Last Week of Summer
Only one more week remaining for this Summer season. This is not only becoming visible at the Centre through the now almost tent-less Campsite, but also through all the department parties that were happening last week. And as if these were not enough signs yet that summer is slowly fading away, the weather also had to play its part in this to make it clear to everyone that Autumn is fast approaching.
But let's start with the different department parties. For those of you who don't know straight away what those are exactly, here a short explanation: Over summer, we work in three different departments here at KISC, Campsite, Chalet Services and Programme - each with their own jobs and responsibilities, but all with the same goal to give guests the camp experience of a lifetime. At the end of each Summer season every department spends an evening together only with other people from that department as a thank you for all the hard work done over the past 3 months - and as there is a lot of work to be done over summer, you can imagine that these end of season parties are quite a big thing in Kandersteg. Chalet Services were first with their party on Saturday evening, consisting of bowling and dinner in Thun. Then, on Sunday evening, as the Campsite team feels so passionate about the KISC Campsite, they had a barbecue at Uncle Sam's on the Campsite. At the same time, the people from the Programme department were already running up to the Upper Hut where their party was happening. This second edition of the KISC Upper Hut Trophy was won by Matty who got there in 42 minutes, the same time Matt took the year before.
Now with the Department Parties over, the next big Staff event KISC is awaiting impatiently - as at the end of every season - is Staff Day Out this Thursday. This year, the organisers have done a very good job in keeping exact details a secret, all we know so far is that in the afternoon we will go river tubing, that is floating down the Aare river towards Berne on big rubber tubes. The rest of the day, including the location of the festive dinner remains a secret. We're all excited for a great day no matter what exactly will be going down and are hoping for the weather to stay nice while we are on the river. Because the last few days, the weather definitely didn't play its part and was getting us into mood for the colder months of Autumn.
It all started with torrential rain last Thursday afternoon which lasted all night. The next morning, rainfall continued and as the temperatures continued dropping, the snow line was also getting lower. During the afternoon, it already snowed a bit above the Oeschinensee, while during the night to Saturday, it dropped even further so that a massive amount of snow could be seen at Sunnbuel. And even though it stayed rather dry during the day in the valley, there was enough snow at Gemmipass to set everyone into a very wintery mood. Some of the Short Term Staff that went up and had never seen proper snowfall in their life before enjoyed all the delights of a winter's day for the first time, including building a snowman, doing snow angels and having a snowball fight - some of them will go home as real snow experts, something they probably did not expect to turn into over this Summer season. By now, most of the snow in these lower mountain regions has already melted, but the higher peaks are still covered by a thick layer of whiteness.
While the weather already seems to be in autumnal mode, the Centre is slowly doing the same. As the Campsite is emptying up, general tidying up and deep cleaning of the different facilities has started. The first toilet and shower blocks have already been deep cleaned under heavy use of the power washer, the first drains were emptied and even Sam (UK) can be seen already cutting down the first trees on the Campsite - one of his favourite Autumn jobs. It seems like the new Autumn Shorties won't get bored in Grounds the coming too months! Inside the Chalet, deep cleaning after the thousands of guest that visited us over summer will start soon as well, with only one last group of several hundred people expected to arrive by mid-September.
At the same time, Jens (IE) is facing the fact that he will be leaving us soon and has started with the training of Alexandros (GR), the new Operational Director. While Alexandros is settling back into Centre life, Jens is ticking off the final things of his departure list. Last Wednesday he embarked on an epic journey through the village, saying goodbye to several people that will most certainly miss him while he's gone. And as he never took part in a D-Day as every other Pinkie has to at the beginning of their Shortie season, it was decided to turn this day of farewells into Jens's personal G-Day - Goodbye-Day - including a silly costume (a white T-Shirt with a picture of himself in an Edelweiss costume on the chest) and hourly reports back to the Centre where he was supposed to tell a funny story about his time at KISC. And I can assure you that a lot of interesting new funny facts were heard of during the course of the day. Then, today on Tuesday 4th September, Jens got a surprise visit from Rex Smith and Ali Davis from the UK Kandersteg Network who were thanking Jens for all the work he did for the Centre in the past few years, including a special present in the form of a silvery, engraved mug.
Thus it is with mixed feelings that we are looking forward to next weekend. On the one hand, we're sad to have to say goodbye to Jens whose last "official" act at the Centre will be the Long Term Staff dinner on Saturday evening. But at the same time we're looking forward to a whole team of Autumn Staff, full of new faces. Until then, we're enjoying the last few days of Summer. And then, we'll be in for a hopefully equally as great Autumn!
Pol Felten (LU)
PR & Marketing Assistant