Tuesday, 31st May 2016 – Aqua Parc, Chateau de Chillon and Disco Night

We are back in Verbier! Yesterday was a snowy final day in Zermatt. The children enjoyed a morning skiing a practice jump, built by the instructors, and enjoying the Matterhorn Glacier Palace; made of ice. They then had an exciting evening playing La Fureur, the music game. Our scenery has changed from powdery snow and the Matterhorn mountain’s towering peaks, to warmer weather and Verbier’s green slopes. Our Spring campers headed off for a day riding the Aqua Parc slides, among the Alps. All the students had a brilliant time; challenging themselves to the thrill of the bigger slides, or winding their way through the more relaxing slides. The day was pleasant, and the whole team enjoyed sitting by the lake for a picnic lunch; while watching the boats and their sailors glide by. After enjoying raspberry and blueberry slushies, and taking a moment to relax and enjoy the beautiful lakeside view; we set off to take a step back through history and visit the Chateau de Chillon. The students enjoyed learning about the ancient castle and the medieval era that allowed for its reign. The castle’s tall walls are still in perfect condition, and the rooms play host to pages and pages of history; which was interesting to learn about and experience so close up. The evening ended off with packing time and farewells, to friends and peers that the children created lifelong memories aside… and the disco night was an exciting way to end off the session.

 

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Sunday, 29 May 2016 – Skiing, Workshops and Dine Out

Powder day! Today was another beautiful day, and a treat for our campers. Everyone headed up the mountain to enjoy the fresh, knee-deep snow and ski their way through the snowflakes. The progress has been evident among all the kids, and the instructors have been incredibly proud of each and every one of them. It’s clear that everyone has been working hard to reach their goals, and the feedback has been positive. It gave us a taste of Winter, to head up the mountain today. The afternoon started to set in, and the kids and teens descended the mountain to begin their workshops: sports, personal development and leadership. The sports group went to the football field to play their final match, with a surprisingly one-sided victory for Elliot and Parsh’s team, running out 5-1 winners. The match even included a penalty from instructor, Adam Russell, saved by Samvit!
The leadership team recited their motivational speeches to be filmed and kept on record, and the personal development team continued their reflection session. The evening ended with a lovely dinner out on the town; with their instructors and friends. What a wonderful last evening in Zermatt.

 

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Saturday, 28th May – Skiing, Workshops and Clubs Night!

Today was another beautiful day; the sun was shining all day, even when there was some light drizzle during the day. The campers headed up the mountain bright and early to continue learning and progressing with their skiing; under the guidance of their instructors, and with the motivation of their friends and peers. It was ideal weather; not too hot and not too cold; and the children were enjoying their day. The late afternoon commenced and a few headed up to play some football, even though there was some rain showers. They had just as much fun playing in the cool rain after a busy day of skiing! Others headed to the gymnasium… and personal development and leadership continued their work from previous sessions. The evening was relaxing, and educational. The clubs began just after dinner; and the children continued their programs with their group leaders.

 

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Friday, 27th May – Skiing, Workshops and Clubs

It was a beautiful day in Zermatt today, with barely a cloud in sight for the most part of the day. The children were all smiles and filled with excitement as they hopped onto the Matterhorn gondola to make their way up for a day of progress, learning and fun; surrounded by their friends and their instructors; whom they have all been enjoying their time with. The day was a success, and many of the children achieved the goals that they had been talking excitedly about working towards during the day, as they chatted on the lift up. The students returned to Hotel Albana, still energetic and buzzing with excitement, after a wonderful day of skiing (with an extra half hour up the slopes, even!)
The workshops (sports, personal development and leadership) commenced as the late afternoon began to set in; the children set off to the sports hall/gymnasium and football field (for sports), and listened to interesting life lessons by their trained instructors (for personal development and leadership.)
After a tasty dinner; the groups set off to their clubs to continue their work that they’ve been doing throughout the camp and join their friends and group leaders.

The camp was quiet and peaceful for bed time; as the campers went off for well-deserved sleep after a productive and fun day.

 

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Thursday, 26th May – Skiing, Zermatt Hunt, Matterhorn Museum and Torchlight Walk!

The weather was ideal and the slopes were in excellent condition for our campers today. The students awoke to an exciting day ahead of them, as they looked forward to another day of skiing the Matterhorn Paradise with their instructors and friends. All of the groups headed up the mountain to begin a day filled with learning, progress and fun; all under the “watchful eye” of the Matterhorn. After a wonderful and successful day, with all of the learners clearly taking their lessons well, becoming more comfortable on the snow, and evidently improving on their skis; the students took the gondola down to Zermatt village. After a well-deserved moment for snack time and a quick rest, to catch their breath, the groups headed out into town to explore, discover and orientate themselves in the historic little Zermatt village. Some of the groups chose to visit the Matterhorn Museum to expand their knowledge and wisdom about the history of this glacial Swiss village, before heading into the town to shop and complete the Zermatt Hunt. Others ventured out into the town to complete their Zermatt Hunt Questionnaire and have a quick shop. The evening ended with a torchlight adventure; where all the groups hiked further up into the Alps, with the aid of flaming torches and the guidance and care of the Les Elfes team, to experience a night hike.

 

What an amazing day and evening, it was!

 

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Wednesday, 25th May – First day of skiing, workshops and clubs night!

The first day of skiing was an exciting day for all the students, who woke up bright and early to catch the lift up and ski. The day commenced with fair weather and comfortable temperatures. Some students have returned for another year of skiing with the Les Elfes Team, and others have joined to learn how and progress throughout the week. The progress was evident today; with a higher level group already making it up and down a more difficult slope. The kids returned to have some snacks and relax, and then made their way to their workshops: leadership, personal development and sports. Some walked over to the gym for crossfit training and gymnastics, learning the skills of football, and others worked on developing skills needed for their present and future life; with the Les Elfes leaders. Dinner was another delicious meal, followed by clubs night, where the kids joined theatre club, arts and crafts club, orienteering, journalism and photography, or health and fitness.

It was a successful and productive day; filled with new experiences, learning, adventure and fun!

 

 

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Tuesday, 24th May – Departure to Zermatt, Chocolate Factory and Cheese Factory!

Today was our departure day to Zermatt… and what an exciting day it was! The drive was long, but there were no complaints from anyone, because the journey to our destination included many educational and interesting stops, such as, Le Gruyere Cheese Factory; where the campers learnt how cheese is made, visually and step-by-step. The next stop seemed to be most exciting for the students, and there is no question as to why… the next stop was the Cailler chocolate factory; where the children learnt all about the history of chocolate and listened to stories about the Aztecs discovery of the cocoa bean; and the progression of the chocolate industry as time has passed. (From a luxurious delicacy to a daily treat, for many!)
From thereon, the children climbed back onto the buses to continue the journey to the train station; where they were greeted by the red Swiss train that would wind it’s way through the snowy peaks, higher up into the Alps, to our final destination. Upon arriving in Zermatt; the students explored the historic little village (with the guidance of their instructors) and were then invited to have a delicious dinner, before having an easy night and getting ready to sleep after a days travel, and before beginning their skiing adventure tomorrow. What an exciting day!

 

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Monday, 23rd May – United Nations Office, Cern, Olympic Museum

Today, Les Elfes woke up to a white morning, with the whole of Verbier beneath a blanket of fresh snow; as if to give us a taste of what is to come when we set off on our exciting Zermatt adventure tomorrow! After bundling up in Winter clothes for a little while of time playing in the powdery snow; the campers all climbed on the buses for a trip through Geneva; visiting the United Nations office and exploring the science museum. Some of the students were also treated to some time to experience the beautiful city and shop around. Others went in a different direction after lunch, by going to the Charlie Chaplin museum to take a step back through history and have a quick shop in Vevey. The older campers went on a visit to the Olympic Museum and Cern, and enjoyed some shopping. In the evening; the clubs teamed up to continue progressing on their skills and learning about their chosen club. After packing and getting ready to sleep; the campers had their well-deserved rest, and are all looking forward to Zermatt tomorrow!

 

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Sunday 22nd, Olympic Games, Mountain Biking and Hiking.

The campers spent yet another sunny day outside taking part in the Les Elfes Olympic Games, mountain biking and hiking up in the beautiful Swiss Alps. The weather could not have been more perfect, and the children were filled with energy throughout the day. They challenged each other in their different teams, that they labelled as countries of the world, and had fun playing water bowling, sheet volleyball, water pong, basketball and venturing through a fun obstacle course; all while having their scores recorded for the Olympic Challenge! The hiking meant a trek up the surrounding Verbier mountains and mountain biking in the sun.  Early evening brought sports, personal development and leadership workshops for all the learners to participate in. They worked on their skills with the guidance of their instructors, and had fun with their friends. The evening ended with an exciting ski fitting and clothes fitting to prepare for the trip to Zermatt! It was another excellent day!
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Friday, 21st May – Bridge Swing, Tennis, Music Video and Paragliding

Today was a beautiful, warm day in Verbier. The students spent their day enjoying and making the most of the pleasant weather. For some, it meant trying the bridge swing for the first time, climbing the wall or venturing through the ropes course. For others, it meant tennis and mountain biking in the morning! In the afternoon, the kids swapped within their age groups so that they, too, could have a turn on a different activity. At sunset, the workshops (personal development, leadership or sports) commenced; all the children enjoyed relaxing with some helpful life skills or playing volleyball, basketball or golf out in the sun. They ate a tasty dinner; and then had an exciting evening choreographing and acting out their own music video with their friends and peers (and, of course, the monitors to guide them!)
All of the children were energetic, smiling and laughing throughout the whole evening.
For a few campers, paragliding was their adventure of a day, and a special memory that they will carry with them throughout life. They could be seen flying high up in the beautiful blue Switzerland sky, above Les Elfes Campus and in the distance, even! It was a wonderful and productive day for all the students!

 

 

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Friday, 20th May – Aosta, Italy Visit and Clubs Night

What an exciting day it was for our campers; who travelled across the border to experience the beautiful little town of Aosta, Italy. It was exciting to explore Italy, experience “real” Italian pizza, eat ice creams to cool off on a warm day, and take a step back in history to visit the castle and Roman ruins. The afternoon and evening brought a lovely dinner, followed by clubs night; where the students went to their selected field of learning and spent the evening with their club leaders; progressing their skills and learning new things about their chosen activity. The day was warm and very exciting for all!

 

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Thursday, 19th May, Spring Camp – Rock Climbing, Bridge Swinging

It was a wonderful day at Les Elfes for our campers. They spent the day in the sunshine; after a light dusting of snow on the peaks and the surrounding mountains last night. The groups spent the day challenging themselves with a leap off of an alpine bridge swing, venturing high up in the trees through a ropes course, rock climbing, mountain biking with the Les Elfes team, learning and improving their tennis skills with the professionals, and enjoying the pleasant weather. The evening and late afternoon activities meant leadership, self development and sports workshops, followed by a delicious dinner, and then, their chosen clubs. This was photography and journalism, health and fitness, orienteering and first aid, cooking club and theatre club. The students were welcomed with an educational and fun session where they expanded their knowledge in their choice field of learning. It was another wonderful and productive day for each and every camper; spending time with familiar and new friends, and their enthusiastic camp leaders. All the learners were all smiles and excited for the entire day.

 

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Thursday 19th May… High ropes, rock climbing, bridge swinging, tennis and mountain biking

This morning the students awoke to a beautiful morning in Verbier. Snow covered the slopes just behind the camp like icing sugar and the low clouds were clinging to the mountains with little beams of sun sneaking through… My favourite type of morning.

The groups were split today into older Ana duping we students. The younger students tried their hand at a spot of rock climbing and really impressed all of the staff with their attentiveness and eagerness in the high ropes course activity.

The older group had tennis lessons with our professional coaches followed by a big variety of mountain bike sessions. Some students learnt to ride a bike for the first time while others practices their skills off-road through fields and small brooks. Finally they took a leap of faith, trusting the staff an their new friends and stepping off the platform for a once-in-a-lifetime adrenaline experience in the bridge swinging challenge.

Now it’s time for showers, snacks and the first of our leadership and trust building sessions to that our campers can integrate with one another and start to build life-long friendships!

more photos to follow later…

 

Wednesday 18th May… Arrival Day Spring Session 4

What a hectic and fun first day on camp… 101 students arrived today to transform our quiet mountain campus into a bustling centre for activities, laughter, jokes and fun. The next two weeks are going to be fantastic with students from all over India and even Russian too!!

After arriving at the camp the students checked into their rooms, enjoyed a nice lunch together with camp monitors for the week and had a welcome speech to learn the rules of the camp and to meet all of the staff working with them and some of their fellow campers. After the meeting we had a busy afternoon of equipment assignment a treasure hunt around the village a Swiss fondue night and finally a small group meeting before settling into bed nice and early to prepare for tomorrow’s programme.

Stay tuned for stories tomorrow of our exciting first day rock climbing, mountain biking, tennis, bridge swinging and even climbing the trees at the challenging high ropes course nearby. The groups will have a challenging first day of activities, making new friends, working with new people and developing their independence to become more confident in organising themselves and stepping out of their comfort zones!!

New Online Protection and Web Identity Classes

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Dear Campers, Parents and Friends,

New to Les Elfes… Perfecting your personal brand to become more successful in professional and social situations. For our students aspiring to run their own business, become directors, CEOs or prominent public figures or to conduct themselves in a confident and comfortable manner in a range of social situations our Etiquette and Web Identity classes are the perfect starting point.

A new branch to our personal branding workshops, which makes it a truly modern finishing school experience, is our web identity focus. In addition to the more traditional arts of finishing school we also focus on managing interactions and movements in the online arena.

At Les Elfes we guide students to think about the content which is public and the content which is private to build a respectable online identity.

It is becoming much easier to access personal information about people through their social networking page and this may be a blessing or a curse depending on how you build your personal online identity. Social media can be used, with carefully chosen profile pictures, albums and posts to boost you personal brand but, all too often, our students’ social media pages are filled with content that would be discouraging for future employers or even university admissions.

Adam

 

Our online behavior can not only have a deep impact on our private life, but also within our professional sphere. Social Media have become a part of the real world. We have to manage our digital identity and online reputation. It’s important to insure that our pictures, videos, and documents cannot end on the Internet or in the hands of cybercrooks.

 

Online-Awarness

 

Our Online Protection and Web Identity course is run once per session: 

Web-1As the digital age speeds along, we feel it is more important than ever to understand and to question where the boundaries are and how best to utilize aspects of social media and the worldwide web.

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Our Online Protection and Web Identity Course will give students an insight and understanding into an aspect of the web that they would not have had before, our aim is not to put students off from the likes of social media or to reduce the time they spend on the internet, but how to be more productive, protective of your data, and more importantly, protective of your personal image online.

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Our online behavior can not only have a deep impact on our private life, but also within our professional sphere. The borders between the digital world, and the real world are more and more obscure. Today, Internet and Social Media, have become a part of the real world. We have to manage our digital identity and online reputation, as we are doing in the real world. Whatever we may do on Snapchat, Facebook, is no longer anymore virtual, it has to be considered as a part of our real life.


Course will be around 6 hours long and divided into two sections.

 

Stéphane has both the undeniable expertise, and character to deliver a quality and fun program.

Stéphane Koch, whose vast resume includes Masters of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Economic Crime Investigation, a degree of Specialist in Public Relations (ISRP), the position of Vice-President of High-Tech Bridge SA (a company specialized in Ethical Hacking) will be delivering the course to our students one day per session.

Switch to the new App as soon as possible

 

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Dear All,

Firstly we would all like to thank you for using out Les Elfes App and hope that you have been satisfied with all of the content and regular information. We now have an update to our app, and in order to have the best possible experience, we suggest you switch to the new app as soon as possible. We wish you a very pleasant summer ahead, any questions or issues, please do let us know.

Download the app
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Olympic Games, Orienteering and mountain biking. Prize Giving

A final activity packed day to leave the students with that fulfilling tired feeling after a very busy two weeks of camp. The students packed in a second session of mountain biking to develop their skills further, a spot of orienteering to see how their maps skills have developed and whether they can find their way through the forest and a very animated… very entertaining Les Elfes Olympics with fancy dress and a rather unusual obstacle race!
After these busy activities the students organised themselves really well to collect their pocket money, pack their bags, check out of their rooms, bring their luggage downstairs and shower ready for a 2am departure from camp.
Our evening meal was a special treat, we had pizza – a solid session favourite, followed by chocolate fondue. What a fantastic final meal together and, despite having their phones back for the entire meal, the students seem to have changed their ways, talking to one another all dinner rather than playing on Instagram… or maybe it was because the first person to touch their phone had to clean the table.
The evening prize giving was full of smiles, cheers, chants and even a couple of happy tears. The staff and students had really nice words to exchange, prizes and thank yous to give and… a Les Elfes First… the prize giving ended with a standing ovation!!! We will truly miss these students, we have so many fond anecdotes to remember them by, so many great memories and we really hope that we will see them again in the future.
For now, we wish them safe travels and a prosperous year, until next time… remember… Just do it!
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Chocolate and Cheese factory, Dicso night

After a busy couple of days packed with outdoor sports the students had a chance today to spend some social time with their friends and to be tourists for the day with a cultural excursion to Vevey, Cailler Chocolate Factory & Gruyere Cheese Factory.
In the morning the students explored the sights in Vevey, the adopted home of Charlie Chaplin, before a picnic lunch in the park and some impromptu football and basketball with some of the Swiss kids who were there. After a lovely group photo by the fountain the group headed to the Chocolate factory.
The tour was fantastic learning about the history of chocolate and the journey of chocolate to Europe before seeing how the chocolate is made and even looking for Umpa Lumpahs (hope for a little song). After tasting all of the chocolate they could possible manage the students moved along to the cheese factory for the smells and tastes of Gruyere.
The students behaved in an exemplary manner all day and for the staff accompanying them it was like a day out with good friends, such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere!
In the evening the students danced away, with some rather unconventional moves, in the Les Elfes Disco to celebrate such a great session… 1 day left at camp!

Bridge swinging, mountain biking, ropes course, rock climbing and tennis

All students had a blast after participating in our adventure sports today with Les elfes. Some of our students climbed high in the trees during the ropes course and challenged the large rock climbing wall in Sambrancher. The students challenged their abilities and used their skills to navigate their way around the courses. Meanwhile the others students were jumping from a bridge, swinging from left to right in the trees, an extremely wonderful and exciting experience! Would you jump?

Some of our explorers today had the experience of mountain biking in the beautiful alps. They learnt many new skills using the breaks, gears and different balancing techniques. And of course some of our lovely campers played a game of tennis, learning the basic rules of Tennis and basic techniques of hitting a ball and different swings.

The smell of BBQ cooking in the background was delightful, the students were very hungry after these extreme sports and got stuck in straight away each eating a full plate of very tasty BBQ food.

In the afternoon the students went straight into their Personal Development and Leadership program. The students were giving some excellent objectives to think about, they were asked to think outside the box, writing poems, thinking or new way to express themselves.

Our leaders were given different exercises in order to bring the leader out in them. They each lead an activity, using the skills they have learnt throughout the previous sessions. Now we can really see the progression in the students, they have managed to express their vision to us and their teams. Each student has excelled in their leadership skills and we are very excited for the conclusions tomorrow.

After a very tasty traditional swiss dinner with cheese and potatoes the students joined into their chosen clubs. This evening we progressed them to the next level of understanding. Students forever learning in such a wonderful setting.

Check out our website for videos!

 

 

Ropes Course, Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking, Bridge Swinging & Tennis

Today the sun was shinning bright in the wonderful Swiss Alps. Some of our students climbed high in the trees during the ropes course and challenged the large rock climbing wall in Sambrancher. The students challenged their abilities and used their skills to navigate their way around the courses. Meanwhile the others students were jumping from a bridge, swinging from left to right in the trees, an extremely wonderful and exciting experience! Would you jump?

Some of our explorers today had the experience of mountain biking in the beautiful alps. They learnt many new skills using the breaks, gears and different balancing techniques. And of course some of our lovely campers played a game of tennis,  learning the basic rules of Tennis and basic techniques of hitting a ball and different swings.

The smell of BBQ cooking in the background was delightful, the students were very hungry after these extreme sports and got stuck in straight away each eating a full plate of very tasty BBQ food.

In the afternoon the students went straight into their Personal Development and Leadership program. The students were giving some excellent objectives to think about, they were asked to think outside the box, writing poems, thinking or new way to express themselves.

Our leaders were given different exercises in order to bring the leader out in them. They each lead an activity, using the skills they have learnt throughout the previous sessions. Now we can really see the progression in the students, they have managed to express their vision to us and their teams. Each student has excelled in their leadership skills and we are very excited for the conclusions tomorrow.

After a very tasty traditional swiss dinner with cheese and potatoes the students joined into their chosen clubs. This evening we progressed them to the next level of understanding. Students forever learning in such a wonderful setting.

Check out our website for videos!

 

Wednesday 4th May Geneva Excursion to UN, CERN & Science Museum

What a busy day for our campers here in Verbier and what fabulous weather to go with it. Both of our groups of students travelled to Geneva this morning at 8h45 for a busy day of sightseeing and learning in the cosmopolitan city.

Both groups began their day with tours of the United Nations where they really impressed the tour guides with their knowledge of the structure and work of the UN and their intelligent questions throughout the visit. For the elder students it was a chance to see where important global decisions are made while our younger students were on their best behaviour, listening attentively and enjoying finding out about the presents donated to the UN from different countries… the group’s favourite was definitely the Peacocks who roam the gardens.

In the afternoon our older group had their lunch in the park by the famous clock made of flowers followed by a visit of the exhibitions at CERN. There they learnt about the particle physics at work during the Big Bang and the experiments performed in the Hadron Collider right now at CERN, including the discovery of the Higgs Boson.

The younger group travelled to the Science museum for a lovely picnic lunch in the gardens outside before a tour, with their excellent tour guide Ieva, of the scientific instruments featured in the museum. It was an interactive experience where students could use the apparatus and learn about how it worked.

After the excursion the students returned to camp for chicken/ quern nuggets and potato wedges before splitting into their groups again for a packed evening of Leadership & Personal Development Programmes. The older group learnt about ‘Self Determination Theory’, the affect this may have on motivation and the expectations they should have for a group when framing an activity for them. Our younger students began the session with some reciprocal feedback, watching videos they had made in the previous session and commenting on the direction and, specifically, the articulation of the groups in their videos. The focus of our session today then moved to Alpine Animals and creative expression in the style of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. Once the group has made poems we will practice performing them to small groups while developing effective body language for engaging an audience.

Meanwhile it’s Star Wars day… May the 4th be with you!