The France Camp Experience 2023
Enrichment Beyond the Blade
Back by popular demand, Way of the Sword welcomes you to our second annual France Camp to be held in a new location, Vichy, France. It's more than just a fencing camp but an adventure for the entire family. Bring your blade, French-English dictionary, and your appetite and experience one of the most beautiful regions of France as you draw your sword with French national coaches and their students.
Last year was a huge success as families, fencers, and coaches from both the U.S. and France shared their love of fencing and French culture. Everyone had a wonderful time, from single fencers to larger families who forged new and lasting friendships along the way. Perhaps most notable was the community created as parents and siblings came together to enjoy daily excursions while their athlete trained. After practice the fun continued with extraordinary impromptu meals whether at small outdoor cafes or Michelin-rated restaurants. On any given day, families could be heard at dinner recounting tales of the best baguette, shopping, art, wine, and surprising discoveries.
This extended eight-day, three-weapon camp includes expert fencing instruction, conditioning, and competition. Led by Coach Coumba Ndofene, Maitre d’armes au stade Clermontois Escrime, Head Coach Ibrahima Ndiaye of West Point Military Academy, Way of the Sword Owner Michael Martin, and special guest Master Jean Paul Chevalier. This camp promises to provide fencers with a wonderfully engaging, inspiring, and culturally diverse experience.
- Fencing camp with onsite activities and pool for 8 days. July 17 to 24
Room and Board
- Optional: On-campus dorm rooms, double or triple occupancy with air-conditioning. Plus all meals prepared by French chefs on campus for 10 days July 16 to July 25. Parents have the option to purchase their own room/board package for themselves or with their child.
- Optional supervised pick up, hotel stays in Paris, and door to door transportation for teens traveling independently. Adult supervised transport service from Charles de Gaulle airport to Vichy campus and back again. To be eligible, all flights must be booked to arrive on Saturday July 15th and depart on July 26th. See Q&A for more details
Pricing change schedule:
$1,000 paid before March 1, 2023
$1,200 paid before May 1, 2023
$1,400 paid before June 1, 2023
Novice to advanced fencers ages 7+ (breakout groups will be created based on skill level and age).
Participate and contribute in a fencing-focused vacation for the whole family.
Vichy Sport Complex
Rte du Pont de l'Europe, 03700 Bellerive-sur-Allier, France
July 16, 2023 - July 25, 2023 (8 fencing camp days plus 2 travel days).
Passports required! Check your expiration date. Families are encouraged to travel together however this year we are offering chaperone service for fencers ages 13+. This service will include fully-supervised transportation to and from Charles De Gaulle airport.
Typically, families fly into Paris and take the train to Vichy France (approx. 4 hr journey), however, other options exist which include shorter train rides such as flying into Lyon or Clermont-Ferrand. Pack a snack and water when riding on the train.
Lodging is being offered on campus in remodeled air-conditioned dorm rooms in double or triple occupancy. Families are welcome to stay on campus or arrange a hotel and transportation to and from camp at their own expense. Campers traveling alone will be able to meet their roommates prior to the start of the camp via zoom etc.
Meals: If you stay on campus by purchasing our room and board package then all three meals will be provided. The food is excellent., this is France after all.
Passport, regulation fencing uniform including all electrical equipment, shorts, sneakers, extra socks, extra t-shirts, water bottle.
We recommend you pick up a cell phone SIM card at the airport or plan on paying your provider a daily usage rate. It is also recommended that everyone join our whatsapp chat group as this will be the primary form of communication updates before, during, and after the camp.
We have an active whatsapp chat group that you will be invited to join. This group proved to be invaluable in communicating on the ground in France. Parents and families were able to connect and meet up easily for outings, meals, drinks and excursions. Plus people shared pictures videos and tips as the adventure continued long after the camp was concluded.
We recommend you plan for a combination of credit card and cash Euro payments. Cash machines are everywhere but there will be a fee to take out cash. In our experience, cash exchange at the airport is your best option. It is very difficult Apple Pay works here as well.
Cancellation policy: Refund requests received in writing by June 15th will be honored for room and board ONLY. No camp tuition will be reimbursed as we have already hired the coaching staff.