I was mulling over our experiences thus far, thinking about how it could be better if (and likely when) we do it again.
I think it would be helpful if LEC (the organization that arranged all of this) could recommend some language training for next year's participants -- not the kids, but the host families, so as to be able to say several common phrases in French. (Though I do find it amazing how much communication can occur with Oui, Non, and the ever expressive Gallic shrug.) Not simple ones (Are you hungry? Do you need anything?) so much as If we go to the store, would you like to come, or would you prefer to stay at home? Do you need any toiletries - shampoo, soap, hairbrush? Why do you have the French Embassy on speed dial? I know, the idea is for the kids to improve their English, and not our French, but hey, it can't hurt, and it might ease communications. Not to mention help them feel a little less self-conscious about their difficulties with our language as they see us struggle with theirs.
I also think, most definitely, that Hershey Park needs to radically redo their signage, which is currently the equivalent of You want to go from New York to San Francisco? Okay, just go towards the mountains, and then stop when you reach the water. Simple, let alone elegant, graphics and icons are not in their lexicon. You want to ride on Fahrenheit? (Which, by the way, only do if you have a death wish) Why, just head past Music Box Square to Pioneer Square. You do know where that is, of course. Assuming you even know which of their locales you're in right the heck now. And say you're standing under a ride and want to get to its entry point? Good luck in finding it. One cop gave pretty clear directions -- go up that road, and keep taking rights. Too bad he forgot about the alley.
Signage, you....morons! It's how you talk to customers!