Kandersteg International Scout Centre will celebrate its Centenary in 2023, and we have exciting plans to mark our 100 years through a series of amazing events and activities.
A bit of history
But first, some history. The idea which became Kandersteg International Scout Centre started over 100 years ago.
On 7th August 1920, Baden-Powell stood up at the closing ceremony of the first World Scout Jamboree, to make one of the most important speeches of his life.
The world was reeling from the carnage of the First World War, where along with millions of others, some of the Scouts at the original Brownsea Island camp had died.
Bringing together young people from many different countries, the World Scout Jamboree had shown that a different world of international friendship through young people was possible.
“Brother Scouts, I ask you to make a solemn choice”, said B-P. “If it be your will, let us go forth from here fully determined that we will develop among ourselves and our boys that comradeship, through the world-wide spirit of the Scout Brotherhood, so that we may help to develop peace and happiness in the world and goodwill among men.”
The Chief Scout of Switzerland, Walther von Bonstetten, returned home inspired and in search of a place where the dream of a Permanent Mini-Jamboree could be brought to life. He found a disused chalet on the banks of the river Kander and invited B-P to visit - and in 1923 the chalet was purchased and Kandersteg International Scout Centre began.
In 2023 we will be celebrating the Centenary of KISC and 100 years of inspiring young people to create a better world, through a series of events and activities which bring young people together from around the world in peace.
Why Kandersteg is special
Set in the heart of the Swiss Alps and offering a vision of what the world could be, Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC) is a magical place. It brings together young people from different nationalities and diverse cultures and backgrounds to experience high adventure and international friendship, inspire each other, and create a better world.
In a world faced with critical challenges, KISC shows what is possible when young people live and work together without borders. This ranges 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.
Founded in 1923 by Robert Baden-Powell, KISC is the only World Scout Centre. It hosts the Permanent Mini Jamboree throughout the year, operates in the spirit of Scouting, and strives to achieve the highest environmental standards and sustainable behaviour.
Over a million Scouts and Guides have visited KISC since its foundation and have lived its values on their return home to make their world a little better than they found it. The Centenary of KISC offers an opportunity for us all to celebrate its achievements, secure its future, and share its vision.
Our Centenary plans for 2023
Our Centenary celebrations start just before midnight on New Year’s Eve 2022, with a parade from Kandersteg to the Centre involving staff, guests, and the village.
February sees a whole month of virtual celebrations to mark the founding of KISC on 12th February 1923. Our aim is to bring together online young people from as many National Scout Organizations as possible to share in the history and magic of Kandersteg, learn from each other, and be inspired to create a better world.
May brings together the supporters of the KISC Association for a special Members Centenary weekend from 26th-28th May, to renew old acquaintances, remember past visits, and build new friendships.
Kander100 is the highpoint of the Centenary celebrations – a mini-jamboree bringing together Scouts from 100 countries at KISC for 10 days of high adventure and international friendship. In a world faced with critical challenges, Kander100 will show to the world what is possible when young people live and work together without borders. Kander100 will also be connected with the World Scout Jamboree in Korea by video link and joint activities.
Our Centenary celebrations will close on New Year’s Eve 2023, with Members, guests and staff looking back on a year of activities, and looking forward to KISC visitors sharing and living out its values when they return home.
KISC is open throughout the year, and we welcome Scouts and Guides from around the world to come to the Centre at any time during the year as guests and staff, to and help make our Centenary celebrations a reality.
We expect to be announcing more information about our Centenary events and opening bookings later this year.