Climb Every Mountain – Rachel (USA)

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To put it simply, the Swiss Alps are TALL. From Our Chalet, you can see many different mountains, each of them beautiful and most of them with long names. It’s lovely to look at mountains from the comfort of a bench, holding a cup of tea or a bar of delicious Swiss chocolate; but something even better waits at the top of the mountains.

At the top of a mountain, like Bunderspitz or Elsigen which we hike on guest programme days, you can see everything; for that moment, you are on top of the world. Maybe climbing that mountain was a personal challenge; maybe you’re just stunned by the beautiful view down into the valley from the peak you have reached.

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After fifteen years of Girl Scouts in the US, I have been lucky to travel from Ohio to Adelboden to work at Our Chalet (which is quite an increase in elevation!). Being surrounded by cows isn’t new for me; watching those cows climb mountains though, is amongst the coolest things I have done through Girl Scouts.

This past Saturday, Adelboden celebrated Alpaufzug, the day when the cows are moved from the Adelboden valley to Engstligenalp for the summer.

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Along with several fellow staff members (Audrey and Sarah from the US, Aoife from the U.K., Simone from Germany, and Rachel from Canada), I hiked up to Engstligenalp amongst cows and their herders. From there, we continued to Tschingellochtighorn (2,735m), a huge increase in height from Engstligenalp (1,964m), and an even bigger increase from where we started the morning at Our Chalet (1,350m).

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Honestly I didn’t think I would make it up. At one point, I stopped to let the group go ahead, and sat on a rock for a bit. The view from my rock was lovely, but I couldn’t help wondering about the view I was missing from the top. So I slowly made my way up higher (sometimes really slowly, when the path was less than a foot wide).

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I met up with my group as they were headed down; I never actually made it to the peak of Tschingellochtighorn, but I made it farther than I ever thought I could, which is the important part. Thanks to Girl Scouting, I spent my afternoon on top of the world instead of sitting on my couch at home, and that’s pretty awesome.
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So climb every mountain… even if you don’t reach the peak, you’ve gone far, and that’s something to be proud of.

Rachel Sauder (USA) : Our Chalet Assistant, Summer 2017

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My Personal Project at Our Chalet – Lizzie (UK)

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I am a final year University student studying Primary Education, specialising in Special Educational Needs and Inclusion at the University of Cumbria. It has always been my dream since visiting Our Chalet on a day tour in 2012 to return as a volunteer. So here I am…. a summer vollie 2017!

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During my final months at University before coming to Our Chalet for the summer I was working on an idea for my dissertation. I decided that Our Chalet would be a great opportunity to complete my project on. Therefore, I am looking at the influence that the opportunities provided by Our Chalet has on members of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting. I have begun by interviewing some of the long term staff about their opinions and experiences here. Also, I am giving questionnaires out to all leaders that visit Our Chalet this summer to gain their opinions and thoughts too. My main hope is that I will get opinions from all around the world.

All of the responses I have had so far are super positive about the influence of Our Chalet. Many have described some of its main attributes to be gaining leadership skills, lifelong international friendships and some have explained that it is an environment that accepts everybody.  During my time at Our Chalet I have been lucky enough to have experienced all of these things!

During my time so far I have seen and done so many amazing new things that I hope many more people will get the opportunity to experience. Here are a few pictures to show the diversity of my experiences so far :

The Adventure park where we zip lined across the river so many times I lost count and abseiled off the bridge!

Team Adventure park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swimming and being fully submerged for five seconds in a Glacier lake for my staff challenge. I enjoyed the swim after a while.

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I’ve climbed many mountains to see the stunning views.

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I have seen many cows including waking up at 5am to watch the cows go onto the alp for the summer.

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And by the end of the season I will have hopefully achieved many more new things as well as having my dissertation research completed!

Elizabeth Nutbrown, United Kingdom : Our Chalet Assistant, Summer 2017.

Hailey’s World Centres Story (USA)

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My name is Hailey and I am from the United States. I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelors Degree in Community Planning. Currently, I am a 2017 Spring Volunteer at Our Chalet and come the end of May, I will be moving to Sangam to be a Long Term Monsoon Season Volunteer.

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