#1: What is the focus of the program?
FRENCH, FRENCH, FRENCH….our main purpose is to develop the skills and confidence in campers to speak french in a social and conversational setting….but that is NOT all. Here is a breakdown:
- Language skills: The goal of each and every week at Camp Tournesol is for campers to have fun while improving their French. We work very hard to ensure that the activities and games that take place are enjoyable, reflect the interests of the campers, and can be used to help campers practice their French language skills. You can read about the breakdown of how language acquisition happens, period-by-period, for campers in our French Day Camp. Each of our different programs include age-appropriate activities that reflect the progression of French skills for each age group. Our team of educators have optimized our curriculum to stimulate the campers for each step of their bilingual journey.
- Cognitive skills: mental skills . Several of our modules focus on building the cognitive skills of our campers as we promote problem solving, team building, and cooperation skills throughout various activities. Our board games, for example, require campers to analyse, categorize and organize.
- Affective skills: emotional skills. We have intentionally developed activities that require the campers to demonstrate and develop intrinsic motivation and perseverance, to listen to others and respect their opinions, to participate in the discussion, and to appreciate the world around them. Camp Tournesol is a safe space for campers to grow their emotional intelligence through play.
- Motor skills: manual or physical skills. Our campers are very active each day, including the Thursday park/splash pads day and on Festival Friday. All week, campers are encouraged to engage in physical activities, to exert themselves,, to strengthen their dexterity while preparing their craft and to create a routine, and to develop awareness of their capabilities as they develop a skit during our creativity module.
#2: “Who developed the program?” “What is their background and credentials?”
Camp Tournesol programs have all been developed by certified, qualified French Second Language teachers with many years experience. Several educational resources were also consulted including:
- CIRA (Canadian Intramural Recreation Association of Ontario)
- The Ontario Curriculum: French as a Second Language
- “On Bouge” from the Conseil Viamonde
- Junior Daily Vigorous Activity Resource Guide from the York Region District School Board
- Developing Teen Leadership from Dan Appleman
- Resources on Concussion from York Region Community and Health Services,
- Resources and publications from Canadian Parents for French
- Resources from renowned sites such as Milles Merveilles and Educatout
- and more!
#3: What are the qualifications of the person delivering the program?
Camp Tournesol invest in the training of our staff each year. All counsellors must undergo our customized training:
- They must attend multiple workshops.
- Several online videos, prepared by our training specialists, must be reviewed.
- All counsellors attend one full day centralized training where all our team congregate together.
- We also have each team onsite at their home campus prior to the beginning of camp for an orientation session.
Onsite you will also have access to the site manager who will have a different coloured t-shirt to be easily identifiable. They act as the head mentor, organizer extraordinaire, super hero problem solver and your go-to person onsite. We also have a team of senior coordinators who visit regularly all our campuses to provide additional mentorship, guidance and enthusiasm as needed. You can check out their bios on our staff page and see how awesome they are! Every program is supervised by a dynamic duo: a teacher or university student paired with a high school student.Through the years, we’ve found the unique combination of a fun, fresh high schooler along with the experience and wisdom of a teacher or university student, to be the perfect balance for campers.The majority of our counsellors are university-age students preparing to become French teachers. All have to submit a vulnerable sector background check and all pass our French requirements.
#4: What does a typical daily schedule look like?
Campers are kept busy every day with diverse activities that allow them to have fun, build teamwork skills and socialize in French.
Mornings begin with a creative session where each group of campers work together weeklong to create their very own French rap or song. The much-anticipated contest for best song happens every Friday! After the creative session, campers transition to card and board games. They then move on to a supervised recess and a Cooperation session where campers play games designed specifically for cooperation.
After one hour of lunch, campers enjoy prepared arts & crafts where they can let their imagination run wild. Arts & crafts are followed up with exercise and some fun in the sun during organized sports. After sports, campers start to wind down from a full day of fun and finish their afternoon with recess, outdoor games and the daily wrap-up sessions where campers receive badges for speaking in French, demonstrating leadership, crafts, sports, and more. You can view a detailed agenda of each program on the corresponding program page. Click here to be redirected our overall program page and select the one you are interested in for more details.
#5: What is the quality of the material being used?
Each year, Camp Tournesol reinvests in purchasing updated material, as well as a new major game such the very popular parachute. Each campus is equipped with full support material for the language circle such as a French calendar kit, several educational posters, and more.
#6: What do past participants and parents say about the camp?
Hear from parents of Camp Tournesol campers:
“A fun filled camp environment”
“I was not sure what to expect as my daughter thought it was going to be like school. She was glad to see that the camp was indeed a fun filled camp environment. They just did it all in French!”
“He no longer appears to be afraid to speak French”
“Winning the prize for speaking French had a real impact on Ryan and I want to thank you. He couldn’t believe that he won. It made him very HAPPY! He no longer appears to be afraid to try to speak French. Prior to going to camp, he was very quiet and only spoke French when he absolutely had to. As a non-French speaking parents, we were not able to help him so this has been a real “win” in our minds.”
“I wish we had camp tomorrow”
“I would say the best testament to your French Camp would be when both my girls said to me as they were getting in the car on the last day of 2 weeks of camp was, ‘Oh, I wish we had camp tomorrow!’”
Written by: Martine Brouillet
About Martine: Driven to make an impact in second-language learner children in their quest to become bilingual, Martine Brouillet founded Camp Tournesol in 2001 in Ontario, Canada. The company’s flagship French camps have since become leaders in this market, welcoming tens of thousands of children and spawning sister products servicing these families such as the Brouillet French Academy. Her passion and concern for the environment inspired her to create a new brand of eco-friendly camps, workshops, and summits: Love My Plant. To learn more about Camp Tournesol, visit www.campt.ca
Contact Martine Brouillet at email@example.com | 905-891-1889