17th August 2020
Today was our last full day of activities at Camp Suisse and what an action packed last day it was! We began our day with a trip to the chocolate factory Maison Cailler. After a tour through history from the Aztec Empire to how chocolate became famously associated with Switzerland, we got to go to the tasting room. Here, everyone got some samples of the kinds of chocolate made at Cailler. Most were good, except perhaps one which was some sort of treacle jelly concoction. I wish you could have seen India’s face as it turned from curiosity to disgust and confusion after biting into it. Her favourite is the white chocolate.
Next we went the the town of Gruyère which is famous for the cheese by the same name. Zach wondered why the town smelled strange and was told it was due to the volume of cheese being made and consumed there! After lunch we all got to wander around the town looking at the souvenir shops and picking up presents for our friends and family. Some of the girls even got Swiss friendship bracelets to remember their time at Camp Suisse.
Back to camp we went to pack our bags and get ready for prom which will be held in the picnic area in the forest, how exciting! We arrived up on the bus and made our way to our seats. The place was decorated beautifully with bunting and natural materials. We devoured our food and then danced the night away. All that time on Tiktok payed off as our dance moves were just perfect.
Whoosh! Another day at camp has flown in. A bright day awaited the campers who woke up to their final day in the mountains. After a filling breakfast, campers were whisked away on the coach for the picturesque journey to Cailler. Tap tap tap went Indy’s foot as she got more and more excited on the journey to the chocolate factory. The first activity of the day was a thrilling tour of the factory, learning all about the history of the Cailler brand. Bjorn was really engaged in the history of chocolate in Switzerland and Alexis dived into the real life tales of the farmers who grow the cocoa beans. The highlight for all was the selection of free samples given at the end of the tour, with everyone indulging themselves! Click click click went the cinema reel as the children settled in to watch a short movie about the tradition of chocolate. After a whirlwind tour of the gift shop, we hopped on the bus for the short drive to Gruyères. Greeting the campers was a typical Swiss village filled with more cheese than Megan could ever have imagined. A chilled lunch in the park was followed by an exploration of souvenir shops. A trip to the fountain to cool down meant that the campers, especially Gleb, had fun soaking the group leaders- splash! The bus left Gruyères with a loud ‘beep beep’ as the campers settled in for the journey home, with excitement for the evening ahead building. The highly anticipated ‘Enchated Forest’ prom will welcome the campers this evening with a delicious dinner in the forest. It will be followed by a night of dancing to celebrate new friends, amazing memories and an unforgettable week at Camp Suisse!
12th August 2020
With the sun shining and some happy campers, it was a recipe for a wonderful day at Camp Suisse. After gently incorporating some language classes into our day, the campers packed up their bags ready for a hike to Torgon’s finest ski lodge. With a dash of kit check and a sprinkle of enthusiasm- we were off! The first half of the hike was the steepest and the most challenging, but the juniors fared well with the rocky terrain and soon made it up to the halfway point- Plan de Crois. We left the kids to rest in the shade as we took a break for afternoon tea. We soon set off for the second half, and although a little tired, the group was eager to make it to the top- with a scattering of hiking songs throughout (particularly well sang by Bjorn and Meg). At long last – the junior campers reached the ski lodge and took a well deserved drawing and colouring break as we waited for the seniors.
Following a delicious camping BBQ, some of the very courageous campers decided to hike to the French border, and the others stayed at camp to learn firelighting and prepare the campfire for our marshmallow dessert. We found that Bjorn, Andrea and Dillan had a particular knack for firelighting, as they managed to light the large campfire after everyone had helped to collect the right kinds of sticks. Krisha proved to be an avid hiker as he lead the way across the border into France last night.
When the hiking group had returned from france – we sat down for some marshmallows around the fire. Indie and Neve not only managed to eat theirs, but get them all over their hands and faces! Some stories were told and jokes shared- then the juniors headed to bed.
The following morning, we enjoyed and alfresco breakfast- then hiked back down to camp (with a break and story time at the House of Beards). Back at the centre, we packed our swimming kit and headed to Villeneuve pool. The campers swam and waited excitedly for their turn on the banana boat! Up first was Indie, Meg, Neve and Gary (who watched the others from the boat). The three girls held on to the banana valiantly as they faced brutal twists and turns – and even when the banana flipped and they ended up in the lake- all 3 emerged from the water with huge smiles on their faces! It was then Alexie, Gleb, Maisy and Leo’s turn. After a nervous start- the group soon gained some confidence to give the ‘thumbs up’ to the boat driver to take it up a notch. For some, this was an immediate regret as no less than 3 seconds later- we found ourselves in the lake having been thrown off the banana! Though Alexi then chose to stay in the boat, Maisy and Gleb laughed in the face of danger- and got straight back on for more banana fun.
We spent some more time in the lake – jumping and flipping into the water, before packing up to go home.
After a busy couple of days – staff and campers alike were looking forward to one of the favourite evening activities at Camp Suisse- dinner at Caprins Pizzeria! The kids waited patiently for their stone baked, hand crafted slice of italian delight. With full and satisfied stomachs, the campers slept soundly before their final day at Camp Suisse.
9th August 2020
With the rise of the morning sun, the campers awoke to the call of Hannah. Following breakfast, the reds and blues embarked on their language or sport classes, all of the campers joining together for some time on the climbing wall at the end. After some tense competition of both climbing and drawing combined it was Bjorn, Neve and Gleb who came out on top, as the winners with their jigsaw mountain portrait.
After lunch, the campers migrated through the ancient forest to the archery range, where we were about to witness the greatest shooting spectacle Torgon had ever seen. We set up a tarp to create shade and we were very grateful to have help from some of the taller Yellows like Krisha and India. Quickly, it became apparent that Alexi was no stranger to the bow and arrow as he shot bulls eye after bulls eye. After a precarious start, Indi soon found her feet and too began to shoot with precision. It was Gary, however, who posed the biggest threat to the pack as the most juvenile member of the group – but soon learnt to follow in the footsteps of his elders. Zara in particular was very good at hitting the bulls eye.
After mastering the way of the bow, energy ran high, and the campers were needing to cool off. Preparations were made and helmets were donned as campers faced their greatest challenge yet: The Ghyll. We assessed the raging waters before plunging into the icy depths. All was calm venturing down the river until we reached… The Designated Splash Zone. Without warning, Bjorn and Meg sprang into action and drenched their fellow scramblers, even the leaders were not spared their wrath. We visited Ant’s Ghyll Spa and took turns in the bubble bath and jacuzzi and now all soaking wet warmed up during our sunny walk back to camp!
After shower hour, the campers await their well earned feast, and look forward to Louis’ Junk Yard Band and a spot of mountain biking around Torgon!
6th August 2020
We woke up bright and early expecting to see the sun splitting the rocks and instead were greeted with a gloomy grey cloud. The greens and yellows set off on their adventure into the mist, while the reds and blues went to their language classes. The younger campers were a little relieved to hear they would be getting the bus the majority of the way to the camp site and from there it was just a hop, skip and a jump to the lake, or so the staff lead the kids to believe.
We finally arrived at the lake to be greeted by scenic views and even some sun shine just in time for a quick dip in the lake. Following our escapades in the water we changed our clothes and went for dinner. It was a delicious 3 course meal and all of us helped ourselves to plate after plate of the generous mains. Dessert was apricot pannacotta, a specialty of the region!
The evening was spent by the campfire playing games and singing songs to our hearts content. Bedtime came and we all slept soundly, some of us even noisily as there were a few snorers!
Dawn broke and we began to stir. Breakfast was had after our rooms were made spic and span. Then the walk back to camp began and with the thought of a day by the lake ahead wemflew down the mountain and soon we we’re on the road to Bouveret Beach!
The weather difference between the hike to Tanay and the beach was incredible with highs of 26°C. We relaxed and bathed for the rest of the afternoon. Once all the rain from the day before was wiped from memory, and new ones were made of sun and sand, then we left and headed back along the winding road to camp.
It was the perfect evening in Caprins restaurant where we feasted on pizzas of every sort from Margaritas to the more exotic pizza Mafiosa. Soon it was time for bed again and a sound night sleep after two brilliant days at camp!
3rd August 2020
After a peaceful night sleep for the reds and blues, campers awoke to a cooler day in the mountains. After a speedy breakfast, we got on the coach where the campers were on the edges of their seats for the journey to the much awaited Cailler Chocolate Factory. First was a tour of the factory, learning all about the history of chocolate and the Cailler brand which gave us a lot of food for thought. Bjorn in particular found it super interesting. The icing on the cake was when campers got to sample some of the different chocolates. Joachim and Charles were on top of the world when enjoying the intriguing and delicious flavours. After a quick stop in the gift shop, we then headed to the picturesque town of Gruyère. Sadly it was raining cats and dogs there, which only happens once in a blue moon but we found a lovely sheltered area for a spot of lunch. Campers were itching to make their way around the souvenir shops so we ventured out into the rain to explore. Despite the weather, Lei lei was in his element searching through all the fascinating Swiss gifts. It continued to raining buckets so we jumped back on the coach to camp for a quick climbing session before shower hour. Although she was nervous yesterday, Ariela took to it like a duck to water when climbing today and made it all the way to the top with ease. Samuel also felt at home with the climbing wall and was flying to the top in no time at all. A tasty dinner of pizza and chips awaited the hungry campers before an exciting evening of sports to finish off a fantastic day.
2nd August 2020
Waking up to a breezy morning in Camp Suisse, campers started off the day with a big breakfast. The morning was then filled with languages and the very exciting Camp Suisse Languages Talent Show. The English class opened the show with an incredible puppet show telling the story of the Wachta Ninja School, which in turn meant that everybody was Kung Fu Fighting. This featured a very impressive cameo from Joachim. The French class did a thrilling performance discussing the origins of the camp staffs nicknames through finger puppets thanks to Charles and Samuel.
After a spot of lunch, we then participated in a meditation class with some monk throat singing to get the campers into the right frame of mind for an afternoon of indoor climbing. Bjorn entered into such a deep meditative state that he looked to be peacefully asleep! After a creative warm up game thinking about the methods different animals use to climb around and then imitating these, we moved into the climbing wall. The first activity involved traversing across the wall so the campers were comfortable with the movements needed for climbing. Then came the real climbing, where all tried to make it to the top of the wall. Despite being nervous at first, Ariela really shone and was victorious in reaching the top. Lei Lei was a strong believer in the idea that “it ain’t about how fast I get there” and this was very successful for him. It was overall an exciting and fun day which is being followed by blind art jamming tonight which will be the perfect finish to a creative day.
1st August 2020
Olympics Day. The most anticipated day at camp has arrived. The cluster of campers awoke to another dazzling day in the Swiss mountains. After a pyramid of brioche at breakfast, Olympic qualifying was underway. The anticipation was growing as the chorus of contenders undertook heats in throwing, catching and running. The final athletes were then introduced from 3 countries- Nigeria, Argentina and Turkey. Intense preparation for the big event then began as the flock of finalists painted themselves in their country colours, with Joachim going the extra mile to represent Turkey.
Next was the Olympic opening ceremony with each country showcasimg their performance, including an incredible effort from Samuel from Nigeria.
The first event was then underway- the egg and spoon extreme which was a breeze for Lei Lei, successfully followed by a very competitive tennis golf competition.
A hearty lunch to fuel the convoy of challengers was needed as they went into the target throwing, a particular success for Charles. In a first for Camp Suisse, this event was followed by an intense limbo contest. Tug of war came next which brought out a strong sense of competition in all the campers. Matches of three-legged football were very fun and involved a lot of team work and cooperation.
The Camp Suisse relay extreme, incorporating skills developed throughout campers time in Switzerland, brought the exciting day to an end with a well deserved win to Turkey.
31st July 2020
Today was adventure day at camp suisse, the greens and yellows ventured into the Torgon alpine forest to fine tune there survival skills.
First was shelter building. Jakob, Shyrine & Ben went for a structure that showen the best of modern Danish architecture, while Kat, Daniel & Simon opted for a more traditional, and some would say more stable A frame shelter.
Next was fire lighting, where Emily and Nella shone the brightest, lighting the cotton wool 1st and 2nd attempt. Eleanor and Nicole got off to a slow start but in the end there fire was chosen to cook the popcorn, rounding off another great day at Camp Sussie.
30th July 2020
This morning our Rowdy Reds and Boisterous Blues had a full morning of languages and sport. To help our campers fine their zen, we gathered our yoga mats and took a hike to the forest. We lit some incense, played some Tiberian throat singing music and did a morning sun salutation. Following this we did some fun and challenging poses. Emma in particular was very good, and was even able to cross her legs and walk on her knees.
After lunch, our budding archers set off to the football pitch where we shot arrow after arrow at the targets. Joachim was the highest scoring Archer with a massive 56 points!
Juice and biscuits were had for afternoon tea. Following this we donned our helmets and went ghyll scrambling! This involves us all climbing up a mountain stream in the cold water and splashing each other and trying to make our way though the obstacles! The cold may be a deterrent to some, but we welcomed it because of the hot weather.
Prom was held after dinner, and everyone danced the night away under the disco lights.