A common concern for parents is that you need to be able to contact us and your child during their stay.
Les Elfes has quite a liberal approach to electronic devices, unlike similar american camps, we do not forbid electronic devices at the camp.
We do still limit the amount of time students can spend on those devices.
Camp allows our yougsters to look up from the world on their screens and to experience the sublime in panoramic-real-life view.
We allow students to have their phones from 17h00 until 19h00 each afternoon to contact home.
For the remaining time all mobile devices are stored with Les Elfes staff in a secure locker at the campus.
Over the past few years we have trialed many electronic device policies and we have found 3 main benefits from our current policy:
Students mix more easily and make new friends if they don’t have an isolated alternative to social interaction. They learn to share in the experience of the camp with their fellow campers rather than hiding behind facebook and snapchat and communicating only with their friends at home. Camp is an opportunity to build lifelong relationships with students from around the world, don’t let an ipad interfere with that.
Campers without their phones adjust much faster than campers who have the option to speak to their parents every 5 minutes. The biggest problem we have with students who are feeling homesick is when parents continue to contact them outside of set hours. Students who are busy in activities and sharing new experiences under the supervision of our very experienced staff are happy and smiley but as soon as they hear the voices of their parents they start to remember home and start to miss them. It is normal and we often have a few tears at phone time but as soon as phone time is over and children return to being happy, smiley, well-adjusted kids who know that in one or two weeks they will go home full of stories to tell their parents. Please don’t be alarmed if your child cries when they speak to you. Camp is challenging and tiring and you are their security blanket at home that they can have a little cry to. It doesn’t mean that they are unhappy.
Campers experience more in the mountains than they can on youtube or facebook. The experience of being at camp is one that should be cherished and every moment needs to be experienced to the fullest. Every time a child glances at their phone they miss a special moment that they cannot get back. Not having a phone during activities means students experience every moment of the activity, they are involved and engaged and have the opportunity to learn.
Our reception is open from 08h00 until 20h00 and students can be reached via our receptionist at the campus.
For serious emergencies we also have an emergency number which can be used 24/7 to speak to your son or daughter.
We also welcome you to email if you have any concerns about your child and we endeavour to respond to all emails within 24 hours.
Your child would like to take away photos from their time at camp? All of our instructors carry a smartphone and take photos throughout the activities.
Photos are uploaded to our online blog with stories from each group every day.
They are also available on Facebook for you to download and keep and at the end of the week we collate a slideshow of the best pictures and videos of the week which students can take home with them to remember their time at the camp.
We also have a Les Elfes App where you can receive live updates about activities on camp and photos as they are tagged throughout the day.
At camp our Elfes learn to cope with adversity, harness equanimity and gain confidence in expressing themselves. Social media will still be there when they go home, but so will the knowledge that their resilience and personal strength can enable them to achieve astounding things!