Transfers from and to the Geneva Airport

How and where do you welcome children coming by airplane?

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Arrival desk at the airport

Les Elfes welcomes campers in the arrival hall of the Geneva Airport (GVA).
We have our own office here.
Our friendly and helpful staff will take care of the youngsters right away and then drive them with our private bus to the campus. Our campus can be easily reached within 1h50 after leaving the Geneva airport.

This is a video made by our staff during an arrival day:

New Hoodies available at the reception

Remember fun times at Les Elfes
Wearing a cozy new hoodie

Verbier is a sunny south facing area but as any alpine region, it can get colder in the night. Stay comfortable and stylish with a cozy new Les Elfes hoodie – perfect for chilly free time or evening game.
These cotton hoodies provide a nice and warm fit.

The hoodie designs are created by verbier graphic designers.

No matter where you are from you will keep wearing your hoodie at home to remember  the good times you had at Les Elfes!

Hoodies are available at the reception of the campus.

Travel Arrangements

How to make sure children reach the camp safely?

Thousands of kids and teenagers go on holidays without their parents every year and they have a great – and perfectly safe – time.

Many of the risks that are associated with children flying alone can be overcome by using common sense and taking a few basic precautions. The following tips will help both children traveling solo and those responsible for the child to deal with many of the problems that may be encountered.

10 Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How and where do you welcome children coming by airplane? Les Elfes welcomes campers in the arrival hall of the Geneva Airport (GVA). We have our own office here. Our friendly and helpful staff will take care of the youngsters right away and then drive them with our private bus to the campus. Both of our campuses can be easily reached within 1h50 after leaving the Geneva airport.
  2. Can I accompany my child to the campus? Yes! We always are very happy to meet the parents when they visit the camp. We can arrange the welcome and transfer for the parents as well. You also can drive your child to the campus. We will of course provide you the travel details.
  3. If I accompany my child to camp, can I stay the night nearby? Absolutely. We can advise you some beautiful hotels in the resort. You may also wish to spend your holidays in Switzerland to enjoy the peace of the Alps or to discover the lake Geneva region.
  4. Are there any preferred arrival or departure times? No. Because kids arrive from all over the world, the time of the arrival depends on the flight possibilities. Les Elfes handles this in a very flexible way. In any case we will arrange the transfers according to the flight times of the kids.
  5. Should your child fly alone? The unaccompanied child: Airlines call a child who flies alone an unaccompanied minor (UM). Generally, a child must be five years old to fly alone, and each airline has its own policies, restrictions and requirements. The airline will request from parents the name and phone number of the pick-up person. We would provide you all those relevant information if required. Once the child boards the plane, he is in the care of a flight attendant. If it is a non-stop flight, the flight attendant will transfer the child to the adult waiting at the arrival city. If the child will be making a connection to another flight, the flight attendant will accompany the child to the gate agent or airport employee who will then take the child to the appropriate gate. There should be an adult airline or airport employee with the child at all times. Depending on the number of legs on the trip, the child may be under the care of several different adults. If the child will be spending some time in the airport, the airline may have special kid-friendly lounges for UM’s. These may not be in every airport or available from every airline. The reservation agent will know if there is one in the airport a child is traveling through.
  6. When is a child ready to fly alone? Parents are the best judges of that. Is the child comfortable around strangers? Is he/she able to keep track of her belongings, follow directions and entertain herself quietly for extended periods of time? The responsibility that goes along with flying alone can give kids a great sense of independence and confidence. But, if a child is unsure of herself, shy or scared, flying can be a frightening experience. Parents can help alleviate some anxiety by preparing the child ahead of time. Like so many other parenting situations, children pick up on their parents’ feelings. The child should know what will happen at the airport, through security, on the plane and at the destination. If he will be changing planes, parents need to stress that he follows the directions of the flight attendant or gate agent.
  7. Is the Pre-boarding different? On the day of travel, parents should allow extra time at the airport to fill out paperwork and pass through security. Some airlines ask parents and UM’s to arrive three hours ahead of time. The reservation agent can provide that information. Parents can go through security to the gate with their child but won’t be able to board the plane with them.
  8. Additional Fees? Not all airlines charge a UM service fee, but many do. Charges can vary depending on whether the flight is domestic or international and if there are connecting flights. If two or more children are flying together, the fee is usually charged just once.
  9. Happy landings? Airlines ask parents to stay at the gate until the plane has pulled away from the gate since mechanical problems or weather delays could result in passengers deplaning. The plane should be well on its way before adults leave the gate. There should have be a back up plan (or two) for picking up the child at the destination. The child should have names and phone numbers of the persons he may need to call.

When your child is ready to fly alone, you have every reason to expect it will be a positive experience. A little bit of preparation and careful planning can make it a pleasant journey. Opportunity for your child to spread his wings and fly!

How to pack? Get ready for Summer Camp

Please be aware, that our camps are situated in the mountains. The climate on a mountain varies depending on what altitude you are on a mountain. Weather conditions can change dramatically from one hour to the next. For example, in just a few moments the temperatures can drop from very hot temperatures to temperatures that are quite chilly. Therefore, our campers should bring clothes for those conditions and be prepared for bright, sunny days on the one side and for sudden showers or temperature drops on the other side.

Recommended items?

Luggage + belongings
Each student’s articles should be clearly labelled with his/her full name. A supply of extra labels is also recommended for any new purchases (sport equipments or other).

Compulsory Items:

  • 1 Waterproof Jacket
  • 1 Hiking Boots
  • 1 Trainers/ sports shoes (not flip flops or crocs please)
  • 7 T-Shirts
  • 2 Sports Trousers/ hiking trousers (no denim)
  • 1 Shorts/ 7 Underwear/ 7 Socks/ 1 Jumper/ Long Sleeved Top
  • 1 Fleece/ Warm Layer
  • Pyjamas
  • Swimsuit + Towel
  • Gloves
  • Toiletries (Soap/ Showergel, Shampoo, Toothpaste, Toothbrush)
  • Hairbrush/ Suncream/ Sunglasses/ Sunhat/ Waterbottle (re-usable)
  • Torch
  • Small daysack/ backpack

Optional Items:

  • Indoor Footwear (crocs, flip flops, slippers)
  • Pocket Money
  • Book Cuddly Toy
  • Jeans/ casual clothes for evenings & discos

Packing Tips

Your child will be very excited to head off to camp. It’s in your best interest to help him/her pack. While he/she may be able to do this on his/her own, you will save yourself the convenience with forgotten items if you oversee the packing. But, be sure to enlist your child’s help – this a wonderful teachable moment.

  • Packing list
    Create a camp packing list using the recommended list from the camp and other necessary items that your child may need, i.e. his/her medication.
  • Try items
    Highlight all of the items on the list that you will need to purchase for your child. You will need your kid/teen to try on items that may have become too small over the past year so that you can highlight them if needed.
  • Shopping
    Before camp begin shopping for items your child needs to take to camp. Finish this task in one week.
  • Extra set of hygiene items
    Purchase an extra set of hygiene items so that the items can be packed and you will not have to remember the day that camp begins. For example, purchase a toothbrush and toothpaste to pack and leave their home set at home.
  • Label
    Label all of your child’s items with his/her name.
  • Plastic bags
    Pack one outfit per day in a large gallon or 2-gallon size plastic zip bag. This will keep your kid’s clothes dry and your child organized.
  • Shower kit
    Place your teen’s toiletries in a type of plastic bag kit or plastic basket that would make it easy to travel to the showers. The kit should be big enough to hold your teen’s shower shoes/flip flops.
  • Recheck
    The day before camp starts recheck the list, pack up all of the gear and close the bag.


Travel Hands Free

Travel hands free with our exclusive offer from First Luggage. No more queuing at the airport to check in or pick up your bags.  First Luggage will come to your home, and pick up your bags and deliver them directly to Les Elfes in Verbier.

A 20kgs bag, for example to Verbier from the UK is £87, from the USA is £161, from Saudi is £222, from the UAE is £342, from Hong Kong is £217 and from China is £168.

Please ask them to quote on any other weight, country and destination worldwide. Please contact them directly on +44 1895 254 240 or customomerenquiries@firstluggage.com quoting Verbier.

New Magazine 2017

The new Magazine is here!

 

Les Elfes is extremely proud to announce the launch of its first magazine, hard copies available now for free delivery, simply request from the contact form below, alternatively you can download an e version.

Why a magazine after all these years I here you ask? We have always used separate brochures, winter, spring and summer, however it is 30 years next year since the founding of Les Elfes and we wanted to bring all aspects of the company into one magazine.

Covering all aspects of the camp whether it is how the activities are structured in Winter, to which excursion destinations are visited each week, or even information about the food, staff or rooms, it is all there. Don’t miss out and order now, our team of postmen will send them to you swiftly. See the link attached to receive a copy accordingly.

Download the New Brochure (Full Version)

 

Beautiful Snow Pictures

Winter has well and truly arrived in Verbier yesterday.

We are nearing the start of the season and looking forward to welcoming some familiar faces to the camp and some new ones to show around the expansive resort.

We would like to show you how it looks in our neighborhood!

See those pictures of snow taken during the last days from Verbier:

Tips & Rules for Parents

Dear Campers, Parents and Friends,

Everyone is becoming increasingly excited about the coming season and we at Les Elfes are no exception. Of course it is pretty tricky to predict how much snow we will have this year, which seems to be the topic of conversation. But the snowfalls have started and the resort is fantastic at making sure the pistes are ready to go come December. It is always a great way to start the season and we are really looking forward to kicking off very soon. As for the availability well there are still some places left so please get in touch with Head Office accordingly. Autumn Snowfall, The snowline is beginning to descend here in Verbier as the new Autumn snowfall covers the surrounding peaks. It is due to be an exceptional Winter in the Alps with the El Nino cycle bringing fantastic skiing conditions. We are nearing the start of the season and looking forward to welcoming some familiar faces to the camp and some new ones to show around the expansive resort. For those of you who have booked here are a few tips/rules: Please make sure you have read the packing list that we have sent you, there is a lot of items on there! Goggles and Gloves may be purchased at the camp. For the students please read the rules of the camp, especially mobile phones, they are allowed but read the policy! Then of course parents, there are some rules for you too! When dropping of your child, always try to liaise with the Resort Manager or Head of Individuals and use that person as your point of contact. If you are staying in the resort, make sure you do not come to visit every 5 minutes! Let your child settle in and always contact the campus before coming, it has been known that parents enter unannounced go straight to the bedrooms and look for their child, this isn’t an option, please understand! Much like the snow slowly creeping into the resort our wonderful team of staff will start returning from their breaks and gearing up for the seaso. Our training weeks begin at the end of this month, with a combination of on snow training, first aid, fire training, as well as all of the in house training that takes place. We look forward to all of your arrivals, and  hope to see you soon. If you have any questions at all regarding session dates, or the programs please get in touch on info@leselfes.com.

This season will be a cracker!

Dear teachers,

I write to you confident that this season will be a cracker! All the signs are there, with snowfall coming into the resort already and rumors of a mammoth season circulating all types of social media. It is incredible the amount of buzz and hype prior to the start of Winter, and 2015/16 is no exception. During October many of our staff have been on trips, visiting Les Elfes students and teachers around the world in: Brazil, China, Canada, Russia and Spain. We are also continuing our work with orphans in Nepal with two of our instructors, Frieda and Jacob, devoting their time to supporting an Orphanage there and working with the local children to develop our partnership with the Annapurna Association. Rea has been in Toronto at the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Forum, which brings together National Award Operators from around the world. The event is designed to review the Award’s progress and plan for the future. It is an opportunity for those delivering the Award on a national basis to share learning and to be part of the development of global Award operations and strategy. As for the availability well there are still some places left so please get in touch with the Office accordingly.

Autumn Snowfall,

The snowline is beginning to descend here in Verbier as the new Autumn snowfall covers the surrounding peaks. It is due to be an exceptional Winter in the Alps with the El Nino cycle bringing fantastic skiing conditions. We are nearing the start of the season and looking forward to welcoming some familiar faces to the camp and some new ones to show around the expansive resort. World Forum 2015 in Toronto, Canada As one of first Internationally Licensed Activity Providers (ITAPs) in the world Les Elfes was privileged this Autumn to be invited to the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (D of E) World Forum 2015 in Toronto, Canada. It was an inspirational event which brought together representatives from 60 different nations offering the award to discuss the development of the programme. For us, at Les Elfes International, it is a really exciting time for us as we pioneer our first ski touring D of E Adventurous Journeys. With the support of our well trained instructors and local mountain guides we have already taken many of our students ski touring to local mountain huts but this winter we will be the first organisation in the world offering ski touring expeditions as part of the award.

Schools Meeting in China I have been to China meeting schools , with interest of Ski Trips being boosted by Beijings successful 2022 Winter Olympics bid.

I was happy to present Les Elfes to schools in Beijing and Shanghai, and this year we shall be welcoming groups from both cities. A fantastic country and I met some wonderful people, I advise anyone interested in going to do so, you wont regret it. The staff are gearing up for winter, with many of them having been on their Autumn breaks from summer camps, with training beginning at the end of the month. We cover the on snow training with ESS and first aid, fire, and our in house training all before the arrival of our first groups.

More information on the Application from Les Elfes, if you haven’t already downloaded it, do so! Parents especially will benefit from the App, allowing users to check on the groups with photos and text each day, current news up and coming events also on there. I advise anyone sending their child to Winter Camp to download the App (its free!!).

I wish you all a fantastic November, and look forward to seeing you in Winter, if you are not booked in, please email us at info@leselfes.com for availabilities, there may be some room left!

3 Questions Every Asian Parent Should Ask

Do you see a growing interest in camps for children in Asian countries? If so, can you share a little bit more on this?

Les Elfes was founded in 1987, starting with 20 students and now providing Summer, Winter and Spring Camps to over 5000 students worldwide, we have seen growth from all over the globe. Asia is no exception, with over 300 International Schools attending our camps, including many top schools from Asia, the increased reputation and profile has paved the way for parents to send their children to our Summer Camps. Increasingly we are seeing affluent families from Asia choosing Les Elfes and this trend can be seen in other camps also. The world is becoming smaller, with air travel costs at an all time low, and connectivity at an all time high, the prospect of sending a child across the globe to Switzelrand to Camp is becoming less of a far fetched notion. India, Hong Kong, Singapore, have historically been very strong markets with steady growth over the last 20 years, China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, following suit more recently. Overall therefore we have definitely seen a growing interest in Summer Camps from Asia.

What do children get from time spent at Les Elfes that they would not get at any other place?

Although Les Elfes has been running camps for nearly 30 years, we have still kept a family feel. A key factor to success at camps is the relationship that monitors and staff have with the campers and of course the campers with each other. In our Verbier resort with 146 beds and a students to staff ratio of 5:1 everyone gets to know each other very quickly, and this helps them all settle in, become relaxed and ultimately have more fun! Being the only camp in the world that is open from December through to October, allows us to keep hold of our staff all year(s) eradicating the problem of high staff turnover which other camps inevitably deal with. With a massively international mix, over 40 nationalities, and a vast choice of activities Les Elfes isn’t just any other place, it’s a very special one.

What life skills do children get from time spent here?

The benefits of camps are endless. It is not just a great program with superb activities, learning languages and going on cultural excursions. Life skills such as understand how to live in a different environment and community away from home and school. Developing their resilience, independence, and self-confidence, as well as connecting with nature and being physically active all set un the stunning backdrop if the Swiss Alps.
What makes an experience here so special?
A good question and one in which our campers will answer better than me! From my experience, the campers constantly talk about the friendships they have made with other campers and monitors. At the start of the camp they are a little sad because they are away from home and missing mum and dad, but by the end they are sad because they don’t want to leave! The camp is a special place in many ways, as said earlier it has a family atmosphere, and with our returning rate of students increasing every year, the camp has a really positive feel. Without the pressures of exams and academia at school, campers can grow and learn new skills in a fun safe environment with new friends. A unique setting in the mountains with new activities and adventure every day, where lifelong memories are made.

New in Verbier next Winter

New Boardercross / Snowpark in Verbier

Up Savoleyres and La Tzoumaz will be the new boardercross / snowpark of Verbier.
The Audi Fun Park promise a  lot of fun. [/one_half]


Half way between snowpark and boardercross , the new track is very ludique mixing banked turns, jumps and small tunnel.

The opening is currently scheduled mid – January

This location should become the best new spot for next winter!

 See you there!

Final Weeks Of The Les Elfes Volunteer Trip with Andrew and Emma 

Watch the video and read the amazing stories

Second half of the trip

The second half of our trip to Nepal has been just as exciting and fulfilling as the first. We have shared many great memories with the children of Association Annapurna Nepal (AAN) and have experienced so much more of what this amazing country has to offer. Unfortunately the devastation caused by the earthquakes was still evident in every way, as the country continued to be battered by the resulting aftershocks and the extent of the damage grew as each day passed. Emma and I had become part of the AAN family during our time with them as the children now referred to us as their brother or sister. It was also clear that they had all come out of their shells, as they took every opportunity to impress us with their signing and dancing or engaging in a friendly wrestling match with us as soon as the ‘adults’ weren’t watching.


Watch the video


Bicycles challenges and guitar lessons

Our days were still filled with exciting games and outdoor activities around the house. The children had all become extremely proficient on the bicycles with many of them challenging us for a race at every opportunity. We found an old guitar in the house which we had fixed up and restrung, this meant we were able to give a few guitar lessons in the evenings to some of the children who showed a great interest in music. Apart from all the fun and games, there were still the daily chores and homework to attend to which were always undertaken diligently and with little fuss.

Second major earthquake

In the aftermath of the second major earthquake, on Tuesday the 12 of May, the government decided to call off school for the rest of the week to allow for the buildings to be inspected once again. This gave us three extra days at home with the children and an opportunity to plan some longer activities for them. We spent one of the days at home working with paper mâché and balloons to create piñatas. This was done by covering the balloons in paper mâché and leaving a hole around the top of the balloon where the knot is tied. The balloons were hung to dry for a few days before being popped to leave a hollow paper mâché container. These containers were then filled with sweets and so became piñatas which were smashed by the children on our last day as a farewell present.

A highlight of the trip at the swimming pool


A highlight of the trip was a day spent at the local swimming pool. We hired a bus to take us all to the public pools which were just a few kilometers away. The children were extremely excited as they arrived at the pools with their swimming costumes on, towels in hand and plenty of sunscreen on their faces. We spent the whole day playing around in the swimming pools and on the swings in the playground near by. Some swimming lessons were given to the younger children while the elder kids spent their time speeding down the water slide and practicing their dives in the deep end of the pool. After a long day spent in the water we settled in the playground for a well deserved picnic with all the children. They were exhausted from all the swimming but had clearly had a fantastic day out.

Earthquake relief effort

A major portion of our time during the final weeks was focused on the earthquake relief effort. We had received a massive amount of support from people across the globe, all of whom made donations which would be used to provide aid to villages which were devastated by the natural disaster. We focussed our attention on the village of Warpak in the Gorkha Distract of Nepal. This village consisted of around 1 400 houses but after the earthquake this number was reduced to just 20 houses. This resulted in thousands of people being left homeless and lacking basic needs such as food, water, clothing etc. With the use of the donations received we were able to purchase various things such as food, soap, gloves, boots, medicine, hammers, face masks, rain coats, equipment for building shelters and many other essential items which could be used to help the people of Warpak. We then hired a vehicle and transported all of these items to the village and distributed them amongst the villagers. The following video will give you an idea of the damage which was caused by the earthquake in the Warpak area:

Sad to say that our trip to Nepal has final come to an end

It is sad to say that our trip to Nepal has final come to an end. We have had an amazing time with the children of AAN and were able to learn so much from them. It’s is difficult at times to think of these boys and girls as children due to the maturity and confidence they all posses. It is also hard to imagine that many of these children have experienced extremely difficult upbringings as they always managed to fill the room with their contagious laughter and enduring personalities. We traveled to Nepal to help the children of AAN and to experience what the country had to offer but I don’t think either of us could have expected to take as much away from the trip as we did. After spending time with these children you realize that there is more to life then what we tend to get caught up in everyday. As long as these children have each other they are happy and they will work together to get through any challenges that may come their way. That is what Association Annapurna Nepal is all about. After seeing the spirit of the Nepali people who had lost everything during the earthquake and were still trying to help those around them with smiles on their faces, it became clear that this is also what Nepal and its people are all about.

Special thanks

Emma and I would like to thank Dhan and Milan for their assistance throughout our trip. They taught us so much during our time with them and our trip would definitely not have been the same without them. We would also like to thank everyone who assisted with, and made a contribution towards, the earthquake relief effort.

We were able to have a positive impact on so many lives thanks to your help and support. Finally, we would like to Les Elfes, and Philippe in particular, for making this entire trip possible for us. It really has been a once in a lifetime opportunity and it would not have been possible without their support.

Association-Annapurna-001

Summer camp just started…

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Dear Parents and Students,

Summer 2015 is upon us, and as the warm sunshine beams down on to the sunny mountains of Verbier, Les Elfes Summer Camps are in the final stages of preparation for our students arrivals.

Les Elfes has been running since 1987, and with each year that has passed the camp evolves and has grown, this year is no different. With our core program based around languages, excursions and outdoor activities we have new components including career guidance and leadership training conducted by world class facilitators.
Also students have the opportunity to learn new skills such as cooking, drama and the arts, also run by a team of experts.
The students will experience both the great outdoors whether it is Mountain Biking or Kayaking, Rock Climbing or Hiking, as well as ‘softer activities’ such as the traditional sports of Tennis, Golf and Basketball. All of this carried out in the stunning south facing slopes of Verbier, not only a world class ski resort in Winter, but a hub of activity in the Summer months, hosting events such as the Classical Music Festival and the International Horse Show.
The students here at Les Elfes will experience and gain many benefits from the quality of a world class Summer Camp, in a fantastic environment, making friends from all over the world and learning new skills for life.

As I write this, students are arriving from all over the world, and will settle in for the night for the next two weeks to a month. Many of whom are returning students, and many have never been here before.
The one thing we can guarantee is that students will be cared for by a fantastic team of staff members, who will bring their own skill sets and expertise into the camp, ensuring adventure and unforgettable memories. Safety, Quality, Fun has been our mantra for the last 28 years and combined with our attitude of Learning Through Adventure Les Elfes Summer Camps is a fantastic place to be.

Adam, Resort Manager

Jenny

Jenny
Name:
Jenny

Position:
Assistant Resort Manager & Head of Individuals

Where are you from?
England

What Languages do you speak?
English, French & some Spanish

What are the best bits about your job?
Getting to know hundreds of new people from all over the world, making lifelong friends, living in a beautiful ski resort and having the opportunity to ride every day, whether it’s mountain biking or snowboarding!

Skiing or snowboarding?
I love them both but I prefer to snowboard, jumping around and practising my tricks

What are the best bits about Verbier?
The amazing mountains, the people & the adventures

Tell us about your most recent adventure…
As part of my work for Les Elfes I recently travelled to India to meet some of the Individual students who are visiting Les Elfes this season. It was an unforgettable experience, I met so many amazing people, saw some spectacular sights and tried some really tasty food.

If someone was coming to Les Elfes for the first time what piece of advice would you give to them?
Remember sometimes coming to camp can be very difficult for the first couple of days if you are feeling homesick but if you give it a chance you will have a brilliant time, we have really experienced and supportive staff who will do a good job of looking after you.

Rea

Rea
What is your name?
Rea
What are your passions?
RUGBY!! Snowboarding, Diving, Surfing, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Disney Movies & Travelling
What is the best adventure you have ever had?
I have 2.

The first was a 2month trip to Nepal where I trekked for 52 days in the Annapurna & Solukhumbu regions walking each day at high altitude in really challenging conditions & sleeping in guest houses along the way each night

The second was when I cycled with Faye from Verbier to Barcelona, camping along the route… we even stayed at a campsite with pet llamas.

Do you have any pets?
I have a hamster called Ainge (pronounced with a New Zealand accent) after my friend & a new puppy called Juno who stubbornly only answers to Sausage!

What was your best day ever in Verbier?
A day of riding with Faye, Zoe & Ru last season!

Do you remember your first trip to Verbier?
Yes. I came 5 years ago for my friend’s birthday.

Summer Camp 2015: now 3 weeks also possible

rond-3-weeks

3 weeks also possible

So far, we have offered 2- and 4 week sessions for summer 2015. If 2 weeks are too short or 4 weeks are too long for you, we are happy propose you 3 week sessions too. If you are interested in this option, then simply contact headoffice or mention it in your online request.

Halfway point of the Les Elfes volunteer trip in Nepal

Les Elfes volunteer trip to Association Annapurna Nepal with Emma Cros and Andrew Robarts

Arrival in Kathmandu

Our trip to Nepal began on the 21st of April 2015 as we departed from Geneva airport and flew to Kathmandu via Istanbul. We spend the first two days of our trip in Kathmandu which gave us an opportunity to sort out various things such as mobile phones, bus tickets, clothing etc. It also gave us an opportunity to explore the capital city and visit some of the world renowned sites in the city such as Durbar Square and Swayambhunath (The Monkey Temple).

Journey to Pokhara

It was an early start to the day on the 24th of April as we started an 8 hour bus journey from Kathmandu to the city of Pokhara, where Association Annapurna Nepal (AAN) is situated. Upon arrival in Pokhara, we were greeted by Milan, who is the ‘hostel father’ and is in charge of the day to day events at AAN. He led us to Hotel Elia, in Lakeside, Pokhara, which was to be our home for the next 3 weeks. We spent the rest of the day unpacking and finding our feet as we explored the streets surrounding our new home.

Warm welcome from the children

We met Milan outside our hotel early the next morning and proceeded to walk with him to the home of the Association, a walk which took us roughly 20 minutes. Upon our arrival we received a warm welcome from the children of AAN, all of whom were at home as there is no school for them on a Saturday. We were introduced to the children individually and then spent some time getting to know more about each of them. After this they showed us around the home and explained the daily chores to us which consist of various things such as sweeping, mopping, fetching water and washing dishes to name but a few.

The tragic earthquake

After the chores were complete, we entered into a competitive game of hide-and-seek with the children although this was cut short, very suddenly, as we were hit by the tragic earthquake which has caused so much damage to the country and its people. We all rushed outside and found a safe place on the street where we all stood together while the 7.9 earthquake continued to rattle the land around us for well over a minute. Fortunately there was no damage the property and more importantly, none of the children were injured by the natural disaster. We were advised not to be indoors as aftershocks continued to roll through the country, so we spent the rest of the day working in the vegetable garden as this allowed us to take our minds off the events which had just taken place.

The school is closed… Time for exciting games…

School was called off by the Government for the next week as they needed time to inspect the school buildings and provide help to the people who had been affected by the earthquake. This meant that the children would be at home for the week, so we came up with a number of different activities to keep the children active and entertained during this time. We introduced the children to a few of the classic Les Elfes games, such as: hold the paper, musical chairs, balloon pop, pen in the bottle and pass the orange. To make these games a little more exciting, we split the children into teams and had a prize giving at the end of each day where we awarded sweets and chocolates, as prizes, to the winning teams.

Learning

We also hosted a few different classes where we were able to teach and discuss various things with the children.
One such class was based on earthquakes. Here we taught the children how and why earthquakes occur and we also provided them with a platform to share their thoughts about the whole situation and how they felt during the time of the earthquake. Another class was focussed on business and entrepreneurship. After providing the children with some business theory we then split them into teams and challenged them to come up with a new business idea which they could effectively run in Nepal. The ideas were very impressive and both the teams excelled in their presentations but at the end of the day only one team could be the winners and they were awarded with some well deserved prizes.

Outdoor activities

A large portion of the week was spent outdoors with the children as we were treated to some glorious weather conditions. Some time was spent tidying up and planting some new crops in the vegetable garden, as well as, fetching leaves in the forest which are used to make compost for the garden. A few of the afternoons were spent teaching the younger children how to ride a bicycle while most of the older children showed us that they had already mastered the art of cycling. One of the highlights of the week was a day which was spent trekking up one of the many hills surrounding Pokhara. On route to the top we stumbled across a silkworm farm where we spent a bit of time investing the processes used to produce silk. Upon our arrival at the summit we spent some time playing games, after which we got the artistic juices following as we all spread out and painted the beautiful scenery surrounding us. The day was ended off with a fantastic picnic which was enjoyed by all before taking a relaxing stroll back down the hill to the children’s home.

School is open

School commenced on the 5th of May; we arrived at the home early on this morning to help the children get ready for the day. Little help was needed though, as the children were so eager to get to school and share stories of the earthquake and their week off with their friends. They were all looking neat in their uniforms, with their books ready and bags packed, all that was left, was for them to finish their breakfast and catch the bus to school. We tidied the house after they had left and then headed back to lakeside to rest and enjoy some free time around the lake. We returned in the evening to hear the children’s stories of their day at school and spent most of the evening assisting them with their homework. After their homework was complete we settled in front of the television for a while before enjoying some Dal Bhat, a delicious traditional Nepali meal. We then wished the children a good night and cycled back to the hotel for a good nights rest.

The remainder of the school week followed in a similar pattern although we also spent some time working with Milan, and his brother Dhan, on various issues relating to the earthquake. They had decided that they would like AAN to assist with the earthquake relief effort and provide support to those living in areas which had been devastated by the earthquake. We spent some time collaborating a few emails which could be used to raise awareness for the relief effort and provide people with information about how they can contribute to the effort through donations.

Halfway point of the trip

We have now reached the halfway point of our time in Nepal and we have already taken away so much from this amazing experience. Nepal in an incredible country which has so much to offer in so many ways. The country is founded on a culture that is so gripping, it is almost overwhelming, and the people are among the friendliest in the world. We are looking forward to making the most of the little time we have left in Nepal and sharing it with the awesome children that are the heart and soul of Association Annapurna Nepal.

Information and special thanks

For more information on Association Annapurna Nepal please feel free to visit the website: www.annapurna.ch
If you would like to contribute to the Associations earthquake relief contact Dhan Adhikari – asso.annapurna@gmail.com or Milan Adhikari – milan.adhikari11@yahoo.com and they will provide you with more information.

A massive thank you to Les Elfes, and Philippe in particular, for providing us both with this amazing opportunity to visit Nepal and have a positive impact on their lives of the children at Association Annapurna Nepal.

Difference between 2 and 4 weeks Summer Programs

At Les Elfes we are currently offering 2 and 4 week programs for our summer camp.

It is important to identify exactly the difference between these programs.


During a two week session the students take part in many activities as you can see. The four week program further develops the students’ learning of these activities, such as in mountain biking in the first week they may take part in a gentle route and the following occasion a more challenging route, or in rock climbing, students may be introduced to rock climbing in the first two weeks and further on experience a more challenging face.

It must be clear that the monitors and group leaders will always make sure the students are safe and that we are not pushing them too much, at the same time, we understand given the right guidance, students can achieve more than they ever anticipate, this is the key to learning through adventure.

Also within the four week programs the students can choose some of their activities so that they can further develop the activities they enjoy the most.  Also they will have the choice of the different mountain huts or camping locations ensuring they experience a diverse Alpine experience ,  this is also the case with the excursions, again providing the students with a range of cultural visits.

It is important for the students to understand that although the programs are pre defined, within the weeks 3 and 4 they do have more choice, and therefore able to enjoy the activities they do best, and at the same time learn new skills in new activities.

Summer Camp: Enrolments starting now

Les Elfes Summer Camp Enrolments starting now…

Winter season update

Over 2.000 students have been skiing with us so far representing over 50 different nationalities from South America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe..
The winter season so far has been amazing; the students travelling to Les Elfes from all the world have enjoyed ski/snowboard lessons with plenty of snow, exciting evening activities and fun excursions within Switzerland.

New optional courses

During Summer Camp 2015, Les Elfes will offer different kinds of educational courses to the campers, on top of the regular summer camp program. Les Elfes work with reputed experts in order to achieve the highest learning outcomes for the students. Each camper will receive an official certificate after completion of the course.
Contact Les Elfes headoffice for details.

Safety Measures during Winter Camp

This video has been recorded during the winter staff training week 2014/15.
Adam, the Verbier resort manager is explaining the list of security measures the staff must take to make sure all the kids can ski in safe conditions.
During the training week all of our instructors are teached and certified by the Swiss Ski School.
Safety Quality and Fun!

Multiple Benefits of Personal Achievements

Why is it important to have personal achievements?Fun-Ski-Girls
Recent studies have found that students who participate in social and educational learning programs benefit in multiple ways. Compare this to students who do not and they improve significantly with respect to:
Achievement test scores and school grades
Social and emotional skills
Positive social and classroom behavior
Conduct problems such as classroom misbehavior and aggression
Attitudes about themselves, others, and school
Emotional distress such as stress and depression
Which achievements could your child reach during a winter camp at Les Elfes?
Challenge yourself by learning Skiing and Snowboarding

During 6 days per week and 6h / day, from total beginners to high level experts, our students learn how to ski and snowboard. No matter the level they have at their arrival they will all discover that they can overcome their own limits and will return home proud after achieving their newly achieved skills. Many parents have commented on how their children have returned with a greater sense of self confidence, independence and pride. After each session, a race is organised in order to give a certificate to the camper to show him/her how he/she improved since previous  years  or since the begin of the camp

Which level is your child? Discover it through those detailed description of achievement levels.

Improve your social and international skills through language lessons

Taught by the  Verbier Language School.  Students will undergo language lessons for 8h per week. As students come from all over the world, the multi lingual aspect of Les Elfes is both interesting and new to many students, and allows the students to discover how to communicate with people from different cultures and mother tongues. Parents often relay on how their kids found international long life friendships and how they have become more aware of the culture difference through the world. Teachers will evaluate the students at their arrival and departure in order to provide them with a  certificate and make them proud of their achievements since their arrival or since last year.

Improve even more with intensive language program

For those who are looking for deeper international objectives. We propose intensive language programs of 15h per week in addition of the ski and snowboard lessons. With this program students will have even more achievements and gain skills that will be useful for their entire life and future carriers.

Message to Session 4 Campers

Another session passes and we are now at the height of Summer here in Verbier.
This session was three weeks long starting the end of June and we have really got to know the kids well, from many different countries and cultures and backgrounds, it has been great working with them.

The weather has been up and down but the kids have stuck at it, and we have been extremely impressed with the attitude shown by not one or two but by all of the students. It is certainly a real challenge being away from home for this amount of time, and in a new environment at camp it can be difficult sometimes, making new friends and experiencing new activities, so well done to all of you.

I was particularly impressed with our Discovery students this session, some great kids who at the start of the camp were very a little shy and some were even a little homesick, but by the second week we could see a dramatic change in the interaction with each other, the confidence was growing and the all round attitude was fantastic, so well done Discovery!

Also to some of our Arab students who were here this session, for Muslims at the moment it is of course the time of Ramadan, and for students to fast and still take part in the languages and activities must have been a real challenge, so well done and great commitment.

Safe travels home all of you and make sure to thank your parents for this fantastic opportunity, I hope you have learned from Les Elfes and continue to do well in your lives.

We hope to see you all in the future, and wish you all the success, from all departments at Les Elfes, a big thank you.

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