“I marvelled at the beauty…” – The story of the International School of Lausanne’s community garden
The summer of 2021 sees the launch of ISL’s exciting, new summer camps programme, with a range of activities on offer set over five weeks for children between the ages of three to 14.
There is a diverse programme to choose from with age specific options to ensure all the participants can select their morning core activity, from football to exploring the performing and visual arts world, basketball, multi-activity and even language courses in English and French, combined with fun afternoon activities to learn new skills and make new friends.
Developing and leading the programme is Mark Gordon, appointed by the school in February 2021. Of Scottish decent, Mark has lived in Switzerland for over 25 years and brings more than two decades’ experience of establishing and managing summer camps. And he’s relishing the chance to use his experience and expertise to make sure every child gets the most out of their ISL summer camp experience.
“It’s all about the smile on their faces,” Mark said.
“That’s the benchmark – and that’s what we strive for.
“The children come to summer camps to have fun. But they are also here to try new things and discover the world; maybe they want to improve their skills in a certain sport, enhance their language proficiency or simply immerse themselves in a completely different environment. The one underlying factor is fun – and everything we do is carefully built around that central theme – so the smiles are really important when it comes to measuring the success of the camp”
The research done by the school pointed towards another element which needed to be considered: for participants to get outside.
“We want the children to have a fantastic experience, but also to grow and broaden their horizons and their appreciation of the world, the great outdoors and the environment”
“I came in to help design a viable programme which would not only meet the needs of the target market but also give ISL Summer Camps a unique identity. And fortunately, thanks to the data collected, we saw that being outdoors was really important, which was great, because it gives us a wonderful overarching theme around nature and discovery. And even though we have different core programmes in the morning, the afternoons are defined by this getting-back-to nature ethos.
“This past year has been pretty horrific for those who have been stuck at home and not had too many opportunities to explore nature.
“We came up with a program where we would get the kids excited, get them outside and explore nature. But at the same time, an opportunity for the kids to learn and build up their skills.”
The bilingual camps are available for children, aged from three to 14, from the region and qualified educators are dedicated to ensuring that children have an enjoyable, enriching experience.
Mark’s summer pedigree is extensive and varied, and as a father to four boys, he has experience with every age. His wife, Olivia Robinson is also involved in sport, working in Communications at the Fédération Equestre Internationale in Lausanne.
“I started as a tennis coach in the UK and came over here as I’m a great skiing enthusiast. I came over as a ski instructor and that’s how I got involved in Switzerland. And when I was coaching I was asked about running summer camps. I started to move up the ranks of those camps, and, after five years, I ended up directing camps when I was 26-years-old.”
And three decades later Mark has brought that experience to ISL for children to learn, make friends, have fun and enjoy some – much-needed – time outdoors.
Registrations are now open. Visit our Holiday Camps website