COVID-19 at KISC (Updated)
How we are keeping the World Scout Centre safe
Early in 2021, the World Scout Centre took far-reaching measures to adapt to the continuously changing pandemic situation. Staff levels were reduced to the absolute minimum level to conserve funds. At the same time, our traditional Programme and Catering offers as well as other usual services were put on hold until 2022.
During 2021, it has been possible to book indoor accommodation in the Kanderlodge either as a group or as an individual. During the Summer, it has also been possible to camp on the Rovergelände campsite.
In July 2021, the World Scout Centre announced that it was planning to resume full services at KISC from 20 December 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
In the section below, we will try to answer any questions you might have about limiting our services. If you do not find the answer to your question, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Is the Centre closed?
No! We are not closed, but from 1st March to 19th December 2021, we have been limiting our operations to ensure the Permanent Mini Jamboree’s future.
From 20 December 2021, KISC plans to resume its services including activities, accommodation and catering
Why did KISC limit its operations?
Our number one priority has been the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone who will be at KISC. The advice during early 2021 from public health authorities worldwide and in Switzerland meant we could not guarantee that.
We also needed to play our part in reducing the risk of transmission of the virus – and at this stage of the pandemic in Europe, that meant KISC needed to limit our services to guests temporarily.
International travel had also become difficult or impossible, restricting who could visit KISC.
Financially, therefore the only option remaining to the KISC Committee was to minimise the operations.
Why is KISC planning to resume its operations from December?
The success of the vaccine programme, along with other measures to control the spread of the virus, has meant that countries have started to open up and resume normal activities.
Following an assessment of the situation, the KISC Committee has decided to plan to resume full operations from 20 December 2021.
What services will be available during the period with limited services?
Between 1st March and 19th December 2021, we have been accepting reservations for indoor accommodation in our Kanderlodge building. We have opened this option for booking as a small group (with up to 10 rooms available) or for rental as a group building. Please note the following adaptations to our normal way of offering this:
- A cleaning surcharge will be applicable for this as we no longer have a dedicated cleaning team on site.
- A 100% prepayment will need to be collected prior to arrival.
- Reservations should be made at least 5 days in advance by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our campsite has also been open from the 9th of July to the 15th of August, accommodating up to 150 people at a time and we have been welcoming campervans on our main campsite.
Due to the limited staff team, we have not been able to provide activities (internal & external), rental equipment, catering and food orders.
Will I still be able to experience the Permanent Mini Jamboree?
KISC is a leading example of what is possible when young people live and work together without borders – from the young international volunteer staff who are empowered to operate the Centre – to the guests from around the world who visit to have fun and learn together, share their Scouting experiences, and build a peaceful future. But with that at a minimum, KISC has now also shown that we can adapt to the situation the world is in and that we have found alternative ways to inspire young people to create a better world. This way, young Scouts who have not been able to visit the World Scout Centre this year due to the pandemic, have had the opportunity to enjoy the KISC experience and participate in Baden-Powell’s dream of a Permanent Mini Jamboree.
To achieve this, we have been delivering a series of 21 online programmes.
KISC sees this as a chance and opportunity for the future where besides our renowned regular programme offer on-site, additional programme is offered online. This widens the scope and reach of our programme and demonstrates the experience KISC has to offer to even more Scouts.
You can read more about the online programme here.
What can I do to support the Centre?
There is no doubt this has been a challenging year for KISC financially, and we have been very grateful for any donations. We ask everyone who is not yet a member to join the KISC Association, and we ask all supporters, past visitors and friends of the Centre to consider a donation towards keeping the Permanent Mini Jamboree alive so we can celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023.
Your support during these difficult times will help us weather this storm and safeguard the Permanent Mini Jamboree for many more years.
When will the Centre resume normal operations?
In July 2021, we announced our plans of returning to our normal operation from 20th December 2021.
I have a booking with you between now and February 2022. What happens now?
We have contacted all our affected groups to discuss your available options. This includes moving your booking to another date, keeping your booking (but accepting a limited-service offer), donating all or part of your pre-payment to the Permanent Mini Jamboree, or issuing you with a refund.
How does the refund process work?
If you choose to request a refund, we will issue you with a refund form. Once we have received your completed form, we will process your refund and keep you informed via e-mail.
All refunds will be made by bank transfer.
If you wish to support the Centre, it is possible to donate all or part of your pre-payment instead of getting it refunded. There is no doubt this has been a challenging year for KISC financially, and we would be very grateful for any donations. Your support during these difficult times will help us weather this storm and safeguard the Permanent Mini Jamboree for many more years.
I still want to come. Is this possible?
Yes! Between 1st March and 19th December 2021 we are not closing but limiting our operations. This means you will still be able to visit Kandersteg, but it will feel very different this year, as we will not be offering any Catering or organised Programme.
We are accepting reservations for indoor accommodation in our Kanderlodge building. Please email us at email@example.com for more information, or see the above "what services will be available at KISC?" question.
Our campsite is also open from the 9th of July to the 15th of August, accommodating up to 150 people at a time. Toilet and shower facilities will be available and we can provide firewood and a limited amount of gas canisters. During this time, our physical reception will be open for set hours.
If you are not from Switzerland, please consult the Federal Office of Public Health before travelling to Kandersteg. Please note that it is not possible to quarantine at KISC.
Please note that any groups coming before 20th December 2021 will need to be completely self-sufficient, as no Catering or Programme services will be available from KISC.
From 20 December 2021 onwards, KISC is resuming its services, and bookings for these dates can be made as normal.
I have a booking with you after 20th December 2021. How does this affect me?
If your booking is after 20th December 2021, we are planning to deliver normal operations and resume all services. We will keep you updated throughout 2021.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding your booking or would like to continue discussing your plans with us.
Can I get a full refund if I cancel my booking, which begins after 1 February 2022?
We can only offer a full refund for booking between 1 March 2021 and 20th December 2021. Bookings outside of this period will be subject to the cancellation fee found in our Terms and Conditions.
What has been happening at KISC during the reduced operations?
A significantly reduced team of just 6 Pinkies and possibly some virtual Helpers have been continuing to answer your calls and e-mails, maintain the buildings and plan for when we return to regular operation. This team have been supported by a team of Summer staff who have been helping with the campsite guests.
During this time, we have been following the guidance set by the Swiss public health authorities. This includes working from home where possible, social distancing, washing our hands thoroughly and regularly, and isolating when required.
I have applied to volunteer at KISC in 2021. What happens to me?
We have contacted everyone who applied to volunteer at KISC during 2021 with instructions. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us directly.
Please note that being selected for 2021 does not automatically secure you a spot for volunteering with us in 2022. Instead, we will be going through the recruitment process again to ensure all applicants a fair chance.
I want to volunteer with you. Can I still apply?
Absolutely! We are only limiting our services temporarily, and we are going to need an army of enthusiastic Pinkies once we are back to our normal operation (from December 2021). You can find our current vacancies here.
Positions for 2022 will open throughout the Autumn, and we will promote them through our social media and newsletter once we start accepting applications.