Written by Bruno (PT), Short Term Staff Autumn 2023
We live in a hectic era, where time flies, and we are always caught up in the moment, preoccupied with instant actions. We almost forget that our life is made up of cycles, and from time to time, we should break away from them and start a new phase in our lives.
Kandersteg was, for me, one of those turning points. Just like many other pinkies who came before me, I headed to KISC after completing my studies to serve at our World Scout Centre as a Short-Term Staff. For many years, I had wanted to don the "pink" of Kandersteg, and my experiences here have surpassed all my expectations. Since it has been an old dream of mine, ever since I received my confirmation letter, I've sought to demystify the Centre, lest I wanted to idealize something unattainable and unreal. However, all the cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the grounds have a mystique (or almost magic) that only those who have visited Kandersteg can feel.
Looking back, now dressed in pink, I consider myself lucky to have chosen to apply for the Autumn season. The Swiss Alps take on an unparalleled beauty during this time! At the beginning of the season, I experienced summer weather, with plenty of sun and warmth, perfect for wearing T-shirts and shorts. However, the colours have changed, and the myriad shades of brown and orange have replaced green. Soon, I will get to experience bare trees and snow.
I've been fortunate to live through three seasons in one. Another great advantage of being in Kandersteg during the so-called 'low season' is the opportunity to work closely with the Work Parties, comprised of young scouts from across Europe who seek to assist the pinkies in carrying out necessary maintenance at our old "International Home" during a week that combines service with the sharing of different ways to do Scouting. The presence of Work Parties at KISC highlights the efforts to involve more scouts in their World Centre and our mission of encouraging international friendship.
I am equally fortunate and grateful for the pinkies with whom I share this season as "shorties," all from different countries. Only at KISC can we develop friendships so deep and so quickly because we are together with people who share the same ideals as us. The best of Scouting and the best of Kandersteg are the people. And all the work hours in the chalet or the grounds are worth sharing with such fantastic scouts, both short-term and long-term staff. The sense of belonging here is enormous; we all feel part of a great global movement. And there's no better place to get to know other cultures and traditions than KISC in a fraternal and scout-friendly environment.
It was indeed a privilege to serve in Kandersteg in the centennial year of our World Scout Centre. As a history enthusiast, 2023 was a very special year for me, where I could witness the 100 years of my scout association in Portugal, the Corpo Nacional de Escutas, and the Kandersteg International Scout Centre, founded in 1923. In these years of celebration, we look back at the past, facing the future with hope. Throughout this year, KISC has revived and broken records, involving and uniting thousands of young people from all continents in this ongoing permanent mini-jamboree, being a source of pride for all of us. During this year, we also have organized seven significant events that will remain in the memories of all who could participate, celebrating the 100 years that have passed with the scouts also committing themselves to the 100 years to come to create a better world of sustainability and peace through international Scouting in KISC.
Here in Kandersteg, time stands still. The hustle and bustle of the busy season seem to slow down at our World Scout Centre, and routine never becomes routine because each day is a unique day with new challenges, new learning experiences, new laughter, and new shared moments. Nevertheless, everything passes in the blink of an eye. Time waits for no one, and soon, I'll have to make way for a new generation of pinkies whom I know will be as happy as I have been.