With the Swiss Alps as a backdrop for the 75th Baden-Powell Fellowship event, which KISC had the privilege to host. WSF BP Fellows gathered for four days of celebration, fun, and unforgettable memories.
Let’s start with the basics. What is the BP Fellowship Event all about?
The World Baden-Powell Fellowship honours individuals for their contributions to the World Scout Foundation, which supports Scouting worldwide. A lifetime association with Scouting and business, government, and Scouting leaders who have the same objective is made possible by this Fellowship.
Once a year, the BP Fellows gather to learn about the impact of Scouting across the globe, connect with supporters of the Scout Movement, and even discuss how we can make Scouting a stronger and ever-growing Movement.
The 75th Baden-Powell Fellowship Event
The day dawned on Thursday, and with the sun shining bright, 250 BP Fellows from more than 50 different countries arrived in Kandersteg. The participants took part in tours where they could dive into the Swiss culture and nature - from chocolate, cheese and glaciers to lakes and tropical greenhouses, this was the perfect way to kick off the event.
On Friday, the event was opened by by HRH Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, Chair of the World Scout Foundation, Mark Knippenberg, Chief Executive Officer (CEO); Philippe Moser and Cristina Egli, Co-Presidents of the Swiss Guide and Scout Movement; Barbara Jost, Mayor of Kandersteg; Aidan Jones, Chair of the KISC Committee, and Jack Higgins, KISC Director; introduced by Nicole Gooderson, Deputy CEO of the World Scout Foundation. A great Opening to welcome the participants to an inspiring event, followed by Scout activities around our campsite led by the Pinkies. In the afternoon, the BP Fellows got to know a little more about how Scouting affects people worldwide at the Impact of Scouting Seminar, where they heard from Scouts in Switzerland, Uganda, Tunisia and Malawi about their projects, making impactful change in their local communities! Nothing better than a KISC Centenary Dinner to finish the day (hint: it was Raclette) and a campfire, just like all Scouts love! And as we got together around the fire and gazed at the starry night sky, we realised once again that Scouting knows no borders or language barriers, and our values are commonly shared by everyone this Scouting Movement has brought together.
Saturday was a day to enjoy the outdoors. BP Fellows had the pleasure of taking tours around Kandersteg, getting to know each corner of the village that so openly welcomed the Scout Movement and all its history. But that’s not all — thirty-one Young BP Fellows and three accompanying Swiss Rover Scouts rolled up their sleeves and helped around our Campsite on Service Projects: a landslide project, the restoration of pathways, the Africa region campfire, tree planting, reseeding and vegetation maintenance, making our Centre look even nicer than before! And there was even a Gala Dinner at the Victoria Hotel — but we can’t tell you all the secrets.
As the 75th BP Fellowship Event came to a close on Sunday, after a WSF Update and an International BBQ, BP Fellows bade farewell to the wonderful landscapes, new connections, and unforgettable moments, and we said ‘See you later’ with hearts full of gratitude, awaiting the next adventure.