Flavien Palero, Summer camp director in Hyeres and Miami: “We are welcoming every kind of children who wants to learn about French culture and French languages but as well to have fun with our activities and discover the place where we are.”


I’m here to develop and create camp for my organization named “French Summer Camp”. I am a traveler passionate and meeting new people.

- What is the main idea behind your camp?

The main idea is to give the opportunity to our children to learn about the other cultures. First of all, the French one but as well the other one with all the participants.

The organization director was a teacher and she wanted to give something more to the children. She used to travel a lot and wanted to share these experiences with children so they can start loving this way of life, and their languages.

- Please tell us about your program. What skills and knowledge do you give to children?

The program is welcoming children from all around the world. We try to give them some activities to do because we want to give them something to share and something to live.

Learning French is our main educational purpose and counselors are speaking at least 2 languages: French and another one.

We provide a French immersion environment because we believe that learning a language in real life, practicing activities, is the best way.

We have 2 camps now: one in France on the French Riviera and one in USA in Miami. We offer a whole range of activities: wake surfing, flyboarding, scuba-diving, wakeboarding, golf, soccer, tennis, horse-riding, French lessons, kayaking, paddle-boarding, Beach volley, body-boarding, field trips and so much more...

- Where do the campers and counselors come from?

They principally come from France. We try to have a base of French counselors and some counselors from another country (especially in USA).

- Please tell about schedule and the most important activities and events within a day and a program. Is schedule structured or is it child’s individual choice?

Every child has the choice between a whole range of activities but a typical day will look at this:

Wake Up

French Breackfast

Clean Up

Chosen Activity

French Lunch

Beach Sports: swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, beach volley, table tennis

Snack Time

Shower Rest Hour: Phone calls, emails, reading, sharing moments with new friends...

French Dinner

Evening Activity

Light Out

- How does the camp recruit, screen and train its staff?

Recruitment is made by the camp director. Basically we try to keep our good part of the team as much as we can. And then we are recruiting by announcement on internet.

- What percentage of campers return each year? How does the camp program meet individual needs and differences? What does camp really matter for child?

Every year it’s different, but around 15 to 20 percent. Therefore, we pay particular attention to three essential points:

1. Safety first

• Our counselors are certified teachers from the French state educational system and state-certified sports coaches.

• We maintain higher mentoring ratios than those set down by law ( one responsible adult to 6 children, instead of 1 to 12).

• We strictly adhere to the rules and regulations of the Ministry for Youth and Sports.

• We ensure the security of the camp's environment.

2. Discovery

• Exploring and discovering a natural, cultural and human environment.

• Learning about new sports.

• Expanding our knowledge.

• Experiencing an unprecedented and eye-opening adventure.

3. Promoting personal development

• A team of pedagogues, trained to listen as well as to teach, supports the children to make them feel secure, both morally and emotionally.

• Giving each individual child full attention and care.

• Sharing privileged moments.

• The child bolsters his personality by exploring new venues.

- What are the safety procedures in the camp?

1. Health Care Provider: Resident camp must have a licensed physician or registered nurse on site daily. Day camp may have prearranged phone access.

2. First Aid and Emergency Care Personnel: A staff member with training in the appropriate level of first aid and CPR must be on duty at all times in camp and on camp trips.

3. Away from Main Camp: For times away from the main camp, a staff member must be oriented to provide routine health care for participants and to handle emergencies.

4. Staff Training: Staff must be trained in role/responsibilities in health care.

5. Camper Health History: Health history information must be gathered from parents/guardians that includes current health conditions, past medical treatment, immunizations, and allergies.

6. Health Exam: Each resident must assess the need for their campers to have a health exam. If one is required for the camp, it must be within 12 months.

7. Health Screening for Resident Camps: The appropriate staff person must conduct health review and screening for incoming campers.

8. Health Information Review and Screening for Day Camps: Procedures that require staff to review health histories of campers within 24 hours of arrival and collect any medications to be dispensed.

9. Permission to Treat: Parents of minors must sign a permission form for camp to provide routine health care, administer prescribed medications, and seek emergency medical treatment.

10. Parent Notification: Parents/guardians must know when they will be notified of illness/injury of their camper.

11. HealthCare Policies: Written policies must include scope and limits of services provided and authority/responsibilities of camp staff, and supplies, emergency health care assistance, etc.

12. Treatment Procedures: Health care staff must follow written treatment procedures for reasonably anticipated injury/illness.

13. Inform Staff of Special Needs: Camp must inform appropriate staff of any special needs of campers for whom they're responsible.

14. Special Medical Needs: For camp sessions primarily serving persons with special needs, the camp must have available sufficient medical staff, a system for evaluating the camps ability to serve persons with specific needs, and information about the camp's philosophy and approach to serving this population.

15. Health Care Center: Camp must have an area available that provides protection from the elements, has space for treatment, has an available toilet and drinking water, has 1 bed for every 50 persons in camp, and has a place for isolation/privacy.

16. Healthcare Equipment, Supplies, and Emergency Assistance: The camp must identify necessary supplies, methods to obtain them, and procedures for emergency health care assistance.

17. Availability of an AED: The camp must have access to an AED.

18. Supervision in Healthcare Center: Persons in the health care center must be supervised continually.

19. Medication Storage and Administration: All drugs must be stored under lock. Prescription drugs must be dispensed only under directions of physician. Nonprescription drugs dispensed only under written health care procedures or signed instruction of parent/guardian.

20. Contact Information: Information must be gathered on campers that includes name, birth date/age, name/address/phone of adult responsible for each minor, phone of emergency contact, and name/phone of individual's physician.

21. Recordkeeping: Camp must keep a health log and reports of all incidents requiring professional medical treatment.

22. Record Maintenance: All forms and records must be kept at least for the period of statutory limits.

23. Staff Health History: Health history information must be gathered from seasonal staff that includes current health conditions, date of last tetanus, emergency contact information and permission to treat.

24. Health Screening for Resident Camp Staff: The appropriate staff person must conduct health review and screening for staff members.

25. Contact Information for Staff Members Who Are Minors: Information must be gathered on staff members that are minors that includes name, birth date/age, and name/address/phone of adult responsible for each minor. Short-Term Residential, Family Programs, and Camps Serving Rental Groups.

26. Emergency Care Personnel: Camp must either provide or advise group to provide appropriately certified first aid/CPR persons.

27. Health Care Planning: For groups, camp must identify who is responsible for first aid/emergency care and transportation, availability of first aid supplies/equipment, and training/information for staff, families, and groups concerning emergency procedures and reporting requirements.

28. Health Information: Camp must gather or advise group to gather emergency contacts for all participants, any persons with allergies or health conditions, and signed permission to treat minors.

- What is the camp’s approach to discipline and how does the camp handle conflicts between campers?

OUR CAMP advocates a positive guidance and discipline policy with an emphasis on positive reinforcement, redirection, prevention, and the development of self-discipline. Remind campers that camp rules are established for safety and to ensure that we have a common standard of behavior. As staff members, we need to show the campers that we see the need for following the rules ourselves. Please do not contradict the established guidelines!

Corrective discipline must be a creative, caring effort on the part of the counselor, and it must be seen as such by the camper. Always suggest positive alternatives to unacceptable behavior before it gets out of control.

1. Discuss rules with campers and identify out-of-bounds areas.

2. Discuss the consequences of breaking any rule.

    a. Quiet time

    b. Restriction from activity

    c. Restriction to adult supervision

    d. Extra duties

    e. Conference with director

    f. Conference with parent/director

    g. Removal from the camp

3. Enforcement of all rules at all times will be without malice and consistent in application.

4. The camp director is to be informed of all disciplinary measures.

5. At no time will discipline include depriving a camper of sleep, food or restroom privileges, placing a camper alone without supervision, or subjecting a camper to ridicule, shaming, threat, corporal punishment (striking, biting, kicking, squeezing), washing out the mouth, or excessive physical exercise or restraint.

6. Periodic evaluation of the program/staff/camper groups will be done to ensure that the camp environment is not contributing to behavior problems.

- How do you think what makes a successful and memorable summer?

We hope that the smile on their face is a signification of a memorable summer. It is given by the activities, the discovery, the sharing and the mood in the camp.

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