SCENES-as seen by the nature and the environment professionals
The second SCENES (Scout Centres of Excellence for nature and Environment) seminar took place at Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC) from the 18th to 23rd May. The programme allowed many opportunities for sharing environmental ideas between existing Centres-both existing SCENES Centres and centres interested in becoming a SCENES Centre. Participants came from different professional backgrounds (some from environmental fields but most were not) and had varying degrees of experience in enviromental management of their Centre.
In order to have an external view of what it means to be a SCENES Centre and to gain tips on certain aspectsof environmental management, an external speaker was invited for one morning of the seminar. This provided a non-Scouting perspective but also a view from an experienced environmental organization. Evelyn Coleman Brantschen, from the Canton Bern Forest Service, and her team delivred a workshop about the KISC grounds and forest environment.
KISC and the Forest Service have worked closely together to manage the Centre's ground in an environmentally sustainable way for the last few years. The Centre's property covers 17 hectars this includes a wooded campsite and a managed forest. With the help of the Forest Service, KISC can provide wood for heating and construction work.
Evelyn Coleman Brantschen, from the Canton Bern Forest service, started indoors with a presentation and some background information on the Kandersteg environment. this included the sobering thought that if each of the 1200 Scouts that visited KISC each year were to damage the environment (by carving their name on a tree, littering, digging holes, picking wild flowers, leaving the pre-established path,etc), the unique and beautiful environment around Kndersteg would quickly be destroyed.
After this, the participants went outside in small groups to look at some of the elements that make up the natural environment around KISC, comparing them to their own Centre and discussing different actions or opportunities based on this. This included looking at key aspects of the SCENES requirements: space for unstructured play and providing environmental learning experiences. other more general items were environmental policy, staff training and safety risks in the natural environment.
Evelyn took the group to the Campsite to look in detail at items such as the importance of the forest above the Centre, which will protect it from rock fall and avalanches, and the natural reserve beside the Campsite. The Campsite stands on rock and spoil from the construction of the Lötschberg tunnel in 1906 and the natural reserve is the preserved wetlands that previously covered the whole area.
Back indoors, Evelyn facilitated an interesting discussion on everything observed outside and the participants noted ideas to bring back to their own Centre. After the departure of Evelyn and her team, the particpants worked on exchanging ideas and establishing an active worldwide SCENES network.
For more information, please visit SCENES Centres