Witan Team Blog

Find out what your Witan Team has been up to...

Witan Costs Update

Ellissa (Witan Treasurer)

Thursday 22nd August

After the exciting news that Witan has been booked we thought we’d provide you with a breakdown of costs to explain how we came up with the final fee of £600 for the 9 day / 8 night trip.


This table shows the per person costs if our target of 100 SSAGO members attending Witan 2020 is met, and is broken down into every section we had to consider. It was calculated by dividing the total overall costs* by the predicted number of participants to ensure the price is equal.

Logistics and Transport

Most of the equipment we will need for the trip - such as cooking and camping equipment - will be driven to Switzerland in a hired van. Therefore the logistics budget will cover the cost of a kit van and all fees attached with transporting things across borders.
The closest to Kandersteg we can fly from the UK is to Basel Airport, with a return flight costing an estimated £95. We’ll be using one of KISC’s own coaches to pick us up and drive the rest of the way to the site; so taking a group of 100 SSAGOers by coach comes to around £67 per person.

Accommodation

Camping in tents means we’ll be charged KISC’s standard campsite fees which are fixed at CHF 11.50 per person. Therefore, to sleep under the stars for 8 nights it will bring the total to CHF 92.00 (or £73.60) each.

Food

To keep costs low, we’ll be cooking our own food as a group each day using KISC’s self-catering facilities. To match the average costs of food at rallies and also ensure it’s good quality to fuel our stay we’ve allocated a budget of £8 per person per day, totalling £64 for a whole trip of tasty food! Switzerland is also mega expensive!

Activities

It is important to make the allocation of activities fair for everyone, so every participant will be allocated the same amount of money or ‘activity credits’ when designing the programme. This will make sure the high & low priced activities are spread equally. For 100 participants, this would be around £150 worth of credits per person for their total activity allowance.

Miscellaneous

This is to cover the rest of the various fees for taking a large group abroad such as insurance, tourism tax, international fees and any other essential items the trip wouldn’t run without. Also included in the price is your very own SSAGO international necker customised for Witan 2020!

Contingency

To account for things being more expensive than planned due to circumstances out of our control (like the current exchange rate and Brexit ...) we’ve added 15% contingency on top of the total costs. This will allow us to run the trip smoothly even after any fluctuations in prices. As we get closer to the trip any contingency that has not been required will start to be put into the trips programme.

Hopefully this has cleared up any questions about the price but if you do have anymore, please feel free to email us at witan@ssago.org or keep up to date with news on our Facebook page.
For ideas on how to raise some money, you can check out our Fundraising Page too!

Witan Dates

Ethan (Witan Logistics)

Saturday 10th August

The dates for Witan have been announced, which means that it’s now getting real and rather exciting! We thought as a committee we’d give you a quick explanation about why we chose these dates for Witan 2020.


We hope everyone was as excited to hear the dates for next year’s Witan as we were to announce them! In just under a year SSAGO will return to Switzerland to sample the incredible activities Kandersteg has to offer. However, setting the dates for the trip in such a busy Scouting and Guiding year was no easy task. We thought it would be a good idea to explain why we chose Wednesday 8th to Thursday 16th July 2020 as the dates for the next SSAGO Witan.

Listening to SSAGO

The first thing we did when setting our trip dates was to see when people wanted Witan, and it was clear from the survey that we had to make sure Witan didn’t clash with any of the large camps and Jamborees already scheduled to take place over the summer. This included major Jamborees such as EuroJam in Poland and Essex International Jamboree in...Essex, as well as a plethora of other regional Jamborees and camps from Durham to Birmingham and Wales to Berkshire. Avoiding these major events restricted our options for Witan, but it’s important that we make sure Witan doesn’t prevent SSAGO from supporting and enjoying the wide selection of international Scouting and Guiding events taking place over the summer of 2020.

Keeping costs down

Switzerland is a famously expensive country, and staying at such a renowned and popular Scout Centre as Kandersteg only further inflates the price. Therefore keeping the cost of Witan as low and accessible as possible for the maximum number of people has always been at the forefront of the committee’s minds (look out for our next blog post from Ellissa, our Treasurer, explaining how we’ve costed the final fee). As such, we have taken advantage of the longer summer holidays given to students to take Witan out of the peak summer travel period, therefore reducing the cost of travel for all of our participants.

These two factors restricted the dates of Witan to being between the end of Summer Rally at the start of July, and the start of the school holidays in mid to late July, giving us a two week window.

Graduations

Many people have pointed out to us that the Witan dates do overlap with some graduation ceremonies. Unfortunately with every university having a different graduation period, a complete lack of overlap is unavoidable. That said, we did try our best to work out when each university would be holding it’s graduation either from dates that have already been published, or by estimating 2020 graduation dates from the 2019 dates, and have chosen the dates in our window that overlap with the fewest graduation periods possible.

However, graduation doesn’t have to stop you from taking part in Witan! If you would like to come to Witan, but are worried you might miss your graduation, email us on witan@ssago.org. We will be offering some flexible options to those who have graduations clashing with Witan so please do get in touch and we will do our best to help you enjoy Witan and your graduation to the best of our ability. We also have some exciting ideas lined up for those of you who graduate in 2020 and join us at Witan, so watch this space!

Summer Update

Rachel (Witan Secretary)

Saturday 3rd August

It’s time for the second team blog *whoop whoop*. We’ve been rather busy since Scot Rally so here's a quick overview of what we’ve been up to...

1. Witan Team

We are delighted to announce the newest members of our Witan organising team! As well as Josh, Ethan and Lauren (Chair, Logistics and Activities respectively), Ellissa and Rachel are now on the team as Treasurer and Secretary. To find out more about us all, check out our Meet the Team page.

2. Trip Dates

We’ve booked our place at KISC (see our new About KISC page) so we can confirm that the trip will be 9 days long and take place from Wednesday 8th to Thursday 16th July 2020. Thank you to everybody who filled in our latest survey. Turns out that most of you wanted the 9 day trip- so here it is!

3. Activities

If you’ve not already checked it out, go to our Activities Page to get an idea about some of the awesome activities we’re planning for you. We’re still finalising activities but when we have a final list, we’ll let you know!

You’ll get to rank your preferred activities and them some weird magic will happen on a computer and your own personalised programme will be created to make sure that you get the Witan you want.

4. Booking

Booking will be opening soon so watch this space! 

5. Stay Up to Date

If you want to stay up to date beyond this blog, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be posting information about when booking opens etc as well as snazzy photos for you to enjoy.

If you have any questions about anything, don’t hesitate to email us on witan@ssago.org.

Pre-Rally Update

Ethan, Lauren & Joshua (Witan Team)

Saturday 22nd June

Welcome to our first Witan Team blog! These are to keep you up to date with what your Witan Team is up to and how the organisation is progressing. Since you last saw us dancing our way through Aber does ABBA ball we’ve pushed full speed ahead and made quite a bit of progress.

You Said, We Did!

Based on your feedback we will aim to make Witan 9 days long in the Summer of 2020 and will avoid all major UK Jamborees and international camps. To get there we will be flying and when in Switzerland travelling by coach to and from the airport. As voted for at the 2017 SSAGO AGM we will be camping at the Kandersteg International Scout Centre

The trip will include a range of activities that are:

  • Adventurous (e.g. Hiking, Mountains, High Ropes, etc...)
  • Cultural (e.g. Castles, Museums, Sightseeing, etc...)
  • Relaxing (e.g. Swimming, Mountains, etc...)

There will be plenty of opportunities for enjoying the amazing mountain views Kandersteg has on offer, meeting international Scouts and Guides and visiting Our Chalet which is the world centre for Guiding. You will be able to pick your own activities from a wide selection of what’s on offer by ranking which you’d prefer to do. This will be used to create you programme. There may also be the opportunity to pay for extra activities outside the main trip cost.

And yes, there will be badges!

If you have anymore ideas for Witan please do get in contact via witan@ssago.org.

You can view more potential activities here

Witan’s Fundamentals

We have now completed a budget for Witan and rough programme. We are expecting it to cost around £600 per person if it's 9 days long which will cover you transport to and from the UK, accommodation, catering and activities. Basically everything you will need on Witan!

There is now a potential date for Witan and we are in the process of securing our site booking. Once our budget has been approved by the SSAGO Exec we will be able to secure the site and announce the dates of Witan so watch this space! There will be multiple payment schedule options so you can pick one that suits you.

We are hoping to be able to reveal the date to you at Summer Rally

Stay Up to Date

In addition to this blog if you want to stay up to date with what we are up to and how you Witan is developing you can follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! We are currently publishing daily pictures of mountains and many of the scenic views Kandersteg has to offer for your to enjoy.

Get Involved

Think Witan sounds so exciting that you want to get involved in the organisation? We have a number of opportunities to help shape your Witan. Currently we are looking for a fourth person to join the core Witan Team and be responsible for our admin and fundraising.

If that sounds interesting to you please contact witan@ssago.org to find out more.

If you experience any issues in the booking process, please contact webmaster@ssago.org.