Switzerland. What would Switzerland be without its mountains.
(above) James admires the Swiss Alps
Among all the ways people could class the ‘Swiss Boarding School’ experience, the tightly clustered valleys of the Swiss alps are a staple like no other and an appropriate metaphor for the experience schools like C.D.L offer. A microcosm of experience. Much like Boarding school seeks to reflect a modicum of what life after school will be like -filled with an independence that requires a lot of self reliance- Switzerland’s diversity of geography and culture at such a compact scale runs parallel to that. Self-reliance is the main subject we teach here, on a smaller, controlled scale. And our location in Switzerland compliments that to no end.
And to remind ourselves of that, there’s nothing we love more than taking our students up into the alpine cradle of this beautiful country for a host of exciting activities to create unforgettable experiences:
(above) On our first night in Leysin, the Grade 9 and 10 students were taken on the Night-Walk. Where we trekked a short way up into the hills at night to enjoy some time by the fire, under the stars. A moment of rest before the activity-laden Saturday, just a few hours away.
Activities were plentiful and varied. Above, our students embarked on a cross-country mountain-biking experience, riding the smooth green hills as well as the rocky crests that that hillside Leysin offers.
For more classically-minded riders, a completely different kind of bicycle was available.
Climbing activities varied from Indoor training, to a full-on trip to the Via Feratta to give students a proper taste of rock-face climbing. And Olympus is proud to say that our boys’ nerves held and all reached the summit.
While some activities offered a day of fun, others stretched further. Above we can see Nihad posing far higher up than any of our other boys reached over this weekend. Far up onto the Glacier 3000 formation, he and his group hiked for a full day and stayed overnight in the basecamp lodge. While lengthy, there’s no better way to get in contact with the raw beauty of the high icy peaks of the alps. The primordial frost, unthawed for thousands of years.
On Sunday, before lunch and our departure back to C.D.L, all students partook in group activities down by the Leysin leisure centre, from zorbing to Laser-tag.
Olympus is a boys dorm. And it’s of no surprise that boys play war. And they play it well.
With the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions and everyone at C.D.L working as hard as they can to put this pandemic into something close to the rear-view for our students, it’s been a huge and meaningful experience to curate this experience. And amazing for us to see them bring it all to life.
So despite our tired limbs making the climb onto the bus home easy, we all found energy that was trapped within us, eager to get out. And it carried us through an amazing weekend.
Wishing all of you the best from Olympus Boarding House!