10th August 2012
The church bells chiming for the 5:30 call signalled with it the start of that dreaded day here in Torgon: the final departure day of the season.As children awoke early, there was a cloud of sorrow lingering in the cloudless sky as the sun rose over the Swiss mountains. For few could believe that some 3 months after it all began, the summer of 2012 was drawing to a close. So many memories created, friends made and experiences that will last a lifetime all happened here at Camp Suisse and we’re incredibly grateful to all of the campers and staff for making it happen.What are the highlights of camp this year for myself? Who would ever be able to forget the sheer volumes of snow that were found at the Glacier for the first international session, or the bitter cold and wind-chill accompanying it? Then fast forward one month to see the same location practically without snow and basking in temperatures that meant we were able to bask in the magnificent glory of the mountain-top views with just a t-shirt on. Talk about a special location to take a group photo! One of the things that has really impressed me this year though is the way that the campers have dealt with the variety of challenges that have been handed to them. Whether these were team building games, mathematical challenges or something simple like organising a football game for the staff against the campers, there has been nothing that has proved impossible. The team spirit and helpful nature of the campers in the yellow group when helping the younger campers onto the chairlifts almost brought a tear of pride to the eye, for it was remarkable how mature they were proving to be. Although the phrase “an old head on young shoulders” may be tossed around too often, it was particularly poignant to mention here.Another highlight for myself has to be the wonderful staff that decided to work for us this summer. Whilst the summer may well prove to be a long and tiring one, we staff enjoy an unforgettable and incomparable opportunity to take in such wondrous sights under the slight condition of having to work. The staff this summer have all contributed enormously, made their mark and have helped us to reflect back on what we can call our most successful season ever. We can only just say a huge thank you to the staff members who have helped create memories (both for staff and for campers) that will hopefully endure as long as the mountains around us do.From the superb sports sessions in the morning to the educational and interactive language classes, mornings in Torgon were never rife with boredom and although campers may have gotten used to their surroundings, the variety of our extensive programme here meant that there was always something different for them to partake in. Afternoons though brought with them something amazing, different and adventurous. Whether these were coordinated by our very own adventure specialists or on excursions with the group leaders (and coach drivers!) the dinner tables were rarely short of conversation of an evening, with many campers eager to share with anyone willing to listen an in-depth synopsis of the day’s activities.What’s left though for the remaining staff to do? High up on the priority list is a full-scale investigation into our programme for this year, to see which activities were most enjoyed and to see where we believe that our programme can be bettered for the summer of 2012 and onwards. The Camp Suisse ethic isn’t one that rests on its laurels because we know that despite our winning formula, we want to improve upon it for next summer so that for those people who wish to return (including Charlotte, Juliette and Martin who will return free of charge as part of the Queen/King of Camp competition) then there will be a different challenge for them to overcome. Then, as the floors are scrubbed and all of the mirrors have been polished, the doors to Camp Suisse will be locked, remaining staff will return to their homes and many will start to think of ideas ready for the next summer.
Once again, a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this summer the most magical of experiences for everyone who has taken part. You most certainly shall not be forgotten.