(WSBERO/Kandersteg) – Believe it or not – it is 90 years this year since Robert Baden-Powell discovered this magic place that is the Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC) in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. A lot has changed in those years but one thing remains – KISC is still young and attractive.

So, the last weekend of May 2013 was time to celebrate! Members, supporters, NSO representatives, current and previous volunteer staff, friends and members of the KISC Committee – everybody was here to celebrate! Nobody looked 90 years old, not even KISC.

The Old Chalet at KISC - in May 2013

The Old Chalet at KISC – in May 2013

“We all had been looking forward to a nice weekend with friends in the sun”, recalls Thomas Ertlthaler, who represents Pfadfinder und Pfadfinderinnen Östereichs (PPÖ, the National Scout Organisation in Austria) on the KISC Committee, “But once again we were taken by surprise and the old saying became reality: you can observe all four seasons in one day! And heavy snowstorms at the end of May are seldom but not unlikely!”

No problem for true Scouts: there is no bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. And everybody was well equipped. The big pyramid tent on the camp ground provided comfortable shelter for a typical Scout lunch, prepared on open fire.

Preparing Lunch in the Jubilee Party's Pyramid Tent

Preparing Lunch in the Jubilee Party’s Pyramid Tent

“For security reasons, the afternoon workshops were moved indoors”, explains Thomas, “as was the jubilee concert of an excellent local band. Thanks to the Kander Lodge everybody could be sheltered.”

“Plenty of opportunities were used to exchange with friends from different NSOs and with KISC staff during an interesting tour through of the various buildings of the Centre and the camp ground.  Some of us seriously reflected of what anniversary present would be most appropriate.” Maybe supporting KISC by “adopting” one of the rooms in the Kander Lodge or by constituting an annual work party to help keep the high standard of the premises.

Once you have experienced KISC - you always come back!

Once you have experienced KISC – you always come back!

Later in the evening, an “as formal as possible” jubilee dinner – the traditional KISC Fondue – was another highlight. Old friendships were renewed and new friends made. And vivid memories of numerous adventures lived in Kandersteg were shared.

“Sunday morning saw the valley covered in a lovely white winter coat, more likely to be encountered in January or February, but rarely on a 26 May! To mark the end of a memorable jubilee weekend, the Pinkies – the never tired and always smiling volunteer staff –  served a delicious brunch – prepared to your order.”

You have never been to KISC before? A pity, as Kandersteg is always worth the trip, offering possibilities for a wide range of Scout activities all around the year, set in a magnificent countryside, with which Robert Baden-Powell had fallen in love with in the 1920s, and since then marked by this very special Permanent Mini-Jamboree atmosphere for which the Kandersteg International Scout Centre is so famous.

A number of other special events throughout this jubilee year will provide excellent opportunities to experience KISC. The next big party will be the celebrations of “Scouting’s sunrise” at  Oeschinensee on 1 August 2013. Will you be there?

For more information:
Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC) on the Internet and on Facebook


Rupert Schildböck
About The Author

Rupert Schildböck

Rupert comes from Austria and is the Executive Assistant to the Regional Director. His responsibilities include internal and external communications and administrative assistance in Regional events.

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