The day today was spent entirely on site doing a round robin of activities after this morning’s opening ceremony. My group, which included 2 of our girls, some other Canadians and Americans, started off with orienteering. We played a quick game that involved finding the cardinal directions and running between them doing different actions. Then we did some compass work around the the site, trying to find panels with letters that would spell out a word.
Our second activity was Swiss campfire making. We learned how to safely split wood with a knife and raced to see who could burn a piece of string hanging above a fire pit fastest — even though it was crazy windy, my team won! Once the fire was made we got to roast dampa (their version of bannock with sugar and salt already in the dough). Yum!
Before continuing the activities, we had a BBQ lunch outside of Swiss sausages and a Toblerone (and an apple).
Our third station was the environmental one. We played a game I’d like to play with Guides someday. We split the girls in two lines and gave the first group 9 small cups and the second one a single one. The first group could only use each cup once but the second one could reuse theirs as many times as they wanted. The goal was to get water from one bucket to the next and we ended with a conversation about reusing versus disposing. Then we got to find out about what kinds of materials they recycle at Our Chalet and go around answering questions about different areas of the site. Last but not least, we got to do an egg drop activity where we built a capsule out of recycled material. Ours survived!
Our last session was arts and crafts. We got to try our hand at wood burning, paper cutting and snowflake making. We also got to find out about the Our Chalet Challenge that we can try to earn. When we finished some of the crafts, we got started on that (learned some German, did some push-ups and sit-ups, learned about Our Chalet history, shared promises and laws…)
For dinner we had ratatouille and potatoes gratin as well as a cake that Caralyn had gone down into Adelboden to get for our birthday girl, a meringue and berries. They sure go all out for the meals!
Tonight was international night, which meant each unit got to present some thing about their country. We sang the song “Canadian Please,” which got a good laugh — though that was perhaps because we were a bit off tune and off time with the music.
We also got to trade crests and swaps with the other units and, although we are all from North America, everyone got a nice handful of crests and crafts!
Things we learned about Girl Scouts today:
– most of their leaders are moms (they asked me where my daughter was)
– they have 6 branches as opposed to our five (Daisies, Brownies. Juniors, Seniors, Cadets and Ambassadors)
– their promise and law are very similar to ours
– they wear vests instead of sashes
– their leaders are called troop moms
– one of the girls here sold over 3000 boxes of cookies
– they only sell cookies for 6 weeks of the year
– they have 2 different brands of cookies and every unit only gets one (though they get many different flavours)