This BLOG is maintained by the Council and its Areas – Burlington, Credit Hills, Mississauga, North Waterloo, Oakville, Wellington & Yellow Briar

Canadian Path

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Scouting Life: Growth is about more youth experiencing Scouting

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog http://www.scoutinglife.ca/2017/03/growth-youth-experiencing-scouting/

75th Hamilton Scout Group

Behind every great Scouting Group is a number of dedicated Volunteers who understand the important role that Scouting plays in the lives of youth. These Volunteers make it possible for more youth to participate in great, safe Scouting adventures. This holds true for the Volunteers of the 75th Hamilton Scout Group. Over the last Scouting Year, the Volunteers were able to grow this Group from 32 youth to 49 – that’s a growth of almost 54%!

We didn’t intent to grow. It just happened. We believe it’s because of what we set our minds to do with the Group every single week.

Gino Sferrazza, Co-Commissioner

Upon speaking with Co-Commissioner Gino Sferrazza, it became clear this is no ordinary Group. The Volunteers of the 75th Hamilton Scout Group work hard at engaging the youth through the full integration of the Canadian Path. “One of the biggest points of pride for us is that we have both feet on the Path,” said Gino. “We made a conscious decision that was what we were going to do to engage the youth. It wasn’t long after that the word spread around and people walked into our meetings interested in participating. We didn’t intend to grow. It just happened. We believe it’s because of what we set our minds to do with the Group every single week.”

What I may think as a 52 year old may not be cool for a 12 or 14 year old.

Gino made a point to highlight that the Scouting program is for the youth. The Volunteers put a conscious effort in making sure the youth are having fun. “For us,” said Gino, “the Canadian Path just makes sense. Everyone seems to be having fun. Are we perfect? No. But we’re headed in the right direction.” These Volunteers inspire the youth to take charge and fail in a safe environment. The youth have so much fun, they don’t want to go home at the end of the night! “We don’t look at the Canadian Path as a new program,” said Gino. “The Canadian Path is going back to what Lord Baden-Powell had originally intended for this program. It’s important that the kids take part in the planning, the execution and the review of each activity. What I may think as a 52-year-old may not be cool for a 12 or 14-year-old.”

75th Hamilton Scout Group - Camping

With the youth having so much fun, it came as no surprise to ScoutScene that word of mouth has helped their Group grow. “For us, every week is Bring-A-Friend week. In fact, we encourage the youth to bring their friends. We’ve had a few youth sign up right away after attending one of our weekly meetings.”

The 75th Hamilton Scout Group also understands the value of parent engagement. This Group gets the parents together once a year to meet face-to-face. This is an opportunity for them to showcase all of the great activities their youth are experiencing and involved in. It’s opportunities like this that remind parents of the great things Scouting has to offer.

This Group has not done any extravagant advertising. They have used a flyer here, or a flyer there at the local school and around the neighbourhood. Yet, they have managed to grow their membership significantly. Through their efforts focusing solely on the youth – ensuring that they have a say and are having fun – Scouting truly is an easy sell.

To read other Group Growth articles, visit the Scout Scene Archives.

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1st Ayr Beavers Science Beaver Badge

Written by Mark Hammar, DCC Program for Central Escarpment Council.

When my son Sam, who is a white tail at 1st Ayr, first got his beaver map he was immediately excited about the science beaver badge and wanted to work on it. In our family was all love science and have done some fun activities ourselves, and he thought that doing some experiments with dry ice would be fun for the beavers and everyone could learn something about safety in science and how much fun dry ice was.

Sam was very excited to share his knowledge about the subject, so here was how he did the Plan-Do-Review for the badge:

Plan

My son came up with a plan of what he wanted to do with the beavers so that they would learn and be safe. Here is the plan that I emailed to the scouters for “approval”:

  • Safety message with making the quarter scream
  • Demonstrate making a big bubble on a bowl of dry ice in hot water
  • Demonstrate making a bubble on the bottle after adding hot water and dry ice
  • Each beaver will get a bottle and can do step 2 on their own in supervised groups
  • In groups, they will get a chance to try to hold a bubble with soapy hands

Do

The night of the experiments went well.

  • Met at our regular meeting hall
  • Sam gave his safety talk (mostly, “don’t touch the dry ice”)
  • He and my wife did some demonstrations and then the beavers each got to do dry ice in a bottle to make bubbles. (supervised by an adult)
  • Each group of beavers got a chance to come up and try to hold a bubble by getting their hands soapy

See some of the photos from the night below (I actually remembered to take them this time) and you can see making bubbles in bottles, the big bubble on a bowl, trying to stick your finger into a bubble and more. Enjoy!

 

Review

  • We discussed as a group what they learned and some of the common answers were that they learned about how dry ice worked (it is frozen but is a gas at room temperature), as well as that they need to stay safe while doing experiments.
  • Discussions with Sam indicated that he thought it went well, but in the future, he would practice the speech he was planning to say as he worried he forgot something.

Overall it was a successful dry ice experiment night. Sam learned a bit about what it takes to be a leader for an activity, that it is important to keep everyone safe, and the preparation is important. The colony had a great time making smoke-filled bubbles and learning a bit about how chemicals work. There has been interest by other beavers into what they have to do to work on a badge of their own. I expect that we will soon see others come forward wanting to share information on a badge that interests them so that the colony can learn more.


Scouting Life: Start Dreaming Up Your Summer Adventures!

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog http://www.scoutinglife.ca/2017/03/start-dreaming-summer-adventures/

Canadians are fortunate to experience the four seasons as sharp contrasts to each other. From the snowy depths of winter to the buds and blossoms of spring, to the sunny and stormy days of summer, to the spectacular colours of fall, every season offers a fresh opportunity to appreciate the beauty of nature.

Of course, the different seasons also offer a variety of opportunities for Scouting adventures! While it’s wonderful to hit the trail when the snow melts and wet a paddle when the ice breaks up, Canadians know that spring offers just a hint of what’s to come. There’s no season quite like summer for enjoying the outdoors!

Summer Adventure Week – the last week in March – is all about getting a jump on planning your great, safe, summer Scouting adventures! Now’s the time to give some thought to what adventures you’ll share this June, July and August. Summer’s a unique opportunity to dream a bit bigger. After all, Scouting youth are on holiday from school, so summer’s the perfect time to take an extra day or two (or three or four!) for an outdoor adventure.

It’s also worth appreciating that there are some adventures possible in the summer that really aren’t the same at other times of year. Sure, you can plan a day at the beach in the middle of winter and even build snow sculptures, but it’s not quite the same without a dip in the water! And while winter offers some of the clearest possible conditions for stargazing, there’s something wonderful about watching for shooting stars and not freezing your toes off.

When people think of Scouting, many think of fun outdoor activities like camping, hiking, swimming, sailing, paddling, cycling and horseback riding. Unfortunately, many Groups wind down their Scouting programs for the summer season. There are a variety of understandable reasons for this – for example, many families take vacation time in the summer, and both youth and Scouters may not have as much time free for Scouting as they do during the school year.

While there are certainly some obstacles to sharing Scouting adventures in the summer, the rewards are worth the trouble. Sharing summer adventures strengthens the friendships among youth in a Section – it is an opportunity to keep in touch with one another, and with Scouting. Youth who share summer Scouting adventures report a higher satisfaction with the program overall, and they are more likely to register for Scouting in the fall.

Summer Adventure Week is a celebration of a season that’s still months away. It’s time to start dreaming up and planning your summer Scouting adventures. The Summer Adventure webpage offers a wide variety of ideas for summer adventures for all Sections, in all parts of Canada. Check out the ideas – there may be something you want to try, or someplace you’d like to visit. You might settle on an adventure that’s not on the site, and that’s great too! Whatever you get up to this summer, we’d love to hear about it – #ScoutsDoStuff!

Have a great summer adventure!

The post Start Dreaming Up Your Summer Adventures! appeared first on Scouting Life.

Scouting Life: Planning Your Summer Adventures on the Canadian Path

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog http://www.scoutinglife.ca/2017/03/planning-summer-adventures-canadian-path/

Summertime: it’s the time of year when your Scouting adventures either get into full gear or stop until September. Why have a summer devoid of great Scouting adventures? The Canadian Path and the Trail Cards that come along with the program are there to help you. We all have that image of a summer camp experience filled with canoes and rock climbing so why not plan those adventures with your Section?

The Canadian Path has four elements that make any adventure great. These elements are Youth-Led, Plan-Do-Review, Adventure, and the SPICES. How do you create an amazing summer experience? Just stick to these elements. Let’s use the example of a canoe trip and apply each of the four elements to the adventure.

Let’s start with Youth-Led. This should be obvious but it doesn’t always happen. Scouts Canada is an organization for youth, shouldn’t it be led by the youth we serve? This one is simple; youth decide what adventures they want to go on, and they divide that adventure up into pieces each of them can take on. Whether it’s planning one portion of the adventure or running point for the trip’s supplies, each youth member can and should participate in the process so that they are part of what comes out of the adventure, good or bad. If they own it, they are invested in its success.

Planning for a March Break Adventure in Canada

Plan-Do-Review: You have most likely already been following the Plan-Do-Review process, but now we have a formal name for it. This is how you can measure how successful your summer outing is. You can plan your adventure by writing out your to-do lists as a group, have everyone take on a task, and have a system to verify that each part is done. To do, simply execute and have fun. To review, meet after the adventure to discuss how it went. Go over the good and the bad, how you can improve, and incorporate this feedback into future outings. For our canoe trip example, you can plan by dividing up the tasks among the youth in your group. Someone can handle booking the campsite while another person reserves the canoes. Do by going on the trip, and review with the youth in your section after the trip is over – you may have realized that someone should have arranged a carpool and planned a better menu, for example.

Adventure: this is what you’re planning right? Well of course it is, but is this a new experience or is this something your Section has done in the past that you are revisiting by changing some of the key components, such as the location or menu? Adventure means learning something new, taking on a different challenge, exploring and experiencing something outside of your day to day activities. For this canoe trip what’s new and different? You may decide on a different location, and Scouts may be attending that are new to canoeing. The youth that have experience canoeing can develop their leadership abilities by teaching watercraft skills.

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Bring the heat to your adventure with the SPICES. Allow the youth to develop their social, physical, intellectual, character, emotional, and spiritual abilities. You might not hit all of them in your outing but for this canoe trip, you may decide to focus on the physical and spiritual components. The physical is obvious but by disconnecting from the outside world youth can focus on nature and their connection to it.

When planning your summer adventures bring these four elements to your meetings, trips and events. By bringing the Canadian Path to your adventure you are ensuring that it is one you will remember. Summer is coming, what do you have planned?

The post Planning Your Summer Adventures on the Canadian Path appeared first on Scouting Life.

INVITATION: Brampton 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge

Hello Scouters,

Scouts Canada has been extended an invite from the Royal Canadian Legion in Brampton to attend a service to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.  The Lieutenant Governor will be in attendance and they will have WWII vehicles, and WWI bi-planes flying overhead. They will also conduct an Aboriginal Smudge Ceremony and have a Francophone choir.

The Royal Canadian Legion would like to invite Scouts Canada to attend and have an area roped off for their use where they will be able to see the entire ceremony easily. (They will need to arrive between 9:35am and 9:50 am at the latest as the WWII vehicles will start to arrive shortly after 10 am)

Date: Sunday April 9 2017
Time: 10:30 (need to arrive between 9:30 and 9:50)
Location:  Brampton Cenotaph (Memorial Square Cenotaph, City Hall, 2 Wellington St. W.)
RSVP by: Wednesday April 5 2017
Contact: Henry Verschuren CD, Parade Commander, RCL Branch 15 Brampton henryver@rogers.com

If your section/group is interested in attending please contact Mr. Verschuren (email address is listed above) by the RSVP date.

Please also check out our Scouts Canada Trail Cards from Remembrance Day (http://www.scouts.ca/canadianpath/scouts-remember.html) for some additional programming that will tie into this event.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact myself or Henry directly.

Justin Way
Area Support Manager – Supporting Credit Hills and Yellow Briar
Scouts Canada – Central Escarpment Council
jway@scouts.ca

SOS – Scouter Outdoor Skills – April 1

Join us April 1st, for 2 outdoor skill sessions at the HICOP Centre, Camp Nemo

LEAVE NO TRACE

10 am – 12 pm

Learn to apply the 7 principles of the Leave No Trace ethics. Time will be spent both inside and out.

COMPASS SKILLS

1 pm – 3 pm

Learn the basics needed to support your youth learning compass skills within the OAS, in the Canadian Path. Plan to be outside for most of this program. Bring along a compass, if possible.

Cost is $3 per session OR $5 for both. If staying for both, please provide your own lunch and water bottle.

Registration in advance is required.

To register, contact Shelley Dyet @ Shelley.dyet@scouts.ca

SOS Flyer

BSBC Sail School

Interested in learning more about Sailing as outlined on the Canadian Path?  Want to try it first?  Then contact Burlington Sailing and Boating Club Sail School at http://www.sailbsbc.ca/ or 905-631-9291

This 3 hour fun session covers safety, knots and a basic lesson on how to sail.  Cost is $20 per person when you have between 8-15 youth signed up.  The Sail School is a not for profit organization and runs out of LaSalle Park Marina in Burlington.  Session can run from mid May through to the end of June.

Scouting Life: Getting Involved in Scouting and What It Means to Be on the Canadian Path

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog http://bit.ly/2mAM8jt

2007 was Scouts Canada’s centennial year, and it was also the year I was a newly invested Cub in a Pack of 20 other youth in Toronto. Fast forward to the present and now I have a few roles associated with my name – Youth Commissioner, youth spokesperson, camp staff member – and it’s all been an amazing opportunity. This Scouting year is also the year of the Canadian Path’s official launch, which follows an approach that I have been grateful for since I was a child – even though I had not  heard of the Canadian Path back then. My journey within Scouting has been relatively long (I mean, I’m only 18) so when people ask me how I got to where I am now I don’t know what to say, but I do know that the Canadian Path has been with me every step of the way.

I became more involved in Scouts Canada from my role as a youth participant when I learned that there were opportunities available for me to do more. Many people don’t realize that there is a huge team running Scouts Canada from behind the scenes. We often just see the youth participants – the Beavers with their hats, the Cubs running around the gym, the Scouts with all their badges and their adult Scouters. Behind all that are Group Committee meetings, Area teams conducting support visits, Councils and National working together to ensure the best for the organization.

There are several opportunities for youth to take on leadership roles within the organization. Cubs and Scouts can aid younger sections as Scouters, youth can become involved in their Area by becoming a member of their Area Youth Network, and Councils frequently look for youth to join their teams. To those who find working in the media more interesting, Scouts Canada recruits youth spokespeople to aid in social media campaigns, be interviewed by the media and write for them (oh hey!).

Of course, more doors tend to open the older you are. In 2016 the minimum age requirement to apply to be a youth spokesperson was 11 years old, and most Area, Council and National youth networks consists of older Scouts, Venturers and Rovers. It is remarkable that there is even an opportunity for youth involvement.

For myself, the more I got involved the more I wanted to do, and the more I grew. I went from Cub to Scout to Venturer to Scouter to working alongside the Area and the Council teams. I also became more confident in myself, more independent and responsible. Every step of the way I was encouraged and helped by both youth and adult members.

As time went on, I increasingly realised the importance of youth involvement in every level of this organization. After all, we pride ourselves in having quality program for youth, and who knows youth better than the youth themselves?

I increasingly realised the importance of youth involvement in every level of this organization.

Gina Kim

In 2014 I had just become an Area Youth Commissioner and that also happened to be the year the Canadian Path started to roll out. The Canadian Path isn’t a whole new program but a revitalization of what the program was meant to be. Sure, the Canadian Path comes with a new set of badges, requirements and changes in structure but that ensures that the needs and wants of the youth are being met. Older Scouters talk about a time when they were younger and could plan and participate in activities on their own, without their Scouters doing everything for them or their parents dictating their every move. However, somewhere along the way those core values in Scouting – leadership, independence, teamwork and problem solving – were lost. The point of the Canadian Path is to find them once again. The Canadian Path was based on a greater need for youth involvement and to return to the core of Scouting.

If the youth can plan, do and review their own meetings, activities and events, they are on the Path.

If the youth can be leaders and teach the younger sections, their own sections and even their Scouters, they are on the Path.

If the youth can work with other youth and adults to discuss their own opinions, they are on the Path.

The Canadian Path allows youth to make their own decisions, gain responsibility, learn from their past actions and from each other. This allows youth to become engaged with the program, become independent, become more confident and participate in the program they want to be in, not the program that the Scouters want.

Oftentimes, I hear remarks from parents and Scouters that the youth aren’t old enough to make decisions. Sure, a Beaver can’t exactly plan a one week snowshoeing trip, but they sure can decide if they want to go on a winter camp. A Cub may not be able to completely plan their camp meals on their own, but with a little guidance from the Howlers and their Scouters it can be done. Being “little” doesn’t exempt anyone from all responsibilities. Just because they’re young doesn’t mean they can’t become more independent, make smart decisions, have opinions, learn important life skills and have fun all at the same time.

Just because they’re young doesn’t mean they can’t become more independent, make smart decisions, have opinions, learn important life skills and have fun all at the same time.

Gina Kim

As an Area Youth Commissioner at that time, it was heartbreaking to think there were Scouters that were against the Canadian Path. The Path consists of four main components – youth-led, plan-do-review, adventure, and SPICES. To be against the Path was essentially being against a program in which the youth could make decisions, do what they wanted, learn from mistakes, go on adventures and grow in different ways. Being against the Path meant to me that people thought that I wasn’t worthy of the roles and responsibilities I held, the qualities that I have gained and the experiences I had. But I knew that I was capable and the other youth were too.

To be on the Canadian Path is to know, acknowledge, and act upon the fact that youth should be involved every step of the way. The youth are the future of the world, what good does it do to hold them back from all their potential?

One might say I’ve done a lot within Scouts Canada but I cannot express enough that I have been extremely fortunate because everyone I have worked with valued youth participation and leadership. Without these values that the Canadian Path contains, there would not have been an opportunity for people like myself to become more involved in Scouting and truly experience what this organization really is.

The post Getting Involved in Scouting and What It Means to Be on the Canadian Path appeared first on Scouting Life.

Outdoor Adventure Skills Workshops – Coming Soon!

Hey CEC Youth (Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Venturers AND Rovers)!

Have the Outdoor Adventure Skills got you interested in one (or more!) skills that you want to work on, but aren’t sure where to start? If so, we’ve got you covered! We’re working to organize skills workshops that will focus on the Outdoor Adventure Skills and will be open for all youth to attend. Not only will you be able to learn or develop these skills, but it will also be an opportunity for youth who have these skills to help mentor other youth. Our goal is to have the first workshop planned for the Fall, but in order to do that we need your help! We want to know what Outdoor Adventure Skills YOU are most interested in working on! Click here to answer a quick survey to tell us which skills you are most interested in, and that’ll help us to decide which OAS our first workshop will focus on!

(What are Outdoor Adventure Skills? They are an invitation for Scouts to try something new—to be outside more, testing themselves with progressive challenges while always staying within their capabilities to stay safe. In short, it’s about having life-changing experiences. They are also able to be developed from Beavers all the way to Rovers, so youth can develop their skills as they progress along the Canadian Path!)

If you’re interested in helping us organize the workshops, or have a specific skill(s) that you can help mentor, let us know! There’s a spot at the end of the survey where you can leave your email so we can get in touch with you!

Thanks!
Your CEC Youth Development Committee

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