A broke girl with a bucket list

22: Expect the Unexpected

22: Expect the Unexpected

This week I learned that you definitely don’t know what you’ve got til its gone. Having been told I would only be working at the camp’s second location in Champéry for a night, I turned up on Monday with only a small bag packed. We would be working with a team of just three staff to manage 24 kids from a German international school, and the morning was spent making sandwiches, scoping out the facilities and putting the Camp Suisse logo in every possible place we could find. By Monday night we’d fallen into bed early, arms aching from having to belay every kid at least four times up a rock climbing wall. Thank god Torgon has auto belays.

On Tuesday things weren’t looking good. Alicia had woken up with what looked like tonsillitis and very little voice, and after battling through a morning of Mountain Adventure training with the kids (building fires, teaching first aid and filtering water), she’d set off to the local doctors. By the time the kids were back and in the swimming pool, Alicia had returned with a diagnosis and a prescription, and we decided to send her back to camp while I stayed on in Champéry for the week. Let me tell you, having survived on one night’s worth of clothes and toiletries for a week straight, I feel like I can do anything.

That being said, instead of heading back to Torgon where they were managing four school groups simultaneously, I spent the rest of my week going on water slides at the Aqua Parc, patting huskies on a glacier and putting on the best PG disco for the kids. With just two people left to run the camp, you’d have expected it to have felt less like a week on holiday.

The highlight of my week was definitely glacier day. Despite a lack of brekkie (thanks to forgetful catering staff at the facilities we rented) and a 6am wakeup, walking on the snow 3000 metres in the air was completely surreal. I spent the day supervising dog sledding (and then making friends with every husky), tobogganing, cheering on kids as they flew down the highest alpine coaster in the world and finally braving the skybridge that was completely submerged in clouds. At one point I had to remind myself that I was actually getting paid to be there. It was unreal.

The back end of the week flew by, with a killer disco DJ’d by myself and Rosie and a quick hike in the clouds on their last morning before some sad goodbyes. By the time we got back to Torgon, I realised just how much I had missed it. Watching the all too familiar view of Pride Rock rise back over the chalets again I felt like I was home. Just like that, straight after lunch I was leading a four hour archery session before celebrating a combination of my return, Kat’s birthday and Alicia’s awesome uni results over some goon. It was like I’d never left.

The thing about this job is you feel like you hardly earn days off, but you get them anyway. Saturday was spent climbing a crag just outside of Montreaux then napping beside the lake at the Chateau de Chillon. Big shoutout to Toby for having the forethought to drive a car out here so that we didn’t have to hitchhike! That night we crowded into mine and Alicia’s tiny hotel room to watch Hunt for the Wilderpeople together before bed.

My week ended with another beginning: the start of a week’s school camp again which saw me leading archery all morning then hiking up to camping for three hours. Sunday night brought toasted marshmallows, campfire yodelling and the most incredible purple sky over the Swiss alps, and I think that’s a good place to leave it. Until next week!

Bisous xx