Last summer we had a client approach us with a new idea. She was spending nearly a month in Paris with her children and had heard about our Family Program of walks designed for kids and led by museum educators. We normally think of these as tours—one-off experiences that families enjoy during a visit. But what if, this client asked, she string together many of these—including a number of customized walks—into a kind of immersive, cultural summer camp. Wow, we thought, what a great idea.
How did it work?
The family had rented an apartment for a month, this allowed them to save some of the costs and at the same time create a comfortable, cozy environment for the kids and themselves. They gave us a few parameters regarding the children’s ages and interests and asked us to make a proposal of appropriate, culturally rich program of walks and excursions. To complete a well-rounded program, we also developed several custom walks.
We organized one activity a day which would be led predominately by one main docent. This would ensured continuity and a greater degree of comfort for the children. Every day, we picked up and returned the children to their apartment. This made things easier for them, and made the parents feel at ease about their safety. The docent assigned to the program was not only one of our top family docents, she also had experience caring for children and thus could relate to them on a special interpersonal level.
While we had “carte blanche” regarding the walks and activities to include, we decided to pick walks that would interest teens and would give a comprehensive study of French culture and history. We started with an orientation walk and then proceeded chronologically mixing art and history over the ages, roughly alternating the two and museum with neighborhood walk. We also put in a “fun” walk (food walk, fashion walk…) at the end of each week. The group also got out of Paris to visit some of the wonderful nearby sites.
Everything ran rather smoothly. We met with the family after they had done a few walks to see how things were going and to access how the program was being carried out, a few minor changes were made according. We stayed in touch every few days. They children enjoyed their experience so much that they added another week of walks. The particularly liked their visits to some of the smaller museums of the city, such as those visited on our Monet Seminar.
The length of their stay allowed them to have such a spread out itinerary. The afternoons where for leisure time, playing soccer in the park and exploring different neighborhoods together as a family.
What can we do for you?
We understand that not everyone is able to take a month off and relocate to a different city, but we are able to offer shorter summer camp programs. In London, we have recently organize a three day History of Written Words workshop. The children aged from 5 to 8 learned about the development of the written form from Cuneiform to Hieroglyph, to modern form.
In Italy and Italy, we developed a 10 day course for children interested in learning about the transition between the Roman Empire and the Empire of Byzantium.
The possibilities are endless – please get in touch and one of our knowledgeable city experts can help plan your dream cultural summer camp!