FAQ French Camps
What is the B.A.F.A certification?
If you’ve clicked through our website a bit, you may have noticed an acronym that you aren’t familiar with - B.A.F.A. We mention it on the French sections of these pages because it refers to the Daily Life Counselor positions at our camps.
The B.A.F.A. or Brevet d’Aptitude aux Fonctions d’Animateur or, childcare aptitude certificate, is a qualification that is required by the French government. Under Youth and Sports regulation in France, a certain percentage of childcare workers in a Vacation Camp must have this certificate. The certificate program is open to young adults as young at 17 years old, and is validated through a series of training and work experiences.
Is the B.A.F.A required at all camps?
If you work at one of our locations during Vacation Camps, you will work with several B.A.F.A. qualified, French counselors. At School Trip Camp the percentage of B.A.F.A certified counselors is not required but some of the counselors we hire for these camps will have the B.A.F.A certificate.
I have a non-French childcare certification, can I work as a Daily Life Counselor?
No, Youth and Sports regulations in France only accept French certificates for this position. This is also the same for the counselors responsible for first aid/monitoring camper health and supervising swimming at camp. These positions require a French first aid certification and lifeguard certification.
Can I apply for the B.A.F.A certification?
Anyone who is 17 or older, fluent in French and lives permanently in France can apply for the B.A.F.A. program. For more information visit the Youth and Sports Ministry’s BAFA webpage here : http://www.jeunes.gouv.fr/bafa-bafd
What is the B.A.F.D certification?
Similar to the B.A.F.A, the B.A.F.D. is a nationally recognized child care certification program in France. As you may have already deduced, the Brevet d’Aptitude aux Fonctions de Directeur is the B.A.F.A. equivalent for Vacation Camp Directors. Through a series of formal training sessions and on-the-ground work experiences, Vacation Camp Directors can obtain this certification in order to manage camps.
What’s different between the two programs?
For starters, the majority of people that enter into B.A.F.D. are already B.A.F.A. certified, the director’s training program is not based uniquely on the day-to-day interactions with the campers. As a director is required to know how to manage all the “hidden” aspects of the camp, so that counselors can do their day-to-day, this training program is focused on the camp’s functioning as a whole. This includes aspects like camp accounting, relationship with parents, transportation, communication with the employer, health & safety regulations and how to deal with different types of emergencies, and of course, the famous “Projet Pédagogique”.
What’s the Projet Pédagogique?
The “pedagogical project” is the backbone of any child care program in France. The American Village Camps pedagogical project has been crafted over time and is updated each winter. Our Projet Pédagogique is identical for all camps, but leaves space to innovate on the counselor level - each counselor is expected to bring his or her ideas to the table for activities, games, skits, and how to better foster camper relationships and a healthy positive ambiance at camp! By reading our Employee Program Manual in full, our staffers are aware of all the overarching ideas that are established in our Projet Pédagogique.
I have previous experience as a camp director in other countries, can I work as a Camp Director at American Village?
Similar to the B.A.F.A certification, Youth and Sport regulations require the B.A.F.D certification to be a Vacation Camp director. However, this certification is not required to be a Camp Director at our School Trip Camps. For the School Trip Camps, our criteria include French fluency, 21+ years old, management experience and relevant experience in a French camp (for example, for foreigners, experience working at our camps as a counselor beforehand is essential).
Can I apply for the B.A.F.D certification?
Anyone who is 21, fluent in French and lives permanently in France can apply for the B.A.F.D program. For more information visit the Youth and Sports Ministry’s BAFD webpage here : http://www.jeunes.gouv.fr/bafa-bafd