The federal scout camp ends this Saturday after two weeks of adventures in the Goms Valley. At the time of farewell, the organizers say they are very satisfied, proud of the voluntary work carried out but also a bit nostalgic to see the young people leave.
“We have the feeling of accomplishment,” says Colin Vollmer, spokesperson for the federal camp. The event, which welcomed more than 30,000 young people, was able to stick to its motto “mova – let’s go”, he believes.
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“We motivated and moved people – children, adults and visitors – constantly. During this camp and with its organization, we showed that Swiss scouting is not outdated, that on the contrary it constitutes a formidable momentum which adapts to our time and which brings something to society”, adds the one who responds to the scout name of Saïmiri.
In addition to the many activities organized for the participants, 20,000 people came to Ulrichen, located about 3 hours by public transport from Lausanne and Lucerne, 2h30 from Bern and 2h20 from Bellinzona to visit the infrastructures or greet the children during the ten days when they were allowed to. On the press side, more than 200 media representatives have been accredited for the event.
700,000 volunteer hours
A highlight? Colin Vollmer says he is still very moved by the closing ceremony on Thursday evening during which the 30,000 scouts spontaneously sang to thank the organizers. He also smiles when he thinks back to the sauna set up by the Lucerne scouts for the volunteers of the organization. Enough to take care of all the people in charge from morning to evening of the smooth running of the camp.
Recognition made of small gestures that give pleasure, knowing that “the total number of volunteer hours carried out these two weeks is approximately 700,000”, recalls Colin Vollmer. This total takes into account the work done during this period by the 500 members of the organization and the 5000 rovers – those who animate, cook and assist the campers. On the other hand, it does not include the hours of the 5,000 leaders of scout groups who are just as volunteers, nor the hours of preparation, spread over 5 years and invested by the organizers.
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We always talk about Swiss youth who are struggling to get involved, notes Colin Vollmer. But this titanic event was thought out and carried out by volunteers with an average age of 25 years. “His outfit even proves that young people still have values for which they are committed,” he says.
A few sores and a lot of memories
Spread over 3.5 kilometers, the mega gathering, made up of streets and neighborhoods, also had an emergency structure with first aid, police and fire stations. Places also made available to the local population.
In two weeks, there were 4,000 passages in the care center, also notes the spokesperson. The vast majority involved removing splinters, tending to stomach sores or cuts, and tending to a few broken collarbones, he adds. There were also 21 pick-ups of residents of the valley.
By Saturday evening, the 30,000 young people should have returned to their respective homes. There will then be only 800 volunteers left to help tidy up the infrastructure of the huge camp. “The objective is that on August 15, the camp will be empty and that we can return the land to the owners”, notes Colin Vollmer.
In a second step, it will be necessary to return the equipment used to the various partners, including the army. Calm will then return to the great Goms valley which will have left its share of memories in the memories of young and old.
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