19th Durham Scouts have just returned from a week in Kandersteg, Switzerland. They set off from Newcastle Airport to Geneva on Sunday 30th July to Geneva. From Geneva Airport they travelled by train to Brig, to catch a connecting train into Kandersteg Village. From the train station it was a 40minute hike, carrying all the equipment for the week, to arrive at the Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC) on a rainy evening at 11:30pm. Tents were put up while the hillside was lit up by flashes of lightening and a weary band of Leaders, Young leaders and Scouts took to their beds.

The highlight of the week was the journey to the top of Europe, taking several trains from Kandersteg to Grindelwald, where we took the funicular railway to the top of Jungfrau Joch, one of the main summits in the Alps more commonly dubbed the Top of Europe. The trek across the glacier was challenging in the snow although fortunately the weather held and it was a glorious day. Some of leaders experienced a mild altitude sickness, which was a first for our group, but did not deter from the spectacular views. The scouts particularly enjoyed sliding across the glacier in the icier parts especially the ice caves.

During the week it was also National Swiss Day which saw Switzerland come to a stop and celebrate everything Swiss. The day not only celebrated the creation of Switzerland 726 years ago but also as a centre they celebrated 110 years of scouting. We set of to march into Kandersteg Village with other scouts from across the world. The Swiss were excellent hosts and welcomed us to their day, of particular note was our Scouts trying yodelling and the spectacular firework display.


The leaders of the group spent 12 months planning, fund raising, coordinating parents and ultimately giving up their time to ensure the young people had a great time. This ensured that the trip went off without a hitch, apart from some very tired leaders at the end.

Please see our album here: https://goo.gl/photos/av1QnAy5MxbGrpSv8

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