Swiss Cheese and the ETS Conference 2015

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Author: Andreas Zimmerli, delegate of Ten Sing Switzerland and ETS Executive Group member

The idea existed already last year. When the ETS Conference 2014 had to be cancelled on short notice, Switzerland offered to help out. Although the conference didn’t take place in 2014, the idea was kept in mind and from 26th of February to 1st f March 2015, Switzerland welcomed delegates of seven different European countries in Zurich. Besides the countries with voting rights which are Norway, Germany, Denmark, England, Czech Republic and Switzerland, this year we also welcomed the Netherlands, where a first Ten Sing is going to be founded. Michelle from the Netherlands took much information about Ten Sing back home and we are looking forward to hear more from her.


Swiss Cheese and traditions
But back to the Conference: In a Scouts House called „Wasserberg“ in Forch, the Swiss host welcomed all the participants with a typical Swiss dish: Älplermaggronen! Throughout the week the participants learned a lot about Swiss food and the highlight was the fondue on Friday night. The delegates wandered around the different pans to taste the various kinds of fondue cheese, which added a social feature to the traditional Swiss dish. They were hungry after a guided tour through Zurich where they learned that water is an important element of this city. The Swiss day was made perfect by singing toghether the Swiss hit „Ewigi Liebi“. Singing a song in Swiss German wasn’t that easy for the international guests.

The Ten Sing Commitment
Besides the eating and sightseeing, the delegates discussed a lot. The last Conference had taken place was in 2013, which caused a little discontent among the delegates because many of them didn’t really know what had happened in the meantime. Many felt that there had to be new ideas concerning the relevance of the ETS Group. Furthermore, the Focus Points of 2013 were formulated too vaguely to achieve results. All these things helped to compose the “Ten Sing Commitment”, the mission and vision for the European Ten Sing Group for the next six years until 2021

The European Ten Sing Group is a network that represents and helps to grow, support and coordinate the Ten Sing movement.
In 2021 the European Ten Sing Group (ETS) is an integral part of YMCA Europe. ETS is known on all YMCA Europe levels and it is part of its decision-making processes.
The delegates added concrete steps to be implemented in short-, mid- and long-term.

ETS Conference 2015One first step was already made by contacting the YMCA Europe Executive Committee that was meeting in Lisbon via Skype. Thus, we achieved to appear as a member of the European YMCA movement. They encouraged us to contribute inputs for the YMCA Europe Strategy which is going to be formed in the next year. Further, we are seeking contact with other groups within the YMCA like the Christian Orientation Group or the YMCA European Spectrum.

European Ten Sing Festival
Ten Sing Norway is planning a festival in 2018 to celebrate fifty years of Ten Sing in Norway. This festival could become the next European Ten Sing festival, which is exciting for all Ten Singers in Europe. All delegates agreed that the best way of networking in Europe is to organize a collective event. We still remember the last Ten Sing Festival in Ziegenhain Germany and although it is still three years to go, we are already excited. Of course we have to organize a lot before such an event can take place.

ETS Executive Group Elections
Another agenda item that was discussed were the elections of the ETS Executive Group. Because of the cancelled meeting in 2014, the group had shrinked to three members. Tobias Nägeli from Switzerland who used to be acting chairperson and Maria from Denmark hat retired in 2014. The three acting members of the Executive Group, Basti from Germany, Vladi from the Czech Republic and Caroline from Norway were all re-elected for another year. The group is completed by Nina from Denmark and Andreas from Switzerland. The ETS Executive group re-elected Basti as Chair of the European Ten Sing Group.
Tobias Nägeli was able to visit the Conference on Saturday and we said goodbye and thanked him face-to-face. At this point, I would like to say a cordial thank you for his long-time work as Chair of the European Ten Sing Group.


Another thank you goes to the Swiss helpers, lead by Sina Gubler. They took good care of the guests and left no wish unanswered. They contributed extensively to the successful event in the snowy Forch and allowed many productive discussions and an exciting exchange. Merci beaucoup!



The new Executive Group (from left):
Andreas (Switzerland), Basti (Germany, Chair of ETS),
Vladi (Czech Rep.), Nina (Denmark).
Caroline (Norway) is not on the picture.