Well, today marks my last day at KISC as my 10 month contract finishes. It’s been a heck of a ride! Leaving my reasonably paid, professional job and Masters degree in Melbourne, Australia to volunteer as Reception Assistant at KISC in the tiny village of Kandersteg in the Bernese Oberland was my old boss’s view of insanity. But I had to do it. How could you not?! A chance to represent my country, put back into Scouting and live in the Swiss Alps? Yes please! But arriving at the beginning of Winter, I also dealt with more snow than I had ever seen in my life, which for an Aussie who is used to swimming and water skiing, was a bit of a shock to then be put in charge of Igloo building!
Soon the snow melted and the Centre started readying itself of the onslaught that is affectionately known as Summer. More staff signed on and filled the Front Office with fun, laughs and a team spirit that I am stoked to have been apart of. Spring also delivered me a new challenge in the form of accepting the role of Reception Manager. At first I thought KISC was kidding. Me? They want me to run Reception after just three months?! Really?! After I had recovered from the shock, I accepted the position with gusto and I’d like to think, made it my own. They don’t call me the Master of ASSD (our booking system) for nothing’!
By this time, Summer was well and truly upon us! With a full team in the Front Office and our 33 Summer STS trained up, we were ready. Summer came and buzzed passed us in a flurry of campfires, hikes, parties, BBQs and international evenings, crowned by an August 1st to rival the best. Who could ever forget the huge parade of Scouts from all over the world, singing and dancing their way through Kandersteg? That parade was over 1,600 strong! Not something to be sneezed at!
Now, my final month has come and gone. I have done training sessions, meetings and announcements for the last time. I have handed over all my reception knowledge to the new Reception Manger, who I have no doubt will be marvellous. And I feel like I have left a legacy here. One of fun, new thinking and change. If all this wasn’t enough to make me smile, the people I have met over my time here are.
From the outset, I met amazing, intelligent, diverse people who in a normal, real world context, may not get on. But because they are here and there is work to do, they are proud to be honouring their Scout promise and pour their hearts and souls into ensuring people from around the world have a brilliant stay at the World Scout Centre. They are giving back, maintaining the Scouting spirit and living BP’s dream.
So, when the BLS Lotchberger pulls away from Kandersteg station, I will be sad to be leaving this brilliant place but content and happy with what I have achieved in my time here. Thanks to the Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn 2013 Short Term Staff, all the Long Term Staff, with a big shout out to Froffice 2013 and all the Helpers and High Season Staff who made my time at KISC so memorable.
Be kind to each other.