Swiss Boy Scouts: Activities

Figure 1.--Cold weather gear is an important part of a Swiss Scout's gear. Here a Scout troop is hiking across a glacier.

Swiss Souct activities evolved largly around the out of doors, survival and first aid. It was clearly a training program to help young boys to become more selfreliant. To that effect, the advancement program, through the different scout ranks was set up to become progressively more proficient in many of the skills necessary to live in a primitive environment without much outside help. Swiss Scouts engage in all the standard Scouting activities enjoyed by Scouts around the world. The standard Scout activities of hiking and camping are an important part of Swiss Scouting and they enjoy some of the most spectacular areas in the world for such activities. An annual camping trip is the highpoint of the year for many Swiss Scout troops. Other activities include crafts. cooking, knot tieing, map reading, pioneering ans a wide range of others. All this provided in learning on how to work with others, give and take leadership and learn to become interdependent with the other Scouts




Most games were set up to test certain skills, be it in fire-buiding without matches or stopping a bleeding without and fist-aid materials ar stabilizing a brocken bone, or spending the night under rough cricumstances.


Swiss Scouts enjoy some of the most spectacular areas in the world for hiking. Hiking in rugged terrain, with all you needed stuffed into your backpack for two or three days was a regularely scheduled activity. This is illustrated with the picture above, where every boy carries all his gear across a glacier. Safety was however always a priority, as is very evident in the above picture as the scouts are tied into a security rope.

Physical Fitness and Hygiene

Physical fitness and hygiene was also very high on the agenda.


Spiritual Training

The spiritual training was not neglected. Religious services vere provided on a regular basis. Grace before meals or a spiritual moment at the Campfire were very important.

Summer Camp

Summercamp for Swiss Scouts was a process that generally started in the Spring. A group of parents and leaders got together and decided in what region of Switzerland they would like to hold their Summercamp. Once that was decided letters were sent off to local villages to get their assistance in identifying land-owners. Traditionally the leaders took the weekend of Pentacost, which includes the Monday to travel to that region and decide which site would be best suited for the two week long Summercamp. Details were worked out with the owners of the land, the merchants and the local autorities. Upon return the location and exact dates were announced and programs and planing for the facitilties were worked out. Travel was usually done by train and public bus and at the location a hike to the camp-site. Upon arrival a lot of work had to be done. The tents, that usually housed a patrol of six boys had to be piched. Tables and kitchens had to be built, latreens had to be dug. The first 2 days were taken up by getting the campsite comfortable. Normally the water had to be feched at the nearest house, foods were purchsed at the local store etc. Daily activities consisted in games, sports and typical scouting activities such as pioneering, orienteering communcations etc. Considerable time had to be devoted to food preparation and cleaning as the facitities were rather primitive. Evenings were passed by sitting around the campfire, singing songs, telling stories or performing skits. The highlight of summer camp was in general a 2 or 3 day hike way into the mountains or to a very attractive site. These hikes were rather strenuous but very rewarding. These summer camps taught every participant a great deal of self-reliance and helpd every scout in testing his endurance. [Voute]


Voute, Tom, E-mail, June 10, 2006.


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Created: 2:52 AM 6/1/2006
Last updated: 2:53 AM 6/1/2006