Camp Blog

Outdoor Education – The Matterhorn is our Classroom Window!

16th January 2020

At Camp Suisse we believe there is no education like Outdoor Education! As a holder of the Learning Outside the Classroom (LotC) Quality Badge, we thrive on creating experiential learning experiences for our campers in multi-sensory environments.

So when one of our longstanding international school clients asked us to develop an Outdoor Education program focusing on glacial retreat, rocks and environmental sustainability we jumped at the chance to set up our classroom at the foot of the majestic Matterhorn,  surrounded by the magnificent peaks and glaciers of the Zermatt region.

Seminal moments like these instil sheer excitement in our team and have seen our Outdoor Education program go from strength to strength. Our drive and desire to create amazing and relevant educational experiences has taken groups of campers to some of Switzerland’s most inspiring and unique regions. 

In 2019 we very proudly created new programs in Zermatt whilst further developing our offerings in both Torgon and Leysin. In May 2020 we are very excited to be launching our Outdoor Education programs based near the traditional Alpine villages of Evolène and Arolla in the Val d’Herens. With its preserved Swiss heritage and surrounding famous peaks, the Val d’Herens is a mountain lover and an educator’s paradise.

From forest forages to fire lighting and sedimentary rocks to sustainability, each of our lessons is designed to be great fun, interactive, safe and completely unique.

If you would like to learn more about our Outdoor Education programs and locations please contact the team via info@campsuisse.com.

Excursions at Camp Suisse – Montreux Jazz

Montreux Jazz Festival is the second largest annual jazz festival in the world. 

It is legendary, arguably the most famous in Switzerland and takes place during the height of summer on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Camp Suisse campers on Sessions One and Two 2020 will experience first hand this fiesta of musical festivities.

Despite the name, the impressively diverse line up boasts offerings from across the musical spectrum. From pop sensations to R&B royalty, rock and roll and reggae artists, hip hop heroes and indie legends as well as a whole area dedicated to emerging artists for whom the festival is like a rite of passage. 

The festival, now in its 54th year is one of our favourite cultural excursions to share with our summer campers. Celebrating a diversity of talent, and bringing together artists of all types and backgrounds into one spectacular celebration lasting two weeks sits well with the ethos of our camps. 

We usually hit the festival in the day time, taking a stroll along the lakeside soaking up the atmosphere with street performers, stands and stalls, boats bobbing in the background. Emerging and established artists perform at the free Music in the Park venue and there is entertainment all along the length of the lake side allowing our campers to celebrate music, culture and diversity, all in one supervised, sensational afternoon.

Montreux Jazz – 54th edition. Friday 3rd July to Saturday 18 July 2020. Program announcement 26 March 2020.

Experience More with the Camp Suisse Winter Camp

9th November 2019

With the nights drawing in and temperatures plummeting, we’re looking ahead to the winter season in the Swiss Alps.

Our favourite week of the winter is in February, when we host our Ski and Snowboard Camp at our base in Champéry, situated in the Portes du Soleil skiing area. Boasting over 650km of pistes, 201 lifts, and ten terrain parks, this ski area is the perfect challenge for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities.

We’ve been spending the past few weeks preparing an action-packed programme so that our campers get the most of their week in the Swiss Alps. For starters, we’ve teamed up with École Suisse de Ski et de Snowboard to offer lessons, which cater to all abilities, five hours per day, Monday through to Friday. While our beginner lessons focus on the fundamentals of skiing and snowboarding, those requiring more advanced lessons can work on fine-tuning different disciplines such as racing, bumps and off-piste. Our ski lessons aim to make learning to ski or snowboard as fun as possible, ensuring everyone has fun on the snow. What’s more, we’ve invested in some great ski equipment and helmets to make sure our campers stay safe when out on the mountain.

Experience More

The fun doesn’t stop when our campers get off the piste. Camp Suisse is all about ensuring our campers Experience More – we’ve teamed up with excellent chefs to provide three delicious meals per day, and we’ve also developed an action-packed après ski programme, which takes full advantage of Champéry’s stunning location. Among the highlights are a mountain safety course, ice skating, swimming, a torch lit walk, sledging, disco, and movie night.

Unbeatable Connectivity

In addition to our established transfer services to/ from Geneva Airport (which boasts an average of 80 flights a day from the UK) and Aigle Train Station (provides connections across Switzerland and Western Europe), there is also the option of accompanied transfers from across the UK to our base in Champéry. Our accompanied UK transfer service can be added when making your booking. With so many ways of reaching our base in the snowy Swiss Alps, arranging the logistics of your child’s winter adventure couldn’t be any easier.

Winter Camp Dates

Sunday 16th February – Friday 21st February 2020

What’s Included?

  • 5 nights of full board accommodation (3 meals per day plus afternoon snack)
  • Accompanied transfers from Geneva airport or Aigle station on the Sunday (9am to 5pm)
  • Accompanied transfers to Geneva airport or at Aigle station on the Friday (4pm to 10pm)
  • Lift pass
  • 5 days (Monday-Friday) of ski or snowboard tuition with l’Ecole Suisse de Ski et de Snowboard (5 hours per day)
  • Ski or snowboard equipment hire (including helmet)
  • Medal and Swiss Snow league progress book
  • Full après ski and evening activity programme including mountain safety course, ice skating, swimming, torch lit walk, sledging, disco, movie night and more!

How to Book

Head over to our Ski & Snowboard site to book your youngster’s place.

Camp Suisse: a Truly Global Experience

5th December 2018

The vast array of different nationalities of campers who come to enjoy the Camp Suisse experience never ceases to amaze us: over the past few years we have noticed a growing trend, indicating our campers are coming from an increasingly diverse range of countries; spanning six continents.

IMG_7500-LA typical arrivals day for our Summer Camp can see us welcome children from around forty countries. This involves a lot of planning; our administration team has to ensure that every camper’s travel details are in check, including their arrival time and flight number; then create a travel plan to give to our Airport Welcome Team, who go to Geneva Airport to greet each camper as they pass into the arrivals hall. Flights arrive from all corners of the globe: from Sydney to Los Angeles; from Frankfurt to Lima, our Airport Welcome Team always works hard to ensure the entire process runs like a well-oiled machine.

Other campers arrive directly to Camp with their parents by car; some live relatively locally in Switzerland or neighbouring France and Italy; other families are visiting Switzerland from further afield and choose Camp Suisse to give their child the perfect opportunity to partake in our amazing activity programme or to learn a language.

IMG_7174-LWhichever way campers arrive, they instantly start getting to know one another; something which is really special to see. For many, the linguistic immersion we offer starts from the moment they arrive; particularly if they have to use a “common language” with their fellow campers to communicate and make friends. While this is most often English, it’s not uncommon for campers to communicate in French, Spanish or German, depending on where they are from and what languages they can already speak. This leads to the formation of cross-cultural friendships, which many campers quite rightly feel is one of the best things about the overall Camp Suisse experience. Dinner times at Camp are one of the best places to see these newly formed cross-cultural friendships in action: having a table with a boy from Peru sat next to and chatting to his fellow campers from Australia, Poland, China and Portugal is a prime example – there can’t be many other places in Switzerland where cross-cultural friendships are quite as clear!

To find out more about summer 2019, and to reserve your place, visit our Summer Camp pages.

Check out the map below to see where our campers came from in Summer 2018:

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The Magic Ingredients that Make Camp Suisse…

With Summer 2018 all but a distant, dreamy memory, here at Camp Suisse we’re turning our attention towards the winter season; in particular our awesome Winter Ski Camp; we’re also already looking ahead to Summer 2019. In this blog we reflect upon the three key ingredients which we reckon make Camp Suisse so special year-round.

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We view our staff as being the key ingredient to the success of Camp Suisse; this is particularly important at this time of year as our recruitment process for next summer is in full swing. Every year we receive dozens of applications from well qualified candidates, which allows us to select the very best individuals to join our team. When recruiting we are really looking for people who we can envisage making a positive contribution to the unique family feel which we believe sets Camp Suisse apart from other Summer Camp experiences.

 

IMG_3718-X4The second key ingredient in making Camp Suisse so special is our carefully planned Summer Programme. Recent studies have indicated that Generation Z – that is, children born after 1997 – are becoming increasingly addicted to their mobile devices and social media. Camp Suisse provides the increasingly rare opportunity for your youngster to temporarily forget the imagined importance of Instagram likes, Snapchat streaks and emojis and puts them into an environment conducive to socialising with other kids and forming cross cultural friendships; all whilst taking part in amazing activities such as mountain biking, banana boating and eating marshmallows around the campfire on our camping excursion!

IMG_2030-X4The final ingredient is our outstanding location; our summer site in Torgon is perfectly located for a range of exciting mountain activities including mountain biking, Ghyll scrambling and rock climbing. Moreover, it’s only a short bus ride down the mountain to Lake Geneva where our campers enjoy swimming and banana boating – we can’t think of anywhere we’d rather be over the summer.
In the winter our Camps in neighbouring Champery and Crosets provide unrivalled access to the Portes du Soleil ski domaine, making the ideal venues for our Ski Camps in February half term. Our campers have the perfect opportunity to improve their ski skills under the expert guidance of l’École Suisse de Ski, whilst benefiting from our excellent après ski programme which includes a mountain survival course, ice skating, swimming and more!

There’s still time to book onto our Winter Ski Camp, although places are limited so we recommend surfing to our ski website now to check out our unbeatable all-inclusive ski package.

We’ve already started taking bookings for next summer; check out our dates and prices.

If you have any questions, drop us an email at info@campsuisse.com

We hope to welcome you to the Swiss Alps either this winter or next summer.

Time to Don the Skis

16th November 2018

With the lush green mountains of summer rapidly being blanketed in fluffy white snow, which transforms Switzerland into a winter wonderland, we’re swapping our mountain bikes for skis; our flip-flops for snow boots; and our summer t-shirts for a warm, snuggly winter jacket. We love winter just as much as summer, not least because it allows us to hit the slopes with our Winter Ski and Snowboard Camp.

Besides welcoming numerous schools and groups to the Swiss Alps, our favourite week of winter has to be February half term, when we host our Ski and Snowboard Camp at our base in Champéry, situated in the Portes du Soleil skiing area. Boasting over 650km of pistes, 201 lifts, and ten terrain parks, this ski area is the perfect challenge for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities.

Aside from the stunning scenery (check out our photos from last year if you don’t believe us!), we’ve been spending the autumn preparing an action-packed programme so that our campers get the most of their week in the Swiss Alps. For starters, we’ve teamed up with École Suisse de Ski et de Snowboard to offer lessons, which cater to all abilities, five hours per day, Monday through to Friday. While our beginner lessons focus on the fundamentals of skiing and snowboarding, those requiring more advanced lessons can work on fine-tuning different disciplines such as racing, bumps and off-piste. Our ski lessons aim to make learning to ski or snowboard as fun as possible, ensuring everyone has fun on the snow. What’s more, we’ve invested in some great ski equipment and helmets to make sure our campers stay safe when out on the mountain.

However, the fun doesn’t stop when our campers get off the piste: as well as enjoying three delicious meals per day, our campers then have the chance to après-ciate (pun intended) our action-packed après ski programme of events. Taking full advantage of Champéry’s location, we organise a mountain safety course, ice skating, swimming, a torch lit walk, sledging, disco, movie night and more.

Check out our video for a virtual look at what our ski camp has to offer:

So if your youngster still hasn’t made up their mind what to ask Father Christmas for this year, or if you’re looking for the perfect adventure keep them entertained during the otherwise cold and miserable February half-term break, why not find out more about our awesome Ski and Snowboard Camp…

Ski & Snowboard Camp Dates

Sunday 17th February – Friday 22nd February 2019

What’s Included?

  • 5 nights of full board accommodation (3 meals per day plus afternoon snack)
  • Pick up from Geneva airport or Aigle station on the Sunday (9am to 5pm)
  • Drop off at Geneva airport or at Aigle station on the Friday (4pm to 10pm)
  • Lift pass
  • 5 days (Monday-Friday) of ski or snowboard tuition with l’Ecole Suisse de Ski et de Snowboard (5 hours per day)
  • Ski or snowboard equipment hire (including helmet)
  • Medal and Swiss Snow league progress book
  • Full après ski and evening activity programme including mountain safety course, ice skating, swimming, torch lit walk, sledging, disco, movie night and more!

Price: 1600 CHF per camper

How to Book

Places are limited, so we strongly recommend reserving your youngster’s place before Father Christmas visits!

To reserve your place, head over to our Ski & Snowboard site.

 

Five reasons to learn Español

17th September 2018

Camp Suisse is a truly international environment and every year we welcome a number of Spanish speakers. Over the last few years, Camp Suisse’s Spanish language course has been growing steadily in popularity; on a global level, Spanish is becoming more widely spoken. So we thought it would be a good idea to have a look at the top five reasons to hablar español:

1. Increasing numbers of Spanish speakers

In the US, Spanish is rising ahead of any other non-English language at a rapid pace, with a steady flow of new immigrants from Latin America and growth in the already large Hispanic population.

According to a Pew Research Center report, an estimated 37.6 million people in the US spoke Spanish as their first language in 2013 and analysts predict the Latino population will reach approximately 128.8 million by 2060.

Proportionally, Hispanics will rise from around 16 per cent of the US population in 2010 to 30 per cent by 2050.

2. Learning Spanish will help your career
With booming economies in Latin America, employers are desperate for people who speak Spanish. There is a huge demand in the west, particularly North America, for Spanish-speakers in nursing, construction management and media, among many other positions.

Big corporations are realising the importance of reaching a market that represented $1.5 trillion (£1.13 trillion) in purchasing power in the US in 2015. Meanwhile, Latin America received a record $174 billion of foreign investment in 2012 and companies everywhere are expanding there, such as PepsiCo, which announced a $5 billion investment in Mexico in January 2014.

3. It will unlock a world of travel destinations
There are approximately 329 million native Spanish speakers in the world and they populate some of the coolest destinations in the world.

Even if you do go to popular destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, speaking the local language will help you get off the beaten path and see some real culture. And then of course you can book a trip to Spain and see the wonders of Barcelona, Madrid, Andalucia and more.

4. You can enjoy amazing books and movies
Around 100 successful authors from 54 countries voted El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha by novelist Miguel de Cervantes as the best book of all time and while the 17th-century book is widely available in other languages, it, like any book, is best in its original language.

Other Spanish-language authors you’ll want to read are Chilean poet Pablo Neruda – many of whose works have not been translated – Gabriel García Márquez, Roberto Bolaño, Mario Vargas Llosa and many more.

And then there are the movies. Star directors Pedro Almodóvar, Alfonso Cuaron and Guilermo Del Toro – who all have movies in their native language – should be enough to convince you of the richness of Spanish-language cinema.

5. Spanish is easy to learn
Written Spanish is almost completely phonetic – look at any Spanish word and you can tell how it is pronounced.

While mastering the grammar of Spanish can be a challenge, basic grammar is straightforward enough and many vocabulary words are similar to English. Since the number of Spanish speakers in the US continues to rise, chances are it will become even easier to learn and practice this language.

To find out more about our Spanish language tuition, head over to our languages pages.

 

 

Why Learn French…

6th September 2018

Located in the heart of Francophone Switzerland, here at Camp Suisse we strongly believe the ability to be conversant in the French language is a highly desirable ‘soft skill’; that is one which helps with inter-cultural communication in both professional and social environments. But we didn’t want to stop there: here are ten great reasons to learn French:

1. It’s a World Language

More than 220 million people speak French on the five continents. The OIF, an international organisation of French-speaking countries, comprises 77 member States and governments.

French is also the only language, alongside English, that is taught in every country in the world. France operates the biggest international network of cultural institutes, which run French-language courses for close on a million learners.

2. It’s a Language for the Job Market

The ability to speak French and English is an advantage on the international job market. A knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world (Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and the continent of Africa). As the world’s fifth biggest economy and third-ranking destination for foreign investment, France is a key economic partner.

3. The language of culture

French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture. A knowledge of French offers access to great works of literature in the original French, as well as films and songs. French is the language of Victor Hugo, Molière, Léopold Sendar Senghor, Edith Piaf, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alain Delon and Zinedine Zidane.

4. A language for travel

France is the world’s top tourist destination and attracts more than 79,5 million visitors a year. The ability to speak even a little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France (from the mild climes of the Cote d’Azur to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps via the rugged coastline of Brittany) and offers insights into French culture, mentality and way of life. French also comes in handy when travelling to Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco, the Seychelles and other places.

5. A language for higher education

Speaking French opens up study opportunities at renowned French universities and business schools, ranked among the top higher education institutions in Europe and the world. Students with a good level of French are eligible for French government grants to enroll in postgraduate courses in France in the discipline of their choice and qualify for internationally recognised degrees.

6. The other language of international relations

French is both a working language and an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. French is the language of the three cities where the EU institutions are headquartered: Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg.

7. A language that opens up the world

After English and German, French is the third most widely used language on the Internet, ahead of Spanish. An ability to understand French offers an alternative view of the world through communication with French speakers from all over the world and news from the leading French-language international media (TV5, France 24 and Radio France Internationale).

8. A language that is fun to learn

French is an easy language to learn. There are many methods on the market that make learning French enjoyable for children and adults alike. It does not take long to reach a level where you can communicate in French.

9. A language for learning other languages

French is a good base for learning other languages, especially Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian) as well as English, since fifty per cent of current English vocabulary is derived from French.

10. The language of love and reason

First and foremost, learning French is the pleasure of learning a beautiful, rich, melodious language, often called the language of love. French is also an analytical language that structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussions and negotiations.

 

Plus, with Camp Suisse’s French Immersion programme, there’s never been a better opportunity to learn French and have fun at the same time. For more information, drop us an email: info@campsuisse.com

Off Up to the Mountain Refuge

12th July 2018

On Tuesday, the blue group kicked off the day with their language classes. They dedicated part of the lesson to prepare for the renowned Camp Suisse Talent Show, which took place on Wednesday night, where each language class presented their own act. Everyone was very excited to put into practice what they had learnt in class over the last two weeks! After a hearty lunch, it was time to head off for our walk towards the French/ Swiss border, situated a little further up the mountain. All the campers were very proud of their efforts; the walk was a challenge for all, and the fruits of their efforts were appreciated in the form of the spectacular view when they reached the summit. In the evening, our group had the chance to enjoy a well deserved and delicious meal prepared at camp. Finally, before bed, the everyone enjoyed munching marshmallows and chanting their favourite songs around the camp fire!

Evelyne, Group Leader & Teacher of French

(Translated by Phil, Administrator) View the original in French 

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Adventures in the Aqua Parc!

23rd June 2018

 

Situated at the eastern end of Lake Geneva in Bouveret, Aquaparc has been coined as a tropical oasis, which welcomes over 300,000 visitors each year. The parc boasts over a kilometre of water slides, which plunge into pools heated to 32C.

Adding to the excitement are three tropical-themed areas, along with several ‘water universes’. The first is dedicated to children, and is home to a pirate ship, wave pool and the ‘Fantastico’ water slide. The family universe is home to three water slides. If you’re feeling brave, the ‘Sensations’ universe caters to the thrill seekers. The outdoor universe commands stunning views over the surrounding mountains and Lake Geneva. Finally, for the ultimate way to de-stress is with a visit to the ‘Wellness’ universe, which features a tropical bath, jacuzzies, saunas, fitness facilities and massages.

With so much on offer, it’s perhaps little surprise that so campers enjoy unwinding in the Aquaparc; especially after having experienced our more physical excursions such as the visit to Glacier 3000. To find out more about the Aquaparc, visit the Aquaparc website

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