Update from Australian Guide Cale at Our Chalet

Hello! This is Cale, an Australian Girl Guide spending an incredible year of overseas travel and adventure!! It began with my four months as a volunteer at Our Cabaña in Mexico and now I am volunteering for 3 months in Our Chalet, Switzerland! It has been quite a sea-change!! Haha!

I have been here with 11 other volunteers or “vollies” as we are known since May 15 and will leave at the start of September.  But I don’t want to think about that!! I like it here a lot! I am in a beautiful country where I have the opportunity to do a lot of hiking and to see a lot of amazing views of the Alps.

I am learning a lot and working as hard as I can each day. My work here is very diverse and while I love to meet and work with participants I also enjoy to work behind the scenes. I am proud to be a super cleaner; a pro bathroom scrubber, vacuumer and mopper! This week I am helping to cook meals for 70 people, as well as tackling the big clean up afterwards!

When working with event participants I get to lead day hikes around the area as well as overnight sunrise hikes up the steep mountain Bonderspitz! I have the opportunity to run activities about WAGGGS, Switzerland, the WAGGGS centenary, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and advocacy. In addition, I have the chance to challenge myself with adventure activities including rock-climbing, abseiling, zip-lining and the pendulum bridge jump and to explore many Swiss cities.

 I am laughing almost constantly and making many friends that span all across the world!  Currently, the Our Chalet volunteers are from USA, Canada, UK, Dominican Republic, Denmark and AUSTRALIA!! And it is a much longer list of the different nationalities of friends that I have met. I have entered the spider web of the World Centres where someone always knows another someone who knows another someone that you also know! I love this feeling that I am connected by the movement of Girl Guiding and Scouting across the world. It is better than I could have imagined!

This whole adventure stemmed from my uncertainty of what I wanted to study after graduating high school. I took a chance and applied to volunteer at the World Centres during 2011. Information and application forms can be found at the world centre websites,  each can be reached via the ‘Our World’ section on www.wagggg.org and there are many staff and volunteers at each centre who  are keen and willing to answer any of your questions, including me! If YOU, your sister, daughter or friend is interested in volunteering I absolutely and completely recommend and encourage it. This has been the most fun, exhausting, emotional and inspiring journey for me.

I am so happy and so thankful to Guiding that has given me the most precious and unforgettable experiences of my life. Thank you all for supporting international Guiding.

If you want to say hello or have any questions about my time in Our Chalet or Our Cabaña please do not hesitate to contact me via:  international@girlguides.org.au and beware I can talk under wet cement once you get me going!

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