134 Scouts and Guides from more than 40 different countries gathered at the 5th Academy at the Kandersteg International Scout Centre. Together with them more than 40 workshops facilitators and planning and host team members as well as the famous KISC Pinkies made this event an unforgettable experience. 30 different sessions on the overall theme “Embracing change” offered an attractive learning environment.
Participants themselves picked those items that they are interested in and put together their own individual programme. They discussed how to design and implement strategies, how to increase the retention of adult leaders, how co-education and growth are linked or how to manage the challenges of succession planning. Beside these sessions there was also time allocated for sharing best practices and interesting projects that were presented at the open form organised every day after the last session.
The workshops used different sets of working methods and participants used social media to interact, especially active was Twitter #academy2012 and events Facebook group. Beside those, the website of the event ( academy.europak-online.net) was used to communicate all kinds of information before and during the Academy as well all the session presentations and materials. The website was also the place to host the participants blog where they had the chance to write about their experience at the Academy
For the first time in the history of the Academy, it became a real winter experience. Surrounded by the beautiful mountains, Kandersteg was covered by 30 centimetres of snow.
On Saturday night, participants enjoyed a “Smuggle Game” on the KISC campsite, where the snow, the woods and the campfire offered a true sense of magic. In the mornings, a Buddhist monk from the Dhammapala temple in Kandersteg performed a meditation and in the evening the Rover bar invited all to stay to share and discuss until late in the evening. On Sunday evening, at the international evening, participants had the chance to present their country, culture, tradition as well as to taste some interesting country specialities. The closing of this successful event was held by the campfire with the opportunity to hear the KISC Pinkies show as well as some words of thanks by all sides involved in organisation of the Academy 2012.
It was a fantastic event for participants but also for the facilitators and planning team members. WAGGGS, WOSM, KISC and the host team of the Swiss Guide and Scout Movement worked closely together in the planning and implementation of the Academy.