I remember sitting at dinner on my first night at Our Chalet, with what seemed like, a hundred other people (it was in fact, about 30). These Girl Guides and Scouts were here for the final Youth Event of the summer, and it was their last night. I sat with some nice English Brownie Leaders, I’d met earlier, who had clicked onto why I was there. This duo demanded I tell them about the week ahead, as they’d heard it was VERY demanding (and they were right). I still haven’t done that. Maybe I should, when I have time.
Over dinner (Bratwurst and Mash, I remember thinking about how well I was being fed, for Guide Camp), the ladies invited me to campfire. At the end of every event, the group has a campfire, to commemorate the end of their time at Our Chalet. I was quite astounded at the generoisty, why I don’t know, I would have done the same!! So I crashed a campfire. I think it’s the Guiding equivalent to crashing a house party, except you’re welcome if you do crash a campfire, not so much if you crash the party of someone you don’t know. Ahhhh the joys of Guiding.
And so, after dinner, and a bit more of a relax, we trundled our way, up the path, to the campfire area. I was torchless (of course I was, I was completely unprepared for camp for once), but I didn’t mind so much. It wasn’t all that dark, and there were *hundreds* of people.
This was unlike any campfire I’d ever been too. There were volunteers and participants from all over the world. For once, I actually expereinced people teaching songs native to their land, instead of having to figure out how the damn things went myself!! Summer was blessed with a wonderful volunteer, Agus, from Argentina. I think, I honestly can’t remember. She was (and I imagine still is) a fantastic entertainer, playing guitar, and getting really involved with the action songs. She really had me in stitches. It was an emotional time for everyone, as all the friendships made over the 9 days the participants had been at Our Chalet, were strengthened, by a knowing that people would stay in contact, possibly for many years to come. I was not untouched by this, as I knew that the two friends I had made, only that afternoon, would be leaving in the morning, opening a new avenue for new people to come and enjoy the offerings of the Chalet.
After the campfire, girls and Leaders that had completed the Our Chalet challenge, were presented with their badges, a challenge that I would take on myself over the coming week. On the way back to the Chalet, I was invited to an evening hot chocolate with the two English Leaders, and we exchanged addresses, and badges, and headed up to bed.
Amazingly, I woke up at what must have been almost midday Melbourne time freaking out about having to go to work. Instead, it was 4am in another country, and I’d almost knocked myself out on the slope of the roof (I was in the end room, and the roof sloped ever so sharply over my bed!).