Adelboden - Switzerland

Magnificent scenery, an abundance of exhilarating, exciting and unforgettable activities and excursions and traditional Swiss chalet accommodation is just a taster of what brings thousands of members of Girlguiding and The Scout Association to Adelboden every year. Our resident Venture Abroad representative will keep you up-to-date with all the highlights direct from Adelboden - watch this space!

Venture Abroad Find out more about visiting Our Chalet in Switzerland

Why we love the WAGGGS World Centres

2 Jun 15

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The WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) World Centres – Our Chalet in Switzerland, Sangam in India, Our Cabaña in Mexico and Pax Lodge in London – have a special place in the hearts of the Venture Abroad team. We have been enabling Guides, Senior Section members, Guide Leaders and members of the Trefoil Guild to visit Our Chalet, Our Cabaña and Sangam for a many years and between us, we have visited all of the World Centres (some more than once!) which adds up to some serious air miles and some very memorable experiences.

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Bye bye Sangam, hello rest of India!

19 Oct 13

Wow, it’s been a busy couple of days, even on the standards of the past few days! Here’s just a quick recap.

Thursday was spent exploring the shops of Pune, and worrying about the weight of our luggage! It was a very chilled day, allowing us to rest before the remainder of our tour. It ended with us enjoying a delicious feast of food from Maharashtra, the state Pune is in.

Friday was mostly spent reflecting on our time at Sangam and how we can use what we have discovered here back at home. This was concluded by a lovely closing ceremony, where we all got our Sangam pins. That evening, we caught a flight to Delhi, and checked into a slightly more luxurious hotel!

This morning we enjoyed learning about the history of Delhi and its sites, as well as about the concepts of the caste system and arranged marriages. Our tour guide even hosts a cooking show in Australia! We saw all the major sites,  including Red Fort, India Gate and Raj Ghat, where Gandhi is buried. One of the highlights was a bike rickshaw ride through the back streets of Old Delhi, which is like another world. We have now driven to Agra. A few hours sleep and then off to see one of the wonders of the world!

Happy Birthday Sangam!

17 Oct 13

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We’ve had a busy couple of days here, but a lot of fun!

Tuesday was started with a typical Indian experience of a Bollywood movie, except for some of us who did the money exchange challenge Part 2. The film is ‘Guru’, a drama based on a true story, but with all your normal Bollywood elements. It’s also very long- despite a break, we still haven’t seen the end! Tuesday afternoon was a little more sedate – we learnt about two different forms of Indian art. One was very intricate embroidery with mirrors, the other was a native art form known as Wali art. The results for both were very impressive.  In the evening, we had a very special treat, in that we were able to visit the home of an Indian family. All the families had children who had come to visit us on Saturday for the Sangam Cup. We were all welcomed in different ways, and they showed us all about their lives. Some of us even got the chance to do something a little different, such as visit a light and water show, visit a temple or even the shops! We shared a meal with them, and it was very interesting to compare what we got. My family, for example, served chicken, but most were vegetarian. However, it was all excellent, and very different to the Indian food you get back home. More »

80 kids and one camel… what can go wrong?!

14 Oct 13

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Today was the possibly the busiest day we’ve had so far – Tare Fun Day! 80 kids came to play from Sangam’s community partners. These are mostly charities which work with disadvantaged children from the slums and other deprived areas, and offer anything from health education to child care. They came dressed in their finest clothes and ranged from 3 to about 14 years old, so it was a bit of a challenge to keep all of them entertained!

After the welcome song, they tried out a range of activities, such as parachute games, making sweety boxes and an obstacle course. However, the highlight had two humps and spat – not one of the kids, but a real camel! Many of the adults got to have a ride, which was a real experience.

The kids ran around and had a great time, despite it being very hot. Then we had a lovely lunch before doing a few more crafts. The day ended by singing songs and posing with our streamers. It was hard to tell who had more fun, the kids or us! It was satisfying to seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces when they left, knowing that we had given them a lovely day.

We are now exhausted… Time for bed before yoga, Bollywood and meeting Indian families tomorrow!

Competition time!

12 Oct 13

After a couple of jammed packed and emotional days, we have had a bit of a rest today. This morning we have been preparing for the Fun Day – more of that to come. Today has been very busy at Sangam – as well as the 66 people staying here at the moment (event participants, staff and volunteers), there was also about 40 volunteers from the local UPS office. They offered their time as part of their corporate social responsibility programme, in return for a donation to Sangam and mostly did odd jobs around the site. This included clearing vegetation, painting doors and walls, and helping out where necessary. It was great to see them doing their bit for the community, and also to see another part of Indian culture which contrasted with that which we had seen over the past couple of days.

Some of them also helped us to prepare for the Sangam Cup, which happened in the afternoon. But it wasn’t us who were taking part – it was 150 Scouts and Guides from the local area. In India, Scout and Guide groups are mixed and are often linked to a particular school. These Scouts were linked to a local English Medium School and look wonderful in their blue uniforms. Many of us mentioned how smart they looked and how well behaved they are – we would love to see that in groups in the UK!

To compete in the Cup, they had to play all sorts of games, such as making a shape with their bodies, doing a treasure hunt and playing some active games. All of them threw themselves into it with great enthusiasm and all left with smiles on their faces (not to mention a shiny new fountain pen from UPS!). It seems that we got as much out of it as they did though. Tonight we are free to do as we please. As I write, some people are out for dinner, while others are playing games downstairs. Another highlight was having pasta for dinner – no rice! Tomorrow we are free to explore more of Pune, its shops and yes, its restaurants…!

India: all or more of what we expected.

11 Oct 13

We are sitting around the pool having celebrated International Day of the Girl. Here’s some thoughts and feelings from the group members…

Great birthday- Susan Hill

The sights, the sounds and the smells of India

Had to use an Indian toilet!

Got to see more of the countryside and the mountains.

Cow takes pride of place in van, with people on top.

Teaching Indian girls the Hokey Cokey and being shown their own dance skills.

Fed up of honking!

Special way to spend Intentional Day of the Girl, including learning about the new WAGGGS campaign for body image and watching inspirational films about women’s empowerment.

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