Hiking the Swiss Alps Recap

Embarking on a Girl Scout international destination trip is an incredible journey that expands your global horizons and builds memories, friendships, and fun. To prepare for your trip across the globe, you must have completed the Girl Scout travel progression timeline, starting with field trips for Daisy Girl Scouts and working your way up regional travel as a Junior Girl Scout. When you bridge up to Cadette’s, you will have built the foundational travel skills needed to take the lead and see the world!

After six months of planning, preparing, and connecting over Zoom, 12 Girl Scouts were ready to connect in person and travel to Switzerland. Girl Scouts immersed themselves in the Swiss culture for two weeks, where they went hiking and sightseeing, toured Our Chalet (the first World Centre for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts!), ate lots of fondue, and so much more! Read on to get a daily recap of their trip and hear from some of the world travelers.

All Girl Scouts arrived in Chicago, then flew together to New York:

Unfortunately, the flight to Geneva was delayed a couple of days due to severe weather. But luckily, Girl Scouts were in New York and had an opportunity to explore the city! While in New York, Girl Scouts shopped at Hudson Yards, took a lovely scenic stroll on the Hi-Line, had a delicious lunch at Chelsea Market, visited the Stonewall Monument, and enjoyed some classic New York pizza.

The following day, before heading to the airport, Girl Scouts were able to visit the Cradle of Aviation Museum and learn about the history of flight from their awesome, friendly staff.

First full day in Switzerland:

For their first full day in Switzerland, Girl Scouts explored Lausanne. They visited Lausanne Cathedral and climbed up to the top for some amazing views of the city.

Girl Scouts also had time to explore the Old Town and stop in all sorts of shops before stopping in a creperie for lunch.

 After lunch, they hopped on a ferry to cross Lac Lemon into France!

 Girl Scouts spent a few hours exploring Evian and filling their water bottles at the official source spring that started Evian Bottled Water.

Once they returned to Lausanne, they gathered for an authentic Swiss fondue experience!

Second day in Switzerland: 

Girl Scouts took the train to Montreux on their second day! Girl Scouts saw the Chateaux de Chillon, a castle built in the twelfth century. They toured the castle for the morning and then went into downtown Montreux for the rest of their day. Girl Scouts first stopped at The Queen Experience, a small museum where the band Queen recorded one of their albums.

Then, they all gathered around the Freddie Mercury statue for a photo together. The group decided to split up for a little while in the afternoon. A few of the Girl Scouts went on a hike while the others went into the old part of Montreux to explore. They all met for dinner before catching the train back to Lausanne for the night.

Week in Adelboden: 

For the first night at Our Chalet, Girl Scouts attended a Pinning Ceremony and received their exclusive pins.

The next morning, Girl Scouts were up bright and early for a hike up an actual alp! They hiked all day, stopping for the amazing views and to say hello to some cows. It was a challenging hike, but their months of preparation paid off.

“My most vivid memory is walking up the side of a mountain surrounded by cows and hearing the gentle ringing of their bells. To me, this was a quintessential experience to have in Switzerland,” said Girl Scout Leah.

When they got back to Our Chalet, they enjoyed Swiss Night! Girl Scouts learned about Swiss history and folklore, played trivia, and enjoyed chocolate fondue.

The next day, Girl Scouts had their onsite day. They spent the whole day at Our Chalet participating in activities about knot tying, team building, orienteering, fire building, shelter making, and whittling.

That night, Girl Scouts attended International Night. They got to learn more about where all the Our Chalet volunteers are from and the other guests. They also shared about the 12 different states they were all from. 

“It was really interesting to learn how Girl Scouts is different, but also how the Girl Scouts themselves are similar to me and that we have much in common,” said Girl Scout Abigail.

Girl Scouts had one free day at Our Chalet, where they could plan their own activities. Girl Scouts decided to take a hike up to the Trummer Woodcarver. It’s a family-owned business where everything is handmade, and you can have your name hand-carved into a cool souvenir.

Girl Scouts then hiked back into Adelboden to spend some time shopping! Everyone bought some Swiss chocolate to share with their family back home. 

“Being exposed to the cultural differences on this trip has inspired me to save my money and seek other unique experiences in the future. Now, I have an appreciation for European culture and a drive to experience other cultures around the world as well, said Girl Scout Calleigh.

The next day was their favorite activity of the whole trip – the adventure park! Girl Scouts had two different activities for the day: zip lining and rock climbing. The rock climbing wall was challenging, but a ton of fun, and the zip lines were so exciting! Girl Scouts all got to work together as a team to cheer each other on and help each other through the different levels.

That night, all the groups at Our Chalet gathered for a campfire. They all shared songs with each other and learned songs from different countries!

The last full day in Adelboden was one last big hike. Girl Scouts hiked a steep trail to a beautiful lake with cows hanging out on the beach.

They stopped for lunch and then headed to the toboggan run, followed by a cable car back down towards town.

Girl Scouts spent the evening packing up their rooms and attending the Closing Ceremony.

Being at Our Chalet with people from all over the world was such an amazing experience, and all Girl Scout travelers made some great friends they hope to keep forever. 

“The overall experience was unforgettable and one that I will cherish forever. This trip pushed me outside of my comfort zone. It was my first time traveling to a different country without my parents. I was nervous and anxious to leave my family for so long, but once I made it to Chicago, I felt included and welcomed by all of the Girl Scouts and leaders. This experience has also taught me to persevere during times of adversity,” said Girl Scout Camdyn.

“Coming back from this trip of almost a month in a foreign country with people I hardly knew, I can confidently say that I grew mentally and emotionally,” said Girl Scout Amelia.


For more information on Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana travel opportunities, please contact programs@girlscoutsgcnwi.org.