Our aim in this article is to present an overview of some of the stimulating activities on offer in the Romandie area, so that our readers with "summer camp age" children can make an informed choice for next year. Some of these camps have become so popular, that parents are well advised to book as much as a full year ahead.
Listed below are just some of the International Schools in the Romandie area offering a full summer camp programme.
Brillanmont International School
Located at the school's Lausanne campus, Brillanmont offers a residential summer camp from two to six weeks, starting on the last Saturday of June. In the mornings there are small classes in English and French, whereas the afternoon's activities comprise a wide range of sports activities. These include tennis, windsurfing, paddle, hockey, football and even the latest exercise craze of zumba. In the evenings there is ice-skating, rollerblading, quiz and cinema events, bowling and disco.
Saturday is the arrival and departure day, while Sundays involves whole school excursions: rock climbing, glacier walking and mountain karting, to name but a few. Costs are CHF 1750 per week all in.
Photo:© Brillantmont International School
Geneva English School
Since 1995, the Summer Music Program has provided students aged 4–16 with a fun, educational arts experience combining music, art, dance and drama. With music fundamentals, hands-on lecture demonstrations, singing and playing of instruments, the students participate in a wide-ranging musical experience. By working together the students team up to perform a fabulous musical show complete with costumes and scenery.
The fully qualified teaching staff and a team of dynamic assistants ensure that the children are well cared for and integrate quickly. They are soon able to make new friends, as families new to Geneva mingle with those who are well established.
This year's program runs 9:00-15:00 on weekdays, 2-13 July, at the Geneva English School. There is also after-camp care available from 15:00-18:00. All-in costs are CHF 875.
Photo: © Geneva English School
Florimont's annual "Flo-Vacances" has become a well-established event, and takes place during the month of July. Catering for younger and older children alike, their most successful activities involve water. One of the most popular recent visits was to the Aquarium in Lyon with its "room of the five senses".
Climbing is another favourite activity, but probably the most popular activities involve animals: Papillorama in Kerzers produced the comment: "It was amazing to see all the butterflies, with their colours, some of them are so big!" and Servion zoo: "It was the first time I saw a wolf. And they have lynx and wild boars and tigers and bears …" Recent experiences have included the eagles of Léman, and dogsled rides in the Haut Jura.
Generally the activities prove so popular that the children don't want to leave, and some of the parents regret not being able to take part (who would want to miss a visit to Cailler's chocolate factory in Broc?). Many children will return year after year, and the camp counsellors are happy to oblige.
Photo: © Institut Florimont
St George's School
Founded 85 years ago, St George's is an international private school based on the British tradition. Their Summer Camp is a new venture this year, catering for both day and residential students. It comprises Junior Camp for 9-13 years, and Senior Camp for 14-18 years.
Entitled "Language and Adventure Camp", the location is in Montreux, with courses running from the start of July to the second weekend of August (minimum two weeks' stay).
The language courses at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels are held in the mornings, and cover English, French, German and Chinese. In the afternoon there is a whole range of varied and intriguing activities, including watersports, mountain outings, and camping experiences. And on the artistic side, the children have the opportunity to develop their circus skills, as well as improve their artistic development.
Prices range from CHF 5100-6100 for boarders; and CHF 2950-3950 for day students.
The summer camp is run in Pully throughout the month of July. Children can opt to do either the first or second half of the month, or even stay for the whole four weeks. Courses are run mainly in French, with some in English. Apart from language classes, there are various cultural and sports activities. These include Alpine and water challenges, with a recent exciting and challenging visit to the Matterhorn. There are also opportunities for the children to experience "discover Switzerland" and attend local music festivals. Costs vary from CHF 3800 for two weeks up to CHF 6800 for the full four-week course.
Photo: © Collège Champittet
Ecolint (Ecole Internationale de Genève / International School of Geneva)
La Grande Boissière is the oldest and the largest of the school's three campuses, and includes a variety of attractive buildings and occupies pleasantly wooded grounds in the heart of Geneva. The school's popular summer camps provide a fully daily program of activities for children over the summer months.
According to the school, the camps have been designed to the highest standard. The staff, supervision and facilities are first-rate, and all coaching is bilingual. All the activities take place under the umbrella of the school itself, and are therefore conducted so as to respect the spirit of the school. The aim is to provide a challenging and stimulating atmosphere. Skills are taught through play, and emphasis is placed on using the children's love of the activity. This is designed to maximise their learning opportunities; and to develop their self-confidence, their sense of fair play and their self-reliance.
Places are limited, and so bookings are taken on a first-come first-served basis.
Photo: © Ecolint
Leysin American School
The school's "Summer in Switzerland" program (SIS) is for students aged 8-18 who want to learn, have fun and meet peers from some 40 countries all over the world.
Morning academic classes include French, Spanish, English, math, art, photography, computers, music, theater, SAT and TOEFL preparation. A variety of sports and recreation activities take place in the afternoons, with large group games and activities in the evenings.
The French Immersion Program is led in coordination with Concordia Language Villages, the premier language and culture immersion program in North America. Students learn French through work and play in French.
Recreation and Culture Week is held between the two sessions: excursions for the younger students (8-12); Cultural Tours for the older ones (13-18).
Students learn about international awareness, cultural tolerance, community-living skills, independence, leadership, and much more during their time in Leysin.