This past July, a group of 24 Scouts & Venturers from the Greater Alabama Council traveled to the Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC) in the beautiful Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. During the two-week trip, they stayed in the “Old Chalet“ at KISC, an over 100 year old building, now thoroughly modernized, which was originally purchased by Baden-Powell himself. From this base of operations, each day brought new and exciting adventures, many of which were unique to the Alpine environment.
There were several hikes through the valleys & mountains of the surrounding region, including an overnight hike with a stay in a mountain cabin, with a panoramic view of the valley below, which was shared with a group of scouts from Sweden. Other activities included whitewater rafting on a glacier-fed river, boating and swimming in a glacial lake, as well as high ropes courses, zip lines, canyoning, mountain climbing, and mountain coasters (Rodelbahn).
There were day trips to the capital city of Bern, as well as the city of Thun. There were tours of museums, Albert Einstein‘s apartment, a medieval castle, and the Swiss Parliament. Another favorite was the train ride to the “Top of Europe“ (Jungfraujoch), with its labyrinth of ice tunnels filled with ice sculptures and its breathtaking views of the massive glacier below, followed by a hike down the mountain into the picturesque town of Grindelwald along the spectacular Eiger Trail.
During much-needed rest days and evenings back at KISC, the youth enjoyed meeting scouts from all over the world. There were sports games on the athletic fields, as well as a huge International Evening gathering with international food samples and patch trading each Sunday. Both weeks were capped off on Friday evening with songs, skits and all manner of fun at the International Campfire, held at the large council ring in the adjacent campground.
Best of all, there will be a repeat trip to the Kandersteg International Scout Centre, June 29-July 13, 2024. Interested Scouts who will be 15 or older at that time are encouraged to contact StevenRParris@gmail.com for more information.