It only feels like yesterday that I have been writing about the end of Autumn Season here at KISC and now here I am announcing the nearing end of Winter! This Monday Staff Day Out took place and the Winter STS will be leaving Kandersteg and make space in the Staff Room for a whole bunch of new Spring Shorties. More on this in the next Latest News. But before it comes to this, let's have a look back at the last few weeks at KISC!
After the busy weekends with Klondike and Pack 130 an equally as busy Monday was waiting for the Centre on the 30th of January with the first one of our School Days this Winter. On that day, we welcomed around 200 kids and their teachers from the Schlossberg school in Spiez to the Centre for an action-packed day out in the snow with a wide array of Winter activities - be it cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, crate stacking, Jacob's ladder, sledding curling, ice-skating or else, most of the kids really seemed to enjoy their day. Even though they live relatively close in the city of Spiez, for some of them it was the first time they were taking part in activities like this in the middle of the snow-covered mountains. For the participants, these school days are a great opportunity for a different approach to education as they were not only learning about their own limits and team-building, but could also practise their English-speaking skills outside of a class room while talking to our Staff. And for the entire Staff team the day also meant a chance to get out of the Centre as a lot of help was needed and most of us were working in areas we normally don't. And although the school days after this first one were less busy, equally as much fun was had by the classes taking part in them.
The next big event after this first school day was the Nordic Day on Saturday 4th February which almost all of the Pinkies traditionally took part in crazy costumes. And although none of us were in this cross country race for the win, we were able to take back one of the best results in the past few by coming in sensational 10th place out of 26 teams (with a total of 529 competitors) by accumulating a grand total of 52 laps around the course. While talking of Staff matters, we can't leave out the Salsa Night at Our Chalet in Adelboden. After the sledding afternoon in Kandersteg, this was their way to return the favour to us. One Sunday evening, 15 of us were heading over there to first enjoy a delicious Costa Rican dinner consisting of burritos with a great amount of different fillings, followed by a Chalet tour. The little Salsa course after this was a welcome help to our digestion - not only were we taught how to dance the Salsa, we could also practise our newly acquired skills more or less successful on the dining hall dance floor.
After the First Aid Course at the beginning of January, February now saw another LTS training session in the form of the LTS Management Training, lead by Jordan (MK) from the European Regional Office of WOSM and Liz (UK), Autum 2010 Staff here at KISC.
The busiest week of the entire season then took place from the 12th - 19th February: It was Ski Week 8 time. As this week coincides with half term holidays in the UK it is always busy at the Centre, but as this year Birmingham district was visiting us for their Winter Camp, the Centre was especially full of people. And as we would not have been able to run Ski Week 8 on our own with the regular Winter Staff team, we were visited by an armada of 23 Helpers, all Ex-Staff with a lot of experience to make the week as uncomplicated and enjoyable as possible for all our guests. Therefore big thanks to Andy (CH), Anna (FI), Felipe (BR), Chris (UK), Dominic (UK), Laura (FI), Neala (CA), Nick (AU), Patrick (US), Rick (NL), Roman (CH), Sara (IT), Tim (UK), Linda (DK), Zita (HU), Samuel (CH), Jenneke (NL), Rob (NL), Bjorn (NO/DK), Irakqui (CH), Laura (IE), Liz (UK) and Jay (US)! The week was rounded off nicely by a Staff Night Out of night sledding down from Oeschinensee. And even though it was pitch black down the mountain without any lights or the moon to guide us, everyone made it down in one piece! Over the course of the next week we were saying slowly goodbye to the Helpers that had joined us for the week and with every passing day the number of Staff at the Centre dropped a bit until it reached normal Winter 2012 levels again. And while we were saying goodbye to Kike (ES) and Antoine (FR) who had stayed with us for a longer period of time, we also welcomed another "long term" Helper that will stay with us for another month amongst our mids, Tina (DE).
February also saw two bigger scout meeting at KISC. First of all WOSM's Youth for Change Workgroup visited us from 9th - 12th February to hold working sessions on 4 main topics: Youth in decision-making, generations in dialogue, youth changing communities, and skills for life. After this Workgroup the Swedish Scout Board and Council came to KISC from 23rd - 26th February and made us feel like back at the World Scout Jamboree in Summer again, and brought a ittle bit of a feeling like home to our Swedish Staff Members Thanks in this place also to them for leaving us a Memory Package from the Jamboree!
At the moment, the landscape outside is turning more and more towards Spring. After a few very hot days with between 5°C and 10°C (we were used to minus degrees before, so anything above zero seems hot!) the thick layer of snow has started to melt and lots of it are turning into slush. And although the skiing enthusiasts among us are still hoping for a few last days of fresh powder, we slowly have to face the fact that the best skiing days in the lower regions around Kandersteg are soon to be over. And every time we hear more birds singing while sitting on a gondola or chair lift on the way to the top of a mountain, this realisation is dawning a little more on us.
At the end of these Latest News , let me point you towards our information and application page for the Internation Rover Week 2012 in Summer here at KISC! After the success of the two previous ones last Summer and this Winter, we have decided to organize another such event for Rovers from different countries to meet and share their culture and experiences. If you're interested in this, have a look at our Rover Week subpage!
Also, on March 1st the Summer Programme Bookings officially opened, so if you're visiting KISC in Summer and are still looking for some exciting programme to offer to the participants of your camp, book your activities now! All the information on how to book can be found here!
And while we are enjoying the last bits of snow in Kandersteg, I wish you all all pleasant start of Spring!
Pol Felten (LU)
PR & Marketing Assistant