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  • Summer
Giving Summer Students an Edge
Mark Gordon & Ania Gruszczynska

Summer has come and gone, and we can’t help but marvel at how far our summer camp programs have come since Sigrid Ott first began “Yank Camps” 70 years ago. While LAS’s summer program was originally intended to support the children of US military families throughout Europe, it has since developed significantly to cater to new generations of young explorers from all over the world. As we continue to grow and change, though, the principle objective of the summer experience at LAS remains the same—teaching by having fun and enjoying every moment of the learning experience!

Last year saw the launch of the revamped LAS Summer in Switzerland structure—we created two brand new divisions of summer that were met with enthusiastic response from our campers.

LAS summer, the first of the new programs, offers students a choice of Language, Academic, or Sports core morning programs, followed by a range of exciting activities and clubs that allow them to try something new almost every day. The second of the new programs is LAS summer edge, a camp for highly-motivated students who are looking for a unique summer experience.

This year during the three weeks of LAS summer edge, students learned about and grew in the areas of responsibility, compassion, and innovation— qualities inspired by LAS’s mission statement. Throughout summer edge we ensure that learning happens outside of the classroom as much as possible. During Responsibility Week students learned firsthand how to be champions of a better and more ethical future. Students visited the Hublot watch factory and learned about the importance of corporate social responsibility and how Hublot crafts beautiful products while still being accountable for their impact on the wider world.

Compassion Week introduced students to the founder of SolidariTEE, Tiara Sahar Ataii. SolidariTEE is a student-run charity supporting refugees that, over the first two years of running, expanded to 35 universities across 5 countries. Students also met with Randall Zindler, former CEO of Medair. Together with Medair, Randall helped to coordinate the humanitarian effort following the Asian tsunami in December 2004. Randall spoke with the students about what it means to take part in activism.

Last, but definitely not least, Innovation Week set creative minds loose and helped to sum up everything our students learned throughout summer edge. Students worked together with a group of entrepreneurs from TAZEBAEZ who guided them through a process of designing, testing, and pitching a product that responded to a challenge they identified over the course of the program.

All the dynamic activities of LAS summer edge were complemented by a range of company and organization visits (including to CERN and the UN), presentations and workshops led by guest presenters, and a wide array of fun activities, such as indoor skydiving, paddle boarding, and parapenting, that will have students talking about LAS summer edge for years to come!

Most importantly, LAS summer edge created a close-knit family for its participants. A maximum of 30 students are accepted to the program each year, ensuring that every student gets the guidance they need to become a resourceful and creative thinker and develop the skills necessary to achieve their goals and ambitions. Students in LAS summer edge work with our personal development and leadership coach to track their progress and make feasible and sustainable plans for future projects. It is our pleasure to see them run for leadership positions in their schools back home, volunteer abroad, or fearlessly apply for their first summer job just a few months after the completion of our program. We are looking forward to seeing what the next LAS summer edge cohort will set out to achieve!

  • Panorama 2019