Go International Youth Camp in Alicante mountains

Simply Spain

This story is about ideas around an International youth camp in the Alicante mountains and how I try to introduce the Spain that I love to my kids

Villa Balea is our family holiday home. However, the older our kids get the more difficult it is to get them to come along. Nevertheless, last February I managed to go with my youngest son, and his friends. They spent most of their time around the pool or at the balcony of the studio. Their main focus was to enjoy winter sunbathing and drinking beer. I guess that it is just the novelty of having just turned 18.

Values, the lifelong companion

However, I am quite difficult mum to have around. I am not happy with the merely sunbathing and beer-drinking holiday. When I am in Spain I love to meet up with my Spanish friends and I often drag my kids along. In addition, I love to emerge myself in the mindful part of the Mediterranean way of life.

I want my family to experience the Spain that I love . Alicante has since my early adulthood been a lifelong love-story and companion. My Spanish experience is characterised by togetherness, low levels of stress, healthy diets, regular exercise, and a lot of outdoors.

Involve young people not always easy

My plan to lure my son and his friends away from the sunbathing on the balcony was to some extent successful. My pitch was for them to explore the possibility to arrange for countryside camp for their local football club back in Sweden.  I have always taken a liking to impossible ideas and mission and this was for sure one of them. Nevertheless they have had some experience back home what a countryside get-away could look like.

A trip to Castalla and Campament de Fontés

I forced my son and his friends to leave the pool area of Villa Balea and we went over the day to Castalla , a small town in the Alicante mountains. The aim was to visit an outdoor camp for children and youth in Alicante. I wanted to take the opportunity to meet up with Julio Tonda, an old friend. His sister had told me about the fantastic place he run in the Alicante mountains. So, I visited “Campament de Fontés” with my sons and their friends. I loved the place and felt that I wanted to learn more. 

Ideas for the future – go international youth camp for outdoor lovers

Julio Tonda, showed us the place. He explained that they receive children and youth between the ages of 3 and 17 years of age. Due to the high safety precautions they only receive groups. Julio and his team facilitate outdoor adventures and exercises suitable for different ages and needs.

“We work with municipalities. schools, parent´s asccoations looking to arrange a kid´s outdoor youth camp.  We provide the instructors. With our programme we want to show the kids values such as respect, sharing and helping each other. Physical exercise and having fun in the sun are good for your longterm wellbeing.”

Julio continues 

“ We would love to go more international. We could easily receive more clubs and associations from other European countries, especially in the cooler seasons.”

In Sweden my kids have their football training outdoors the whole year round. But like all Swedes we crave for some light and sunshine during the darker and long month. I agree with Julio. The mountains of Alicante is great for any north European youth sport clubs that are looking to combine training in a great climate with social bonding activities.

Julio explains that they can combine camp life with specialized training programme. In Castalla they have the mountain for groups that want to hike, run in the hills, or perhaps do MTB. In Castalla there are several municipal sport facilities offering fotboll, basketball and paddle tennis.

The camp allows for as many as 200 children that can sleep-over. In total as many as 400 children can be at the camp at the same time.

Spanish lessons and learn about Mediterrean food 

Julio cooks all meals on site and has a keen interest in traditional dishes from the Alicante region.

“An idea I have would be for the kids to have a great physical programme now only but also learn about Spain and practice Spanish. We could provide Spanish lessons. Learn vocabulary and then practice the new words every day.

I really like the idea. I have learned several languages over the years. The best way is definitely when you are on the go and when you feel connected to the culture. An excellent to learn a language is to feel, smell, taste and do.

When Julio showed me the meny they prepare for the kids I was inmedietaly hooked. I am thinking that a perfect moment to learn some Spanish is around food and meals. Imagine that after one meal or two you are able to communicate in Spanish and perhaps ask for another helping of Fidegua.

Selection of dishes

“Gazpachos Montaña “, is a mountain style Gazpacho.from Alicante . “Fidegua” is a Mediterranean fish and macaroni (fideo) dish. “Cocas saladas” . a  flatbread savoury dish with a long history in Spain. “Escalibada”, a great dish for veggie lovers. It is roasted vegatables with a great olive oil. At Fontes they have their own olive trees and have produced their own olive oil. ”Arroz tres sabores- originally a Chinese dish but great for the Alicante conditions were you can always find great food stuff. There are places where they cultivate rice in la Comunidad Valenciana ( Alicante, Valencia and Castellon provincies) as well as in Murcia.

Spanish food

 For the typical Alicante mountain rice dish good words you should learn are “arroz” , “conejo”, “pollo” and “higado”. Of course, any good Spanish dish would have “cebolla” and “diente de ajo”. If you are more into fish and shellfish memorize the words “sepia”, “pescado”, “gambas” and “caldo de pescado”. It is good to know your Spanish vegetable dishes. Here comes some words; “verduras”, “ensalada tradicional”, “berenjena”, “guisantes” , z”anahoria”, “guisantes” , “zanahoria” , “tomate”, “calabacín” and “pimpiento rojo”. For a good a healthy breakfast perhaps you want “huevos” and “jamon cocido” 
Different way to cook is, “asados” , “en la parrilla”, “cocido” and “al  horno”.
For baking vocabulary;  “masa”, “harina” , “agua”, “sal” and “levadura”.  

Soon to come

To find out more information on the programmes, food and specialized training offered at the Campament Fontés, you can soon find the products on Go Nature Market world

If you are outside Spain and would like to know more, you can contact Gunilla Jacobsson. If you need  all-inclusive offer you can book through the Swedish based Cross Baltica If you are in Spain and want your association, school or club wants to book please contact the youth camp directly.