So much has happened here over the past few weeks it’s hard to know where to start, so as I sit, looking up at the snow covered mountains and the town preparing for the Ski World Cup this weekend, I’ll refer to our handbook and the infamous staff challenge.
For those of you who have not been fortunate to be a part of the Our Chalet staff team, the staff challenge consists of 50 challenges, each worth a number of points from 1-5. In order to complete the staff challenge, we must earn at least 80 points during our season here.
When I first saw it, I have to admit I though ‘Who on earth would be crazy enough to do any of this?’ Then I realised that I was, and so, in true Our Chalet style, I’ve found myself doing some things I never thought I would. Here are some examples of the things we’ve done since arriving here:
Make an outdoor picnic for the staff [3 points]
As it’s been a little quieter here this week we thought we’d take the opportunity to have lunch outside in the sun.
The theme: Teddy Bears – food will only be given to those with one of the aforementioned toys (ish.) Most of the food had something to do with leftovers wrapped in pastry, followed by Beckie’s delicious cupcakes and Rachel’s fairy bread (buttered bread sprinkled with hundreds and thousands – yum!)
Camp overnight in a tent [3 points]
We chose New Years Eve to do this – figuring that we’d be awake half the night anyway, so once most people were going to bed, three of us grabbed as many sleeping bags, blankets and tarps as we could get our mittened hands on and headed out to the campfire tent.
We stoked the fire a bit, and set up our beds. It really felt quite cosy. I think I slept from about 2:30am-5am, then woke up cold, and spent the next hour and a half getting gradually colder.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been daft enough to sleep in a huge, gapy tent in minus temperatures or not, but what you discover is that no matter how many layers of tarp, roll mat, blanket you put down, the ground drains, literally sucks, the heat out of you, until you’re left like an insulated block of ice.
At 6:30am we decided we’d done the challenge, and came inside for a beautiful two hours sleep before getting up for brunch prep.
Sing happy birthday in 3 languages [2 points]
We had this sorted by the first day. There are so many different nationalities living and working together it’s hard not to know it in a few languages!
We then made a Christmas video with Merry Christmas in all the languages spoken by centre staff.
Learn a fact about Switzerland that no-one else knows [1 point]
There are more banks than dentists.There you go!
Stay submerged knee-high in a river or lake for 5 seconds [4 points]
I’ve yet to find a good moment to do this, but the favourite spot with the two vollies who have is in the river at the bottom of the hill, where it provides great entertainment for passing locals!
Write an article or news item (with photos) for the Our Chalet website [3 points – no, I don’t understand the scoring system either]
To find out the rest you’ll have to come and see for yourself!
Meg Longman (UK)
Winter Volunteer 2012-2013