“High Up, High On The Mountain, We’ve Founded Our Chalet”

Our Chalet cards and map

1. High up, high on the mountain,

We’ve founded our Chalet,

Its sloping roof and wide

Shall shelter us without a care.

And each Girl Scout and Guide Shall find a welcome there.

2. High up, high on the mountain,

We’ll go to our Chalet;

Our simple life is free,

Our hearts are light, our songs are gay,

We ever shall remember The joys of our Chalet.

3. High up. high on the mountain,

We’ve founded our Chalet;

And this its dedication

Shall never fail nor be undone:

Each race, each creed, each nation,

Beneath its roof are one.

Welcome to OC

I remember ‘Our Chalet’ song from my first ever visit abroad when I travelled by coach from Norwich with a group of other Girl Guides and our Leaders to Switzerland, via Paris. Those two places visited on that occasion have remained two of my favourite places – ever. Here’s photo taken for our local newspaper which I stuck into my Swiss notebook :

EEN pic

Finding myself with a free day on the Friday I decided to retrace those early steps and revisit ‘Our Chalet’. I looked up the details online and booked one of the tours offered at 11am and 2pm daily.

Postbus

The journey to Adelboden involves taking the train via Spiez on Lake Thun to Frutigen from where a Postbus takes you up, up, up, to very snowy Adelboden. I instantly had my bearings even after 47 years and remembered the church on the village street (Dorfstrasse) and the pretty chalet-style shops.

The only difference to me was the presence of an amazing amount of snow. Of course, my first visit had been during the school holidays in August.

English Church Adelboden

The English Church, Adelboden

Dorf Strasse

Dorf Strasse Adelboden

In the tourist office I picked up a map, the details of a walk along so-called cleared paths (more about this half of the day later) and exact instructions as to the location of Our Chalet.

Adelboden

Adelboden from the path to Our Chalet

Arriving at Spycher

Arriving at Our Chalet

It was an easy walk – mostly down hill – and I arrived just on time at the Chalet for my 2pm tour. I was welcomed by Cat (Guest Services) and Skippy (the cat).

Skippy

Sonya from Rwanda The Guest Services Intern was to be my guide for the afternoon. The tour starts with a PowerPoint Presentation on the history of WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides) and of how Our Chalet came into being back in the 1930s.

Sonya

Sonya

British Visitor map

Map indicating British visitors to Our Chalet so far this year – the blue drawing pin in Yorkshire is me!

After inspecting the notice boards and maps and displays in the conference room Sonya showed me around the buildings and in particular the main and original ‘Our Chalet’ where we had spent an evening singing campfire songs and meeting other Girl Guides from around the world, all those years ago.

OC dining room

Our Chalet Dining Room

Our Chalet

OC shop

The Shop

All too soon the tour ended with a visit to the shop and I bought a few postcards (illustrated at the top and to go with the postcard I bought on my last visit). I already had an Our Chalet badge. As I was leaving and saying ‘Goodbye’ to Skippy the cat I was happy to exchange a few words with Sally Thornton Our Chalet Manager. Sally is from Australia, has been at OC since 2009 and plans to retire in April and return to family in Oz.

Sally Thornton

Sally Thornton, Our Chalet Manager

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4 comments on ““High Up, High On The Mountain, We’ve Founded Our Chalet”

  1. Barbara, I am catching up and LOVING these Swiss posts. So where are you on that newspaper pic then??

  2. Fran says:

    My sister went to the Chalet as a Guide. She bought a music box shaped like it…bet she still has it somewhere.

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