The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) has five world centres; the World Organisation of the Scout Movement (WOSM) has one. Visiting a World Centre can be one of the most meaningful moments in the life of any Guide or Scout.
But let’s start with the basics – what is a World Centre?
Each centre offers a home to the global community of Guides and Scouts and the opportunity to experience international friendship, adventure and tradition.
Sounds good, where are they again?
What can you do there?
Stand in the middle of KISC’s campsite and you are surrounded by tents that are full of scouts from all over the world. Conveniently accessible by bus from Kandersteg’s train station (the bus is even free if you are wearing a necker), it is the ideal place to stay for a scout trip to Switzerland. With adrenaline-fuelled activities everywhere you look, and a permanent ‘mini-jamboree’ feeling, any adventurer will feel right at home.
Our Chalet’s location in Adelboden was chosen to combine adventure and peace for the soul. Hiking will take you to some of the most beautiful places in the valley, but to really feel the spirit of Our Chalet, participating in a pinning ceremony will introduce you to the traditions, the history and international community of staff and volunteers who continue the magic.
Our Cabaña and Sangam offer programmes packed with cultural experiences: whether it’s learning to cook local food at Our Cabaña or trying your hand at sari tying at Sangam. Both centres also offer visitors the chance to explore the local area, be it the traditional Mexican village of Tepoztlan or the bustling city of Pune, India (home to 3 million people).
What makes the World Centre experience so special? Here are our top four reasons
Inspire your group
World Centres not only offer fantastic visitor experiences, but also volunteering opportunities and seminars. These will allow your guides and scouts to develop skills such as leadership and cross-cultural teamwork. Visiting a World Centre allows Guides and Scouts to realise their potential as individuals and as members of a global youth movement – and can even empower them to volunteer or seek out other opportunities in the future.
World Centres attract visitors, volunteers and staff from all over the world. Going to any one of them can broaden your horizons and allow your group to learn about cultures vastly different to the ones at home.
Scouting and Guiding connections
As well as providing the chance to meet Guides and Scouts from across the world – stepping into a World Centre is like stepping into a piece of Guiding and Scouting history. The Swiss World Centres are the oldest and were founded in 1923 (KISC) and 1932 (Our Chalet), so you can follow in the footsteps of generations of Guides and Scouts, and even the Baden-Powells.
Add a little extra to your trip
Scout and Guide international trips can take young people and leaders all over the world – but visiting a World Centre brings the focus back to the movement. It highlights all the hard work put in over the years and across the world by the volunteers that make it happen. It’s the perfect place to make a Promise or perform and investiture too. They are also in areas that are otherwise off-the-beaten track for the ordinary tourist.
Visiting a World Centre is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll never forget – you can form lasting friendships, feel empowered and be inspired. So when you are planning your adventure to Switzerland, India or Mexico, make sure a trip to one of the world centres makes your itinerary.