Pamplemousse Sejours

Supporter for Language Camp

Cabanes, France show on map

Help teach children English through different activities including sport, cultural and artistic projects.

Background Information

We moved to France 15 years ago and learnt French by integrating into the local community. Since our arrival we have had three children who are now bi-lingual. we realise how having two languages really can help with further education, travel and just enjoying music and film. Being a teacher at the local primary school and college I see how limited the education system is. The children are taught the written language and have little opportunity to express orally. Unfortunately by the time someone leaves school at 18, they then lack the confidence to speak a foreign language.

The project

We felt we could make a difference using a very natural technique and by building a young persons self-confidence so that they feel comfortable having a go at anything, including using the English language. A couple of years ago we tried out our first language camp. It was a success and we now offer three weeks during the summer holidays. Children from the age of 6 to 16 come to us for a weeks holiday. Every day different activities are planned, from sculpture to treasure hunts, climbing trees to making musical instruments or theater sketches to dance routines.  The difference a week can make is enormous. The children leave feeling they can speak English without being criticized for their grammar or accent. The children stay in large teepees on our land, which is all part of the big adventure.

We Like to think of the camp as one big family. We are the parents, the volunteers are the big brothers and sisters and the children are the younger siblings.  As soon as the children arrive we great them like one of the family and treat them as such all week. (Quite often there are tears at the end of the week, which is heart warming).

Volunteer Work

Our volunteers and ourselves work (play) with the children. We encourage, laugh, play, eat, run and do activities with them. If a volunteer has a particular forte then they might like to share it, (we've had artists, magicians, kung-fu experts and circus trainers all share with the children). This means that one week and year is never the same as another. Which is important to us because it helps the camp stay diverse and exciting, especially to those youngsters that come back year after year.

However there is no special training required. English must be your first language, for perfect communication, and enjoy being an active part of the team. It is not obligatory for any volunteer to join in with every activity either. In fact we recommend that you take time out for yourselves to enjoy the area or just relax.  For this reason we set up a rota for all the team players. This is flexible and we try and accommodate everyone's wishes. We ask that you participate every day from Monday to Friday part time (morning or afternoon) for a few hours and that all the team is there to welcome guests and to say goodbye. There are two days off a week, although these may not be consecutive.

Typical day

Those volunteers on the morning shift are asked to get up around 7.30 am to lay out the breakfast buffet. A rise and shine call is usually made around 7.30 - 8 am to the children. Everyone comes into the outdoor dining room to help themselves to a buffet style breakfast between 8 and 9am.  

Once everyone is dressed and ready (around 9 am) our day starts with small vocab games which help build team spirit, volunteers take it in turn each day to do the game. The morning may be a different activity to the afternoon or it might be a whole day out. Those on volunteer duty for the morning will stay on 'duty' until lunchtime, playing with the children or accompanying them on a walk etc. 

At midday we provide a hot meal. The the afternoon volunteers take over for the planned activity. Both before and after lunch there are breaks and downtime where the children can relax and play board games or read.  

The evening meal is again on site, and is a traditionally English meal. In the evening the children are given the option of joining in an activity (often provided by a volunteer) or they can enjoy 'downtime' and just relax. 

Twice a week we have a day out to an activity park where we split into small groups and take the role of supervision whilst everyone enjoys water skiing, luge, canoeing, zip lines, mountain biking, trampoline or mini golf. For these days we take a picnic lunch and eat at the park. Sometimes the children and volunteers have asked to prepare a meal - our menu is fairly flexible and can accommodate changes like this. If you have any creative ideas we'd love to hear them. From the first day we start preparing a little show, the content is up to the team (volunteers and children), for the parents on Saturday morning. This is an opportunity for the children to show how much they've grown and what they have learnt.

After the children have all left, we have a quick tidy up and then its time to relax with a barbecue around the pool. You are completely free until 4pm Sunday when the next group arrives. Tidy up task might be sweeping out the tents, cleaning the showers or washing bedding.

Details on Arrival

Arrival and departure are really up to yourselves.  We need our volunteers from the middle of July to the first week in august.  However its always nice to be here a few days in advance to get a feel of the place before children arrive and if you want to stay a while after the camps to discover the area a little this can be arranged prior to your arrival.

Free-time activities

Although we require everyone to work most days, we do not require full time.  Either mornings or afternoons.  If a whole out is planned then you will have a whole day off afterwards.  During your time off there is plenty to explore.  We live in a beautiful, rural area of France and have a car and bicycles at your disposal if they're not being used.  We can help you plan visits or even come with you once the children have left on saturday morning.

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Shopping/Souvenirs
Hiking
Museum/Opera

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
Education / language / Childcare at University or College level
Required Documents
cv, diplomas and haccp etc
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
The main attributes of a volunteer are to be self motivated, energetic, a team player and willing. The more children see you have fun the easier it is for them!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Suitable for

Singles

Included Services

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Resolution Support
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Pamplemousse Sejours.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Pamplemousse Sejours (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Airport Pickup at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport

We do ask that you contact us before booking flights to make sure we are available to pick you up, but as long as we are given enough notice and are available we can pick up from local airports. If not we will try our best to help arrange transport.

Accommodation

You will be staying with the other volunteers in a teepee. We are in the process of creating a holiday home for volunteers, but cant be sure yet whether it will be ready for this summer. There is a girls tent and a boys tent. Showers, sinks and toilets are on the camp site and shared with the children. If your accommodation is on the campsite we will provide mattresses and bedding, unless you prefer to bring your own. There is a photo of the type of teepee on the campsite, that children and volunteers stay in.

Camping
Food & Beverages

All food and drink during the camp is catered for. We all eat together in an outdoor canteen area. Because of cooking for so many people we are unable to cater for specific dietary needs - vegetarian and especially vegan are hard to incorporate. The meals are traditional English cuisine, pies, sausage and mash etc and puddings - of course! There are the occasional picnics too. Everyone takes turns in helping to serve and clear, with the children helping too. We do have a full time chef to cook the meals. In your application we ask you to mention any food allergies.

With a supermarket to hand if you fancy a chocolate eclair every morning (last year this actually happened) then you have to pay for this yourself.  We do run a tight budget for food but you most definitely won't go hungry!  If you go on any trips out on your time these are at your own expense.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS) in Toulouse. We assist you to find cheap flights to France.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for France provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in France you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for France.
  Europe Western Europe France  Cabanes, La Borie Basse
Reservation

The social project site is open in Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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