Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Our Chalet

This weekend, I went to 'Our Chalet', one of the four international Girl Scout houses in the world. The other three are in India, Mexico, and England, but the one in Adelboden, Switzerland, was first. Every girl scout learns of the world centers, I've known the Our Chalet Song since I was 12, and I have always wanted to visit.

Being a 6-hour journey away was too much to resist, though I couldn't miss work for too long. I went for a weekend, in between seminars and programme activities, just a scout making a pilgrimage of sorts. And it did not disappoint. Everyone there was instant family, conversations were easy, histories and stories fun to share, things common to scouts quickly apparent. Its amazing how many songs cross continents! I went hiking and skiing during the days, but that was far from the highlight of the journey - the memorable, wonderful parts were the communal dinners, happy birthday in 12 languages, learning bits of other tongues, combing the songbook cabinet, checking out the piles and piles of scout handbooks from all over the world, looking at the walls, at the bits of themselves that scouts over the world have left to share...

I can't imagine how cool a seminar there would be if a random visit like this was so wonderful. If there are that many handbooks in the center, on a shelf, just think of how many are out in the world, everywhere, touching girls, making them stronger and more confident, building the next generation who, hopefully, will be ready and willing to focus on the things people share rather than our differences.

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