Guides on a roll for Swiss trip

The Gisburn Guides group and friends from other units at 'Our Chalet', the Guide movement's oldest World Centre, at Adelboden in Switzerland.(s)
The Gisburn Guides group and friends from other units at 'Our Chalet', the Guide movement's oldest World Centre, at Adelboden in Switzerland.(s)

Girls and leaders from Gisburn Guides and friends from other local units have just returned from an unforgettable adventure in Switzerland.

The group of 12 young women, aged 10 to 15 and including as well as two lucky Brownies aged 8 and 9 travelled through England, France and Switzerland by coach, five trains, and bus to Adelboden in Switzerland, the home of “Our Chalet” and the oldest of the four Girlguiding World Centres. On their first morning the young women took part in an 83-year-old pinning ceremony, where they renewed their Promises and were pinned with a special badge only available to those who have been to “Our Chalet”.

Apart from coach travel to St Pancras, the girls travelled by public transport and on foot.

The young women helped with all aspects of running the holiday including transporting kit, cooking and cleaning the chalet.

The jam-packed programme included a boat trip to Interlaken, a zip wire over the river, walking over 70km during the week, outdoor swimming and a 14 km mountain walk to a woodcarver’s workshop.

Eleanor, age 11 said “The best thing of this trip was the zip wiring across the river because it was very adventurous.”

Megan, age 13 said, “It’s been the best time of my life!”

The group were very lucky to celebrate not one, but two birthdays in their time away.

On Phoebe’s birthday, the group went up a took a cable car to a mountain cheesemakers and visited the a panoramic outdoor swimming pool, and shared a large chocolate cake.

On Laura’s birthday they the group celebrated with Laura’s choice of home-made Swiss roll, an excursion by boat to Interlaken and a chocolate show. Phoebe, now aged 13 said, “It was an amazing experience to go on a Guide holiday while having my birthday. My birthday cake had lots of chocolate and Smarties.”

The young women worked extremely hard to fundraise over £10,000 towards to the cost of the trip, raising the cash in various ways, including by selling over 10,000 badges to girls in other units, holding an Easter market stall, completing a sponsored swim, raffles and running a disco.

They are particularly grateful to Rotary Club, Round Table and to Sainsbury’s for allowing them to bag pack, and all who supported their fundraising and for the support they gave towards the trip.

The group’s leader, Harriet Wibberley Smith, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the trip participants; from cleaning the chalet, tasting cheese fondue, to zip wiring up to 30m above the over the river, everyone faced each activity and challenge with a smile.

“We celebrated two birthdays while we were away and I am 100 per cent delighted that each member of our group renewed their promise at Our Chalet, the oldest Girlguiding World Centre.

“This amazing adventure was a truly unforgettable experience in all of our Guiding lives.”

Joint District Commisioner, Justine Greenwood, who was caterer for the event said, “What a fantastic opportunity for our local girls to experience another culture and adventurous activities.”

The young women and their Leaders are now wondering where their next adventure will take them!

Girlguiding gives girls and young women the chance to build friendships, gain life skills and make a positive difference in their community.

For further information telephone 0800 1 69 59 01 or alternatively visit: www.girlguiding.org.uk