Friday, April 12, 2013

Local Girl Scout volunteer attends Our Chalet in Switzerland

Helen Storrow Seminar 2013
Young Women Leading for a Greener Future
By Rhianna Taniguchi

My first day at the 8th Annual Helen Storrow Seminar was spent snowshoing through Switzerland with international representatives from Sri Lanka and Canada. The seminar, hosted at Our Chalet from March 16-24th, is welcoming over 30 young women from around the world to discuss environmental issues and leadership development. Our Chalet is the first WAGGGS World Center and was founded over 80 years ago by an American Girl Scout, Ms. Helen Storrow. Anyone who questions Ms. Storrow's decision need only see the snow-laden mountains of Adelboden to sense the serentity that this magical place possesses. On the first night we ended with a tour of the historic building. We found secret compartments in some of the original furniture, learned the Center song, and ate traditional Swiss chocolate mousse. 

The second day was packed with personal development sessions and discussions about the current condition of our world. A part of the afternoon session had the participants talking about the current condition of our planet. Another part of the afternoon sesson had us talking about the impacts that weve noticed in regards to global warming and climate change. I decided to go for a run in the Swiss Alps and meditate in the snow in my free time and there was no sound but that of the wind and trees. That night was full of celebration, sparking apple cider, and snow cones fresh from the mountain!

Snow fell all of the third day and it was filled with outdoor activities such as sleding and hiking. We are being asked to develop action plans for our local community, region, or nation and are being provided with step-bz-step planning guides in order to effectively turn our visions into reality. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts brought facilitators from evey region of the world and worked with the participants on defining issues, identifying obstacles, and creating action plans that utilize their specific learning styles and skills to create a better world.