How does it work?
A simple but highly effective idea. Children learn languages in the most natural way possible: like being on an exchange with a family or in an immersion situation. For 24 hours a day they are with peers who are native speakers of the target language. We, as camp organisers guide by providing stimulating and well-timed activities, giving the language learning a suitable backdrop. This active approach doesn’t allow for the learner to feel self conscious and clam up. Instead, they are in a live situation, unwittingly using their language because they have to.
Our methodology works under residential conditions. We mix Spanish and English speaking children from similar age groups and then everybody eats, sleeps, plays and learns together, in effect living together. Bunk rooms are mixed nationality wise. Bedtime conversation is often the most active and jovial. All the day’s activities are now stored up and ready to pour out in funny anecdotes and playfulness. Demeanours are relaxed and unworried. National pyjama customs observed and commented on. Snoring is a universal language.
Only for language classes are nationalities separated. Classes focus on the activities of the day ahead and on the context of the camp. Indoor class time is kept to a minimum, where possible the classes will be taken outside and put into practice with games and role play activities such as theatre, mano a mano challenges, nature study or specific requests from the group.
Each course is made to measure, we think about each camp's age group and their physical requirements in order to find balance between work and play.
Mealtimes are important as well, it gives the group a chance to come together round a table and share their days’ experiences. We encourage the children to help in the preparation for meals, laying and decorating the table, and adding their own family specialities. Our catering is provided by a local chef using locally sourced produce. Children who have never before poked at a tomato or heard of gazpacho return home raving about their new favourite cold soup; egg haters go back delighting in tortilla and indifferent apple eaters drool over crumble with custard. Marmite usually stimulates conversation. Our bakery is on the other side of the river, a diaphanous and happy place where the kids collect the barras and napolitanas.
For younger children things are kept simple and on site: nature trails, den building, seed planting, outdoor creations, harvesting, firepit cooking, music, theatre and all the endless variations of the outdoors.
For older children, off-site and more adventurous mountain, valley and beach activities range from snorkelling in the river to bushcraft, from hiking to sailing, from kayaking to surfing.
More details ...
Where? – We are located in Muxía in the far NW corner of Galicia, Spain
Ages 8 to17
Capacity for up to 16 children & three monitors.
Staff - 24 hr director on site, full time residential monitor, full time language teacher, driver
Pick up policy - free pick up and drop off service from local airports, bus & train terminals
Prices start from 750 euros per person per week
- 24 hr supervision
- All food & drink
- Language classes
- Activity programme
- All materials
COVID: we are following all local protocols, requirements and procedures with regard to covid. If antigen testing is a government requirement for our activity then 4 Elements Galicia will provide and carry out antigen testing free of charge. To date (Jan 2022) we are using antigen tests and body temperature checks upon arrival. Also facemasks, social distancing measures and disinfecting procedures to ensure compliance and group safety.
At 4Elements Galicia we work with fully trained, experienced organisations and individuals with excellent safety management systems. They comply to regional and national authority safety guidelines, with up-to-date First Aid training specific to the activity and with clean police records. We are committed to health and safety. Our residential capacity is purposefully limited to 16 children along with at least 3 monitors. We maintain a monitor to child ratio that is never lower than 1:6 and this is increased according to the activity. All of our grounds and activities are fully risk assessed prior to each visit, and, at the end of each day. During sleeping hours one monitor is on site, metres away ensuring 24hr supervision.
Our centre has all the necessary permissions from the Government of Galicia, and complies with building, fire safety, sanitary and food handling regulations. We carry out periodic checks of our heating and water quality systems.
We hold Civil Responsibility and Accident insurance policies as required by law and provided by ALLIANZ, COMPAÑIA DE SEGUROS Y REASEGUROS, S.A. (Part of the German financial services company Allianz SE).
The camp leader has first aid training that is specific to the outdoors awarded by ITC FIRST, all other monitors have at least basic first aid training.
Sailing, kayaking and surfing activities are provided by local federated schools with their own complete safety measures, insurance policies and most importantly long and varied experience working with local and international children.
4Elements is located 9km or 12 minutes drive from a large regional hospital located in the town of Cee. Fire and ambulance services have vetted our grounds and access.
“Overall I learned lots of new Spanish vocab from being with locals and having very little time with English speakers. I found this to be especially effective and useful. My favourite part was the water activities, because the people were friendly and kind. I also liked walking part of the “camino.” "
Henry S., 15 years old, Leckford Place, Oxford
“When collecting litter from the beach, you would realise the impacts that plastics had on the world, and how humans had littered the oceans with it. During the making of the Gazpacho and the apple crumble, everyone was working as a team and it was also a bit competitive… but in the end the apple crumble won!”
Frannie P, 13 years old, Benenden School, Kent
“He aprendido mucho inglés, muchas palabras y pronunciación...la diferencia del inglés del cole y este es que el inglés de Francis es mejor por que aprendes toda la semana a base de actividades y convivencia con ingleses ... sin duda cuenta aprender más y mejor.”
Lucia L. C., 15 años, Instituto Fernando Blanco, Cee
“The activities were brilliant that Fran had lined up, not only fun, but meeting new people and making friends was also nice, for example Alex, David, Tomás and Carmen”
Angus W., 15 years old, Langley School, Norwich
“¡Sí, voy a seguir con el inglés! La diferencia de aqui a en el cole es que aquí se aprende +rápido, + fácil y + divertido.”
Iosune B. S., 14 años, Colegio Plurilingüe Manuela Rial Mouzo, Cee
“The rooms are really nice, the food is good...I met so many nice people.”
Harvey C., 15 years old, King Edward VII Academy, Kings Lynn
“He aprendido mucho en este campamento, la comida es buena, las instalaciones geniales y me gustaria repeat this experience!”
Anxo M. L., 14 años, Instituto Fernando Blanco, Cee
“The surfing was very fun and had nice people who used a good mix of Spanish and English helping you learn...going on the camino was a good idea because we got to meet some of the local people and learnt about the area...the carnival also helped towards meeting locals and trying new things like the seafood ...I would love to come back!”
Madeleine D., 15 years old, Headington School, Oxford