It was an ambitious undertaking, as after all the time could be filled with awkward silences, but we had a really good online meeting last night with a group of Explorer Scouts in Switzerland whom we have never met.
The Explorer Scout age group in Switzerland are known as Pioneers and this group we met were named “Piostufe Salander” from the group Pfadi Lägern. Pfadi means Scout and Lägern is the town where they are from in the northern part of Switzerland midway between Zürich and the border with Germany.
Each side exchanged descriptions, comparing aspects of Scouting and what they get up to. The funniest bit was when Jonti described what we’d call a mountain in the UK; a mere foothill compared with the mountains in Switzerland. It cracked our Swiss friends up! There were indeed a few awkward silences and it took a while to get the tech working so that all 25 of us could see and hear each other, but by the end of the evening everyone wanted to meet up again.
Thanks to our new friends from Switzerland and to our own explorers for joining us. Ironically, during this time of lockdown and limited travel we've achieved so much toward our international requirements for badges and awards!
Some pictures from our meet up below. A highlight was how they get their scout names. In the UK we have pack names for leaders, based on jungle book characters (the best name being Colonel Hathi, of course). Swiss scouts get names awarded to them during cub camps, usually during a naming ceremony, though their safeguarding rules would appear to be more open minded.
For all young people aged 14-18 years with a sense of fun and adventure