Les Elfes – International Camps for Kids & Teens

Introduction

Camps help give children a chance for personal development (such as developing new skills and experiences), team-building activities, and making new friends – and parents can also enjoy a break too!

This article outlines what Les Elfes is, what it offers, and some of the camp activities at Les Elfes for kids of all ages.

What is Les Elfes?

Operating since 1987, Les Elfes offers international camps across the year.

It offers activities for kids and teens (both girls and boys) aged between 6 and 17 years old.

Brief History

  • Les Elfes has been operating since 1987 from its main base of Les Elfes in Verbier, the Swiss Alps.
  • Construction of their campus with its 140 beds and sports fields in 1995.
  • Five years later, in 2000, Les Elfes opened new campuses in Crans-Montana with 50 beds. Later, a new camp in La Tzoumaz (also known as Verbier North) with a new 60-bed building was built.
  • Together, Les Elfes has a total capacity of 250 beds for students during each camp season.
  • In 1987, Les Elfes welcomed 500 students per year, growing to over 5,000 campers from over 65 nations per year as well as around 200 International schools that take part in one of the numerous programmes offered by Les Elfes.
  • The head office is located in Verbier outside the main campus and Les Elfes employs a total of 100 staff working in different fields, especially during Summer.
  • In addition to Les Elfes Almaza Bay Camp, a new project in Japan is underway.

More Than Just a Summer Camp?

With many camps offering language courses and sports, students are increasingly looking for a summer experience with that little bit more. Each year we introduce new enrichment workshops into our programs, some examples include: Swiss Watch Making, Leadership, Career Guidance, Mountain Fitness and Nutrition, Emergency 1st Aid Training and Social Etiquette. Furthermore, we offer our campers a solid foundation for personal development by engaging them into public speaking and various team building activities. (Les Elfes International, 2022, p.6).

What Camps Does Les Elfes Offer?

The following camps offer a range of activities which are highlighted later.

CampOutline
SummerUsually takes place between June and August.
Multi-activity Swiss summer camp located in Verbier.
Three programmes for three age groups:
Discoveries: 6-10 year olds.
Explorers: 11-14 year olds.
Pioneers: 15-17 year olds.
AutumnUsually takes place during the last two weeks of October with sessions of 1 or 2 weeks.
WinterUsually takes place between December and April with sessions of 1 or 2 weeks.
Alongside their full-day ski and snowboard lessons Les Elfes offers a full programme of après-ski and evening activities.
SpringThis is spring camp, a unique opportunity to visit the two prestigious resorts of Zermatt and Verbier in a two-week course.
Also includes enrichment courses.
School TripsA range of school field trips and school ski trips.
School field trips are usually offered between the beginning of May and the End of October.

What Do the Camps Involve?

NameOutline
Water ActivitiesWater sports on Lake Geneva or smaller surrounding lakes.
Includes tubing, swimming, thermal bath, kayaking, sailing, banana boat, and surfing.
Mountain ActivitiesIncludes ropes course, labyrinth, zip line, golfing and minigolf, hiking, tennis, biking, rock climbing, mountaineering, orienteering, mountain fitness, mountain hut sleep-in, and horseback riding.
Indoor ActivitiesIncludes bowling, boulder, escape room, cinema night, casino night, laser tag, indoor tennis, volleyball, and squash.
Personal DevelopmentInterpersonal skills, including leadership training, etiquette, and first aid class.
Arts & crafts including cooking class, mask making, arts class, theatre, and make your own video clip.
Cultural openness including holy colour festival, international day, excursions, and language classes (English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German).
ExcursionsDestinations include Chillon Castles (Montreux), Choclate Factory (Fribourg), Olympic Museum (Lausanne), Cheese Factory (Fribourg), Aosta (Milan, Italy), Chpalin’s Museum (Vevey), Alimentarium (Vevey), United Nations HQ (Geneva), Transport Museum (Lucern), Communication Museum (Bern), and Zoo (Marcottes).
STAR ActivitiesIncludes surfing, indoor skydiving, paragliding, water park, and tech lab.

Locations

  • Verbier, the original home of Les Elfes, is situated in the French speaking part of Switzerland and only two hours away from Geneva.
  • Crans-Montana is located down the valley towards the small city of Sion.
  • Discovery Camp at La Tzoumaz (6-10 years olds) is on the other side of the Verbier mountain, close to Martigny.
  • Les Elfes Almaza Bay Camp, Japan.

What about Security and Supervision?

Les Elfes takes security and supervision of their charges very seriously. To this end, they utilise 24/7 supervision, an onsite nurse, receptionist, night watchman, and cameras (in corridors and public areas).

All staff must have a valid First Aid Certificate and a current Criminal Records Check before beginning their training at Les Elfes.

The main staff consists of:

  • Resort manager.
  • Activities manager: They supervise monitors and instructors throughout the day.
  • Chief organiser.
  • Other staff include monitors, organisers, kitchen staff, secretaries, drivers, cleaning staff, etc.

The organiser to student ratio is 1:6, however including all Les Elfes staff the ratio falls to 1:2.

Summary

Les Elfes offers a range of activities for kids and teens aged 6 to 17 years old where they can develop skills and experiences through sports activities, team-building, language courses, and excursions, all in the beautifully scenic region of the Swiss Alps.

Reference

Les Elfes International. (2022) International Camps: Spring, Summer and Winter. Available from World Wide Web: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1b6u-5jJizcjE2xuK_TgKywoIJJ6pqwTM/view. [Accessed: 19 April, 2022].

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