“When I came home from my first French camp, I told my parents I wanted to go on extended vacations the next times”, Floor says. “In my experience, a Roeland camp is the high point of my summer. I used to be an attendee for years in a row, and now I participate as a volunteer.”
Floor: “I went on language camps with Roeland ever since I turned 12. The very first time I felt a little ill-at-ease on the way to Marche-en-Famenne. Speaking French for a whole week, it felt like quite a task to live up to. But it turned out to be a fantastic experience, and I wanted more of it!”
Giant confidence boost
“These past summers, I was very eager to attend the Roeland camps again. I boarded the bus with a couple of friends and returned home a fortnight later with a bunch of stories, a couple of new friends and on top of that, I learned a lot from this amazing experience.”
“Joining Roeland on a language vacation boosts my language skills and speaking abilities to new heights. It’s a huge plus when I’m travelling, but also when I’m at school. Don’t just say ‘language camp’ when you sign up for the Roeland experience. You’re going places, and you will enjoy a lot of cool activities with people your own age.”
Teacher-trainee musical comedy.
“I want to share my enthusiasm for Roeland camps, and let the children be a part of an unforgettable experience. That’s why I decided to join last summer’s French camp (in Flône) as a teacher-trainee, for a group of children aged 9 to 12.”
“This camp was themed ‘comédie musicale’ (musical comedy). We worked all week towards one goal: putting a real musical on stage. The children in our creative workshops could sign up for music, dance, theatre, or stage decoration.”
“The main theme for our three biggest games was ’Fairy-tale heroes’. The children had to work their way through assignments, like waking up Sleeping Beauty, conquering the heart of princess Yasmine and beating the bad guys (which were – obviously – the teachers). Also on the agenda: fun on the slides in Plopsaqua, the lazy river, the jacuzzi, …”
The ‘dodo’ moment
“I enjoyed the ‘dodo’ moment enormously at this camp. It happens just before bedtime when the teachers stage a little play. It was something that brought me joy as a participant, and to perform it as a teacher myself was even more fun. We went all the way with the acting, an effort noticed by the children. They were very pleased and that made me intensely happy!”
A positive impact on the children
“In my opinion, joining a camp as a volunteer is a very enriching experience. From the viewpoint of a trainee, I learned how to assemble an interesting program for the camp week, but I also figured out how to encourage the children to speak French. I found it particularly interesting to notice what the impact of a volunteer on a group can be. When you carry an enthusiastic vibe to the camp, it sparks a positive energy that stimulates the group in a very uplifting way.
“As a volunteer, I think it is of the utmost importance to partake in all the activities together with the children, and to have fun together. I noticed the children enjoy it when you’re having a little chat during dinner time, or when you play a parlour game together.
Going all in until the wee small hours.
“It is also very special to go all in with a team of volunteers. And we speak only in French, that’s a given. An agreement that has expanded my vocabulary tremendously.”
“We worked on the schedule for the next day until the wee small hours (we accepted a little sleep deprivation with a big smile). We let our fantasy on the loose, we exerted everyone’s talent to the limit, but most of all: we had a barrel of laughs and a lot of fun! The team spirit was incredible! I already look forward to next summer, when I will be accompanying the next set of camps.”