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  • Chaperones!

Chaperone Blog Takeover!

Pince-moi un moment: Chaperones' take on the journey

Our mighty chaperones: Alexandra, Mallika, Christina, Lissa, and Shani

  • Munich: Still not France: despite 40+ hours of no sleep and much travel…Scouts showed incredible resilience, and flexibility in and out of the airports; one group of students started playing cards during a long wait and found other ways to entertain themselves. The group always discovered solutions to resolve any challenge that they faced.

  • Despite lack of sleep, the 11 hour layover in Munich was the biggest challenge and also where the biggest bonding experience developed - tired, walking in 30 degree weather, they adapted to changes in plans, excited to get to their next stop

  • Artistic growth flourished and bloomed with every encounter and experience: regardless of spontaneous or scheduled opportunities to share their music - concerts and ad hoc pop-up performances in breath taking monumental and historic spaces such as Opera Garnier (Paris), Roman amphitheater (Lyon), Pont du Gard (Avignon)  Eiffel Tower (Paris) gave the Scouts memories that will last a lifetime

  • We loved seeing the Scouts eager and willing to meet and greet, shaking hands and chatting together during the exchange master class with the students from the Conservatoire de Lyon; both sets of students did not speak the others' language, therefore it was fun see them connect through their shared language of music. It was hard to not tear up during this experience

  • Witnessing the small community music center in the village of Mérindol- in came pouring locals on Good Friday…filling 150+ seats to hear their local community choir and these visiting opera kids from California.  What a loving audience they were for the Scouts! The students experienced their first European version “standing ovation” where the audience clapped together rhythmically in unison in their curtain call bow.  This was an echo of what we saw at Opera de Lyon in the production we saw there.

  • It was great to observe Caroline, Paul & John-Elliott supporting the kids artistically, personally & logistically during the trip; Holding the kids accountable, challenging them to rise to the occasion and the kids continued to show them that they could deliver each time whether meeting up on time, getting up early, or delivering the highest quality music they could.

Emporters (Takeaways)

Early on the students were a bit shy and didn’t know what to expect from their chaperone group dynamics.  Quickly they learned they could trust us as chaperones, and they warmed up to us and accepted our support.

We loved that throughout the whole week, that no matter who was rooming with whom - boys, girls, age, stages reached out to one another.  We noticed how fluid the group was in terms of supporting each other no matter their ages, experience, and gender.

You can be proud of your kids for all that they have accomplished and all their growth.

In conclusion, be very proud of your Scout! They grew socially, internationally and as an artists. They learned the skills of perseverance, resilience and how to support each other regardless of what was handed to them! We feel so blessed we had the opportunity to be witness to this incredible experience for each and every Scout! This was a much bigger gift that you gave your child than you could possibly imagine.


Thank you to our fabulous chaperones--they went above and beyond in their diligence, comfort, and focus in supporting the students and our artistic team:

Caroline, Paul, and John-Elliott

Just to close the experience, let's share what we did today!

We started off from our lovely Aix-en-Provence hotel and rode on the bus to the port city of Marseille. There we hopped on the little city train and toured the city.

The bus dropped us off at the Basilica which was huge and gorgeous.

After the morning tour, we traveled back to Aix for a last afternoon shopping and a leisurely lunch.

We freshened up at the hotel and then came together for our closing dinner at a lovely Provencal bistro.

We ended the evening with reflections, and closing remarks. It has been an incredible trip and we are getting ready for our return flight tomorrow!

David's Dish

Today is the winner! The meals we had today were astounding. The restaurant we found was in a small hidden court with a tree in the middle. It was like a hidden garden! The waiter and owners didn’t speak English, but through gestures and google translate, we were able to order. I got a rare steak which was cooked in duck confit. It came with roasted potatoes and a salad which slices of parmegiano regiano. The steak was cooked wonderfully and was so soft it could be cut with just the fork. With just one bite there were three waves of flavor. Initially, I could taste the sweet sauce the meat came with. Then, the juicy steak flavors flowed into my tastebuds. Lastly, a slight charred flavor of duck fat was left lingering on my tongue. It was so wonderful I immediately knew it would be today’s dish.

Overall 4.9/5.0

Flavors linger for hours after the meal.

Soft texture.

Great ambiance.


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