Sunshine and Summertime
Summer is in full swing and with August 1st last Wednesday, the busiest day of the season has already passed. But life is not only buzzing here at KISC, but also on summer scout camps all over Europe, and KISC was represented on several of them.
From 20th - 28th July, Roverway took place in Finland, with the main camp happening from the 24th - 28th July on a campsite near Evo in Southern Finland. KISC was present with a team of 4 people who not only enjoyed the Finnish culture of Sauna, but also represented the Centre with a stand in a promotional tent and were ready to help out interested Rovers with any questions they had about KISC and how to become Staff here. Apart from getting to know all there is to know about KISC, visitors of the stand could also enjoy a cup of freshly brewed tea or have a go at our plastic woggle knitting activity which already proved highly successful at last year's World Scout Jamboree in Sweden. During the festival day "Loverway" on Thursday, 26th July, we joined up with several Ex-Staff also present at Roverway to perform the traditional KISC Staff skit in front of a cheering audience in the Dutch House. All in all, the interactions with Rovers from all over Europe and across its borders was great fun and helped to spread to word about KISC even further.
Unfortunately we can't be present at every big scout event happening over Summer, but thanks to our network of volunteer helpers, we were able to tell people about BP's dream of a Permanent Mini-Jamboree at more places than just Roverway. From 21st - 29th July, scouts attending the Jamboree Denmark 2012 could learn about KISC and the environment at a SCENES exhibition, and about both our Staff system and Programme activities at an international opportunities tent. But KISC was not only present in Nordic countries, several Ex-Staff took turns in promoting KISC to British scouts at Brumjam 2012 from 28th July - 4th August near Birmingham in the UK. But it didn't stop there: Currently, from 4th - 10th August the Portuguese National Jamboree XXII ACANAC is taking place in Idanha-a-Nova, and Kandersteg International Scout Centre will also be doing some promotion there. As you can see, it has been a busy few weeks in terms of international promotion for KISC! Let's hope it pays out and we can welcome even more Scouts and Guides from around the World here with us in the Swiss Alps next year!
Things back at the Centre were equally as busy. The past few weeks saw the culmination of preparations for August 1st, the Swiss National Day and the birthday of Scouting (its 105th this year), two important dates that are celebrated in style here at KISC every year. Here's some numbers about the day to give a quick insight into how busy it actually was at the Centre over the course of the day!
August 1st started with our International breakfast on the sports field which 357 guests joined, together with a lot more Scouts who prepared their own breakfast and joined everyone else on the sports field. A first highlight of the day was our pink Aerobics team performing on the stage and getting everyone ready for the rest of the day. During the morning, 1122 Scouts took part in 32 drop-in activities all over the Campsite and the village - a number we greatly increased from last year where only 13 activities were offered that guests had to book in advance. This new floating system was highly enjoyed by the Scouts present as they could join a greater variety of activities together with Scouts from other troops. During the afternoon, the traditional Carnival took place on the Campsite with both stands from the Centre offering information about KISC, but also from groups staying with us presenting specialties from their home countries and giving an insight into their culture. At the same time, a William Tell play was performed by the Staff team on the main stage, Scouts could take part in a Talent Show and impress everyone watching, or prove their knowledge about Switzerland, KISC and Scouting in general in a trivia game. And to top it off, all the Pinkies as well as some guests dressed up in colourful costumes, each costume representing something truly Swiss - unfortunately statistics on how many square meters of cardboard were used for these costumes are not available.
Of course, the festivities continued in the evening. For those Scouts and Guides that were hungry after an action-packed day, a special barbecue took place in the evening and 760 hungry mouths were fed. After the BBQ, everyone assembled on the sports field again for a Scouting ceremony: Out of every country present, one Scout or Guide was lighting a candle on our World Scouting board which in the end was shimmering in the light of 36 little flames. Then, the Campsite emptied as 1523 Scouts joined into the parade led down in a long line into the village where the villagers were already waiting for us to join their village celebrations. On the way down, the stream of people in uniforms definitely made themselves heard by shouting scout songs and giving out shouts from their respective countries - a magical feeling where the atmosphere and spirit of the Permanent Mini-Jamboree was felt by everyone. Not even the short thunderstorm during the ceremony down in the village could spoil this spirit, so that all our guests and the Staff were enjoying the fireworks lit by Michael (DE) and Sam (UK) in front of the train station together with several hundreds of villagers and tourists.
A big thank you to all the 79 Staff and Helpers who made the day possible and ensured our guests had a very special day during their camp!
Now that August 1st is over, things at the Centre are far from cooling down. Staying with us over the past two weeks were 2901 guests from 20 countries, all of them eager to experience some International Friendship in the heart of the Swiss Alps, living the adventure of a life time. Both the Chalet and Campsite are still packed, with a big Portuguese group having joined us for their Summer adventure. None of our hike and climbing guides will feel bored during the next few days as Programme activities remain almost fully booked. Our InCamp activities in the evening are also fully running - last Friday's International Campfire was attended by more than 900 Scouts! This makes it evident that we still are in the middle of High Season!
And while some Helpers already left and the first High Season Staff are leaving soon, more Helpers are still coming in to work together with the Rovers attending our International Roverweek next week, from August 12th - 18th.
Some busy days are still ahead and we're all looking forward to welcome more guests to the Permanent Mini-Jamboree!
Pol Felten (LU)05.08.2012
PR & Marketing Assistant