And that is totally fine with us. He still had a blast in the toddler pool with the kids his age. But Isla's age group doesn't go to the pool at all, which makes sense. If we want them to enjoy the bigger pools, we can pull them out of camp at any time and take them and that works for us.

Miles' class at times went to the playground together, which he loved. But he did also love the Xbox lounge, and honestly my husband and I love to play video game with him at times, but we didn't enjoy having to sit there forever while he wanted to try all the different games (his favorite is the one with the steering wheel and peddles he can barely reach). So one afternoon he was upset he couldn't go to the Xbox lounge and it was a quiet day at the kids camp, so one of the counselors (Janilleve) promised him if it was quiet after lunch she'd sneak him over there. He got lucky and it was quiet so she took him to the lounge for a bit and he was so happy.

Playing in the Xbox lounge

Otherwise, if there were things he wanted to do we either had to take him, or we had to hire one of the ladies to take him one-on-one.

If your child is older and can be left on their own, Kemal and Dwight are the staff members that attend the Xbox lounge and it's open most of the day and late into the night. You'll see older kids filtering in and out all through the day and night in groups, alone, or with parents at times. But there is always someone keeping an eye on things in there when it's open, in case someone needs assistance.

Babysitting Services

We decided to break down and hire one of the nannies (Janilleve) to watch the kids for two hours one evening. Even though the kids camp was open, we wanted to have dinner as a couple at Yaku (the new Peruvian restaurant on property) without the kids, and we wanted someone to take them to the Sesame Street show and then take Miles to the Xbox lounge afterwards.

The cost was $25 per hour with a 2 hour minimum and that included both of our kids, not per child. If you used the services after the kids camp closes, then the cost increases to $30 per hour.

For $50 we ended up having a lovely two hours to ourselves and while I could have just left them in the kids camp, we wanted to try the babysitting service, and also wanted to ensure that if Isla got sleepy, Janilleve could bring her back to our room instead of putting her to bed at the kids camp to avoid having to move her.

This service was totally worth every penny and we'd do it again in a heartbeat. I love that this service is available but also that if you don't want to spend that money, the kids camp service is still included and available in the evening at dinner time, too.

Miles and Janilleve

Stroller Rental

One thing I have to note is that the resort has strollers that you can rent out if you need them. We opted to bring our GB Pockit stroller since it stows under the seat on the plane. But one thing we didn't anticipate was how uncomfortable Isla would be in it when it came time to nap. We're so used to having a toddler using it who doesn't really nap, that we didn't think about the fact it didn't recline and she wouldn't be as comfortable as the strollers or wagon we have at home.

Walking with Patrice in our GB Pockit stroller

Thankfully, Beaches also provides strollers for the kids camp nannies but also for guests to rent, if needed. We didn't need it but the staff at the kids camp was able to put Isla in one of their many strollers depending on how she was feeling and take her for walks in that. So when it came time for Janilleve to babysit for us, she brought one of the kids camp strollers instead. When I tell you Isla was asleep within seconds of being strapped into that thing. Apparently, the girls had taken to putting her in a stroller and walking her around the gardens to help her fall asleep and she was so used to it and comfortable in it she knocked out as soon as she was in it.

One of the resort strollers

Sesame Street Extras ($$)

You can book extras like "Tuck-in Time" with your child(ren)s favorite Sesame Street character(s). Or a Sesame Street birthday party for your child. Or even the Sesame Street character breakfast. I highlighted them on my past Beaches Negril blog here after we took Miles for his first trip.

Overall Experience

If you want a more in depth blog post about the experience at Beaches Negril, you can read my past one here.

I cannot stress enough how incredible the kids camp at Beaches is, and most specifically at Beaches Negril. There were moments I felt like the staff handled my kids way better than I could. And honestly, it wasn't just the kids camp staff. Everyone was so kind and accepting of the kids. I know that sounds silly, but as a parent there are plenty of times you take your kids our in public and feel like you're being judged by everyone. From the wait staff to other parents. I didn't feel that once on this trip and it was such a welcomed vacation from that feeling.

For example, Isla loves food. So much so that she will let you know how good it is as she's eating. The louder she gets, the better you know it tastes. At Soy (sushi) one night she was chowing down on rice. Well apparently she was loving this meal a lot because she was just screaming in delight shoving fists full of rice in her mouth. I was mortified trying to shush her. Except everyone was smiling at her and was telling us how cute she was. Then sweetest staff member, Sherene, came over and talked to her and made her laugh. I felt so at ease in that moment, and many other moments like that after. Even when Isla had a "past my bedtime" meltdown at Kimonos (hibachi) and I worried that it would ruin everyone else's dinner. Nope, the family next to me had to take their child out a few moments before we did and when I passed the mother later on the way to the room she and I both shared our frustrations about dining out with kids. No shame. No embarrassment. Everyone there had kids. Everyone was either in the same boat or had been once and totally got it. It felt so comfortable and welcoming.

And when I tell you the staff loves kids, they LOVE kids. They will love on your babies like they've known them forever. Some of the staff members actually remembered Miles by name, even though we hadn't been there since 2022. And they all went ga-ga over Isla. In fact, be prepared for staff to want to hold your babies. I have zero issues with this, but if you're uncomfortable with people holding your kids then just make sure to let people know. 

Montoya (from Concierge) with Isla

Honestly, they are all so wonderful with the kids. They'll hold their hands and walk them to your table, or walk with them in the parade, or dance with them at the Sesame Street show. There is always someone passing by, smiling at your kids and telling you how adorable they are. In fact, so many knew my kids by name and would pass us on the way to dinner saying "Hi Miles! Hi Isla!" and I'd ask my husband "Who was that?" My son walked around like he was a little celebrity, waving at everyone, giving fist-bumps, and hugs.

Don't worry. My kids loved them right back. Isla would light up the moment we'd walk into the kids camp and the ladies would smile at her and say good morning. And Miles would walk off with them like we didn't exist. He'd skip to camp every day, which was a huge shock to me considering he doesn't do daycare or school yet.

Skipping off to "Elmo's School" in the morning.

This is one of those places that will forever feel like a home away from home for us and for our kids. I cannot stress enough that if you're looking for a place where you and your kids will feel safe, respected, and taken care of, this is the place.

Isla with the hotel manager, Danielle.

Also, on your last day the kids camp staff gives the kids a little goodbye gift. My son got a maraca that said "Jamaica" on it and Isla got a little Elmo finger puppet. They also both got certificates saying they completed the kids camp. Very cute added touch.

Video Walkthrough Tour

If you'd like a full tour of the brand new Kids Camp building at Beaches Negril, check out our YouTube channel here:

Hopefully this blog helped answer some questions you may have had. But if you have any others, feel free to reach out to me at Kira@myparadiseplanner.com!

Our family with Cookie Monster

How Can You Book? 

I am a Sandals Chairman's Royal Club member, one of the highest accolades Sandals/Beaches offers their top selling travel agent partners. This means that you have one of the world’s best Sandals specialists at your fingertips and it costs you nothing extra to work with me. I book you direct with Sandals, where I have my own dedicated call center team (called the Diamond Team!), my own corporate concierge, and a local Sandals rep in my area in the USA. Sandals has provided me with multiple tools to make sure you get the best service possible from me.

If our blog has helped you out but you wish to book direct with Beaches, please consider booking through our Beaches co-branded website so we get the credit for helping you.

NOTE: All information in this blog was collected at the time of publishing. Information above is always subject to change, per the resort.

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