KANDERSTEG INTERNATIONAL SCOUT CENTRE – FIREWORKS

KANDERSTEG INTERNATIONAL SCOUT CENTRE – FIREWORKS

Every year here at Epic Fireworks, we supply literally hundreds of Scout Groups with their consumer display to raise much-needed money for the running of this incredible organisation. The Scout movement has essentially been moulding the youth of the World for almost a century now ensuring that they stay healthy, strong and are prepared to be adults with something to give to the World.

The Scout movement was started in the UK by Lord Baden-Powell in 1907 when having left the Army, he decided that all men and boys needed to be more aware of woodcraft skills which he learned during his campaign in Zimbabwe. He wanted to encourage the physical, psychological and emotional development of the young to encourage ‘lifeskills’ which prove useful for the remainder of their lives.

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He also brought together the youth of the nation as one, without creed, class or sexuality. His first-ever camp was held on Brownsea Island, positioned just off the coast of Poole in Dorset. So successful was it that the modern movement has upwards of 38 million worldwide and continues to follow the same principles:

  • BASIC OUTDOOR SKILLS
  • FIRST AID
  • CITIZENSHIP SKILLS
  • LEADERSHIP SKILLS/GROUP WORKING

Once the Scout group started to show promise, there were calls from across the world who shared Baden Powell’s vision of a youth, who could adopt the guiding principles of the scout ethos of helping others, doing their duty to God and the Queen thus ensuring that all youth, regardless of their colour, creed, etc.

They joined in droves in ages from 8 to 18 creating a worldwide scouting association which was to stand the test of time. At this point, massive groups sprang up across Europe and the West, especially in Canada and the USA where like-minded individuals also wanted to learn some of the woodcraft and survival training which Baden-Powell had received from Ernest Thompson Seton, a wildlife specialist and woodcraft enthusiast who wanted to pass on survival skills and even cosmology, gleaned from his time in the woods close to his home in Canada as a young man. These skills formed an important part of the Scouting for Boys handbook which went on to be the foundation of the Scouting movement.

The first-ever International Jamboree was held on 30th July 1920, just after the end of WW1, in the Olympic Arena in London, where 8000 scouts from 34 countries attended. Today, the scout organisation holds events across the globe, including Switzerland’s Kandersteg International Scouting Centre which plays host annually to a HUGE jamboree, bringing together Scout Groups from around the world in a truly stunning setting.

The Kandersteg Centre only exists because of the creation of the Lotschberg Tunnel. This is a passage which travels THROUGH the Swiss Alps taking what was a journey time of 2 ½ hours to just 35 minutes.

During the construction of the tunnel, in order to ensure the education and safety of the worker’s children, a Chalet was built close to the banks of the River Kander. After completing the tunnel, the Chalet was left empty and abandoned. Some 9 years on, the Chief Scout of Switzerland, Walter con Bonstetten came across the empty property and suggested it be re-purposed as a permanent structure and an international home for Scouts. Lord Baden Powell visited and agreed that it would be a truly magical outdoor retreat with plenty to do and see around and about, set at the foot of the mountain. Use was on and off for some years thanks to WW2 (when it was used for training and reconnaissance) but since the post-war years, it has been in continual use as an International Scout Centre.

Today, hundreds of thrill-seeking Scouts spend the week in this stunning location and once a year, on Switzerland’s National Day, a firework spectacular is held before the gathered jamboree. Last year, a group from Kent spent the week there making connections around the globe with like-minded people in a healthy and altogether beautiful area.

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The Fireworks are provided by the incredible team from SuGYP who have an awards shelf groaning under the weight of the incredible number of trophies this team has picked up from Hannover (Germany), Szczecin (Poland) and they even competed against the UK’s Pyro 2000 in Macao in 2016.

So, beautiful fireworks, an incredible mountain setting and close by, the picturesque town of Schaffhausen which has illuminated the nearby 25m high Rhine waterfall in celebration of the country’s National Day on 1st August.

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