Le CPV by Sabrya Hamidi, translation by Tanya Mayne

CPV (Protestant Holiday Centre)

The Protestant Holiday Centre is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!

Since 1966, this centre has been offering day camps and camps for children and young people from 4 to 18 years old, in order to provide them with a socio-educational, playful itinerary and enable them to flourish in a safe place, supervised by trained volunteer instructors.

As Geneva's largest holiday organization, this is a secular association that welcomes children regardless of nationality, religious belief or gender.

Although the CPV functions structurally more or less as a travel agency, including online registration (camps.ch), and payment for camps, the fact remains that it is above all a not-for-profit community-centred organisation.

The aim of the animators and the overall principle of the organisation is to offer camps to as many children as possible, thanks to financial aid such as the Mimosa fund which pays for part of the costs for children from disadvantaged families.

According to them, what is most important is the developing interaction between children, the euphoria and excitement of using their imagination and the pleasure they have taking part in productive activities.

The CPV is constantly updating its camps and repeating the ones that work well.

Eight themes are on offer: nature, horse riding, sport, multi-activities, adventure tours, scientific, animals and artistic.

In addition to day camps for 4 to 10 year olds and traditional camps (12 to 20 participants), there are two types of stays available for families: mini-camps where, after two days of coming to camp just for the day, the children then spend two nights away from home.

The goal is to let children get used to sleeping away from family home and, also to allow parents to let go and have some time for themselves.

There are also holiday camps that allow siblings to go together. For example, groups of forty young people are taken to Ardeche or Switzerland to take part in a variety of fun and sporting activities or to experience role-playing games.

The "Imagine" camp gives free rein to the children to create their own games and costumes, which really develops teenagers' spontaneity and imagination.

The numerous camps CPV organizes, especially next winter's ski holiday, or Easter camp in Tuscany, all encourage young people to get to know each other within a warm and vibrant environment that develops their sense of curiosity and sense of connection to each other.

The participants have to share and this allows them to understand the true sense of reciprocity involved in teamwork.

Added to this, the instructors are always looking for an educational goal, for example, each child in the group has the right to express an opinion and issue a rule of conduct for the group.

Debate is very much encouraged, with equal importance given to each individual within the group and cohesion, which is essential for the smooth running of the activities.

So in terms of CPV's statistics:

125 camps are organized each year, representing some 11,000 child-days, all supervised by 500 volunteers who work to organize fun and varied adventures for children.

For the teenagers, very inventive camps exist like Europe Express - in the style of Beijing Express, #Swiss Road Trip or Chill @ Ticino.

These instructors are trained by the CPV and the CEMEA (Centre for Education in Active Methods of Education).

We praise the initiative of these many volunteers as well as the CPV professionals who support these actions whose mission is to open children to new horizons, based on sharing and mutual trust.

The CPV is also a member of the quality charter for holiday organizations that issue a quality label that complies with strict standards of hygiene, physical and emotional safety and supervision.