Kander 100 was a unique once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and for those here celebrating with us, it was a very special one. In a world facing critical challenges, this event symbolises hope, unity, and the power of collaboration. Between 27th July and 8th August, young people from all corners of the globe and diverse backgrounds gathered to learn more about the planet, the environment, the Global Goals Challenges set by the United Nations, and much more. With Kander 100, KISC aims to, once again, shine a light on all the possibilities when young people join forces. Here's a rundown of this camp's highlights:
Empowering Future Leaders
Kander 100 is a stepping stone towards the future, shaping future leaders and changemakers and empowering them to make positive changes for the world. The programme catered to various interests, from thrilling hikes in the beautiful Alps and immersing themselves in local Swiss culture to fun workshops focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), peacebuilding, environmental awareness, and much more. There were a lot of different hiking options, including visiting and staying overnight in our huts, enjoying our onsite activities Jacob's Ladder, Crate Stacking, Zip Wire, Spiritual Development, Amateur Radio, the Global Goals Exhibition, and many other workshops. In the evenings, there was also Social Programme, a chance for the younger ones to get to know each other, learn more about Scouting in other countries, and have fun!
Throughout the whole event, we had days full of activities and experiences for everyone to enjoy, but some days were even more special with different activities:
July 27th: Arrival Day
Arrival day was a big day with 1'600 Scouts arriving from all over the world. Can you imagine that? Our Info Centre staff worked very hard to make sure everyone was settled in well, and our Campsite and House teams were jam-packed with so many people staying with us for this special event. But we are all Scouts and campfire lovers, aren't we? A busy campsite couldn't stop our campfire circle from being alive and full of energy, with dances and songs from all over the world, international as never before. We lit the fire in the spirit of Love, Friendship, Peace, and Scouting. As always, it was both beautiful and empowering to think of our roots in the way Baden-Powell imagined a circle around the fire to look like.
July 28th: Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony started with fun energiser games to fill our bodies with the alpine air and prepare us for a grand time. We watched an exciting 'Coming to KISC' video, where we followed the journey of people on their way to our World Centre to enjoy their time with us - the same way most of us arrived in Kandersteg. Did you know there were 62 different nationalities in Kander 100? In this ceremony, we had a beautiful and colourful parade with all the flags of the countries present here, showcasing the diversity and the international friendships waiting to flourish.
Our Director, Jack Higgins, Volker Turk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Ahmed Alhendawi, WOSM's Secretary General, delighted us with some inspiring words about the 100 years of living B.P.'s dream of a Permanent Mini Jamboree, the importance of Scouting in making the world a better place and creating a better future, and encouraging young people to ensure a more sustainable way of life in Scouting and our everyday lives.
Spirits were high with a spectacular drum show that injected us again with a lot of energy. Strong sounds with a good rhythm got us ready for what was yet to come in this special evening. And lastly, to close this fantastic evening, there was an amazing laser show with beautiful views to mark our different categories and areas as we focus on a special 100th anniversary of KISC.
The high point of Kander 100 was the August 1st celebration, where we commemorated two different dates, one related to Scouting and the other related to Switzerland. The birth of the Scout Movement started on August 1st 1907, when Baden-Powell opened the first experimental Scout camp. In 2007, we began celebrating Scout Scarf Day to commemorate the first group to be created and used our scarves in pride as a strong symbol for our Promise and our mission to leave the world a better place. August 1st is also Swiss National Day, the biggest celebration in this beautiful country.
All the groups staying with us hiked up to Oeschinensee for the Scouting Sunrise, where we waited altogether for the sun to rise behind the mountains. We had a special ceremony and heard thanks and encouragement from Jack, our Director, and Alhassan Soltan, the 2023 Project Director, as we gathered to celebrate this incredible date. There was even a reflective moment that morning. "Even though we've only spent three months together, I know that we have created bonds that will last forever. And that's what Scouting is for me", said Jana, recalling her time as a Short-Term Staff at KISC. And as we can never miss our August 1st Morning Aerobics in the iconic Pinkie style to set the mood for the rest of the day, there was still some time to stretch before walking down to the village for more activities.
Later in the day, we enjoyed our famous BBQ, welcoming more than 1'500 people. And, of course, we ended the day with a grand ceremony with the whole village of Kandersteg, including an Alphorn group who delighted us with their traditional sounds, a local band and a special message from the Mayor of Kandersteg, Barbara Jost.
August 4th: Cultural Celebration Day
Have you ever been to any of our International Evenings? Now imagine that throughout the whole morning! August 4th was a vibrant time that brought together diverse groups from around the world to share not only the richness of their cultures but also their traditional foods and customs so that they could get a deeper understanding of each other's countries and experiences. This was one of the times when you could feel the international friendship environment.
August 5th: VIP Day
On August 5th and 6th, our Campfire Circle was again filled to the brim. In our Centenary Campfires, we enjoyed one of the most precious legacies of our founder Baden-Powell, and all the Scouts were dancing and singing along to skits, sketches and songs from all over the world, like Egypt, Albania, Georgia, the UK, Tunisia, and much more!
August 7th: Closing Ceremony
We brought the whole event to a close with a unique Closing Ceremony with some live music, face painting, and as always, some lovely words from our Director Jack. The show went on with a short-recap video of the event, the 100 Years of KISC video, and even a drone show!
"I will always be grateful for all the magical moments, all the laughs and memories, and I hope many other generations of Pinkies, Scouts, and Guides will be running KISC for at least another hundred years," mentioned two of our participants, Michelle and John. We know that we won't see a Closing Ceremony like this one, but we can rest assured that the future Scouts and Pinkies will make sure it happens in 2113. Scouting is happiness!
Whether you would like to revisit your stay during Kander 100 or see what could be in store for you during your stay here, you can now watch the Kander 100 extended recap video here!