Camp Blog

How to Make a Campfire

21st June 2023

There’s no denying that an evening campfire is one of the most popular (yet simple) activities we offer here at Camp Suisse. As the day comes to a close, the sun sets over the mountains and evening folds in over the trees, nothing beats relaxing around the flames after a long day of bushcraft, sports and hiking. From songs and storytelling to melting a marshmallow or three with friends and catching up on the day’s learnings, it’s no wonder the kids (and us adults) love it.

To help you spark your own, we’re here with answers to your (burning) questions and step-by-step instructions on how to make a campfire, plus tips on fire lighting, safety, equipment and more. So without further ado, let’s get into it – we hope you’re as stoked as we are.

Pick a location

  • Ensure it’s not on private land (and if it is, get permission from the landowner before planning your campfire).
  • Choose a pre-used fire spot if you can – the chances are it’ll tick many of the boxes already if a successful fire has been previously hosted there. Plus, it means you’re not creating more mess in your local woodland than necessary. 
  • Avoid dry flora – make sure your fire is a safe distance away from any materials that’ll catch fire quickly.
  • Clear any overhead dead branches – they’re simply dangerous and might make for good firewood.
  • Avoid building your fire on healthy soil – a campfire is pretty damaging to the earth it sits on, so build your campfire on gravel or sand (or a pre-existing fire ring).

Gather your equipment

Whether you’re learning how to make a campfire at home or you’re here to find out how to build a simple campfire for a group of children, it’s best to make sure you’ve got all the equipment you’ll need to hand before setting off (and that it’s all in working order, of course). Below are a few items you’re likely to need to check off your shopping list before planning your campfire.

  • Fire strikers or a lighter
  • Bucket for water
  • Cotton wool
  • Petroleum jelly (this can help with starting your fire)
  • Fire-safe cooking equipment (if you’re planning to cook over your fire)

Recap safety

Whether you’re hosting a campfire for a group of children, your friends or family, safety always comes first. So, when learning how to make a campfire, consider the aspects of safety below.

  • Establish safe zones – if you’re making a campfire with children, it’s no exaggeration to say that things can get pretty dangerous pretty quickly if safety rules aren’t outlined clearly at the start. One of the most important aspects of campside fire safety is to rule out certain areas to ensure people are kept at a safe distance from the heat and flames. One simple way to do this is to mark your danger zone with rocks or pebbles, making sure that only a responsible adult is allowed to cross.
  • Hair tied back at all times – hair goes up in flames quicker than you can say Camp Suisse, so make sure everyone’s is up – even those not tending to the fire.
  • No running – we can all agree that campfires are an exciting activity for children and adults alike, but it’s worth banning running to avoid any slips, trips or falls near the flames.
  • Never use flammable liquids – it can be extremely dangerous, causing explosions and flames far larger than you’ll need for a camp fire.
  • Keep your fire small – making sure your fire stays at a size that you can control and extinguish quickly is vital for a safe, fireside time.
  • Never leave it unattended – make sure there’s always a responsible adult tending to the fire at all times.
  • Plan your method of extinguishing – bring along a bucket of water or sand that’ll quickly and efficiently put out your fire when the time comes.  
  • Don’t bury your coals – when putting out your fire, leave your coals exposed, otherwise they may continue to smoulder and reignite later on.

Gather your combustibles

Maybe the most key aspect to learning how to make a campfire is picking the right natural materials to burn and ensuring they’re in the right state (i.e. dry and snappable). And before gathering your wood (and the rest of the materials we’ll list below), be sure to double check you’ve got permission from the landowner to forage. Otherwise, you might need to prepare your combustibles ahead of time. 

  • Tinder. The first materials you’ll light will be small, thin and extremely dry to the touch. These can include cardboard, wadded paper, pine needles, dry grass, dry leaves or wood chips. You can also add petroleum jelly, candle wax or tree sap at this stage to help the initial flames spread.
  • Kindling. Next, you’ll add your kindling – think small, thin, dry pieces of wood, around the size of a small matchstick. Ensuring the kindling you use is thin will allow your fire to catch – anything too thick will extinguish your flames.
  • Firewood. The key to a successful fire is dry firewood – make sure your logs are completely dry to the touch and snap (as opposed to bending). Use what you have to hand, but some of the most common include oak, beech, maple, ash, birch and cherry.

Pick your flame source

When learning how to make a campfire, you’ll need to choose how you’d like to light it. There are various ways – some more difficult than others – with many requiring equipment that makes lighting your fire a whole lot easier. Below are a few of the common methods to lighting a fire that you can choose from.

  • Matches.
  • Lighter.
  • Flint and steel (this produces sparks which will catch onto your tinder).
  • Bow drill (this is rather advanced, so opt for an easier method if you’re new to learning how to make a campfire).

Pick your campfire format

The next thing you’ll need to decide on when learning how to start a campfire and keep it going is the campfire format. This refers to the shape of your fire which is determined by how your firewood is positioned. We’ll explore a few common ways to arrange your logs below so that you can spark a fire that’ll last the whole evening (and impress your guests with consistent, luscious flames).

  • Teepee – Otherwise known as a cone, the teepee is formed by leaning longer kindling sticks into a triangular shape. Underneath is a bundle of tinder (which will be lit), and kindling around the outside allows space for ample oxygen to make its way in. As the fire catches, more kindling (and eventually firewood) can be leant onto the frame to keep the fire going. This is a great shape for a shorter campfire – it burns pretty quicky, so more firewood needs to be added as others burn away.
  • Log cabin – This shape gets its name from the square-shaped stack of wood – simply place two pieces of firewood parallel on the ground, then stack two on top (perpendicular) – this should create the square shape. Be sure to start with your larger pieces of firewood and add smaller pieces as you continue until it reaches your desired height. Add your tinder and kindling in the centre of the square and light. This shape allows the logs to burn slowly, with burning logs falling on one another which continues to feed the fire.
  • Platform – This shape burns from the top down which creates a great base for cooking from. To build your campfire in the platform formation, place three sticks parallel to one another on the ground, then place three more on top, perpendicular to those beneath. Repeat this stacking process until it’s at your desired height, then add your kindling and tinder to the top to ignite your fire.
  • Star. Start by building yourself a teepee-shaped fire, then add larger logs around the outside, sticking out in a star shape (one of these should lead away from the teepee’s entrance). The fire from the teepee will ignite the surrounding logs, slowly burning them away, making it a great option if you’re low on firewood and need a slow-smouldering fire.
  • Lean-to – Find a log that’ll protect your fire from the direction of the wind and lean your kindling up against it, creating an additional windbreak from the tinder beneath. Once you’ve lit the tinder, the kindling will catch alongside the larger log itself. After a while, your fire should be stable and smouldering, which will be a good time to add more firewood.

How to build a campfire: step by step instructions

Assuming you’ve picked a safe spot, gathered all the equipment you need and picked your method of ignition and campfire format, follow the steps below on how to make a campfire at home or for children at a summer camp.

  1. Assemble a safe seating area. Corden off safe zones to sit if you’re working with children and establish rules before letting them anywhere near the fire.
  2. Lay down your tinder. Be sure to start with a good amount of tinder before attempting to start your fire or add anything larger. Too little and your fire will extinguish itself before it has a chance to catch onto the kindling and any larger pieces of firewood.
  3. Assemble your kindling and firewood. Following the campfire formation you’ve chosen (teepee, log cabin, platform, star or lean to), add your kindling and a little firewood. When putting your firewood together, bear in mind that your tinder needs to be able to catch first, then your kindling, then your firewood (which you’ll continue to feed your fire with as it smoulders).
  4. Ignite your fire. The easiest way to light your fire is by using matches or a lighter. Aim for the tinder, as the smaller pieces will catch first and spread across the rest of your combustibles. At this stage, you can add candle wax, a little petroleum jelly or tree sap to the tinder to ensure it lights (head to our section on lighting a fire in damp or wet conditions for extra tips). 
  5. Extinguish your fire. It goes without saying that you’ll need to make sure you put out your fire successfully. Simply pour over as many buckets of water as it takes, stirring the liquid around the coals until there are no longer any smouldering embers.
  6. Clean up. Be sure to remove any leftover coals from your area, clear up any sticks laying around and move any rocks you used for cordening or sitting into more natural-looking positions. 

How to build a campfire with kids

As we’ve mentioned, our campfires here at our summer camp are incredibly popular. Alongside that, our campers also love our bushcraft sessions where they learn how to make a campfire themselves. The sessions vary greatly depending on our learners’ abilities and ages, so below find a few tips and ideas that’ll help you teach children how to build a campfire.

  • Create a hook. It’s no secret that children love the fictional world, so start your session by setting the scene with a story on why you need to build campfires. Maybe the heating has gone down back at camp, or maybe there’s a group of well-meaning elves moving into the area who could really do with a heat source to dry out their shoes, and warm up before bed.
  • Safety first. Establish clear rules around the fire before letting children anywhere near it – once they’re gathered around the flames, it’s too late. The rules you go with are up to you, but we’d recommend setting safe zones, allocating seats, banning running and clearly stating that only adults are to stoke the fire.
  • Practice makes perfect. Expecting a young group of campers to get a campfire smouldering might be a bit of a stretch, especially if this is their first time. So, boost their confidence by getting them to spark a flint and steel, and challenging them to burn a piece of cotton wool.
  • Stick collection. Create a storyline around collecting the sticks for your campfire – even if the children don’t light it themselves, they’ll be satisfied knowing they’ve contibuted to the fire in some way.
  • Songs, stories and games. Come equipped with a few campfire songs, stories and games up your belt – while the flames and marshmallows speak for themselves, nothing quite beats a singsong around the fire or a spooky story.

How to start a campfire after rain

Now you’re clued-up on how to make a campfire, it’s certainly worth knowing what to do in damp or wet conditions. It would be a real shame to completely cancel your campfire plans altogether due to the weather, so check out our tips below on getting a fire lit and blazing in not so ideal conditions.

  • Add flammable materials. Petroleum jelly, tree sap or candle wax work really well when spread onto your tinder – they’re all incredibly flammable and will help your combustibles catch.
  • Use wood from needle-bearing trees. Spruce, fir, or pine are great for burning as their sap is sticky and flammable – perfect for helping initial flames spread.
  • Dry out your wood beforehand. If you know it’s due to rain, bring your tinder, kindling and firewood indoors for a few days to dry it out before using it.
  • Break and split your combustibles. They’ll burn more easily at a smaller size, and splitting them open will expose any dry interiors which will of course burn with more success than damp wood.
  • Peel the bark. This will help to expose a drier interior, plus it’ll give your logs a better chance of burning as bark tends to protect trees from flames, and so doesn’t burn nearly as well.
  • Opt for a taller formation. Flames can spread more easily with a taller setup, so avoid a flat formation (like a log cabin) and instead opt for a teepee if it’s damp or wet outside.

How to make a campfire change colour

Marshmallows certainly have their charm, but you’re guaranteed the wow factor if you’re able to make your flames change colour, and it’s not as complicated as you might think. Follow the step-by-step process below, adding your choice of chemicals for the colours you’re aiming for (just don’t inhale the smoke!).

Chemicals that make a campfire change colour:

  • Copper chloride – makes a blue flame
  • Copper sulphate – makes a green flame
  • Lithium chloride – makes a pink flame
  • Potassium chloride – makes a purple flame
  • Magnesium sulphate – makes a white flame
  • Strontium chloride – makes a red flame
  • Sodium chloride – makes an orange flame

Process for making your campfire change colour:

  1. Melt a small block of candle wax in an old pot.
  2. Fill any number of paper cups with a ¼ inch of your chosen chemical.
  3. Pour the molten wax into your cup, making sure it completely covers the chemical solution, stirring until fully combined.
  4. Cool the wax-chemical mixture for at least two hours.
  5. Once you’re ready to make your campfire change colour, peel your paper cup away from the wax and add it to your flames or place the wax (paper cup and all) onto your fire.

Safety tips for making your campfire change colour:

  • Do not attempt to make your campfire change colour while you’re cooking on your flames.
  • Do not inhale the smoke.
  • Stay at a safe distance from your campfire as you will be using chemicals to make it change colour.

How to make a campfire: FAQs

What is a campfire format?

The campfire format can refer to a couple of things – those being the physical structure of your woodpile (whether that’s log cabin, platform or teepee etc.), or the format of your campfire session that involves storytelling, songs, chants and cooking.

What is the difference between a campfire and a bonfire?

A bonfire is essentially a very large campfire that requires a large open space (much more than a campfire), as the flames and therefore extreme heat reaches much further up into the air. Interestingly, the term ‘bonfire’ comes from ‘bone fire’ when bones were burnt as part of a large cultural celebration, although many argue that the ‘bon’ in ‘bonfire’ comes from the French word for ‘good’.

How do you organise a campfire?

Gather the dry wood you’ll need (tinder, kindling and firewood), choose your campfire format (i.e. how you’re going to place your wood), and choose a few activities to entertain your guests (such as storytelling and singing).

What is the best homemade campfire starter?

Make a homemade campfire starter using:

  • Dryer lint (microfibres) covered in candle wax
  • Cotton wool covered in petroleum jelly or tree sap
  • Hand sanitizer on your tinder (just make sure it contains alcohol)
  • Waxed paper with your tinder
  • Charcoal in an egg carton

Summer Camp Activities for Kids

4th June 2023

The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to summer camp activities for kids – from countless bushcraft skills to sports, art, crafts and more, to say there’s something for everyone is certainly no understatement. And as a summer camp of over 20 years, we at Camp Suisse are rather well seasoned when it comes to summer camp activities, if we do say so ourselves. So, whether you’re entertaining a group this summer yourself or you simply want to find out how your child might be spending their time at camp this year, get yourself comfortable and explore our summer camp activities list below.

Classic summer camp activities

  • Archery – A popular competitive sport amongst both children and adults, archery is a simple summer camp activity that can enhance balance, focus and coordination. Explore soft archery for younger children and beginners, moving onto a bow and arrow for older, more experienced archers.
  • Football – It’s a timeless classic and a great way to bring the children at your camp together for a spot of competition, teamwork and time outdoors. The scope for football-themed games and the soft and technical skills that come with it are almost endless – the same can be said for other sports like tennis, volleyball and basketball.
  • Art and crafts – Great for breaking up those physically intensive outdoor summer camp activities, experimenting with materials, textures and colours is not only fab for fostering creativity, but also self-expression and managing emotions.
  • Hiking – Depending on the summer camp’s location, hiking can be a real winner – it’s a simple activity to organise, plus it’s the perfect way to explore the local area and ideal for teaching navigation.
  • Dance – A great way to get kids moving and learning about a whole host of traditions from around the world, dance of all forms helps to improve coordination, balance and flexibility (and so much more).
  • Scavenger hunts – These keep kids entertained, whatever the weather. Choose from themes you’re exploring at the camp and incorporate areas of their new living space or outdoor area you’d like your campers to get familiar with.
  • Talent shows – While not everyone will be keen to perform, camp talent shows are fun for everyone – audience, circus acts, magicians and all.
  • Gymnastics – Children at camp get the chance to develop strength, coordination and body control through gymnastics sessions. You’ll naturally be met with a variety of abilities, so why not encourage campers to teach one another or even perform for the rest of the group?
  • Yoga – Yogis come in all shapes, sizes, abilities and ages, so there’s nothing to stop your campers stretching out after a day of hiking with a social media-worthy backdrop!
  • Cooking – Some of your campers might be well-seasoned bakers, while others will never have set foot in a kitchen before. Their range of experience and expertise gives you room to explore basic cooking skills all the way through to campfire cooking (and naturally, a singsong to go alongside it).
  • Climbing – Great for honing spatial and directional awareness, climbing (whether that’s indoor, outdoor, bouldering or roped) helps children learn how to positively manage fear in a safe and controlled way.
  • Photography – Like Camp Suisse, the chances are your summer camp sits somewhere scenic, and learning the basics of photography is a fab way to help children appreciate the natural beauty around them.
  • Water sports – Depending on the location of your camp, summer camp activities on a local lake or in the sea will be unforgettable for your campers – think paddleboarding, kayaking or canoeing.

Summer camp activities: team building

The benefits of team building activities at your summer camp are invaluable – helping children to bond, form friendships and develop cooperation skills that’ll serve them for life, they’re well worth including in any camp activity programme. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at a few of the summer camp team building activities and bonding games our campers enjoy, and a few yours may, too.


  • Gutter run – Instead of throwing your guttering (or other plastic piping) away, turn them into a fun game for your campers. Working in teams of four to six and using a piece of guttering each, the aim is to transport a ball (tennis or ping pong work really well here) through the pipes and into a bucket at the finish line. Players need to run to the end of the guttering before the ball falls out and avoid dropping it on the floor before the end.
  • Land skiing – Start with two planks of wood and attach a piece of rope to each end. The number of players depends on the size of your planks here – the more players, the harder the challenge! To play, line up the two planks (skis) parallel and have your campers stand with one leg on each. The aim of the game is to travel from the start to the finish line without stepping off the skis.
  • Lava river – ‘The floor is lava’ is a classic, and this team building activity takes it up a notch, challenging balance, communication and cooperation skills. To play, you’ll need small squares of wood that are just big enough for your players to stand on. Using at least one less than the number of players, challenge your campers to travel across the lava river (otherwise known as the pavement) without setting a foot down. If your players find it too simple, challenge them by forbidding verbal communication or only allow one camper to talk throughout.
  • Bomb disposal – This is a great summer camp activity if you love using a story line to get your campers hooked and engaged. There are multiple ways you can go about it, but the key is to challenge your campers to transport an object (which should look seriously hazardous, by the way) from one location to another using limited materials and restricted access to certain areas of the ground.
  • Lower the pole – If you’re after a minimal setup team building activity, this one is great for killing time and making sure your campers are engaged. Using a lightweight pole, challenge your campers to lower it to the floor using only one finger each, keeping contact at all times. The game can be taken up a notch by enforcing silence throughout.
  • Human knot – No points for guessing what this game entails – have your campers stand in a circle holding hands and instruct twists and turns that’ll result in (quite literally) a human knot. The challenge is for campers to release themselves back into a circle without letting go.

Summer camp activities: outdoor

While the activities your child will be getting up to over summer will vary, summer camp wouldn’t be summer camp without a variety of outdoor games. Below are a few games for summer and classic summer camp activities – many of which our campers enjoy here at Camp Suisse.

  • Rocket launcher
  • Frisbee
  • Ball games
  • Hiking
  • Races
  • Nature scavenger hunts
  • Water balloon dodgeball
  • Parachute games
  • B1 football
  • Giant scrabble
  • Camp Olympics
  • Solar oven cooking
  • Tending to a camp vegetable patch
  • Quizzes around the local area
  • Life-sized board games (such as human noughts and crosses or checkers)
  • Homemade outdoor twister (your campers can have fun building the pitch themselves)
  • Bicycle games (think slow races to test bike control, bicycle limbo, what’s the time Mr. Bike?)

Summer camp activities: indoor

Summer camp is a great chance for your child to get in touch with nature, but you’ll find that most camps will mix things up with indoor activities, as well as those that result in muddy knees and well-loved hiking shoes! Below are a few indoor activities you might expect your child to get up to when it’s time for a break from the sun (or rain!).

  • Camp-themed escape rooms
  • Myth-busting games
  • Cress growing
  • Herb planting
  • Woodwork (making picture frames, mini sculptures or even bookmarks)
  • Homemade bird feeders
  • Balloon tennis
  • Homemade indoor golf
  • Storytelling
  • Quizzes and game shows
  • Writing and editing a camp newspaper
  • Inventions (setting a theme and having teams design a new gadget)
  • Hallway maze (create barriers across a hallway using string or toilet paper – the challenge is to cross the hallway without touching it)

Summer camp activities: science experiments for kids

Science experiments are a fab way to get children interested in the subject – packed with wow factor, the noises, colours and sensory value these activities offer make them a great option when choosing indoor summer camp activities for kids (and trust us, there’s a lot more where these come from).


  • Volcano making
  • Fireworks in a glass
  • Homemade lava lamps
  • Elephant toothpaste
  • Slime making
  • Light refraction
  • Penny cleaning
  • Flower colouring

Summer camp activities: art and craft

It’s no secret that campers love a spot of art and crafting – a fab option for helping children get creative, these art-based summer camp activities for kids are guaranteed fun and (naturally) result in a homemade camp keepsake.


  • T shirt spray painting
  • Tie-dyeing
  • Woodland crafting (think decorating pinecones, foraged collages and woodland printing)
  • Land art (using foraged materials only)
  • Bracelet making
  • Dream catcher making
  • Card making
  • Poster design
  • Paper plate crafting (challenge your campers to make the animals that live in your local area or hats for an upcoming camp event)
  • Paper crafting (paper flowers are always a winner, but the possibilities are almost endless here)
  • Origami
  • Crayon rubbing (using foraged materials for patterns)

Summer camp activities: animals and plants

With a number of summer camps being situated in some of the world’s most beautiful spots nature has to offer, it would be an opportunity missed to forget about exploring local flora and fauna. Below are just a few plant and animal-themed summer camp activity ideas that work wonders for engaging children in learning about the natural world around them.


  • Food chain charades
  • Evolution (the aim is to evolve the furthest in the group by playing multiple games of rock, paper, scissors)
  • Garden making (using foraged materials to demonstrate their understanding of what plants need to grow)
  • Flora crown making
  • Wreath making
  • Plant collecting (using a hula hoop)
  • Herbarium making
  • Flower pressing
  • Flower life cycle charades
  • Hikes and foraging

Summer camp activities: survival and bushcraft

It wouldn’t be camp without learning a few essential survival skills, and something that stands out for our campers here at Camp Suisse are the bushcraft sessions. Marking their time at camp around the fire and building shelters are some of the most memorable moments for our campers, so below, explore a few of the woodland survival-based activities you might expect your little ones to talk non-stop about when they return home.


  • Fire lighting
  • Campfires with songs and stories
  • Campfire cooking
  • Shelter building (mini shelters for fairies of forest elves work for smaller children)
  • Water filtration
  • Foraging (and cooking)
  • Navigation (using a compass, mapping and map reading)
  • Compass making

Summer camp games

Between campfires, navigating their way through the mountains and building a shelter fit for a (fairy) king, children love simple summer camp activities as much as the next task. Here at Camp Suisse, there’s always something for every child to be getting up to, so explore a few camp gaming ideas below that ensure no one is left twiddling their thumbs between sessions at camp.


  • Wink murder
  • Time bomb
  • Splat
  • Duck duck goose
  • Ninja
  • Tag
  • Musical chairs
  • Musical statues
  • Capture the flag
  • Crab football
  • Memory circle games (this works well with ‘at the shop I bought’, categories or remembering dances)
  • What’s the time Mr Wolf?
  • Parachute games
  • Cat and mouse
  • Blindman’s bluff

Blast from the past summer camp activities

The saying olden but golden certainly applies here – there’s a reason the activities below have stood the test of time, whether it’s the best summer camp activities you’re after or ways to entertain your children and their friends over summer.


  • Egg and spoon race
  • Sack race
  • Wheelbarrow race
  • Three-legged race
  • Hula hoop race
  • Hockey slalom race
  • Beanbag toss
  • Relay races
  • Egg drop challenge
  • Tug of war

Summer camp activities: FAQs

How can I make summer camp fun?

While a child’s time at summer camp should certainly be action-packed, it’s important to make sure the activities planned are varied, non-repetitive and give campers the opportunity to bond with one another.

What are some indoor board games?

Classic indoor board games (that are great for rainy days at camp) include Twister, Cluedo, 4 in a row, Jenga and Monopoly. While children come to camp to get immersed in the outdoors, any successful summer camp will have indoor games to hand to fill time between sessions.

How do I not get homesick at summer camp?

Dealing with your child’s homesickness at summer camp is never easy, but a few ways to combat it are to prepare ahead by getting them used to time away from home for short stints prior to camp, informing camp staff, arranging phone or video calls home, or sending them to camp alongside a school friend.

What kids’ games can be played at summer camp?

When it comes to making camp fun for kids, we’d encourage selecting the broadest range of activities – think indoor, outdoor, equipment, non-equipment, competitive and non-competitive, grouped, paired, and themed around your local area or a camp storyline.


Thank you Jimena!

4th May 2023

One of Camp Suisse’s familiar faces, Jimena, has been working on a project at her school in Paris, talking about her time at camp with us!


Jimena first came to Camp Suisse in the summer of 2020 and was awarded the crown of ‘Queen of Camp’; a title given to one camper per session who has shown the best participation in camp activities and enthusiasm for all parts of camp life.

For Jimena there are many parts of camp that are her favourite; from chocolate tasting at Cailler Chocolate Factory, to the excitement of seeing the huskies on the Glacier 3000 to banana boating on the beautiful Lake Geneva.

Aside from the variety of activities offered, Jimena also says that the location of Les Crosets adds to her camp experience. She loves how easy it is to get to the Palladium Sports Centre in Champéry by gondola, that you can drink water straight from the tap and that Geneva Airport is only a three-hour train ride away from Paris.

These experiences were so impactful for Jimena that in 2022 her friend Riya came to Camp Suisse with her, along with Riya’s relative, Uma. The three girls loved their time at Camp, with Jimena saying that having her friends with her “made camp even better.”

Jimena really embodies what Camp Suisse is all about: having new experiences, immersing yourself in new cultures and making memories that stay with you for a lifetime.

Thank you, Jimena, for sharing your favourite memories of camp with your school and with us! We loved having you!


Our 4 Reasons Why The Outdoors In Switzerland Is Great For Kids

3rd May 2023

Switzerland as a holiday destination is hard to beat. Here are 4 reasons why the Swiss outdoors could be your kids’ Happy Place.

1. Safety: Switzerland is repeatedly cited as one of the most stable and secure countries in the world. Parents can have peace of mind that no matter whether their child is exploring the scenic Swiss Alps, chomping on chocolate, or discovering the charm of the Swiss cities, they are in one of the safest places they could possibly be.

2. Luscious Landscapes: Switzerland boasts a wealth of views and new experiences for youngsters. Its stunning mountains and lakes offer new perspectives. Its natural beauty is hard to rival, and the dramatic contrast seen between seasons is something everyone should experience in a lifetime

3. Respect: respect, they say, is hard to gain and easy to lose. The outdoors in Switzerland is an incredible environment for kids to learn the importance of looking after their surroundings and leaving them better than they found them. The outdoor learning offered in the Swiss landscape teaches the importance of respect for those around you, and the environment, in a really impactful way.

4. Amazing Adventures: with its plethora of trees, valleys, forests, Switzerland is the outdoor playground for children, no matter their age, skill set or confidence. From zip-lining through the trees to outdoor chess to lakeside swimming pools and climbing walls, in Switzerland every child can learn, grow, and break out of their comfort zone. Possibilities for hiking and mountain biking, camping and swimming provide the best playground for our young adventurers who love the freedom of being outside. This can be achieved during day camps, residential camps, or family holidays!

An International Summer camp in Europe can tick all these boxes.

Q: What’s so good about Switzerland?
A: Well, its flag’s a big plus 🙂

Meet Helen – Camp Suisse Head Chef

26th April 2023

Helen has been running the Camp Suisse kitchen since joining the team in Torgon back in 2019. She is a big character with an even bigger heart and brings an abundance of energy and fun to the team. You’re just as likely to see her on the judging panel of Camp Suisse’s got talent or joining the kids out on a day trip as in the kitchen. She is proud to keep our active campers and staff fed and also, by the way, makes the best southern fried chicken…

1) Where are you living at the moment? What do you do there? Where have you lived in the past?

I grew up and currently live in a town called Carnforth, on the coast, North West of England, commonly known as the gateway to the Lake District. In 2008 I completed my chef apprenticeship at Pinelake Resort, where I work as a chef between my summer seasons at Camp Suisse. I have lived in France and Switzerland and this will be my 5th year at Camp Suisse! I spend every Autumn in the U.S.A visiting friends in Orlando and Tennessee.

2) Favourite thing about Camp Suisse?

My favourite thing about Camp Suisse is the people; meeting and working with people from all around the world!

3) Most Suisse thing you have ever done?

My favourite Suisse day; taking a boat ride round Lake Geneva, eating fondue, followed by a clog train up the mountain to see the marmots.

4) Favourite meal at camp?

It’s hard to pick just one meal, I’d probably say prom night is my favourite night to cater. We make a selection of canapés, homemade burgers, followed by waffle mountain! All our dishes are home made using fresh ingredients and my passion is being able to adapt the menu for people with allergies and special dietary requirements.

5) Favourite activity at Camp?

Favourite activity would be visiting the Cailler chocolate factory and paddle boarding on Lake Geneva.

6) The mountains or the lake? And why?

The lake is beautiful but I would always choose the mountains. I love living high in the clouds listening to the bells of the Swiss cows as I fall asleep. Very peaceful.

7) If you were offered a place on a one-way trip to Mars, would you take it?

I would love to travel to Mars for the experience but would need tickets so my friends and family could join me.

8) Apart from Camp Suisse, what has been your favourite job to date?

As well as being a chef, I have worked in entertainment. Working alongside Santa, in Mrs Claus’ kitchen, baking and decorating cookies, and reading stories, this was a very rewarding experience and a magical position.

Benefits of a Language Summer Camp

17th April 2023

Learning a second language at a summer camp gives children exposure to an additional language in an authentic, fun, and immersive way that cannot be replicated in a conventional educational environment.

Firstly, learning a language is so much more than being able to read or to speak; it is about connecting to and understanding a country’s culture; its people, its way of life. Learning an additional language at summer camp allows children to make these connections through their own eyes, in their own way, and at their own pace.

The process is also so much fun. At a summer camp, children learn a language by doing what they do best: being children, amongst other youngsters sharing the same experience. The combination of language learning and camp activities appropriate to their age group means that the progress children make is much more authentic, enjoyable, and long-term. Instead of language development being viewed as a chore, it becomes fun, eye opening and positive.

Finally, and equally as importantly, learning a second language at camp builds a child’s social skills, their confidence and gently pushes them outside of their comfort zone. Not only can children communicate with many more people of their age and establish and maintain the friendships they made whilst at camp, but they also become more confident individuals and feel able to manage more unfamiliar situations they find themselves in.

Learning a second language at a summer camp provides opportunities that are impossible to experience elsewhere. It opens doors to relationships with other youngsters who do not share the same first language. This is such a culturally enriching and valuable experience for a young person.

The environment is more natural, engaging, and more conducive to a positive learning experience. Your child will be leaving summer camp a more fulfilled individual, with a renewed sense of confidence and achievement that will stay with them long after the camp has ended.


Mountain biking is BACK!

22nd March 2023

Here at Camp Suisse, we have a long tradition of providing our campers with the utmost in adrenalin-fuelled adventure, and for over a decade, mountain biking has been a cornerstone of the Camp Suisse experience. However, we work hard to ensure that no two Camp Suisse adventures are alike and so, after a brief sabbatical, whilst our team scoped out new terrain, we are happy to announce that 2023 is the year we all get back on the bike!

Join us on two wheels this summer and discover all that the Swiss alps have to offer! Learn new skills, make new friends, and marvel at the breath-taking landscape. At our base, 1600m up in Les Crosets, you will be taught by our qualified, caring, and experienced instructors, well versed in all the tips and tricks you need to start your journey cruising through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe.

Steve – Activities Manager

21st March 2023

Joining the Camp Suisse team as an Activity Leader in 2015, Steve was an instant hit among staff and campers and soon became our Activity Leader Manager. An engineer, qualified secondary school teacher and recent graduate in physiotherapy, Steve is currently our year-round Activities Manager. Steve has had a huge impact on our activities programme and played a pivotal role in launching The Ed-Venture Award for our school trips here at Camp Suisse.

1) Where are you living at the moment? What do you do there? Where have you lived in the past?

I live in Sheffield and I am a physiotherapist, I’ve previously lived in the UAE, Scotland, England and France for a while.

2) Favourite thing about Camp Suisse?

It has to be living in the shadow of the dents du midi in Switzerland.

3) Most Suisse thing you have ever done?

Eating cheese in a restaurant whilst watching the goats that made the cheese get milked.

4) Favourite Camp excursion?

Glacier 3000, who doesn’t love a winter wonderland complete with huskies!

5) Favourite activity at Camp?

Art jamming by the cookie café on top of one of the peaks in Les Crosets

6) The mountains or the lake? And why?

Mountains, water sports aren’t really my thing and I enjoy how small the mountains make me feel.

7) If you were offered a place on a one-way trip to Mars, would you take it?


8) Apart from Camp Suisse, what has been your favourite job to date?

I enjoyed working behind a bar talking to people and serving.



NEW ACTIVITY – Rafting on the Rhône

23rd February 2023

Here at Camp Suisse, we are constantly evolving and developing our activity offerings. To the great excitement of both staff and campers, to keep moving with the turbulent times and to seek to make the most of the rapid change, we have added rafting to our activity program!

Armed with paddles, their fellow raft mates and a qualified and experienced instructor our campers embark on their first voyage down the Rhône, the biggest feed river of the Mediterranean. Under the watchful eyes of their instructors and group leaders, campers will learn new skills, make new friendships, and marvel at the magnificent Swiss alps from a truly unique perspective.

Experienced, qualified, and knowledgeable guides will help campers navigate their way down the river, tailoring the experience to suit both the white-water thrill seekers and those looking for a gentler ride.




Joan – Head of Languages

24th June 2021

Joan first worked for Camp Suisse in 2019 and instantly made his impact with both staff and campers. His caring attitude, attention to detail and empathetic approach make Joan not only a delight to work with but also an excellent teacher. This year Joan will be heading up the Camp Suisse language team, using his expertise and excellent social skills to create unique learning experiences and aiding his team of language teachers in providing quality lessons.

  1. Apart from Camp Suisse, what has been your favourite job to date?

It may sound weird — most people wouldn’t consider being a waiter as the job of one’s life — but I remember when I moved to England and worked in a pub for almost a year. For me it was exciting; a new culture, a new country, new people, I had English lessons every day which I got paid for! And most importantly, I had a lot of fun!

  1. Where are you living at the moment?

I still live near Valencia (in Spain), but when the COVID situation gets better, I plan to move abroad. Where to? Time (and work) will tell.

  1. Most Suisse thing you have ever done?

Having filets de perche and a cheese fondue by the Lake Geneva on my day off.

  1. Favourite language?

Absolutely all of them, I am a true enthusiast and I love and appreciate all languages and dialects. At the moment I study some foreign languages (although far from perfection to be honest haha) but I really enjoy learning languages and I don’t rule out the possibility of learning new ones eventually in the future. Each language is a window to new possibilities and ways of understanding and connecting with this world. There is not a language better than any other.

  1. What is your favourite thing about working at Camp Suisse?

Being in touch with people from all over the world in such a nice atmosphere and environment. It really is the perfect place to share many great moments and experiences you will never forget!

  1. Favourite Camp excursion?

Hmm, very, very hard to say! I would probably go for Lac de Taney, which is a great mountain excursion where you can enjoy an overnight by the Lac de Taney. Yoga, storytelling, bonfire, laughs, a dip in the lake, these are just a few examples of the possibilities that this trip offers! I would say it is one of the places where both campers and staff bond the most!

  1. Favourite meal at Camp?

Last day’s meal – the prom dinner! I’m not going to tell you though, so if you want to know, just come to Camp Suisse! 😉

  1. Favourite activity at Camp?

Dinner at the Italian restaurant next to Camp Suisse. Real Neapolitan pizza, the owners are from Naples and they are very friendly. It’s a different kind of evening where we all enjoy ourselves and relax. And if combined with a mountain biking afternoon, it just makes the perfect day!

  1. If you had to be an animal what would you be and why?

I would be a chameleon, capable of adapting to everything, although I’m much more sociable haha.

10.   Is Cereal a soup?

Haha what a debate! No, the answer is no. Cereal is not a soup. Cereal is just cereal. According to the  Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of soup is: “liquid food made by cooking vegetables, meat, etc. with water”. So, what does cereal have to do with it? Nothing.

  1. Would you rather have hands for feet, or feet for hands? And why?

Having hands for feet would definitely be much better. Just have a look at the evolutionary chain or ask a monkey and you will see why!

  1. If you were offered a place on a one way trip to Mars would you take it?

I would – if there was to be a new species or a different form of culture to talk to. Too boring if I had to be there by myself, don’t you think? Also, there is something quite important to consider: is it too cold? I always feel the cold too much haha.

  1. The glacier or the beach at Bouveret?

Both are excellent options, although very different. That is the nice thing about this camp: there is a great variety of things to do, you NEVER get bored! I suppose it depends on the day. I have to say that I love both beach and mountain but if I have to choose, maybe the glacier is my option: seeing snow in the summer, getting on the gondola lift, having a ride on the roller coaster, and contemplating the views are just amazing and campers love it too! From there you can see three countries: Italy, Switzerland and the Mont Blanc in France!