What better way to discover Les Roches, the world of hospitality and what Switzerland has to offer than by joining the Summer Program. Together with a great team we planned a wide range of activities ranging from a waiters race to rafting. I will give you a little glimpse of what the Sports & Events department had planned for all participants.
On Monday, 18 July, summer program participants arrived throughout the day and were warmly welcomed on campus. The next day was all about team building, where we brought the group to the lake of La Moubra just below Crans Montana. Activities such as big skies, archery, paddleboat race and more were organized in order to create a team spirit amongst the group. During the first week we enjoyed activities such as Fun Forest and Paintball, followed by 5-star hotel visits and a day of shopping in Sion.
Fun Forest is an activity where you follow a parkour created high in the trees with different obstacles and zip lines. There are options for each level, starting with green for beginners and black for advanced. A great activity to challenge yourself, but it helps if you are not afraid of heights.
Paintball was set up as a tournament in which four teams had to compete against each other in a death match. Apart from the strict safety briefing, there was only one goal per game: elimination! An active and quick game full of adrenaline where the team with the best tactic wins the tournament.
During our field trip to Geneva we divided the students into four groups, and each group had the pleasure of visiting a luxury 5-star hotel. The visits were planned in the Kempinsky, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental and the Richemond. We were taken on a guided tour of the hotel as we learned the inside details about the operations of these beautiful establishments. Since we were not all visiting the same hotels, we gave the groups a task. All of them had to actively collect information about the hotel they visited, which they then had to describe to another person who had visited a different hotel during the way back home. This caused for some interesting questions to be asked during the visits, but it was clear that everyone was very impressed by these luxury hotels.
On Sunday, 24 July, a part of the group left us and those staying for the second week had the pleasure of visiting Zermatt. I could write an entirely separate blog post about Zermatt because this mountain village and ski resort is a must-see when visiting Switzerland. More information can be found here (http://www.zermatt.ch/)
We started the second week in style with a day full of very interesting activities. First we traveled by bus to Lausanne and visited the Olympic Museum. From there our trip continued by boat towards Le Bouveret. The boat trip gave us a very good opportunity to see Lac Leman (also known as Lake Geneva) with the best possible panorama. Arriving in Le Bouveret the day was not finished, as all participants had the chance to go in Aquaparc. Have a look at their website and see if you would be interested to go: http://www.aquaparc.ch/
Activities such as Bubble Football and Rafting spiced up the program of this week. The first activity is a hilarious football game that takes place while you are inside of some kind of big air balloon running around and bumping into others. Pure joy if you ask me. A big part of our group had never done rafting before, so you can imagine how they would feel getting in a boat with one paddle going down a wild river. It turned out to be a great success and we finished with a BBQ because rafting really makes you hungry.
For our most cultural outing we visited the cheese factory of Gruyere to get an inside look into production, and we had cheese fondue as classic Swiss lunch. We made our way to the Castle of Gruyere for some free time, which helped with digesting all the cheese before our day continued to the chocolate factory of Cailler. Here we had an audio guided tour ending at the most interesting part of the visit, the chocolate buffet where you can taste all the chocolate you can handle. We all had an amazing Swiss day.
To end our journey together, we enjoyed a farewell cocktail and a Gala Dinner. With an always difficult goodbye after having spent such a great time together, we can all look back at a very successful two weeks.
Maybe see you next year!