Are you ready for Spring?
It's Spring at KISC! Although Winter was trying to take on last stand by giving us another severe snowfall a bit more than a week ago, the sun definitely is winning the fight now with the snow retreating dramatically. As a consequence, the Kander's water level is rising higher and the waterfalls here in the valley seem to become stronger by the day. The skiing season in Kandersteg has come to an end as well with both the Sunnbüel T-bar and the cable car to the top of Oeschinensee having closed for this season - this also means that our skiing Staff members are now only left with Adelboden or the higher areas in the Jungfrau region for the next couple of weeks. An with the meteorological Winter, the internal KISC season has ended as well.
After a Staff Day Out skiing in Leukerbad in the morning (or going up the Gemmi Gondola for those that don't ski) and a relaxing afternoon in the thermal baths close to the resort, followed by a nice and festive meal at Hotel Berner Hof in Kandersteg in the evening, it was almost time for the Winter Staff to leave. Contrarily to other seasons, Winter was not over with SDO immediately as we were joined the days after it by the World Scout Committee who had come to KISC for a week of meetings and discussions about Scouting. This meant a lot of interesting evenings in the main hall - set up as bar - together with the Committee members, playing the guitar, chatting, or just enjoying themselves. After this week it was time to say goodbye to the Winter Shorties whose time at KISC ended that following Sunday with the arrival of the Spring 2012 STS!
Starting their time here with an evening of icebreakers, raclette and some epic egg-frying sessions on the raclette grill, they were in for a wild week of training. After D-Day under the motto of "Helicopters vs. Airplanes", the new Short Term Staff were joined by Alvaro (ES) for their training, our new Design Assistant who knows KISC from his previous, frequent participation of different Spanish Work Parties. After their week of training and the following gradudation, both Alvaro and the new Shorties have now started with their regular work and will keep the Centre running for the next three months. By this, we welcome Arielle (CA), Elin (SE), Natalia (CH), Pedro (PT), Sam (MY), Santos (ES), Sophy (DK) and Will (UK) to the long line of Short Term Staff that have helped the Centre before them. If you visit the Centre between now and June, say hi to them - they'll be happy to see friendly faces as KISC is always rather quiet with only few guests in Spring!
The first bigger event the new team had to face this season was the KISC Committee meeting last weekend. At the same time, we also welcomed a delegation from Scouting Ireland for the official opening of the Irish Room, whose renovation was already completed at the end of Autumn. Now bearing a shining new wooden door plaque, the room proudly continues the tradition of the Irish Room that has been a part of KISC since the 1960s. And the guests that have already stayed in it since it was reopened for guests can tell you that it is definitely worth a visit!
The same weekend, the annual Swiss Ski Marathon took place in Kandersteg with KISC as its official partner, which meant that we had all of our buildings fully booked with athletes taking part in the marathon, arriving in the evening, joining us for a pasta party at dinner and leaving the Centre for a 36 or 38,5 km ski tour up at Sunnbüel at 3 o'clock at night. And the way it seems, both the Committee and the participants of the Ski Mara really liked the work of the new STS as both made sure to pass on their thanks for a successful weekend. But after these few rather busy days, we are in for a few quieter weeks with a lot of LTS on well-deserved holidays.
The next bigger thing the Pinkies are looking forward to is the inter-regional Agora in mid-April, a week of workshops on the direction Rovering is going in their respective home countries for Rovers from all over the world, organized by the European Scout Region.
If these first few weeks can be considered an indication for the way the season will be going, then we are in for a great Spring 2012! We hope to welcome you for some early season hiking, climbing or other Spring activities during the next months!
Pol Felten (LU)30.03.2012
PR & Marketing Assistant