Summer FAQ

Why attend the L'Etoile summer program?

At L'Etoile we pride ourself on offering high quality experiences for children during the summer. We accomplish this by carefully selecting the camps we offer by carefully vetting the instructors and cherry picking topics that we feel are enriching for students. The instructors of the French enrichment camps are all native French speakeres and the day session instructors are fluent. We believe in creating a safe and welcoming environment where children can learn and play.
L'Etoile is also one of the only camps in Portland with such a comprehensive program, offering nine full weeks of care during the summer. Our day sessions are highly customizable to meet the needs of families. We offer half-day, full-day, and extended-day care which can be tailed to a full-time or part-time schedule.

How long does the summer program run for?

The summer program runs for 9 weeks starting June 26th and ending August 25th. Families typically sign up for an average of four weeks of camp at L'Etoile.

What are the hours?

Our buildings are open from 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday.
Specialty camps: Specialty camps (like soccer, gymnastics, sailing, etc) all run from 9am to noon. Complimentary early drop off stars at 8am and pick up is after lunch at 12:30pm. Families have the option of extending their child's day until 3pm by adding on afternoon care.
Day session: Half day day session is from 9am-12:30pm and full day is from 9am-3pm. Complimentary early drop off begins at 8am.
After care: After care is available from 3pm-6pm.

Where do camps take place?

The maternelle program is at our preschool located at 5839 SW Hood Avenue. The elementary program runs out of our kindergarten building across the street.
Each building has a play structure and outdoor play space, a large indoor gym, and two classrooms. The elementary location is equipped with additional technology such as computers, iPads, and an audio listening station. The maternelle location has a library with over 2,000 books in French and English.

Who can attend?

L'Etoile's summer program is open to all potty-trained children ages 3-12. Students do not need to have any French experience in order to attend.
The maternelle program is open to children going into preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten in the 2017-2018 school year (about 3-6 years old).
The elementary program is open to students going into 1st through 5th grade in the 2017-2018 school year.

What does a typical day look like?

Here is the schedule for the summer program:

  • 8:00am-9:00am Drop off and free play time
  • 9:00am Morning "rituels" (attendance, weather, etc)
  • 9:00am-12:00pm Morning camps - break from 10am-11am for recess and snack
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch and recess - half day pick up at 12:30pm
  • 1:00pm-3:00pm Quiet time and afternoon crafts and activities, afternoon camp for the elementary program - full day pick up 3:00pm
  • 3:00pm-6:00pm After care

Are lunch and snack provided?

No, families need to pack a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack (if staying in after care). Students should also bring: Sunscreen, a change of clothes, swimsuit and towel (we have a sprinkler systen the children can run around in), any extra supplies required by that week's specialty camp such as a tennis racquet, sneakers, etc. All clothing and materials should be clearly labeled with the child's name.

What is L'Etoile's sunscreen policy?

Families should put sunscreen on their children before they arrive at camp. Students may spend time outside for camps, snack, recess, or after care and should have appropriate sun protection. Approximately every 3 hours, at lunchtime and at the beginning of after care, we will reapply spray sunscreens provided by the families to students from the neck down. For the safety of staff and students L'Etoile will not use their hands to apply cream sunscreen to children. Since spray sunscreen cannot be applied to the face, students should bring a sunhat or learn how to use apply sunscreen to their face by themselves. All sunscreen should be clearly marked.

Who are the staff during the summer program?

The lead summer maternelle teacher is Emily. Emily is a fluent French speaker and has been studying French since middle school. During the school year Emily is a student at Hult International Business School in London. Emily will have two assistants: Angela, who works during the school year as our administrative assistant and after care superviser, and Christa, our after care supervisor.

Miriam is the lead summer elementary teacher. She has native level French fluency and this is her second year working in the summer program.

The enrichment camp instructors (like for soccer, art, gymnastics, etc.) are qualified specialists. Most of them teach after school classes during the school year and really enjoy working with L'Etoile.

In addition to the teachers, assistants, and camp instructors we also have several interns from local high schools and colleges. These are students who have a French background and enjoy working with children, usually they are pursuing an education in pedagogy or language studies.

All of the summer staff have passed background checks and the lead teachers and assistants are all CPR/First Aid certified.

How much French will my child learn?

L'Etoile's summer program is a "semi-immersion" environment. Staff will speak to students in a mixture or French or English, adjusting based on the comfort and level of each student. Some of the enrichment camps are taught solely in English while others are taught mostly in French. Please check the camp descriptions to find out more.
The more time students spend at camp the more French they will acquire. They should gain a good understanding of basic commands, learn the vocabulary for the differents times of the day (snack time, recess, lunch), and be able to recognize and say vocabulary specific to the theme of that week.

How do I sign up?

You can register for camps online. Click here for the maternelle camp registration and here for the elementary camp registration.

For additional questions please contact Danielle at or call us at 503.715.1258.