First Day at camp – 6th July 2020

Our first day of camp and all the students start off their morning with some languages…after which the fun packed day started with Discoveries heading off for some climbing, Explorers heading to the lake and Pioneers going climbing and having a go on the zip line…

Languages with the students for the first morning
Having a break and learning whilst out rock climbing
Zip line with the Pioneers was great fun!!
Keeping the harness on for climbing even on the swings…
Our first birthday on camp! What a day to turn 16 years old!
One of the Discovery boys smashing the climbing wall!
Fun on the inflatables at the lake

Understanding the Importance of a Summer’s Best Two Weeks Camping Experience

Summer camps offer you the perfect opportunity to familiarize your child with different games, fun sports, and new friends. However, a short camping trip limits the number of activities and amount of fun your child can have. This is where a summer’s best two weeks camping tour comes in. On this post we shall discuss: 

  • Les Elfes summer camps
  • Summer camp activities your child can engage in at Les Elfes
  • Benefits your kid will gain from a summer’s best two weeks camps 

About Les Elfes Summer Camp 

Les Elfes is an elegant international camp situated in Verbier, the French-speaking region of Switzerland. If you don’t speak French however, you shouldn’t worry because English is the official language spoken at the camp.

All international campers staying at the camp communicate in English both in class and during their free time. One good thing about Les Elfes is campers can enroll in foreign language studies. By adopting a communicative learning approach, foreign campers register speedy progress in their designated groups.

Verbier is characterized by an exclusive atmosphere, scenic landscapes, and glamour. Les Elfes, on the other hand, is the only camp in Switzerland that runs all year long. However, there have been inconveniences lately as the world struggles to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.

The management at Les Elfes is monitoring the situation and plans to open the summer camp on 20th July 2020. Non-English speaking campers can enroll for English lessons as part of their educational program.  

Language Courses at Les Elfes 

There are two types of language courses. The classical program is a spoken French, Spanish, English, and German course that runs for 8 hours per week. Lessons in this program are conducted at the summer camp in Verbier.

The intensive program offers English lessons for 15 hours every week. Lessons are conducted in the morning and follow a five-day model. Campers are free to engage in leisure time in the afternoon.

To make the lessons fun and exciting, the intensive program is structured to ensure students learn in small groups (not exceeding 7 learners.) The Les Elfes summer’s best two weeks camping experience includes fun sporting, creative, and entertaining activities as we shall see later. 

Food and Accommodation

Campers participating at Les Elfes summers best two weeks camping experience live in comfortable, classical alpine chalets. These are built of wood and stone and each comes with a reception area, living room, and roomy recreational areas.

They also have a barbecue area, terrace, music room, fireplace area, kitchen, internet cafe, a private dining area, and a library. Campers looking for a more adventurous experience can opt to camp outside in tents.

Planning a long term camping trip can be a difficult task. What with everything you have to organize? The exercise can be more challenging if your kids are going for their first camping experience. This is because you’ll need to buy camping gear.

By camping at Les Elfes you don’t have to struggle with buying camping gear. You can hire every gear you need at the camp at friendly prices. Campers can choose to cook their food or make arrangements for onsite catering services. 

Activities at the Les Elfes Summer Camp

Summer provides campers with the perfect weather to engage in exciting outdoor-related activities. No parent will want to send their children on a summer’s best two weeks trip only for them to spend endless time indoors. At Les Elfes, there are plenty of exciting activities that your kids will enjoy. These include:

·         Bike Riding

Kids and teens alike love bike riding and the camp organizers at Les Elfes understand this well. This is why there are bike riding activities for every age group. Apart from having fun, there are many benefits that your child will get from bike riding at the camp. Campers can hire bikes and riding gear at the camp. 

·         Wall Climbing at the Onsite Gym

Wall climbing is fast becoming a popular sport for both kids and adults. There’s an onsite gym at Les Elfes that has a climbing wall. Your kids will love engaging in this activity while bonding with their newfound friends.

Further, they’ll enhance their eye, feet, and hand coordination. There’s an onsite trained and experienced coach who will train and monitor the kids. All the gear kids need to engage in wall climbing is available for hire at the camp. However, you should ensure your kid has a proper pair of socks.

·         Making Friendship bracelets

Creating friendship bracelets is an easy and fun activity that children of all ages can participate in. Parents should ensure their kids have enough yarn, tape, and colored floss. They’ll also need some lettered beads that they can use to sew in their friend’s name on the finished bracelets.

Remember, your kids will make new friends during their summer best two weeks camping experience. Exchanging bracelets at the end of the trip is a fun way of carrying unforgettable memories from the trip. 

·         Afternoon and Evening Activities

Afternoon and evening programs at Les Elfes are designed to meet the needs of each camper. They are divided into groups with each group engaging in a different activity between 2000hrs and 2145hours just in time for bedtime.

These activities include making ice cream from scratch, team challenges, ice skating, disco night, quizzes, telling stories, and campfires. Other activities include: dining in a Swiss restaurant, participating in games competitions, going for a torchlight walk, and mountain barbeque. 

·         General Activities

There are various general activities at Les Elfes for campers to choose from. These include arts and crafts where campers join different art clubs that are designed to help broaden their artistic skills.

Other general activities include treasure hunts, hiking, social activities such as playing musical instruments, shopping in Verbier, and going picnicking. Campers will also engage in different ball sports such as football, beach volleyball, minigolf, volleyball, table tennis, basketball, and badminton.

·         Certificates and Prize Giving Activity

At the end of the summer’s best two weeks camping trip there’s always a final celebration and prize-giving party. All campers take part in the prize-giving night and the organizers reward campers who achieved specific goals.

During this night, organizers have various entertainment options for campers and parents who may have attended the camping trip. This event offers campers an ideal opportunity to bid their newly acquired friends goodbye.

Apart from the prizes, campers who may have attended language courses are handed language certificates. Every camper receives an activity attendance and progression certificate. 

How Will Your Child benefit from a Long Term Camping experience?

Les Elfes summer camps offer the ideal environment for children to learn and enjoy an intercultural community. At the end of the trip, they’ll have gained numerous benefits such as seen below.

·         Develops Lifelong Skills

During a summer’s best two weeks camping trip children get a chance to participate in a wide range of group activities. For instance, when a child takes part in a sport such as bowling or volleyball they learn teamwork. They also learn communication and problem-solving skills.

If the child is appointed to be the hiking group leader they’ll be tasked with guiding the team. This will help them develop leadership skills. When a child is tasked with distributing chores among the team members they’ll develop strong communication skills.

Children develop decision-making skills when faced with challenges or conquer obstacles when engaging in adventurous activities such as zip lining. These skills can be developed in a summer camp.

While children learn and develop social skills in school, camp brings together children from diverse cultures and communities. Such an environment encourages a sense of recognition for individual differences. This is different from the school environment which encourages academic achievement.

·         Boosts Independence

While on a summer’s best two weeks camping trip a child will have some time away from their parents. This gives them a chance to grow a sense of personal individuality. Children learn how to be self-reliant as they evaluate their interests and identify their weaknesses and strengths.

With time they learn how to listen to and trust their inner voice rather than relying on their elder siblings, teachers, and parents. Independence plays a huge role in the journey to becoming a self-reliant individual.

Is your child afraid of going out or sleeping alone? If they are, summer camp will give them a different perception of the world and help them convert to independence. Independence plays a huge role in enhancing your child’s self-esteem. An independent child will not only be responsible, but they’ll also be good decision-makers.  

·        Creates the Right Environment and Time to Play

During the school year, children are accustomed to going to school, completing their homework, and preparing for examinations. This leaves them with no time to play. While some may engage in extracurricular activities, these are often executed within a regulated environment.

Summer camp, on the other hand, offers a relaxed environment, and enough freedom and time to engage in play. Unlimited play helps children to enhance imagination and creative thinking skills. It provides children with the right environment to express their emotions and thoughts. In the end, your child will come back happier and more refreshed.  

Other summer camp benefits include:

  • Encourages teamwork and resilience
  • Helps children to connect with nature
  • Encourages children to get out of their comfort zone and try new things
  • Boosts confidence, and 
  • Promotes growth within a secure environment

Finally

Long term summer camping trips provide your child with an opportunity to explore nature, relax, and benefit from the experience. 

Book your child’s summer camp trip today and get a 10% discount. 

What a Summer! Thank you For Visiting

Dear Parents,

What a summer. If you haven’t been to the Alps in Summer, do it I promise you it’s well worth it, fresh air, healthy living, tranquillity, and harmony all around. Les Elfes Verbier is no exception, although we do have up to 140 running around taking part in Summer Camp, maybe a little less tranquil than the Sound of Music, but fun is the word.

As I write this, the annual Horse Riding Festival is taking place, earlier this week Verbiers inaugural E-Bike Festival welcomed avid cyclists from all over Europe,  July welcomed the Verbier Festival ( World Famous Classical Music ). It has the best of both worlds, a quiet village tucked away in the mountains, and yet a vibrant family-friendly resort bringing in energy and atmosphere paralleled only by the landscape and scenery.

The question isn’t why would you send your child to Summer Camp here, its Why Wouldn’t You? Please look at our latest Testimonials from Campers, follow us on social media and you will get a great picture of what Summer Camp has to offer.

To those of you who have sent your children to us this Summer, I have to say from all of us, a massive thank you. Each year we have the privilege of taking care of your children, being a father of three myself, I know the journey can be as tough for the parents as it can be for the children! Each Summer I see amazing displays of character from the children, and I look forward to seeing you return.

Winter Camp is upon us soon, many of you have been enquiring, and I hope to see some familiar faces on snow. A magical Summer Camp can only be matched by Winter, for more info do get in touch.

Transfers from and to the Geneva Airport

How and where do you welcome children coming by airplane?

photo-2
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:

The Benefits of a European Sleep Away Camp for Your Child

According to Peter Scales, an established author, educator, and psychologist, camps provide the perfect environment for your children to encounter and fulfill their desire for creative expression, physical activity, and involvement within a community environment; something which Peter says many schools have not been able to achieve.  

If you’re a parent, your desire is for your child to thrive in things they are passionate about. In today’s fast paced world, your children have to learn and master various skills to succeed. These include; self-esteem and resilience skills, self-reliance and problem-solving skills, and leadership skills. Camps provide the ideal and serene environment to nurture these skills, away from the hassles and bustles of the city.

What are Camp Organizers Doing to Maximize the Camp Experience?

With the recent popularity of camps for young children, organizers have listened to what the child development leaders have pointed out regarding children’s needs. This is why they are keen to adopt the best measures to ensure children get the best out of their European sleepaway camp

A group of children campers residing within natural surroundings and participating in camp related activities are some of the best instruments organizers utilize to make camps healthy, prosperous, and the ideal environment to have fun and relax. 

In such well-organized surroundings, children will connect with significant role models who are ready to talk and offer a listening ear, and professionals who help them reflect and relax. If you are struggling to allow your children to go for summer camps in Switzerland, perhaps the following benefits will convince you to let them go.

Separation from their Parents Influences Growth

European sleepaway camps may be short; however, they can have a huge impact on the child’s growth. Often, these mark the beginning of your child’s trips without you and while they allow the child to evolve in various levels, they also give you the opportunity to realize their growth. Remember, children are always developing and you will hardly notice it especially when you are with them on a daily basis.

Give them some time off to attend some of the best summer camps in Europe and you are bound to notice a significant change. Regular campers will not only be fit but they will also be happier and more exuberant, thanks to being exposed to sufficient sunshine and inhaling fresh air. By attending sleepaway camp, your child will experience physical, emotional, and social growth. 

They Master Independence

If you want to teach your children how to execute tasks on their own, camp is the perfect opportunity to do so. Remember, you will not be going with them to camp. This not only eliminates the need for you to do things for them, but it also means that they have no choice but to do what there is to be done.

Further, they will have to remember everything you would otherwise remind them such as; brushing their teeth, making their bed, taking showers and even making healthy eating decisions, failure to which they risk getting punished by their group leaders.

The good thing about European sleepaway camps is; they are an ideal opportunity where even vulnerable children can master the art of depending on themselves while they are away from their loved ones. Once the camp is over, you will see that your children are able to execute tasks without being reminded. 

Sleepaway Camps Enhance Determination

Children are encouraged to give their best in skill-building activities during camp. Further, they will feel the need to outshine their peers and this enhances their determination to achieve success.

The camp environment is conducive for learning activities and with robust role models, your children will be inspired to continue learning and improving their skills. It’s worth noting that there’s no ending curve when it comes to learning at the camps. Team leaders will be happy to cheer the children as they learn and advance various skills.  

They get Sufficient Space and Time to Execute New Skills

While at home, your children have to deal with many things such as home chores and completing their homework. These can deny them the time they need to try out new things. When your children attend international summer camps in Europe, they will not only be exposed to challenges, but they will also be introduced to a safe culture where they can take risks.

The fact that camp leaders are there to provide the support they need is enough to motivate the children to take risks. Even the most reserved child will be inspired to try new and adventurous activities such as ziplining or even public speaking. Attending camp will challenge the most soft-spoken child to stand up and defend themselves when conflicts arise. 

They Learn Social Skills

Social skills are not only essential for your children, but they are critical for everybody. With excellent social skills, your children will be able to communicate, interact, and work together with others with minimal struggle.

While some of the best summer camps in the world provide a wide variety of activities for your children, they also provide a community where your children can join and showcase their talents. The community comprises of camp instructors, counselors, fellow campers, and even the camp organizers. These possess the right expertise to instill in your child the social skills they need to; get along with fellow campers and master the art of collaborating to complete tasks with children from a different background.

For instance, your children will participate in shared duties where they’ll have to coordinate with one another to; win a competition, keep their surroundings clean, or help one another master new skills. A perfect European sleepaway camp will enhance both cooperation and leadership skills in your children. 

They Take a Break From Technology

In today’s digital world where nearly everybody including children is techno-savvy, many parents are struggling to keep their children off the television, their tablets or phones. Many parents will agree that keeping children off these electronic devices and the internet is a major challenge.

Many European sleepaway camps are against the use of electronic devices and even if children have to carry their iPods or tablets, the organizers keep them safely until the camp comes to an end. This gives them sufficient time to engage in worthwhile activities. Taking a break from technology and electronics enables your children to make new discoveries, focus on their hobbies, and appreciate their surroundings more.

They discover themselves

Sleepaway camps expose children to group experiences from which they learn critical information about themselves. Participating in group-related activities during camps develops self-esteem, enhances self-advocacy, promotes self-discipline, and helps the children become more productive. These skills play a major role in preparing children for prosperous adulthood. 

Your Child will Become more Grateful

When they are at home, children have everything at their disposal so much so that they may take them for granted. It’s not until they go for European sleepaway camps that they learn how to be grateful for their: big bathrooms, a warm bed, gadgets, snacks, and sufficient food.

Spending some days away on summer camp can be all your child needs to be grateful for the small things that life has to offer. What’s more, your child will learn to value you. Often, children take their parents for granted. However, children who’ve been on a sleepaway camp learn to be grateful for the effort their parents make to ensure they are satisfied. 

They Form new Friendships

Is your child overly reserved? Do you constantly worry about their inability to make new friends? If the answer to these questions is yes, perhaps you need to expose them to an activity that gets them out of their comfort zone. Sending them for European sleepaway camps is one of the most appropriate ways of helping your children make new friends.

Of course, it won’t be easy for them to agree to attend a summer camp where they don’t have friends. However, they will get an opportunity to interact with other children and make friends with ease. Whether camp friendships are short-lived or last a lifetime, the experience helps your child to diversify and master the art of connecting with people from a different race and culture.  

Your Child will Learn how to Make Decisions

During European sleepaway camps, you will not be near your child and they will have no option other than making their own decisions. They will have to choose their meals, contemplate on whether to sleep on the lower or top bunk, choose between playing football, swimming, or going hiking instead, they will even decide how to spend their pocket money. Of course, camp leaders and counselors are not as controlling as parents, children will be responsible for their own choices. This will prepare them for teenage and young adulthood where they will need to make informed choices. 

Finally

Summer camps in Europe offers your child the perfect opportunity to interact with other children, make new friends, and get exposed to various learning opportunities. What’s more, they will get motivated by watching fellow campers do things differently. Not only will your child become more responsible, but they will also learn to appreciate the things you do for them. 

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!

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)

 

New Etiquette Classes Summer 2016

Dear Campers, Parents and Friends,

At Les Elfes we have high expectations for our students and we endeavor to enable them to achieve the most from their time with us.

An important part of the experience we offer is the ‘family’ atmosphere that we have on our camp.

We offer different programmes for each age group however on our campus the way the groups are combined during meals and some activities means that all of our students, regardless of their age group, are part of a bigger supportive team who look after one-another and share their stories together at the end of the day.

Unsurprisingly therefore for many students this is a new environment, and simply being way from home and part of a larger group is a new concept, and for many being out of their own culture and country is also a new chapter.

As a result of this we are proud to have conceptualized Etiquette classes at Les Elfes. Understanding how to feel self assured, and confident in a range of environments especially away from parents in a new part of the world is something we feel many of our students can benefit from.

In collaboration with Chalet D’Adrien, a Relais Chateaux luxury 5 Star Hotel in Verbier with a simply stunning gourmet restaurant.Students will spend time learning and putting into practice a range of topics, such as sitting correctly, manners at the table, etc.Manners cost nothing as the saying goes, and more than ever children are tested, graded, assessed from early ages.

ETIQUETTE CLASSES SUMMER 2016

Our Etiquette course is run once per session:

These dynamic and interactive workshops will enable our students to develop a toolbox of teamwork skills which will help them to build mature lasting relationships with friends and colleagues, create imaginative and complex solutions to problems and focus on their Emotional Intelligence using theories and practices from a range of academic scholars in the field of experiential learning.

The course will be around 6 hours long and divided into two sections:

LUNCHTIME LEARNING

In collaboration with Chalet D’Adrien, a Relais Chateaux luxury 5 Star Hotel in Verbier with a simply stunning gourmet restaurant.

Students will spend time learning and putting into practice a range of topics, such as sitting correctly, manners at the table, table setting, silverware settings, dining dos and don’ts, interacting with servers and many more. Although many of us take these topics for granted, for many it can be quite daunting, with our help and guidance, we believe students will approach these situations with a newfound confidence and enthusiasm.

They will learn proper table manners, manners at home, manners when out and about, honesty, integrity include role playing and exercises, multimedia materials, and comprehensive lesson plans so students learn the value of proper behavior, self-respect, and self-confidence all while having fun.

MANNERS, RESPECT, FUN

Manners cost nothing as the saying goes, and more than ever children are tested, graded, assessed from early ages. Manners and decorum are increasingly important.

Students will learn the value of proper behavior, the power of please and thank you, public manners, talking to adults, eye contact, standing tall and making small talk. With our fun interactive class, student will carry out role playing scenarios where they can present their best side and make the most of the opportunities that come their way.

Being prepared for success in the global economy of the 21st century, in a variety of situations is crucial, with this fun, interactive course, students can develop important skills, manners, become more accommodating of others and become impressionable for all the right reasons.

We have just a few days left of our winter season here and whether you are travelling to visit us for skiing in Spring or adventurous activities this summer camp we look forward to a great trip together.

For those who have visited us already this winter, thank you for a fantastic season.

The Chalet d’Adrien
Relais & Châteaux, 5 star hotel in Verbier

This hotel offers personalized proposals of stay to all parents willing to accompany their children joining the international holiday campus “Les Elfes”.

Visit their website

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.

Welcome Session 4… over 50 different nationalities!

Summer Camp Session 4 just started…
Very good mix this session!

We are very happy to welcome over 50 different nationalities at the campus!

In the past, we have heard from many campers that they have found lifelong friendships and have built international networks for their future… For sure this session will be a good one…
Some of the countries represented: India, Russia, Hong Kong, Spain, Switzerland, USA, UAE, Hungary, Italy, Brazil, Singapore, Kazasthan, Belgium, Greece, Mexico, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Bahrain, Romania, UK, Nigeria…

International Day will be exciting!

Summer Special Events

During Summer, Verbier and surroundings will host many great events. Those events will be the time for great special excursions with our campers.

This is a quick overview we would like to share with you:

From 5th to 20th of July
Montreux Jazz Festival

The 47th Montreux Jazz Festival will take place from the 5th of July to the 20th of July across the lake.
Kids will visit this magical place during an excursion to Montreux and enjoy the music and food in a great atmosphere.

Founded by Claude Nobs in 1967, over the years the Montreux Jazz Festival has become an unmissable event for music fans in Switzerland and around the world. Its stages have been graced by all of music’s greats, from Miles Davis to Ray Charles and from David Bowie to Prince.

More infos: www.montreuxjazz.com

From 19th of July to 4th of August
Verbier Classic Festival

The Verbier Festival brings together the greatest musical talents in Verbier. Since 20 years, the Verbier Festival has built up a reputation for quality, youth and frenetic artistic activity. 17 days of music with a line-up of exceptional soloists.

Every morning kids will be able to watch the training of the best musicians in the world playing Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Mozart, Bach and so much more.

Complete program (download link)
More infos: www.verbierfestival.com

1st of August
Swiss National Day

The day was chosen because August 1st 1291 was the date on which three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation, an act which later came to be regarded as the foundation of Switzerland.

Verbier will celebrate this alliance with a display of fireworks, bonfires. Children used to carry lighted paper lanterns roam the streets at night.

Public and private buildings are decorated with national, cantonal, and community flags, and the bakers produce special bread rolls with a small Swiss flag on top.

More infos: www.myswitzerland.com/en/swiss-national-day-august-1st.html

From 16th of August to 25th of August
Jumping International Verbier

Just in front of Les Elfes Campus! From 16th to 25th of August on the parking of the Sport Center.

3 stars International Jumping.

This horse jumping show, featuring some of Switzerland’s and Europe’s greatest riders, offers outstanding entertainment for experts and novices alike.

The spectacular senery and frendly atmosphere of the village combine to create a unique experience : a glimpse of true equestrian magic !

More infos: www.verbier-cso.com

Cow fights

To discover the “queens of the mountains” – the famous Hérens cows – the famous rituals known as inalpes (leading the cows up to the alpine pastures) and désalpes (leading them down again) are truly magical traditional experiences.

Cow fighting is a traditional Swiss event, mostly in Valais, in which a cow fights another cow. Each year, the Swiss canton of Valais hosts a series of cow fights known as combats de reines (“queen fights”), which began in the 1920s and has drawn as many as 50,000 spectators in a year.

The winner is called La Reine des Reines (“the queen of queens”) and increases dramatically in value. At the end of the year, a grand final is held in Martigny, where the six best from seven districts do battle in six weight categories.

Sport benefits for kids

Playing sports offers children more than just physical benefits. Sports typically help kids academically and socially as well. The benefits are the same whether or not your child actually excels at the sport. Sports are more than a game; they are a set of life lessons.

The high altitude Les Elfes campuses are located in a great environment offering perfect conditions for fun adventurous outdoor sports suited for kids and teen.

Our aim is to allow youngsters to try out new fun activities and outdoor sports in optimum safety. Teenagers can also progress and improve their skills in sports they might have tried before and in which they may have some experience already.

Huge choice of outdoor activities

The Swiss Alps region offers a wide range of activities combining natural elements and gravity. During the summer camp, kids can discover more than 30 different sports such as:

  1. Tennis
    During all summer camps, kids can play tennis at the sport center, which is situed next to the camp. Tennis lessons are a part of the summer program. Optionally, for those who are fond of tennis, we can propose additional tennis lessons. The teacher will supervise and coach kids and give them professional training with professional exercises. We also organize tennis tournaments.
  2. Mountain Biking
    Mountain Biking is a sport which consists of riding bicycles off-road, using specially adapted bikes. There are over 200km of signed paths around the campus, suitable for all ability levels. Kids will find delightful routes through a wide variety of scenery. No need for difficult climbing, the lifts do the work of carrying the cycles!
  3. Swimming
    Campers can go swimming in the large indoor and outdoor swimming pools in the Verbier Sports Center right next to the Les Elfes campus. They offer a great place for kids to play, swim, have fun or just relax and enjoy the panorama of the mountains, always under the supervision of our staff.
  4. Ropes Course
    One of the most popular activities at our summer camp! The ropes course includes different elements which participants have to learn in order to accomplish the objectives. Fully supervised and controlled by the staff, all elements are attempted with aid and moral support.
  5. Golf (Verbier)
    The 18 hole golf course on the hills overlooking the Verbier resort offers a striking panoramic view on the mighty Combins and Mont Blanc massifs. This top quality course is the place to discover this exciting sport which requests precision and focus or to bring your handicap on another level. The course is full of natural obstacles making the game interesting and challenging. During the courses, the kids will learn pitch and putt in a private practice area.
  6. Rock Climbing
    Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up or across natural rock formations. Verbier and Val de Bagnes can boast an impressive number of equipped climbing routes, where climbers of all levels will enjoy testing their skills. It’s a physically and mentally demanding sport, where campers will gain strength, endurance, agility, and balance along with mental control. The experienced mountain guides ensure safety and competence to introduce kids to this sport in a fully supervised way.
  7. Hiking
    Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments. The Swiss Alps resorts of Verbier and La Tzoumaz offer over 400km of signed and safe paths. Kids will explore the magnificent landscapes surrounding Verbier and Val de Bagnes, they will be delighted by the cows, known as the “Queens of the Alps”, the plants, animals, and especially the magical contrasts of the scenery.
  8. Water skiing:
    The camp isn’t far away of the Geneva Lake. Located in Switzerland and France, it is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe. The high summits of Mont Blanc are visible from the lake. Kids can try out water skiing and also enjoy many other activities on the lake such as tubing which is a recreational activity of riding an inner tube on the water.
  9. Horse Riding (extra option in Verbier)
    Horse riding is a great way to enjoy the alpine views and discover the resort. The village of Verbier organizes each year a horse riding competition which is very popular in the equestrian sport world. If your child likes horses he/she could ride all around the resort and discover the wonderful panorama, improve their skills and see the famous competition during the month of August.
  10. Various
    On the campus of Les Elfes, a lot of various land sports are offered, such as football, volleyball, table tennis, basketball, badminton, petanque, trampoline and many more. More activities, such as squash and Minigolf are organized in the village of Verbier.

Summer Camp and Security

Given all the factors to consider when choosing a summer program, parents should look at the security of the Summer Camp. There are several things that must be considered: Location, facilities, staff, medical support and activities are points to consider as safe.

Choosing a Great Summer Program: Advice for Parents

What is a good program?
Good summer programs encourage kids to learn new things about themselves and to explore unfamiliar activities. As you begin to research programs, you should ask how a program will influence your children now and in the future.

What about Les Elfes’ program?
“At Les Elfes Camps, children and teenagers discover other cultures and make new friends in a very international environment. Activities are designed to promote leadership, teamwork and to challenge students toward excellence in a way that maximizes both personal and group development and enhances self-confidence and interpersonal skills. As part of the language learning program, participants receive a certificate signed and graded by their teacher. The summer camp program is extremely varied and comprises a selection of fun activities and sports every day. Kids can choose to discover, practice and experience many new sports. As the camp offers more than 30 different outdoor sports, campers have a great choice! All the activities are suited for kids and teens and our aim is to allow youngsters to try out new fun activities in optimum safety.

11 questions to ask to evaluate the security of the camp

Parents often ask about the ratio of campers to counselors. While that’s a valid question, the maturity and experience of the staff is of utmost importance. Here are 11 important questions concerning safety at Les Elfes and our answers.

  1. What is the ratio of counselors to children?
    We endeavor to provide the perfect mix of guardian, friends and teachers to all students, and while we are there to make sure the students are happy, parents can be reassured that nothing comes before student safety. The organizer to student ratio is 1:5, however including all Les Elfes staff the ratio falls to 1:2.
  2. How do you select monitors?
    All our monitors have been carefully selected in accordance with Les Elfes criteria for skills and experience in working with children. On top of this, we use sports experts for some activities. Our dedicated and enthusiastic team of staff is 100% focused on the safety of the participants and the smooth running of the activities programs. Our staff are typically aged 18 to 28, and are fun, outdoors loving people from all over the world. Due to the responsibility of looking after children, applications are only considered when over the age of 20. We accept a limited number of Gap Year students aged between 18 and 20 for work experience only. All activity staff must have a valid first aid and CPR qualification, and be able to provide us with a copy of a police statement from your country of origin showing a clean record.
  3. How are your counselors trained?
    All our monitors and instructors have to take a two-week training course before the beginning of each season, one week of technical training and one week learning Les Elfes philosophy and safety requirements.
  4. Is there medical personnel on staff?
    All our camps have a nurse and all activity staff must have a valid first aid and CPR qualification.
  5. What would happen in the event of an emergency?
    In the event of illness or accident, we are only minutes away from world-class professional assistance. We have 3 up-to-date medical clinics in Verbier, and both campuses have access to a regional hospital and two University hospitals only 40 minutes and 75 minutes away respectively, or just 10 minutes by helicopter.
  6. Do your instructors carry mobile phones in case of emergency?
    All our instructors carry a mobile phone at all times that allows them to react very quickly in case of emergency.
  7. Is the health insurance and accidents coverage included?
    All our campers are fully covered by a swiss health insurance and accidents.
  8. How do you deal with weather conditions?
    Sports and activities are practiced only in suitable conditions and we are well informed of any weather condition changes. In case of necessary we modify the program of the day according to the weather conditions.
  9. How are the staff supervised?
    Each camp are supervised by a Resort Manager and an Activities Director whose job is to co-ordinate the instructors & counselors, supervise the activities, manage security, and in general keep things running smoothly at the camps. Each age group is managed by a group leader, an assistant and a team of instructors & counselors who accompany and take care of the children during activities and throughout the camp. Finally, there is a team of kitchen staff, house cleaners, drivers, and others, all of whom watch over the well- being of our guests during the camps. Our Activity Managers supervise the work  of our monitors and instructors all day long. Risk assessments are designed for each activity and are signed by all our monitors and head instructors during daily morning briefings and daily evening debriefings.
  10. How are the kids supervised?
    All our camps have a nurse and a 24 hour reception and night guard, which together with our monitors work, allows us to offer a 24 hours supervision of the children.
  11. What is the experience and history of your camp?
    Les Elfes has been operating since 1987. The resort of Verbier became the main base of Les Elfes with the construction of our own campus with its 140 beds and sports fields in 1995.

How to prevent homesickness?

Homesickness is one concern, children might develop before and while attending holiday camp. Be assured, that this is normal!  We would like to give you some advise on how to deal with this type of concern.

Please see below a few tips provided by our experienced staff:

How to deal with homesickness before and during summer camp?

Anxiety?
For kids that have anxiety about going back to camp, or kids that are first time campers, this time of year can be difficult for them. Anxiety is building and they need to work on it so by the time camp comes they are ready to enjoy a great summer!

Keep an eye open for less noticeable signs such as changes in sleep patterns (trouble falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep) or difficulty separating from you.

8 tips to help kids relax and have a positive camp experience:

  1. Talk about Les Elfes with your child in the weeks before summer camp starts! Try to find out, if your child has any fears or concerns about being away from home… All our staff at camp would be more than happy to answer any questions.
  2. Focus on the FUN side of summer camp at Les Elfes and try to highlight it in daily discussions with your child before camp starts.
  3. Remind your kids of the awesome games, crafts and sports in which they’ll participate. Show your child our camp brochure with cool pictures or go on our website, and discuss what a typical day at Les Elfes will consist of – hiking, rock climbing, swimming, mountain biking and many, many more different outdoor activities!
  4. Keep the farewell brief and do not make it dramatic. Also for parents, it can be hard to say good-bye. When children feel the pain of their parents, they will be more likely to get homesick during the time at camp.
  5. Please do not make any rescue promises to pick-up your child if they do not like the camp. This could have an adverse effect and they may not try to integrate.
  6. Summer camp at Les Elfes is a great way for kids to become independent and to grow up. While your child is at camp, try to keep the contact to a minimum in order to maximize this effect. Even if it is hard for you, please keep phone calls, text messages or emails short.
  7. Express confidence in your child’s resilience and admiration for his or her courage in going to camp.
  8. Tell your child that you are sure he or she will get help from counselors and friends when needed. All the staff at Les Elfes work here because they love working with children and want them to have a great time!
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