BEING A VOLUNTEER – Maddy (Australia)


With less than 2 weeks before we reach the end of our Spring volunteer season, I can’t help but feel sad that my time here is almost over.

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Hailey’s World Centres Story (USA)

Hello Everyone! IMG_7191
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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STAFF: Make a wish! – Somto (NGA)


I have been here at Our Chalet in the Swiss Alps as a volunteer for the winter season. Taking the decision to come here wasn’t easy because I had to put a lot of things on hold. But from planning my journey and finally arriving it was worth it. My dream of seeing snow came true though, I saw snow, I felt snow, I walked in it and I experienced all kinds of it and waking up every morning and seeing the whole place including mountains tops look white and beautiful always brings peace to my soul. I have seen so many beautiful sites and lots of memorable experiences, each and everything I do daily is new and wonderful.

To start with we had a white Christmas and New Year celebrations, it’s the first time I have spent Christmas away from home, not just away from home but far away from home in a different environment, with different people and cultures. It wasn’t the same but it was fun anyway. We went on a trip to the Christmas market in Bern, it was cool and I fell in love with the city.

somto groupWe have been hiking to different places; Woodcarvers, Engstligen waterfalls and going snow tubing. Walking in the snow always makes me feel like am on the moon! I also used the snow shoes for the magic tree snow shoe hike which was great. It might also interest you to know that two different wishes I made at the magic tree came true; so do try and make a wish at the magic tree anytime you visit our chalet!

Soon it was time to learn how to ski, I enrolled for some ski lessons and can proudly say I know how to ski even though am not an expert.  I am yet to perfect making turns – the skis are their own masters and they never bend to your command until they have flung you on to the ground a few times first!

It’s fun and interesting to know that you have to put in so much energy to control some tiny objects!

I had a great time during the ski world cup held in Adelboden, it was awesome watching professionals ski in real life and listening to the beautiful tunes and background music that were playing. We also managed to get into the village that night to see other events (such as the bib picking ceremony) that were taking place. It was so much fun.

somto ski wc

One of the best activities that I enjoyed doing here was sledging, it’s so much fun, especially sledging at night – I will really miss that! I also had a go on the airboard and another of my dreams came true when I went paragliding. I lack words to describe how I felt but it was very good!  One thing I learned here is just how cold it can be, it is never this cold back home in Nigeria!

somto para1somto para2

It has been a wonderful experience and I have enjoyed every bit of it, there is so much fun in the Swiss Alps, there is so much fun high up in the mountains and much more fun lies beneath the roof of Our Chalet.

Chinweoke ‘Somto’ Orakwute (NGA)

Our Chalet Assistant – Winter 2013/14

GUESTS: Wells Guides


“I just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone at Our Chalet. I am sat at my desk, back at work, wishing I was still there! The trip was a truly amazing experience, and every minute was perfect. The staff and volunteers were excellent and really made the trip unforgettable. Thank you for all your work, inspiration and friendship. If anyone is thinking of visiting Our Chalet my advice is go! (and be 100% enthusiastic!)”

Louise, Wells Guides

STAFF: Anna (FL) Our Chalet löpinät


Two months at Our Chalet are soon gone. It feels more like two weeks, time has flown so quickly. Every day has been memorable and every day I have learnt something new.

Engstligen hike Anna and Mary

Now I know that British people really do drink lots of tea, Costa Rican people are the most happy people in the world. But different cultures are not the only thing which I have learnt. I have learnt much about Switzerland, other cultures, the English language, other people and myself.

I never want to forget my experiences here and I don’t think that it’s possible to forget. This has been such an amazing exeperience that I have special place for it in my mind and also on my head where I now have funny hairless spot thanks to an accident with a cupboard. 🙂 I didn’t know what to expect before I arrived here. New friends, lots of snow activities, cooking together, learning about different cultures were on my list, that was about all. My time here has given me much more. I couldn’t even begin to list all things which I have experienced here.
And now I really know, that Scouting is an international movement. Even though we have different forms doing things, we still have many of them which are the same and which we all share together.

I have enjoyed meeting guests from all around the world and spending time with many different people. The world is now much smaller for me and borders don’t mean that much anymore. I just have to remember, that outside of Finland people’s personal space is much bigger than in Finland 🙂

I hope that some day I can come back and still get into the “Chalet feeling”. It is something, that you can not describe with words. You have to experience it for yourself.
I’m sure that everyone, who has been here knows what I’m talking about, and if you don’t know, you have to come here and find!
Anna Haavikko (FI)
Winter Volunteer 2011-2012