2nd July 2012
Isaac, 17, from Chichester, who first attended the Camp at the age of 14 and is returning this year as a mentor, says Camp Suisse enabled him to forge new friendships, learn new languages and participate in exciting activities, which all serves as his inspiration for a career in the Royal Navy.
“I first went to Camp Suisse when I was 14 when my friend Harry and I won places to go in a competition. Before arriving I was worried I wouldn’t fit in and that everyone would be wealthy, but that just wasn’t the case. I soon realised that there was no hierarchy; what mattered was getting stuck into the activities.
“Switzerland and Torgon in particular are beautiful places to be. The environment combined with the activities, such as mountain-lake swimming and banana boating on Lake Geneva meant I had a truly unforgettable experience.
“The food and facilities at Camp Suisse were great. As a hungry teenage boy you often worry about going without, but there was always plenty of food there and lots of choice. The accommodation was great too; we had proper bedrooms and beds which meant everyone got a good night’s sleep and didn’t become tired or irritable.
“The whole experience served to make me much more confident. From travelling alone, to mixing with people whose native tongue was different from mine, I was pushed to learn and to use my initiative. This is something that has made me grow as a person and has helped me to achieve my goals.
“I made friends from all over the world who I am still in touch with today. Although French was never my strongest subject at school, I am sure that Camp Suisse and my new international friends are the reasons I managed to pass my GCSE.
“I think Camp Suisse helped me realise where my future career lies. It certainly helped me understand more about myself, what I am good at and what I enjoy. I know that I would never be happy in an office environment doing a routine type job. I also discovered I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie and like excitement and risks. I have, as a direct consequence of Camp Suisse, decided to join the Royal Navy as a warfare officer. I hope to go to Britannia Royal Naval College to begin training straight after my A levels. I’ll do my degree through the navy but will also have plenty of other exciting opportunities and eventually, take command of my own ship.
“I am thrilled to be going back to Torgon as a camp mentor and it enables me to give something back. It will also help me develop my leadership skills before I got to Admiralty Interview Board next year. I have talked about Camp Suisse so much that my sister, who is at medical school, will be attending as a group leader this summer too. She is hoping to improve her French as she wants to work with Medicines Sans Frontieres after she has qualified. It’s great that we’ll be at camp at the same time”