STAFF: I am a different Sam now – Sam (CA)

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My experiences at Our Chalet have challenged me, pushed me and help me grow as a person and as a leader.

I have done things I never thought of doing, or never thought I would have the opportunity to do. My internship here at Our Chalet has been full of fun, challenge, adventure, and family. Every adventure has presented me with some way of learning either about myself, others, or practical experience to take away and use both at home in my guiding as well as in my future aspirations of becoming a Social Worker.

My time at Our Chalet has really reaffirmed to me that my hopes of combining education and social work with outdoor adventure is possible.

I will be able to not only take home my own personal experience here but also the inspirational stories of the girls and young women who have come to Our Chalet and overcome so many obstacles and challenges.

I have been privileged to have the opportunity to help people face their fear of heights, or to push themselves on a hike when they thought they couldn’t go any further and celebrate their successes with them when they’ve accomplished something they never imagined they would or could do. These experiences have taught me about the strength and character of others but also my own abilities to motivate, encourage and support others in a time of need.

Our Chalet is more than just outdoor adventure (although that is one of its best aspects), It is also a community and a family. Our Chalet has made the Guiding movement of 10 million girls and women seem so much bigger than I ever thought it was but also so much closer.

I grew up learning about WAGGGS and the Four World Centres; I even once sent a postcard to Our Chalet when I was nine asking them for information to help me out with a Guide Badge, but I never really gave the world wide aspect of Guiding much thought.

It took a bit of time but having lived with people from nine different countries and having the opportunity to host an international evening with representation of thirty countries and a campfire with members from all five regions of WAGGGS it is now something I will never forget and will make sure I take home with me to Canada to share with my local Guiding Community.

The friendships that are created here at Our Chalet really emphasise the sisterhood of guiding; I will never forget and will stay in touch with my sisters in Rwanda, Ireland, Chile, the UK, Australia, Slovenia, USA, Canada and South Korea, the volunteers, interns and long term staff I have had the opportunity to live, work and learn from over the past four months.

These past four months have been full of friendship and song of international campfires, the fun and adventure of Adelboden’s fastest sledge run, the personal challenge of hiking to a peak, and the joy and peace of watching the sunset from that peak.

It has been rewarding to help others succeed at abseiling in the adventure park and has come with some very cold, but great bonding experiences such as sleeping in the large campfire tent. The sadness of seeing some friends go, but the excitement of preparing to meet the next group of volunteers or guests.

I can honestly look back over the last four months and say that there was not one negative experience. I’m really going to miss this place, the people and waking up every morning to the beauty of Our Chalet.

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