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The France Camp Experience 2024


French Foil / Epee Fencing Camp July 28 to August 6 Vichy, France


An adventure for the entire family with enrichment beyond the blade

Hike up a volcano 2022

Back by popular demand, the 3rd annual France Camp to be held again in 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, two-weapon (foil, epee) camp includes expert fencing instruction, conditioning, and competition. Camp is 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 helps promote this camp but is not responsible for the final product or outcomes of the camp for 2024. This camp promises to provide fencers with a wonderfully engaging, inspiring, and culturally diverse experience.

Trip Details (need to know)

Location: Omnisport National Training Center - Vichy, France.
This is a very large well equipped facility, with older buildings but updated interiors, catering to athletes from around the world. The park is huge with miles of track and field as well as water sports. In fact, last year we were there during the World Series of Jet Skiing. Wild fun!
The dorms, cafeteria, and fencing studio are all within walking proximity of each other. There is also an amazing promenade with excellent restaurants around the lake.

The facility

Novice to advanced fencers ages 7+ (breakout groups will be created based on skill level and age).

What is it all about?
A fencing-focused French vacation for the whole family. Enrichment beyond the blade typically starting with flying into Paris, visiting, then taking a train ride to Vichy. Many parents plan vacation around the camp dates, arriving early and/or staying later. Note: This year the Olympics are in Paris so plan ahead!

July 28, 2024 - Aug. 6, 2024 (10 days) if you are staying on campus
July 29, 2024 - Aug. 5, 2024 (8 days) if you are living off campus

Family waterpark fun:
We will take the kids to a waterpark on the lake at least once but more if the weather is good. This is in walking distance to the fencing studio and is a great way to cool off and have FUN. There is a $10 euro fee to participate.

Parents should arrange their own travel insurance. We do not offer any coverage with this camp and it is unproven that USA Fencing members are covered internationally for fencing activities.

Camp minimum:
Typically, we require a minimum of 20 US campers but will run with less if necessary. Contact Coach Ibrahima with questions about the camp and make up.

Passports are required if you are not a French citizen! Check your expiration date now! You can get expedited service from the US Passport at your local post office).

Fencing equipment:
Bring your own fencing uniform and electrical gear (non-FIE is ok). The studio has a repair shop but you will need to bring your own supplies like extra tips, springs, wires, sockets etc. Coaches are happy to help fix equipment on the spot.

Flight and travel are additional costs and not included with your camp fees. Typically, families fly into Paris and take the train or rent a car to Vichy. However, other options do exist which include shorter distances by flying into Lyon or Clermont-Ferrand.

You have two options: Families can live on campus with all meals provided or live off campus. On campus, dorms are simple, clean and convenient, but not luxury. There is no A/C but fans will be provided. Dorms are double occupancy but there are a few with triple occupancy (first come, first serve). Each room has its own private bath, bedding, sheets, and towels. There is also a pay laundry room on campus.

If you stay on campus by purchasing the room and board package then all three meals will be provided. The food is excellent, this is France after all. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in the large cafeteria where all the athletes gather (It is very cool to be in proximity of World Cup and Olympic athletes from many different sports).

Every morning and afternoon we will have live in-person meetings to discuss plans and answer questions. We also have an active Whatsapp chat group to communicate so everyone can connect before, during, and after the trip. Join the group here

Money is in EURO:
USD is not accepted anywhere in France. We recommend you plan for a combination of credit card and euro cash. Before departing, your local bank can likely arrange for you to have euros in hand. This is better than trying to exchange at the airport, in my opinion. Alternatively, cash machines are everywhere but there will be a fee with each withdrawal. Tapping cards and Apple Pay work here as well but cash is always king.

Cancelation (refund) policy:
If we do not make our minimum of 20 US campers by May 15, you can request a full refund. Again, the camp will still be taking place (with both US and French fencers) but you should contact Coach Ibrahima with questions or concerns about the exact makeup and who is enrolled. He is first hand knowledge of the the students from France and the US and can answer your questions directly. Director, Coach Ibrahima Ndiaye. 908 528 - 2181
[email protected]

Fun for the whole family

The adult table
Paris before camp 2023

Q & A

France camp = $1200
Room and board (on campus) = $1000

More questions? Ready to join France Camp? Coach Ibrahima will get back to you shortly

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Ages 7+
Team building
Coach Mike and Jeanmarie
Mother daughter memories
Making friends
Mountain top visit
One fo the kids tables at the cafeteria
Ethel team mascot
The facility
Hard work
Kids table
Hike up a volcano 2022

Bon voyage