11 Benefits of Summer Camp

We are quickly approaching the summer months, during which I – and many others here at International Language Camps – will witness camps in action, and have the pleasure of hearing/reading feedback from a lot of parents and campers.

And while it’s always amazing to see just how many students are having a great time with their camp experiences, it’s the benefits and the outcomes; the stories of positive impact that really stand out.

While that is a lot of young minds absorbing the benefits of their CAMP experiences, that’s even more parents witnessing growth and development in their children. Thus, there is plenty of feedback to draw from and report on, from one summer alone.

So, I put this together because it’s important that parents understand everything camp has to offer. Many ask, “what is summer camp like?” and while the answers out there are good, there is another layer to consider.

I’ve heard from friends and family that the decision to send kids to a summer program really comes down to whether or not they can fit camp into their busy schedules, or, if there is a week or two during the summer where they’ll need daycare. Similarly, the thought that camp can actually be a learning or growth experience doesn’t factor into the equation as much as it should.

That’s unfortunate!

That said, I get it. If you have kids, you might think sending them to camp with other kids to play, have fun, learn, interact, etc. isn’t much different from a school experience, right? Thus, any benefits from camp could probably be attained from school, so why bother?

Well, truth be told, there are many benefits exclusive to the summer camp experience.

Why is Summer Camp Important?

Summer camp is important because it offers a structured opportunity for children to grow. Kids go from home to school to extracurriculars, with each environment contributing to their development. Summer camp, then, is another unique venue for growth, allowing kids to become independent and self-confident, while socializing and making new friends, and even learning new skills.

Summer Camp Benefits

1. Camp Helps Kids Build a Unique Interest

There aren’t many schools that offer video game design for kids, archery, or entrepreneurship. But, there are a number of camps that specialize in these activities (up to 14,000 camps in the US actually, as estimated by the American Camp Association).

So if your child has an interest in anything outside of the core school subjects or sports, where do they go to learn or gain experience? There might be a few after-school options like a robotics club, etc., but even then, you’re adding one more thing onto the plate of a student who already has homework and other commitments to juggle.

So, camp is one very good, distraction-free option, and allows for a time for kids to kick the tires on a new interest. From there, you never know what that interest might turn into….

2. Camp Reinvents and Eliminates Categories

I updated this post specifically to include this bit I came across from Parent Guide News:

“Students often attend school year after year with the same peers, which can lead to labeling and being ‘stuck’ with a particular perception. A child may become known as studious, quiet, etc., when, really, he can be boisterous in another setting. Children who go to day or sleepaway camps meet a whole other group of people in a different environment. Often times, a child will break out of his supposed categorization if given the chance.”

That is such a great point and something I’ve experienced personally, both through making changes in myself and witnessing changes through peers. Summer camp really can change lives.

We’ve all been shaped by our environments in one way or another, but when that shaping forms someone into a permanent, ill-fitting configuration, it’s difficult for them to “break out” unless they get out.

Camp allows kids to get out…and into an environment filled with others who see what is in front of them, rather than what they’ve been trained to see through years of false reinforcement.

Download our brochure to learn about getting your child started in a summer program.

3. Camp Allows for a Deep Dive Into New Skills

Even if your school does offer “different” activities, summer camp allows for a deeper dive.

Think about giving your child a week or more to be immersed in coding, or specific skill-building in a sport like Lacrosse. These opportunities exist at camp, and it’s tough to find such focused activity elsewhere. (Not to mention that if it is something like coding you choose this summer, there are a number of benefits of technology for children, on top of the camp benefits!)

Plus, kids and teens are able to really get out of their comfort zone to take some risks with their skills, without the looming fear of failure and resulting repercussions.

Summer Camp Benefit Quotes 1

4. Camp Leads to a New Type of Friendship-Building

Also, it’s not only a week engrossed in one particular sport, or subject, but it’s jumping into an activity with other kids serious enough about it to attend camp (just like your child).

I’ve heard it a million times from campers: “I’m in my element” or, “I’ve found my people!” Students who interact with like-minded peers are able to easily build friendships (potential lifelong friendships) rooted in similar interests. These relationships can lead to even more, as students are essentially networking, and have names to call on when it comes to doing a side project, finding an internship, or even starting a new businesses with the friend they met at Language summer camp, or wherever.

Value-Of-ACA-graphic-810
Statistics above are from the ACA Youth Outcomes Study.

5. Camp Helps with Mental Stimulation & Physical Activity

We are all familiar with summer learning loss, summer brain drain, the slide, or whatever you want to call it. Many of us probably also feel that kids don’t get enough physical activity during the summer months as well.

Camp can get kids going, both mentally and physically. Have a child who loves video games? Who doesn’t? Camp will allow kids to get off of couches and into courses that teach them how to make games instead of simply playing. Camp will also allow for physical activity no matter their camp of choice.

6. Camp Reinforces Independence and Empowerment

Even if you think your kids are independent, nothing brings out and tests that independence more than giving them time away from you, on their own.

Without mom or dad around, who is going to make your child’s decisions? Who is going to tell them to brush their teeth? Make the bed? At camp, they themselves are.

Camp allows for a chance for children to truly understand the thought that goes into making a good decision, and will discover even more about themselves in the process. Not to mention (ear muffs for those parents who think they should be the only source of guidance for their kids), children can also lean on peers for support, if they do need additional help. There are a number of other life skills kids and teens can establish at camp, too.

7. Camp Allows for Confidence to be Reinforced by Success

With activity and growth comes success or failure. Whether it is Climbing or Rafting, each activity comes with its own set of mini milestones and tests. Some of these activities might be brand new to your child, while others could be extensions of what they already know.

Maybe they’ve never played tennis before, or perhaps they’ve played tennis but have never attempted an overhand serve. By getting out on the court and learning to play tennis, or even putting together some form of an overhand serve, an increase in confidence will result. From there, your student leaves camp with internal support strong enough to compel them to try out for the school tennis team…and then who knows what they will become.

Summer Camp Benefits Quote 2

8. Camp Leads to Creativity, Free of Judgement

Technically a skill, I could have put this bit on creativity in the above section. But, it’s important enough to stand on its own.

Creativity can’t be stifled at camp because students don’t have to worry about getting a failing grade, as mentioned above. It is only when kids are free of such restriction that their creativity can flourish.

9. Camp Builds All-Around Resilience

This is a culmination of many of the above benefits. New friendships, confidence, independence, sense of belonging. All of these things contribute to the development of your child as they make strides from being a kid to a strong, considerate, competent adult.

10. Camp Instills Appreciation and Gratitude

And let’s not forget, time away from home helps kids appreciate home, their parents, their belongings, a meal cooked by mom or dad, and everything else they don’t have at camp.

Unfortunately, the appreciation doesn’t last long in most kids, and might take more than a week away for them to truly appreciate all that’s given to them on a daily basis. But, appreciation definitely takes shape at camp.

Summer Camp Benefits Quote 3

11. Camp is Fun and Entertaining (of Course!)

I put this last for a reason. Not because it isn’t important, but because I want to solidify the idea that there are many factors that go into the decision to send your child to camp, and it shouldn’t hinge solely on whether or not they need to be entertained for a week, month, etc.

Summer camp is many things. If you regularly send your kids to camp, now you have a few new benefits to look out for, and harvest in your children.

If you send your son or daughter to camp to have fun, that is great! But also try and prep them beforehand to ensure they maximize their ability to attain the benefits above.

And last, if you haven’t yet sent your child to camp, and you’re wondering what summer camp does for kids, I hope this helps in your future planning.

Next step? Just think about camp differently.

Megève and its history

The winter sports resort of Megève was created in the inter-war period by a branch of the Rothschild family.

The resort grew and in 1933 a cable car to Rochebrune was built. Three years later this allowed the resort to be connected to Mont d’Arbois.

The first ski competition was created in 1914 and many pictures reflect this period of discovery and development. Farmers invented the ski-lifts, almost everything would be tested. A woman journalist would energize and illuminate the village through her texts; she was to become a ‘grand dame’ of Megève with her influence. Mathilde Maige-Lefournier was a mountaineer from Chambery. In November 1913 she wrote an article for the magazine The Mountain entitled “Megève or the glorification of ski” which glorified the ski sites of Mont d’Arbois and Rochebrune. One day she remarked to a hotel owner in the village, “I think Megève was created for skiing and skiing was invented for Megève.”: a spotlight which influenced and made the village, already a mecca for winter sports.

 

The arrival of the Rothschild family in Mont d’ Arbois would accelerate the development of skiing in Megève. Village farmers invested in the Rochebrune sector, notably with the construction of the first cable car for use by skiers, the famous “red bucket” in 1933. In 1923 it was the birth of the Megève Sports Club which saw great champions emerge. Emile Allais, a native son of Megève, was a triple medallist at the World Ski Championships in Chamonix in 1937. The famous Aallard stretch ski-pant was invented in 1930. This dynamism made ​​the resort famous and its rise was meteoric.

 

Megève and its village

Two hours from Lyon lies the most authentic mountain village in the Alps. Skiing in Megève is 445 kms of slopes in an exceptional setting, but not only this: gastronomy, events, shopping and relaxing in the paradise of ‘après-ski’ nestled in the heart of the Mont Blanc Region.

Megève: A village in the heart of the Evasion Mont Blanc ski area

Come and experience the unparalleled skiing in an area that combines slopes, forest, alpine farms and sunny terraces on several mountain ranges. Suitable for families who find Megève’s gentle slopes reassuring to have fun with the kids. Lovers of the great outdoors will prefer the Cote 2000 mountain range which enjoys good snow thanks to its exposure. Freestyle fans are not left out with a dedicated area that allows them to jump safely onto a giant air bag. You’ll soon understand that in Megève a ski paradise awaits you at just 180 kms from Lyon.

Discover Megève

Megève is a typical village in Haute-Savoie that will leave its mark. With an exceptional history and heritage, the village has a soul which goes far beyond the images we have of this unique place. Ambassador of local cuisine revisited by Michelin-starred chefs, this is a destination that lives every season. Cultural and sporting events punctuate the local life and in Megève everyone can find an emotion that they will remember. It’s up to you to discover the legend behind Megève

 

Megève is also:

– A casino, bars, clubs

– Ambassador of wellbeing spas and relaxation areas

– Swimming pools, skating rinks, curling

– Dog sled

– An airfield

 

Coming to Megève

By car

Distances

  • 70 km from Geneva.
  • 180 km from Lyon.
  • 272 km from Milan.
  • 600 km from Paris .
  • 760 km from Lille.
  • 1000 km from London.

 

Motorways

  • Paris – Sallanches : A6 + A40 .
  • Calais / Paris / Macon / Annecy / Sallanches : A26 + A1 + A6 + A40 .
  • Lyon / Chambéry / Annecy / Sallanches : A43 + A41 + A40 .
  • Lyon / Chambéry / Albertville : A43 + A430 .
  • Geneva / Sallanches : A40 .

 

By train

Tel: 36 35

www.voyages -sncf.com

 

  • Sallanches Train Station
  • 12 km from Megève.
  • Direct TGV during the weekends in winter. Frequent bus service to transfer from Sallanches .
  • SNCF Boutique
  • Megève Bus Station.

Open daily (except Sundays during school holidays) from 9:10am to 12pm and 2pm to 6.10pm.

  • Off season: open only on Fridays from 9:10am to 12pm and 2pm to 6.10pm.

 

By taxi

With the company RSERVICES : www.rservices.fr

Tel: + 33 (6) 14 35 36 12

 

By plane

– Geneva Airport

Tel: 0041 22 717 71 11

Fax: 00 41 22 788 00 82

International flights, 87 km from Megève.

10 good reasons to learn French

1. A world language

More than 200 million people speak French on the five continents. The Francophonie, the international organisation of French-speaking countries, comprises 68 states and governments. French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the ninth most widely spoken language in the world. French is also the only language, alongside English, that is taught in every country in the world. France operates the biggest international network of cultural institutes, which run French-language courses for more than 750,000 learners.

2. A language for the job market

An ability to speak French and English is an advantage on the international job market. A knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world (Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and North and sub-Saharan Africa). As the world’s fifth biggest economy and number-three destination for foreign investment, France is a key economic partner.

3. The language of culture

French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, dance and architecture. A knowledge of French offers access to great works of literature, as well as films and songs, in the original French. French is the language of Victor Hugo, Molière, Léopold Sendar Senghor, Edith Piaf, Jean-Paul Sartre, Alain Delon and Zinedine Zidane.

4. A language for travel

France is the world’s number-one tourist destination and attracts more than 70 million visitors a year. A little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France (from the mild climes of the Cote d’Azur to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps via the rugged coastline of Brittany) and offers insights into French culture, mentality and way of life. French also comes in handy when travelling to Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco, the Seychelles and other places.

5. A language for higher education

Speaking French opens up study opportunities at renowned French universities and business schools, ranked among the top higher education institutions in Europe and the world. Students with a good level of French are eligible for French government scholarships to enrol in postgraduate courses in France in any discipline and qualify for internationally recognised French degrees.

6. The other language of international relations

French is both a working language and an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. French is the language of the three cities where the EU institutions are headquartered: Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg.

7. A language that opens up the world

After English and German, French is the third most used language on the Internet, ahead of Spanish. An ability to understand French offers an alternative view of the world through communication with French speakers from all the continents and news from the leading French-language international media (TV5, France 24 and Radio France Internationale).

8. A language that is fun to learn

French is an easy language to learn. There are many methods on the market that make learning French enjoyable for children and adults alike. It does not take long to reach a level where you can communicate in French.

9. A language for learning other languages

French is a good base for learning other languages, especially Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian) as well as English, since fifty per cent of current English vocabulary is derived from French.

10. The language of love and reason

First and foremost, learning French is the pleasure of learning a beautiful, rich, melodious language, often called the language of love. French is also an analytical language that structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussions and negotiations.

Discover our new summer camp 2019 brochure

The one you were all waiting for! Here is the new brochure for our 2019 summer camps in Megève, Haute-Savoie in the heart of the French Alps.

What’s new for the 2019 summer camps:

· The ages:

– This year, for our 2019 summer camps, we will be welcoming your children from the age of 6. It is our biggest change this year nevertheless, our team of professionals is well experienced with young children. So after a lot of demand from the parents, we have decided to open up the camps from 6 years old with a sports and language program adapted to their age.

· The Programs

There are 3 different programs in the summer camps:

. The Fun program for 6 to 9 years old

. The Adrenalin program for 10 to 13 years old

. The Mont-Blanc program for 14 to 17 years old

· The Activities

This summer, for the older campers, we are offering a night stay in a mountain hut and an evening of stargazing along with a multitude of other activities that will delight campers of all ages.

We will also be organizing an international day where each child will have the opportunity to represent their country and together, we will discover their cultures.

· The Options

Each week, the campers also have the opportunity to choose from a range of additional sport options which take place at the end of each afternoon. This year they can choose between dancing (New), climbing, golf or tennis.

We try to improve year on year to keep your children happy, to help them discover new activities, experience new sensations and create unforgettable memories. We constantly look for the latest trends so that campers who return year after year still get surprises.

· The Language programs

At the end of their stay, the campers will take a language test based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) which will allow you to have a better understanding of your child’s level.

The Brochure

The 2019 summer camp brochure will show you the different programs we have to offer with the activities for each age category. Each activity is supervised by a certified professional.

Your children will have the opportunity to discover a water-based activity, a mountain activity, a cultural activity and an artistic activity regardless of which program they are enrolled in.

The campers will be staying and having dinner at the Coin du Feu hotel, as in previous years. They will also be having lunch at the Cintra in the center of Megève.

Download our new brochure here

Remember that for any registration before December 31, 2018, you have 10% discount on the price of your stay.

Five Reasons Great Parents Send Their Kids to Camp

My shy, quiet nine-year-old went to camp not knowing a soul. Two weeks later, she came home transformed. She blossomed. She made friends, learned a multitude of activities, felt safe, loved, confident, and happy — really, really happy. As hard as it was on me, it was all worth it for her. It was the single best thing I have ever done for her.

-First-time camp parent

Many parents won’t allow their child to go on a school field trip or school outdoor education trip unless they are chaperoning, so it’s no surprise that those same parents may find the idea of sending their child to sleep-away camp incomprehensible. As a camp parent, you may get a shocked response from one of these “non-camp” parents. They may ask you things like, “How can you stand having your child away from you for so long?” or, “How will she survive without you?” or, “Isn’t he too young to go to camp alone?” Or, they may comment, “I would never send my child away to camp for two weeks.” In all of these negative responses, there is an underlying criticism of your parenting.

If you find yourself in the awkward position of being criticized for the decision to send your young child to camp, you may want some extra “ammunition” to defend your decision. And, if you are never in the position of defending your camp decision, let this list remind you about just a few of the many reasons why you are being a great parent by sending your child to camp!

At camp this summer, your child will…

DEVELOP INDEPENDENCE

Going to camp has made me even more independent and a much better people-person. I am  able to go confidently up to someone and introduce myself, or hang out with someone new because of my time at camp. -Five year camper

 

You are giving your child the opportunity to live and thrive without being with you and under your constant scrutiny. The growth in confidence and independence happen at camp BECAUSE you are not there. Read more about why camp experiences help kids develop independence in Parking Your Helicopter.

EXPERIENCE OUTDOOR CHILDHOOD FUN & ADVENTURE

You are giving your child the gift of magical childhood memories – dirt, adventure, story, and joke-filled days and nights spent with friends outdoors, under the stars, and around the campfire. These childhood memories will last forever. And, as Michael Thompson, PhD. So eloquently states, “Our best childhood memories do not include adults.”

RELAX

You are giving your child a break from the pressures and stress of competitive sports, school, and you. Forgive me if that offends, but I, too, am a well-meaning but over-involved parent who provides just a bit too much advice, feedback, and guidance to my children. Our kids need a break from our well-intentioned involvement in their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GET UNPLUGGED

Camp has helped me appreciate nature and the outdoors a lot more than I think I would have if I didn’t go. I can go without my phone or connection to social media awhile, because camp has shown me that amazing stuff happens when you put your phone down and have a nice conversation with someone.

-five year camper

You are giving your child the chance to unplug and connect face-to-face with other kids and positive young adult role models. Getting unplugged is one of my favorite topics, so you can read more at Five Reasons to Unplug and Get Unplugged to learn about the many benefits of taking a break from technology.

BECOME BETTER AT MAKING AND KEEPING FRIENDS

 I feel like I have become a kinder person and am better at making friends because of camp.

-third year camper

 

The bonding and friendships that happen at camp are different from those that occur at school and on sports teams. The intensity of living together and experiencing life together, without distractions, creates the ideal setting to form life-long friendships and really get to know people well. Read more about camp friendships in Friends: Finding Gold in a Plastic Era.

So, if people ever question your decision to send your young child to a traditional, longer camp stay this summer, let them know that it’s hard for you to let your child go, but that you’re giving your child a gift that will have more impact than any material item you’ve ever given.

Want to read more about the many benefits of camp?

Why Kids Flourish at Camp 

“The Dark Side of Parental Devotion: How Camp Can Let the Sun Shine” By Dr. Wendy Mogel (author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee)

The Natural Gifts of Camp  Read about the benefits of kids being in nature at camp in an article written by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder.

Role Model Relationships: Making healthy human connections  By Peg L. Smith, CEO, American Camp Association

Coping with First-Time Camp Experiences  “As parents, recognizing that you and your child are growing and learning on a journey together is key to adequately preparing yourself and your child for any type of separation, including going to camp for the first time.”

Children Inside and Out  Information and reassurance for first-year camp parents by camp expert Bob Ditter.

 

How summer camps prepare kids for college?

Sending children to summer camp does more than keep them entertained for the season – here are 10 ways it prepares them for the transition to collegiate life.

language summer camp in france

 

At age 7, I went to day summer camp and by 10 I began going to sleepaway camp. Summer after summer, I yearned for the end of school with excitement, though always with trepidation and a dash of worry as well. But the minute I opened the car door, or the bus pulled up to my camp I was at home, and that feeling never waned. Eight years after my first sleepaway camp experience, I headed off to college and that same mixture of emotions came along for the ride. Drawing on my summer camp experience, I was happy to discover, made the transition easier. Remembering the fun that superseded the fear, the compassion that outranked the chaos, and the learning that leveled the playing field helped more than any college preparatory book I could have read or any “what to know before you go to college” podcast I could have listened to (if those had existed at the time, of course !) What my camp friends and I learned stayed with us, transferred to others, and wove itself into the fabric of our being. As a camper and counselor, camp gave the informal credit I needed to prepare for college. Here at 10 things I learned at camp that helped with the transition.

Learn to accept change

This is probably the most significant lesson from camp that translates to college and then to life. Learning the only things we have control over are our attitudes, outlook, and responses is not an easy feat. Our cabins were decided before we arrived, and sometimes our friends weren’t with us or perhaps new friends left before the summer’s end. Counselors shifted each season and the new ones had very different personalities than our previous leaders. We could find these changes, be angry when they happened, and let it ruin our camp experience, or we could find a way to accept the change, experience the new and learn and grow. In college, friendships, roommates, and even majors change. Dealing with change isn’t easy but it’s fantastically necessary. As we progress in years, the changes we deal with get more difficult so our ability to accept what we can’t change must grow – and camp starts that process

Be flexible and go with the flow

You go to canteen and it’s out of Strawberry Shortcakes that day. The cabin night you were waiting for is rained out, so now your evening activity in indoors in the lodge. These things happen. Summer Camp teaches us to go with the flow. Our tongues turning blue from a new favorite popsicle, wearing pyjamas to evening program instead of wearing layers to the beach, and empathizing with a friend while focusing on having fun with new ones for the duration of camp. That flexibility is necessary in the college stage and beyond. Sometimes our choices are taken away, sometimes the aboard program is unavailable and sometimes we can’t get into that last class needed to complete our major until the following semester. Camp teaches us to let go; that the more relaxed we can be, the easier the shifts will become; and that the more flexible we are, the better it is for our health and well-being.

Embrace and learn from diversity

At some point in every camp experience, we meet people who are different from us. Showing interest in those differences makes us better people and learning from those differences widens our comfort zones and broadens our minds. Cabin and unit mates come from many backgrounds and all bring somethings different to the table. As the number of people with whom we interact increases, the amount of diversity we encounter grows. We meet people on day one of camp, and by day three we feel as if we’ve know them forever. Summer Camp facilitates meeting new people, lessens the fear in that meeting, and manages to make connecting with strangers more amazing than scary. Having that confidence in making new friends makes it much easier to do the same at freshman orientation. At camp and at school, we spend time with people and we learn their desires and struggles, likes and dislikes and upbringing and dream of what’s to come. Camp and college provide an opportunity to make those strangers become fast friends, take notice of and embrace the differences, and learn more about the world around us.

Don’t be afraid to be Yourself

We all have strengthes and weaknesses, successes and failures, likes and dislikes, dreams and aspirations, and thoughts that bring us utter peace. If all of those where the same for our bunkmates, camp would be boring. I loved swimming and arts and crafts. One of my best friends could spend her entire day at the farm, while the other two practically lived at the barn with the horses. There were those who loved the talent show, while others shied away from the spotlight. There were those who were leaders and other who were not. All of us have a safe place to grow at camp. University campuses and courses widen that playing field too, but those of us who went to camp learned at an early age that we could be ourselves and be proud of who we are. It’s those lessons we reach for in the dorm room during moments that are coupled with the fear at we might not be enough.

Everyone gets homesick

Perhaps it happened after you read a letter or e-mail from home. Perhaps is happened after visiting days. Perhaps is happened after a bad dream, or when you fell off a horse, got your first tick, or had that first bellyache at camp. At the one point or another, all of us had twinges of homesickness. But at the camp there is often a friendly shoulder, and ear to lend, or open arms for a hug that lessened the homesickness and reminded us we could get through. Homesickness happens at college, too, but at camp we learned there’s another side, another day, and always someone to help, whether it’s your roommates, a friend, a professor or an advisor. And sometimes we’re even better equipped to handle homesickness in college because we remember what it felt like at camp and how we overcame it. Feeling homesick happens to the most popular kids, the best athlete and everyone in between. Homesickness is real, but it’s manageable. I learned that lesson at camp.

Respect yourself and others

Summer camp provides us freedom we might not be used to while encouraging us to make good choices, take care of ourselves, and use good judgment. These lessons continue after we leave the grounds in August. Summer camp discourages bullying, teaches us to speak up for fellow campers and ourselves, and reminds us that although we’re away from home and school our character still counts and our actions have consequences. College life comes with privileges of freedoms, new people and new attitudes, and many of the same choices as camp. Remembering the advice of camp counselors from our youth who constantly reminded us to respect ourselves stays with us and often pops up in critical moments when we have difficult choices to make.

Share your skills and your stuff

Jill always brought the coolest clothes and stuff to camp. No one knew more about all things agricultural than Erin. Mr Bill could fix everything, and his wife made the best ices in the world (well according to us). Carolyn showed us how to make a one-match fire, and Maryanne introduced us to our favorite crumb cake recipe. Some people shared stuff, some shared knowledge, and other shared experiences and it all mattered. Those who had something to share felt good knowing they were able to help someone else. Those who benefited from the generosity felt a connection, a boost in positivity, and often a desire to continue to pay it forward. College is much the same. Sometimes it’s as simple as sharing a pizza, lending out a sweatshirt, copying class notes for a sick friend, or explaining a statistic problem a 3am to your stressed-out roommate. At the camp we borrowed clothes, lent encouragement and shared our knowledge. It was never about who had or knew the most or the best of anything: it was about those with the biggest hearts, the kindest ears, and the ability to be there. It mattered then, and it will continue to matter throughout college and the years thereafter.

Everyone has something to teach and to learn

Trish the nurse taught me to safely remove a tick. Mr Bill showed me how to chop down a tree. Laura taught us to sing our heart out, Millie taught us to cook, Adrienne showed us how to make our well-worn beaded camp bracelet, and I stayed late studying lifeguarding with Jackie. We all pitched in and we all offered up what we knew. But it was more than just tangible things, Krista taught me to deal with change, campmates taught me the magic of friendship, and hundreds of counselors taught me kindness, courage, resilience and perseverance. College was no different. We learn from our professor, our advisors, our friend, our surroundings, and often locals and strangers. Having an open mind, acknowledging that lessons come in all forms, having willingness to share what we know and showcasing the ability to listen and share. Camp introduced us to these lessons, and for that we are forever grateful.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

The road from girls’ to boys’ camp was covered by the tree canopy and lined with shrubbery. At night, there were parts of the path where you could barely see the glow of the stars. Whenever we had events at boys’ camp, fear of that dark set in. Erin was always there with a hand to lend. If she walked in the middle of the road, anyone whose arms or hands were intertwined with hers was safe from the brush and the creatures of the night. In college, I never would have gotten through without the help of my science, and math minded friends. When the methods were confusing and laden with frustration, those friends stepped in to lend a hand. Camp taught us to not be afraid to ask for help, whether we needed a hug when we were sad, a boost to reach the top of the rope, a spot with that back-handspring, a buddy for swimming or a friend with whom to walk alone. Later in life, we were filled with the knowledge that asking for help only made us stronger, and we were often prepared to lend a hand when asked.

Face your fears

Nature’s creepy crawlies, their webs in all sorts of knobby corners at camp, and our bathrooms outside. Then there was the swim test on the first day of the season. Summer camps taught us the need to face our fears in order to conquer them, to not get swallowed up by those emotions, and to always offer to help others face their own fears. As our world grows, often so do our fears. College finds us in new spaces, with new people and new experiences. Each time we try to push past that comfort zone, there’s fear. Camp reminds us that those fears (whether failure or spiders) are normal, don’t make us any “less” and are conquerable. Jackie got back on the horse after she was thrown off. Jill got back in a canoe after she busted her foot, and I jumped off the biggest rock I’ve ever seen. We knew the future was full of unknowns, failures were bound to happen, obstacles would most certainly pop up, but we also knew all those things we had to overcome were manageable.

 

Stacey Ebert is a camper at heart who has spent more than 25 years in the camping and education industries in New York as a teacher, club advisor, counselor and aquatics director. She is a published writer, blogger, event planner, volunteer manager, and educator always in search of joy. She loves travel, spending time outside, and is an avid yogi. She has visited more than 50 of the world’s countries and met her Australian-born husband while on a trip in New-Zealand. Check out her blog at thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com

What do we do when we’re not at camp?

We love camp, it’s our time to get away from our ‘real life’ and enjoy our summer with the children from all over the world. Unfortunately we have to get back to our real lives at the beginning of September for most of us, so what do we do?

Well, as Camp Director, my summer is taken up with organizing, prioritizing, dealing with all issues and problems and maybe a bit of fun at times! After a well-earned break, I’m back working for our Language School as Director of Studies with my main priority being the Cambridge Assessment English exams where I’m the main coordinator and trainer of local examiners. I also do a bit of teaching to children from as young as 5 up to adults needing English for work.

As for the rest of the team, Brandon works with me all year round and quite a few of the counselors are continuing their studies: Maud is in Lyon doing a Masters in Law, Sophie is in the Netherlands studying International Business Management, Simon is studying in Geneva to become a Pharmacist, Diana is finishing a degree in Languages. Others are working: Dylan is teaching English in Spain and Jonathan is teaching French in Peru. As for Tom, he has just passed his diploma to teach English as a Foreign Language and is contemplating his next move!

See you in the summer where we can all leave our ‘real lives’ at home.

Tell us if you saw us?

Megève, the location for our summer camps, is a world-renowned winter ski resort and to remind vacationers that it is also a wonderful place to be in summer, we advertized on the trams in Geneva and at the airport arrivals lounge at Geneva International Airport – did you see us?

Our summer language camps are a fun way to LIVE THE LANGUAGE with interesting language workshops in the morning and great activities in the afternoon. Stay with us and enjoy the luxury of our wonderful chalet-like hotel and fun evening activities or simply come for the day and be part of our multi-cultural, multi-lingual family.

See you soon…

 

Megève, lieu de nos camps d’été, est une station de ski d’hiver de renommée mondiale et pour rappeler aux vacanciers que c’est aussi un endroit merveilleux en été, nous avons fait de la publicité sur les trams à Genève et dans le hall d’arrivée de l’aéroport international de Genève – est-ce que  avez-vous vu nos publicités?

Nos camps linguistiques d’été sont une façon amusante de VIVRE LA LANGUE avec des ateliers de langue intéressants et stimulants le matin et d’excellentes activités sportives et artistiques l’après-midi. Restez avec nous en pension complète  et profitez du luxe de notre merveilleux hôtel au style chalet avec un programme d’activités ludiques le soir ou venez simplement pour la journée et faites partie de notre famille multiculturelle et multilingue.

À bientôt…

WHY SEND MY CHILD TO A SUMMER CAMP?

SUMMER CAMPS ARE EXTREMELY POPULAR THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AND TAKE VERY MANY DIFFERENT FORMS, PROVIDING A MULTITUDE OF POSSIBILITIES FOR PARENTS AND CHILDREN ALIKE.

summer camp in france

 

The long summer break from school that is commonplace in most countries provides both problems and opportunities for parents who are concerned about how their children can make the best use of their time.

In today’s society a lot of families have both parents working. This means they will not be able to take the equivalent amount of time off work that their children have off school. As people also move further from their original home for their careers they do not always have access to an extended family system to help in these situations.

When faced with logistical problems such as these then a summer camp is one of the options open to the family, although the prices of camps vary widely so it may not be the optimal solution financially. For this reason it is important to consider carefully what benefit for your family and your children you would like to derive from a camp.

During the summer break a lot of families also look at this period with a view to improving some aspect of their children’s life or education. Camps now provide a multitude of programme variations and so, depending on the interests of your children, they may have a chance to improve their sporting, artistic or language abilities. This can be hugely beneficial to your children as they get the opportunity to grow and learn during their holiday time.summer camp in France

Activity and language camps such as those available at our Summer Camp  always provide the opportunity for a real and positive life experience for their students. Camps in general have a very important role to play in children’s development and I would say that this is even more relevant today than in the past.

Why are camps so relevant and vital in today’s, often hectic, lifestyle?

For camps providing an educational component such as language learning, computers etc., one of the main advantages is that they are not constricted by a particular curriculum or the need to prepare for specific exams.

In our Summer language programmes in particular, we have found that the same problems present themselves with students from all over the world. In school, students get to focus a lot on grammar, writing and translation in their foreign language learning, but almost all have a minimum amount of time and practice at speaking. We found out, many years ago, that providing the same language instruction as students received at school, during their summer break often just switched them off so we had to re-think our approach.

We decided that our role should be to instill a passion for the language by showing students how amazing it is to communicate in another language. We therefore changed our method to spend a maximum amount of time working orally with the students and also putting them in situations where they had to interact using their new language skills. This takes the students out of their comfort zones but forces them to quickly develop new methods and systems to improve their communication. The results over the last ten to fifteen years have been very positive.

Taking children out of their comfort zone is something that all camps can achieve and they can do this in a positive way.

On residential camps students must cope with daily life – looking after their own belongings, getting themselves organized for classes or activities, looking after their pocket money etc., which encourages them to take a more mature outlook on life. They must also learn to communicate, often in different languages and to meet children from other countries and other cultures and which helps them to understand more about how the world outside of their own experience works.

One of the best aspects of camps is the interaction which takes place right here, right now, face to face!! In camps we have many other activities to take our students interest away from their phones, ipads and computers.

Face to face communication skills are vital to the wellbeing of our children but something that the next generation are doing less and less as our use of technology grows. Camps provide an opportunity to take a step back from constant use of technology and to learn and experience different vital skills as well as the inevitable keypad or touchscreen.

For any well run summer school or camp, the staff are an extremely important aspect of the overall experience. As we stress to our staff throughout our training programmes – this is the biggest responsibility they will ever have, as they will potentially have a huge impact on the outlook and possibly future of a young person. A good staff member can be a very positive role model for the children they work with at camp so that is what we look for when we are hiring.

Our staff are young, qualified, energetic, enthusiastic and dedicated to working with young people. They provide them with a fun, vibrant and safe atmosphere, where they feel comfortable meeting new people and having new experiences. They conform to the highest standards in order to show our students how important it is to be active and enthusiastic in life.

Since 1996, International Language Camps has been running camps for children and teenagers and we truly believe that a camp provides a unique growth opportunity for your child. It provides a secure environment where they can start to take their first independent steps away from family and school, where they can look at the bigger picture in terms of the world they live in, where they can learn to look after themselves and connect with others. All of this can be achieved while they are still being closely looked after and supervised in order to ensure their safety and well-being.

Find out more about International language Camps at www.internationallanguagecamps.com

FIVE GREAT REASONS PARENTS SEND THEIR KIDS TO CAMP

My shy, quiet nine-year-old went to camp not knowing a soul. Two weeks later, she came home transformed.  She blossomed. She made friends, learned a multitude of activities, felt safe, loved, confident, and happy — really, really happy.  As hard as it was on me, it was all worth it for her. It was the single best thing I have ever done for her.

-First-time camp parent

Many parents won’t allow their child to go on a school field trip or school outdoor education trip unless they are chaperoning, so it’s no surprise that those same parents may find the idea of sending their child to sleep-away camp incomprehensible.  As a camp parent, you may get a shocked response from one of these “non-camp” parents. They may ask you things like, “How can you stand having your child away from you for so long?” or, “How will she survive without you?” or,  “Isn’t he too young to go to camp alone?”  Or, they may comment, “I would never send my child away to camp for two weeks.” In all of these negative responses, there is an underlying criticism of your parenting.

If you find yourself in the awkward position of being criticized for the decision to send your young child to camp, you may want some extra “ammunition” to defend your decision.  And, if you are never in the position of defending your camp decision, let this list remind you about just a few of the many reasons why you are being a great parent by sending your child to camp!

At camp this summer, your child will…

DEVELOP INDEPENDENCE

Going to camp has made me even more independent and a much better people-person. I am
able to go confidently up to someone 
and introduce myself, or hang out with someone new because of my time at camp.
– Maxime, returning camper since 2015

2You are giving your child the opportunity to live and thrive without being with you and under your constant scrutiny.  The growth in confidence and independence happen at camp BECAUSE you are not there.

EXPERIENCE OUTDOOR CHILDHOOD FUN & ADVENTURE

You are giving your child the gift of magical childhood memories – dirt, adventure, story, and joke-filled days and nights spent with friends outdoors, under the stars, and around the campfire.  These childhood memories will last forever. And, as Michael Thompson, PhD. so eloquently states, “Our best childhood memories do not include adults.”

 

RELAX

You are giving your child a break from the pressures and stress of competitive sports, school, and you.  Forgive me if that offends, but I, too, am a well-meaning but over-involved parent who provides just a bit too much advice, feedback, and guidance to my children. Our kids need a break from our well-intentioned involvement in their lives.

summer camp in france

summer camp in france

GET UNPLUGGED

Camp has helped me appreciate nature and the outdoors a lot more than I think I would have if I didn’t go. I can go without my phone or connection to social media awhile, because camp has shown me that amazing stuff happens when you put your phone down and have a nice conversation with someone.

  • Estelle, returning camper since 2012

You are giving your child the chance to unplug and connect face-to-face with other kids and positive young adult role models.

 

 

BECOME BETTER AT MAKING AND KEEPING FRIENDS

 I feel like I have become a kinder person and am better at making friends because of camp.

  • Lana, returning camper since 2009

international language campsThe bonding and friendships that happen at camp are different from those that occur at school and on sports teams. The intensity of living together and experiencing life together, without distractions, creates the ideal setting to form life-long friendships and really get to know people well.

So, if people ever question your decision to send your young child to a traditional, longer camp stay this summer, let them know that it’s hard for you to let your child go, but that you’re giving your child a gift that will have more impact than any material item you’ve ever given.