Pocket Money for the camp

Upon arrival, students may deposit their pocket money in the camp bank at the reception for safekeeping and withdraw money as needed.

They can ask at the reception the amount depending on their needs each day. The reception will be open for the pocket money everyday at 5pm for the student use.

Parents who wish to set a limit on their child´s daily allowance may do so by request.

Spending money is generally used for the purchase of souveniers, extra snacks and drinks during activities or excursions and small purchases in the town shops including postcards, postage stamps, batteries, lollypops, etc.

It is recommended that each student bring about 100 CHF of spending money for each week they will reside in camp.

Before departure, any unspent money will be returned directly to the student.

How much?

This is a difficult question. Kids all have different needs and they don’t spend the same amount during the camp.
All is included in our camps so they only need pocket money to make shopping, buy memories, extra food, ice creams during excursions, etc.

To make you an idea to buy an ice cream on the lakeside, 1 scoop is 3-4CHF.

That’s why we use to recommend around 100CHF per week.

Weather conditions in Switzerland during Summer

Yes this does deserve a special mention!

Some people imagine that Switzerland is as cold as Alaska, but this is far from the truth. In the plain, temperatures can rise to 30ºC (86ºF) in the summer, and even in the mountains the sun is hot.

The weather in Switzerland varies greatly between different places.

About 20 percent of Europe’s Alps mountain range is in Switzerland. There are around 100 peaks close to or over 4000m above sea level. The area of the Alps covers about 60% of the country.

The Swiss Alps act as a natural division between the temperate climate of northern Europe and the Mediterranean climate of Italy to the south.
The impact of this divide can be felt within Switzerland itself, despite being a relatively small country.

Our campuses are located in the South of the Alps, in the canton of Valais. The canton of Valais boasts of having the most sunshine in Switzerland and is situated in the southwest of Switzerland.

The Valais region has a micro climate and it is famous for being a little ‘Mediterranean’ during the summer months when it is common for the day time temperature in Sion to average 25-35°C from June – September. Returning back up the mountain to Verbier or La Tzoumaz is always a pleasure as the temperature is usually 5-7°C degrees cooler.

The Valais has over 300 days of sunshine a year. Depending on the region, Valais promises guests over 2000 hours of sunshine annually – even more than Switzerland’s most southern point.
How is this possible? Reason is, thanks to the Valaisan and Bernese Alps, which, like a barrier, separate the intermediate Rhone valley and numerous side valleys from the humid conditions often prevailing in more nothern or southern spheres. Rain clouds generally climb before these barriers – leaving the remaining winds to penetrate the Valais in the form of the dry and warm ‘Föhn’ windthat grants the region its Mediterranean-like climate.

Precipitation is distributed over the entire year. From June through August, rain usually comes in the form of thunderstorms.

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?

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!
Les Elfes International camps