Frequently Asked Questions

If you have further questions of your own or if you have any uncertainties which you would like us to address, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone or drop us an email at any time and we will be delighted to help.

Questions

ABOUT TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

  1. How do children arrive at camp?
  2. Can you organise or suggest a flight for my child?
  3. If I fly to Geneva with my child, can I come and have a look at the camp?
  4. If I accompany my child to camp, can I stay the night nearby?
  5. Are accompanied transfers to and from Geneva airport (or train station) included in the price?
  6. How does Camp Suisse transfer campers to resort?
  7. Are there any preferred arrival or departure times?
  8. What if my child is travelling alone?
  9. Should my child arrive on the first day of the camp session or the day before?

 

ABOUT REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT

  1. How do I pay for the camp?
  2. Can I pay in Euros?
  3. Can I pay in Pounds Sterling?
  4. I paid the required deposit amount but my confirmation document shows I have paid less. Why is this?
  5. Do we need to organise travel insurance?

 

ABOUT THE CAMP

  1. Is it possible to enrol for multiple sessions? Is the programme repeated and would it be boring the second time round?
  2. Which countries do campers come from?
  3. Are campers divided up into groups for activities?
  4. What is the ratio of staff to campers?
  5. Can my child email or call me from camp? How can I get in touch with them?
  6. What is the accommodation like?
  7. What if my child becomes ill or upset during the night?
  8. What if my child becomes ill or homesick during the day?
  9. Is the night-time accommodation manned? Is it secure?
  10. If my child is coming to camp with a friend or sibling can we request they be in a room or group together?
  11. Can I visit my child during their stay?
  12. Is there a set programme which the children follow?
  13. How is a typical day divided up?
  14. How much language study is included and what level are the classes?
  15. Are campers able to choose which activities they do?
  16. Is there any facility for laundry of clothes?
  17. Will Camp Suisse return items of lost property my child leaves behind?

 

Answers

ABOUT TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

1. How do children arrive at camp?

We collect campers from Geneva Airport or from Geneva or Aigle train station, and then accompany them to Camp Suisse. Alternatively, you may drop your children at camp in person.

2. Can you organise or suggest a flight for my child?

No. Camp Suisse does not offer flights for international campers, nor are we affiliated with any airline. You should arrange your child’s travel to Geneva airport. We have a brightly lit arrivals desk on the Arrivals’ level of Geneva Airport manned by Camp Suisse staff in blue polo shirts. Our staff are present to greet all campers in line with the flight information provided on their ‘Travel Arrangements’ forms.

3. If I fly to Geneva with my child, can I come and have a look at the camp?

Absolutely; you are more than welcome to travel on to Torgon and drop your child at camp. You may have a drink and a bite to eat courtesy of Camp Suisse and have a look around our facilities. If you would like an airport transfer we, in most cases, are able to offer this service to you for a fee of 75 CHF per adult each way (the transfer fee for children is included in the price of the camp). Please note however that airport transfers for parents will depend on the availability of seats at the time and our main priority is to transfer our campers to camp in the most efficient manner possible.

4. If I accompany my child to camp, can I stay the night nearby?

Sure. The most convenient accommodation for you is in Aigle which is approximately half an hour from camp by road. There are buses that run from here to camp, however, they are not very frequent.  For the timetable of buses please see www.sbb.ch/en. Alternatively, Montreux is a very beautiful and famous area on the shores of Lake Geneva and would make a great base if you wish to explore this region of Switzerland whilst your youngster is at camp. You can access Montreux from Aigle by train.

5. Are accompanied transfers to and from Geneva airport (or train station) included in the price?

Yes, as long as your travel arrangements fit within our preferred timings (outlined below) on scheduled arrival and departure days. We simply require that you provide us with your child’s travel details at least three weeks prior to the camp. This will ensure that we are able to meet campers and transfer them to resort in a timely and efficient manner. You will be issued a link to our online ‘travel details’ form with your confirmation documents.

6. How does Camp Suisse transfer campers to resort?

We will transfer your child either by car, minibus, coach, or train; depending on timings and numbers. In all cases campers are accompanied by friendly and helpful Camp Suisse staff. If campers are required to wait for any length of time (over an hour) for other campers to arrive, they will be taken to a café for a cold drink or hot chocolate courtesy of Camp Suisse and will be accompanied throughout their wait. Of course we aim to keep such waits to a minimum.
Transfers from Geneva airport to Camp Suisse in Torgon can take up to two hours by train or one and a half hours by road.

7. Are there any preferred arrival or departure times?

 By plane (or train)

Arrivals day: arriving in Geneva between 9.00 am and 4.00 pm.
Departure day: departing Geneva between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm.
If it is inconvenient or impractical for you to meet these preferred times, please contact us and we will do our best to arrange a transfer at the required time. Please note this will incur an additional cost. If you are travelling from a destination with limited flights available, please contact us to discuss your options.

By car

Arrivals day: between 10 am and 4 pm
Departure day: before midday.
These are preferred times only. You are more than welcome to arrive with your child at any time on arrivals day and collect your child at any time on departure day. If you plan to arrive (or depart) outside of the above times, please just let us know.

8. What if my child is travelling alone?

Many of the commercial airlines (excluding budget carriers) operate very efficient and reasonably priced ‘solo-flyer / unaccompanied minor’ programmes.
In this case you see the camper(s) off at the departure airport and we collect them from a representative of the airline in Geneva.

The airline will ask you when booking for the name and contact details of the individual who will be meeting your child in Geneva. Please give the name of ‘Julie Tyler’ and the telephone number +44 (0) 845 5191 031. The contact address (where your child will be staying) is ‘International Camp Suisse, La Jorette, Torgon, CH 1899’.

9. Should my child arrive on the first day of the camp session or the day before?

Official arrival and departure days for 2017 are:

Session 1 2017: Saturday 1st July – Friday 14th July

Session 2 2017: Saturday 15th July – Friday 28th July

Session 3 2017: Saturday 29th July – Friday 11th August

Session 4 2017: Saturday 12th August – Friday 18th August

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ABOUT PAYMENT

1. How do I pay for the camp?

You can pay by Visa, Visa debit or Mastercard via our website (registration section). Payments by card attract a 3% processing fee. Otherwise, you may pay by bank transfer. If you indicate on your registration form that you would like to pay by bank transfer, the appropriate bank details will be issued to you by email once we receive your completed form.

A non-refundable deposit of CHF 450 or GBP 300 is due at the time of booking and the balance is due in full by 31 May. If you book after 31 May, payment in full is due at the time of booking.

2. Can I pay in Euros?

Yes. You may pay in Euro by bank transfer. Please contact us on +44 (0) 845 5191 031 or email us at info@campsuisse.com to obtain the price and appropriate bank details.

3. Can I pay in Pounds Sterling?

Yes. You may pay in Pounds Sterling by bank transfer or credit / debit card. Please see http://www.campsuisse.com/dates-and-prices for current prices in GBP.

4. I paid the required deposit amount but my confirmation document shows I have paid less. Why is this?

Usually this is because you have sent a payment by international bank transfer and your bank has charged the fees to Camp Suisse, rather than to you. When sending a deposit by international bank transfer please be sure to mark ‘OUR’ in the fees section (sender pays fees), otherwise Camp Suisse will incur your bank charges and the deposit received by us will be less than the required amount of CHF 1000 per two week session or CHF 500 per one week session. In this case we will add the difference to the balance amount due on 31 May. If this does not answer your query, please contact us.

5. Do we need to organise travel insurance?

It is essential that insurance cover is in place for all campers. As such, for campers participating in any of our summer camp sessions (not school or group trips), a travel insurance policy arranged by Endsleigh Insurance Services Limited is offered and the cost of the policy is already included in the camp fee.

The cover provided includes cancellation and curtailment of the trip due to accident, illness or sickness, medical emergencies and the cost of any repatriation back home following such an emergency, personal liability and personal accident. Additionally, cover for over 90 sports and activities are included as standard under the policy. Full details are available in the policy documents to which you will have access after registration.

Further information can be found here:

Important Information

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ABOUT THE CAMP

1. Is it possible to enrol for multiple sessions? Is the program repeated and would it be boring the second or third time round?

Many campers register for multiple sessions. Some activities are repeated and many are not. There are so many activities available to our campers that it is impossible to fit them all into any two-week session. The most popular activities (Glacier day, banana boating, mountain biking, adventure park, overnight camping) are repeated each session. The most crucial aspect of creating the culture and experience that is a camp session is of course the individuals involved and for this reason every single camp session is unique.

2. Which countries do campers come from?

Camp Suisse is proud to attract youngsters from absolutely all over the world. The top 10 (most represented) nationalities in 2016 were; American, Italian, Swiss, British, Chinese, Spanish, French, Australian, Saudi Arabian & Russian. We attracted campers of 44 different nationalities over a period of seven weeks in 2016; see our souvenir book 2016 for full details.

3. Are campers divided up into groups for activities?

Yes. Children are divided into groups of around 6 – 8, based on their age. Each group is a mix of boys and girls and is assigned a Camp Suisse staff member or ‘Group Leader’ who is responsible for their wellbeing whilst at camp. The groups undertake most of the activities with groups of similar ages.

4. What is the ratio of staff to campers?

Excluding domestic and kitchen staff, around one staff member to three children. There is a group leader for each group (of 6-8 youngsters). There are additional ‘activity leaders’  for relevant activities. In addition there are support staff who fulfill a broad range of duties as required, chefs, catering co-ordinators, the pastoral care team, maintenance staff and language teachers.

5. Can my child email or call me from camp? How can I get in touch with them?

There is no internet access for campers but if you would like to pass an email message on to your child we will be happy to oblige. There is a policy of not allowing access to personal mobile phones during activities. Campers may request to use their phones at certain appropriate times to send or receive text messages or to make calls. You will be issued with contact details for your child’s group in the weeks approaching camp, including emergency contact details. Please be aware that there is often a high volume of calls during ‘shower hour’ so please be patient if you are having difficulty getting through on one of the Camp Suisse group phones.

6. What is the accommodation like?

Campers sleep in one of two purpose-built accommodation chalets. Rooms are modern, sleep 2 to 4 people, and all have en-suite bathroom facilities. Girls and boys are housed in separate buildings each with key-coded security locks. Each camp session includes one or two nights camping at our alpine outpost.

7. What if my child becomes ill or upset during the night?

The pastoral care team settles campers down for the night at bedtime. The pastoral care leaders live in the campers’ accommodation, and are always on hand to assist and comfort campers throughout the night. They have the overall responsibility for the health and well-being of campers outside of structured activity times.

8. What if my child becomes ill or homesick during the day?

Illness: We have access to excellent medical facilities. We have first aid facilities and suitable qualified individuals on site and there is a ‘walk-in’ children’s hospital nearby.

Homesickness: We are very astute at recognising, understanding and dealing with homesickness. We will work with your child and with you as a parent to help assist and guide your child through any difficult adjustment period. We will be absolutely open and honest with you when it comes to making the decision regarding whether your child should leave camp early as a result.

If you would like to discuss these issues in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us.

9. Is the night-time accommodation manned? Is it secure?

The accommodation buildings are locked securely at night with a number-coded keypad. This ensures that exit is possible in the event of emergency but that they are secured from entry from the outside. There are Camp Suisse staff present in each building all night every night. It is worth noting that Torgon is a quiet, small, remote village and that aside from Camp Suisse there is little activity. The centre is private and is not open to through-traffic or visitors at any time.

10. If my child is coming to camp with a friend or sibling can we request they be in a room or group together?

Of course you may. Simply pick up the phone or send us an email with your requests and we will do our very best to accommodate them. Alternatively, please use the ‘additional comments’ space on the booking form to note a request.

Camp Suisse does, however, encourage campers to broaden their horizons in meeting and interacting with people from different parts of the world and different backgrounds; for this reason we prefer to room campers separately from friends and siblings, especially if there is an age difference.

11. Can I visit my child during their stay?

It is our absolute pleasure to receive visitors at any time and especially when we have campers in resort. However, it can be disruptive for the other campers for whom a parental visit is not an option. For this reason, (and especially if your child is staying for four or six weeks) we suggest that if you need to spend time with your child during the camp, you collect them and take them out for the day rather than joining them at camp. It is necessary that you arrange such a visit with us in advance so that we can ensure your child is available and prepared. The preferred visiting time if you are just popping in is during shower hour (5.30pm – 6.30pm).

12. Is there a set programme which the children follow?

The programme for the camp session is set in principle prior to camp. Specific timings and the order of events will vary according to the weather, feedback from groups and of course the age of your child.

13. How is a typical day divided up?

Breakfast is usually at 8am. “In-resort” days are made up of two 1.5 hour language classes in the morning, followed by two 2 hour activity sessions in the afternoon. In-resort activities include rock climbing, mountain biking, ghyll walking, the Camp Suisse Olympics, sports coaching, orienteering, chairlift rides, bushcraft and survival hikes, archery, indoor climbing, crate climbing, team-building games.

“Excursion” days see our campers heading off straight after breakfast for their out-of-resort excursion (always included in the camp fee).

Excursions include: a visit to Glacier 3000 at Les Diablerets for husky dog sledding and the alpine roller-coaster, the Montreux Jazz Festival (sessions one and two only), climbing, hi-ropes and zip wires at the tree top adventure course OR Labyrinth Adventure (games and giant maze),  banana boating on Lake Geneva OR the ‘Aquaparc’ water park, camping at our alpine outpost, the cheese and chocolate factories of Gruyères, the International Olympic Museum & headquarters in Lausanne, the outdoor pool and diving boards of Villeneuve.

Dinner is usually at 18.30 and an evening entertainment takes place after dinner.  Evening activities include the Camp Suisse Talent Show, ‘Torgona Hunt’, casino, bingo, hot chocolate soirees, themed evenings, murder mystery games, karaoke nights, barbeques with party games, DVD nights and sports sessions.

14. How much language study is included and what level are the classes?

Classes last for an hour and a half and each two-week camp session typically includes ten classes. Classes usually take place in the mornings, after breakfast. We ask for an indication of ability level from parents on the registration form, but campers are assessed by the languages team on the first day of camp and allocated to a class accordingly. We have no hesitation in moving campers after the first few lessons if we feel they are not suited to their original group for any reason. We offer tuition at all levels (from complete beginner to very advanced) and our methods are lively, fun and extremely worthwhile. Focus is placed on building each individual’s confidence through regular use and practise of language skills.

15. Are campers able to choose which activities they do?

Generally campers do not get to choose which activities they do, however our group leaders work very closely with our youngsters and they will listen to feedback to gauge which activities the group will enjoy. A camper will be encouraged to participate fully in all available activities but will never be forced to do anything to which they have a real objection.

16. Is there any facility for laundry of clothes?

Yes. Campers may send items of clothing for washing once during the two-week period. It is essential that all items are name labelled (except underwear which is washed in a labelled net bag). We are of course unable to send to the laundry garments which do not have a name label.

17. Will Camp Suisse return items of lost property my child leaves behind?

If you are prompt enough in requesting return of a lost item, and if we have located it, Camp Suisse will gladly return it to you. Otherwise, items of lost property and clothing are given to a (very grateful) local children’s charity.

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