Our Chalet offers exciting 3-6 month volunteer leadership placements that run with the European seasons; winter, spring, summer and autumn. Specialist volunteers help out with everything but focus on one area.
Taking part in our volunteer leadership development programme as a Volunteer Specialist equips you with practical work skills in your chosen area, leadership mindsets, and a way to give back. All while enjoying fun and international friendship in the Swiss Alps!
Our Chalet offers four types of Volunteer Specialist opportunities: Programme, Guest Services, Kitchen, and Marketing & Communications.
SPECIALIST VOLUNTEER - GUEST SERVICES
Support the Our Chalet guest services team in a wide-ranging role. Help with the daily operations of Our Chalet while gaining valuable work experience in the administrative, customer service, hospitality and event management fields.
has the opportunity to develop personally and professionally while building skills and knowledge related to WAGGGS and the World Centres, Our Chalet, and the local community. They will develop their professional skills through active participation in the daily operations of Our Chalet World Centre and give service to Our Chalet and to Guides and Scouts from around the world by sharing their skills and expertise and pitching in wherever they are needed.
The Our Chalet Guest Services Volunteer brings dedication, enthusiasm, diligence, and professionalism to their role in order to take on personal and professional challenges while contributing to an international environment. They works with all teams at Our Chalet to ensure the highest standards of welcome, hospitality, and guest experience.
The Our Chalet Guest Services Volunteer will assist in the implementation of World Centre’s Business plan and World Centre’s Strategic Marketing plan with the aim to increase guest bookings and participation in Our Chalet events. They will support a team of general Volunteers to keep Our Chalet running and welcoming guests to their home in the Swiss Alps.
- Support high customer service standards
- General reception duties including receiving guests, answering general enquiries, assisting guests with orientation, answering the landline phone
– Cover reception as part of the regular reception rota
– Ensure emails in info inbox are answered in a professional manner or forwarded to appropriate staff member within 24 hours of receipt
– Respond to general request for information
– Give tours of Our Chalet
– Overseeing the house-keeping work and ensuring all daily tasks are completed by the volunteer team
- Guest arrivals
– Greet and receive guests, inform them of Centre’s house rules and show them to their accommodation
– Support departures/check-out of guests
– Support efficient shop management
– Assist in operation of the shop and daily closing of till
– Be responsible for the completion of the monthly stocktake
- Promotion and Marketing
– Assist in the implementation of the World Centres Marketing Strategy
– Assist in updating social media plugins to keep previous, current and future guests engaged with current Our Chalet events. Generate discussions and inform followers of the latest information as necessary
– Work with the line manager and Marketing & Communications Volunteer to increase the visibility of Our Chalet
- Help out in all areas at Our Chalet, including in the kitchen and with cleaning. All volunteers, including Guest Services Volunteer, will receive kitchen and cleaning training. You will be assigned ‘guest services days’ and kitchen shifts.
- Delivering the daily morning meeting on a rota basis
- Work with the line manager in finding creative solutions to increase guest satisfaction scores and guest bookings
- Maintain an atmosphere conducive to international friendship, cultural understanding and the values of WAGGGS and Our Chalet
- Ensure the highest standard of guest service to all visitors
- Maintain a positive and efficient working environment for all staff and volunteers
- Serve as ‘on duty person’ when required
- Join and talk to guest during dinner and other joint meals
- Assist in the delivery of evening programme as rota’d
- Plan and deliver a personal or group project which will enable personal and professional development of the intern as well as benefit the operations of Our Chalet
- 18+ years of age*
- Member of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) or World Organisation of Scout Movement (WOSM)
- All applicants must be willing and able to join the WAGGGS Volunteer Pool and be endorsed by their Member Organisation during the application process.
- Very good verbal English and excellent written English skills (English is the working language of Our Chalet). French, Spanish, Arabic, or German skills are a bonus.
- Experience or training in marketing and communications.
- Physically and mentally fit to live in shared housing and work long hours at altitude (1,350m above sea level). Volunteers with disabilities are welcomed, please contact us if you have questions about the suitability of our volunteer placements for you.
*If you do not hold and EU/EFTA passport, Swiss visa rules mean you must be aged under 36 at the time of volunteering and have not previously had a volunteer visa for Switzerland. There is no upper age limit for EU/EFTA passport holders.
All applications must be endorsed by your Member Organisation’s International Commissioner before any placement can be offered.
- Customer Service experience
- Work experience with high customer service standards
- Experience volunteering
- Have an understanding of WAGGGS and the World Centres
- Guiding/Girl Scouting experience at a national or international level
- Knowledge of Our Chalet
- Work experience in an international team
- Work experience in a residential environment
- High computer literacy including experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook)
- Excellent communicator with the ability to effectively inform a wide range of people from different backgrounds and cultures
- Awareness and sensitivity to different cultures and customer needs
- Patient and friendly attitude
- Excellent spoken English and very good written English
- Language skills in German and/or French
- Kitchen and house-keeping skills
- Group management skills
- Additional foreign language skills
- Learning opportunities to gain valuable work experience in guest services, administration, and hospitality.
- Free full board (three meals per day) and lodging in shared staff housing in the beautiful Swiss Alps!
- Working in a truly international environment in an English language setting.
- Leadership and professional development.
- Learning new life and work skills such as time management, running outdoor activities, cooking, and guest services.
- Learning new Guide and Scout games and current WAGGGS topics to share at home.
- Support from staff team in planning and delivering personal projects.
- Free laundry facilities.
- Free wifi.
- Access to a range of equipment such as hiking boots, hiking poles, sleds, snowshoes, bicycles, etc.
- Nine days off per month, 1×3 day period off during your season.
- Two days free accommodation before and after your volunteering dates.
- Staff Day Out.
- Uniform provided for your time here.
- Our Chalet staff necker for you to keep.
- Staff challenge badge to work on.
- All the awesomeness of the Swiss Alps on your doorstep, plus many European countries with easy reach to explore!
When you submit your application you will receive an automated e-mail confirming receipt of the application.
Our volunteer team aims to reply to all volunteer applications. However, due to the high volume of applications received we prioritise contacting applicants who have applied to volunteer over a time when we have a need.
Our team will be in touch with applicants about next steps after the application deadline, for the season applied for, has closed.
Our Chalet will provide you with all meals, accommodation, uniform, use of self-service laundry facilities and wifi access in designated areas on site for the duration of your stay.
If you are worried about money, you should look into financial assistance options. You will need to cover your travel costs, souvenirs, & things you want to do in your free time. Our Chalet has a scholarship fund that you can apply to for travel assistance. Depending on where you are travelling from, we are usually able to offer travel scholarships of CHF 500 – 1000. You may also be able to apply for assistance from your national Guide/Scout Organisation or local community organisations.
To apply you need to complete both Part A and Part B of the application form, linked to below this box. All forms must be completed in full, although including a photograph is optional (we are happy to receive forms without a photo).
Return both forms to firstname.lastname@example.org clearly stating in your e-mail which season and role you are applying for.
Please note: if you are successful at interview your application must be endorsed by your Member Organisation’s International Commissioner before we can make an offer of a placement. You may also be asked to provide contact details for two references.
Are you curious what volunteers in each season are doing at Our Chalet? How does a day to day life look like? Read their stories in Chalet Chatter – the Our Chalet staff blog.