Outdoor Education | School Programmes
Outdoor Education Programme in Leysin and on the Ardèche
These programmes in the Swiss Alps and on the Ardèche River in southern France help teachers and students build a bond of trust and encourage teamwork. Projects are designed to investigate some of the great conservation and environmental challenges facing the world today and are combined with teaching outdoor living skills through a variety of challenging activities and an interesting selection of local excursions.
The precise programme, which can be refined on-site, is planned in advance, taking into account the ages of the students and the specific curriculum requirements of each school.
Just wanted to drop a quick line to say how very impressive your Ardèche set-up is. I think the most remarkable thing about Village Camps must be your recruitment policy - talk about getting the right people "on the bus!" Your staff here are tremendous! Our students are absolutely hanging on their every word and learning a huge amount; skills, local knowledge, geology, history and about themselves. Whatever your system is, it works! Many thanks, Becca."
The most popular activities
Each activity is designed to involve and engage teachers and students working with a knowledgeable, experienced counsellor team. To maximise student interest, this serious programme’s aims are achieved through intriguing games and character-building challenges, all with a valid educational purpose, even where it is perceived as a 'fun' activity.
These are some of the most popular workshops and activities from which you can choose, in what is a very flexible programme, developed individually to meet EACH SCHOOL’S specific needs:
The environment and man's impact upon it.
Recycling and a study of energy and water supply - including the hands-on monitoring of water meters.
Links with nature and the interdependence of plants, animals and humans, studied through our 'Earthworks' session.
Conservation - saving our precious but limited resources.
Personal development and working as a team
Fun games, challenges and competitions that build the foundations of trust, co-operation and teamwork with teachers, students and counsellors all working together.
Students begin to see each other in a different light in this new setting.
Problem-solving methods and co-operation to find solutions.
The basic principles of working a compass as a team with compass games, map work, navigational exercises and an orienteering course.
Students, in counsellor groups, set off for a full-day trek using their newly acquired navigational skills. In the alpine meadows and forests, students take part in environmental awareness games that focus on wildlife, habitats, food chains and the human impact on the local environment.
Living with nature and survival skills
Survival techniques with “hands-on” learning about shelter building, fire building, outdoor cooking and the basic skills of surviving in the wilderness – and, maybe an opportunity to spend the night in their shelter!
The overnight experience is used to increase the students’ sensory awareness and their understanding of the natural world.
Leysin, Switzerland - Adventure Activities
Rock-climbing – a comprehensive introduction with qualified experts using a suitable local site. After understanding the safety rules and basic techniques, using modern equipment and under expert guidance, students tackle climbs in line with their abilities and experience.
Mountain-biking – available to older groups.
High ropes course.
Forest adventure trails.
Rafting (13+ years old).
In Switzerland our main base is the well-equipped village of Leysin, in a spectacular setting in the Vaudoise Alps, high above Lake Geneva. Groups stay in the Village Camps owned Swiss Alpine Centre. Village Camps also has a base in the Valais mountain village
of Torgons, just across the valley from Leysin.
Available dates: September-November and April-June.
Ardèche, France - Adventure Activities
A very special walk through the most ancient pre-historic caves in Europe with the help of headlamps.
Canoeing – after instruction and practice, an exhilarating two-day 30 km descent in the spectacular scenery of the River Ardèche with an overnight bivouac ‘under-the-stars’.
Rock-climbing – with qualified specialists at a site close to camp.
Avignon and the Montélimar nougat factory.
Vallon Pont d’Arc on market day.
Our base is on the banks of the Ardèche River in one of the best riverside positions. This impressive site, privately owned and managed by Village Camps, has large all-weather tents with sprung mattress beds, and ground cover. The main central building has a covered terrace with river views, a dining room and kitchens. The shower and toilet block has separate facilities for boys and girls.
Available dates: April, May, June and September.