After a hecticly busy, exhausting and enjoyable 8 weeks, summer camp is over. Though the minimum 11h working days add up I know i’ll be leaving camp with only good memories. As well as the more mundane parts of camp such as cleaning, making sure the lodge looked good, planning lessons and programs there was more than enough awesome experiences and excursions to enjoy.
One of my big personal highlights was being in charge of mountain bike guiding. This meant that I had free-reign to create and run my own programs where I could take kids into the mountains and let them explore the majesty of the Swiss Alps. My groups ranged from absolute beginners who could barely ride, to local kids who knew the trails better than I did. This was fun because it meant I got to instruct some lessons in a more formal way transferring over my ski instructing skills as well as also getting a chance to really get far out into some awesome steep, fast and fun trails. It wasn’t something many people got to do so I felt very lucky to be able to do it.
Other highlights included hiking mountains with the kids and sleeping in Teepees 2000m up as well as really old cabins built 100’s of years ago. Riding a steam boat across Lake Geneva and swimming in the lake with the kids was anther great day trip we took. We we’re also lucky to have the Tour de France pass through our village and I was within touching distance of the eventual winner, Chris Froome, for the second year in a row. But for me one of the best days was near the end of camp when only a few kids were left, we headed to Lake Thun, an hour or so from the lodge and did wake boarding. It was a blue bird day spent in the beautiful lake surounded by mountains trying a new sport which I turned out to love, the skills and principles from skiing and snowboarding are very similar so it was easy to pick up. To be able to share that with the kids we had was amazing and you could tell they really appreciated it.
As much fun as being with the kids is, the days off were the most enjoyable part. Not because it was time to relax and recuperate, but the exact opposite. Every day off was as full on as a day of work, if not more. On my two weekends off I hiked a mountain and slept in a hut, as well as travelled to a stunning lakeside old fashioned city and camped out. Other days off included visiting the capital city of Bern and seeing the sights then staying for a Football game, Young boys VS FC Thun. This was one of the best days I had.
I also spent a day cycling through the mountains to lake Leunensee where there is a beautiful waterfall. Another day I spent swimming and taking in the atmosphere from an international jazz festival in Montreaux and spent an evening listening to classical music in a tiny old Swiss church lit up only by the setting sun through the stain glass window, that was magical.
Really I should have blogged more often so I could write in detail about these days but I was so busy I really didn’t have time.
As well as all the trips and fun things we did making some connections with kids who all lead very different lives in very different parts of the world was something I won’t forget.
But as I said summer camp is over and now summer can really begin. My good friend from home, Greg, came and joined me working at camp the last three weeks and now we’re travelling to Pula, Croatia for Outlook festival. We started our trip with 3 days in Milan doing all the classic things, the Red Castle the Duomo, drinking coffee eating pizza and gelato. We also drank outside of an old church and by the canals, al fresco, with the local students and got pizza slices by the kg. A day spent at Lake como was also nice because the change of pace from tiny mountain towns in the Swiss alps to a bustling main european city was a little too much for me all at once.
I’m writing this from an 8h bus from Milan to Ljubljana in Slovenia which is our next destination. We’ll spend one night in Ljubljana then two nights at the close by and ridiculously famous Lake Bled and then head back to Ljubljana for two more nights before the festival. I’m really excited to see Slovenia as it’s a country i’ve heard nothing but good things about but have never been too before.
To follow my travel get me on snapchat:sincyyy