CERN Accelerating science

A breeze of the holiday season over the summer camp “Le Jardin des Particules”...

In July, we set off to discover Vivaldi's “Four Seasons”!

The summer camp* of the “Jardin des Particules”, the Crèche and School of the CERN Staff Association, has just completed four themed weeks around the “Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi.

The summer camp operates in July, Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, for children aged four to six with registration on a weekly basis.

This year, the children and the accompanying team investigated around the four concerti, and the four sonnets attributed to Vivaldi, describing the course of the seasons. Each week the theme has been proposed in a varied and rich way with many activities detailed below. An Anglophone member of the team was present every week for an awareness of English through songs or beautiful stories.

The sun that warms us and melts the snow, the birds that chirp... Long live spring!

Children discover the work of Antonio Vivaldi, with the first concerto “Spring”, through listening, playing, arts and crafts…  Time to get to know each other and spend an unforgettable week together.

In direct relation with spring, the children visited the “Ferme de Budé”, an organic urban farm in the heart of Geneva! The place is unique and serves as a link between city and countryside. A large urban garden, which is used to feed the population in the neighbourhood.

Later the children were thrilled to discover the works of a beekeeper, with the bees that produce honey.... A whole spring program!

A workshop and games with the instructors but also with Anna Peryt on the theme of spring. The week ended with the preparation of cocktails to welcome parents on Friday afternoon.

The weather is fair, the weather is hot! There comes summer and the second concerto!

The weather is so hot that it is a good opportunity to raise awareness on the risk of fire. The Safety training centre in Prévessin opened its doors for a visit. Together with firefighters of the CERN Fire Brigade, the children were able to handle water hoses, extinguish a fire with a fire extinguisher, experience the LHC tunnel simulator and take an unforgettable ride in the beautiful fire truck, sirens howling of course!

Visiting museums is a guaranteed pleasure and, in addition, the Geneva Museum of Art and History takes special care to offer suitable and specially adapted activities for children catering to their desires and needs. With four hands or four feet, music can be danced and sang to. The children could discover the sound of “forgotten” musical instruments that were in fashion at the time of Vivaldi, such as the harpsichord. It is worth listening to music!

A music workshop ended the week with the visit of the duo Axus Mundi, two musicians trained in several prestigious schools in Europe and Canada. They have been collaborating for several years as performers and developing educational tools designed to share their passion for music.

Fall’s little pleasures: picking mushrooms, picking beautiful leaves or tasting good grapes... all with the third concerto of Vivaldi

A treasure hunt on the theme of plants was organized. A treasure is hidden in the summer camp, in a forest, in the garden or in a park. Through riddles, children find different pieces of a puzzle that, once put together, will reveal where the treasure is hidden.

Autumn is also the time for dreaming by the water. On the programme the third week: a cruise on Lake Geneva. A short tour on a CGN boat to reach the Lake Geneva Museum in Nyon. Setting sail on a “Belle Époque” boat means discovering this beautiful Lake Geneva region with a different eye.

The end of the week proved to be somewhat “Zen” with the children trying out yoga in a fun and playful way, which is also a source of well-being.

Long live the winter wind! And the discovery of Antonio Vivaldi's fourth concerto

This last week was an opportunity to visit the Salève. The “Maison du Salève.” is an exhibition space on the Salève mountain which is dear to residents in Geneva. During the visit, the children were able to admire a spectacular panorama over the Geneva basin.

Theatre finally provided a beautiful end to these four weeks, these four seasons and these four concerti, through the staging of a play.

The summer camp concluded with a wonderful party where the children and their parents enjoyed some drinks specially prepared by the children themselves.

Coda, or conclusion

he summer camp has just closed its doors, after a great month of activities. A total of 70 children attended, some of them already enrolled in “Le Jardin des Particules” over the school year and others coming just for the month of July.

For their supervision, we have been able to count on four very competent animators, assisted by Carole Dargagnon, Headmistress of “Le Jardin des Particules”, as well as external animators.

After four splendid weeks packed with activities, and served by a generous sunshine, everyone is looking forward to renewing the experience next year. A big thank you to the team for the management and animation, to the children and their parents, and wishing you all a great summer!


*For more information: