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

Canadian Path

Scouting Life: Woodbadge II on the Canadian Path

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog http://www.scoutinglife.ca/2017/05/woodbadge-ii-canadian-path/ by Jeff Schroeder

Wood Badge training in Canada is broken down into two parts. Wood Badge I focuses on basic program facilitation knowledge and is usually accomplished through a form of eLearning. As you might imagine, Wood Badge II is “applied Wood Badge I.” Wood Badge II takes the skills learned in Wood Badge I and applies them against practical situations, with particular attention to basic outdoor and Volunteer-support skills.

Completing Wood Badge I has been a requirement for all Scouters, and it continues to be so. Wood Badge I was relatively easy to achieve because one could accomplish it on their own time through the eLearning package provided by Scouts Canada. Wood Badge II, however, required much more time and commitment: Scouters had to set aside a full week, or consecutive weekends, in order to complete the training which was done at Scouting retreats. As you can imagine, this meant that the number of Scouters who had accomplished Wood Badge I was very high, but by comparison those who had achieved Wood Badge II was quite low.

With the implementation of The Canadian Path, Scouts Canada has revised Wood Badge II training to remove the barriers that the time commitment of the previous training model created. Rather than requiring trainees to book time away from their busy schedules, families, and Scouting Groups to complete the training, the new model maps Wood Badge II over The Canadian Path. This makes it a self-directed program that can be completed at the trainee’s convenience, while continuing to offer the opportunity to learn “applied Wood Badge I skills.”

The new Wood Badge II training uses 26 Scouter Development Cards that are available in the Wood Badge II Guide for Section Scouters that is available through the link at the end of this article. Each card has been designed by Scouts Canada to focus on and provide resources for a specific skill relating to Outdoor Skills, Program Facilitation, and Volunteer Support. The basic anatomy of each card includes a description, learning objectives, Plan-Do-Review guidelines, safety notes, online resources, and tips and tricks. Scouters use these Development Cards for self-directed learning using the following eight steps:

  1. Choose a Wood Badge II Support Scouter
  2. Review the Scouter Development Cards and conduct a self-assessment
  3. Select any number of Scouter Development Cards
  4. Review the Learning Objectives of the cards you have chosen with your Support Scouter
  5. Create and implement a plan over the next program cycle
  6. Review your progress with your Support Scouter at the end of the program cycle
  7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 until you have completed all the Scouter Development Cards
  8. Submit your Wood Badge II application to your Council

As you can see, the new model of training is entirely self directed, although you will want to find a good Support Scouter to work with through your training. And important thing to keep in mind, however, is that the Support Scouter is not responsible for your training. They can provide feedback, are available to discuss and review your activities, and provide resources you may need to complete your Wood Badge II training. But the training is self-directed: it is your responsibility to complete everything necessary. That said, Support Scouters must meet Scouts Canada’s Volunteer screening requirements and must have completed their Wood Badge I training as well. So you can’t just pick anyone. It is also an excellent idea to have a good working relationship with whomever you pick as your Support Scouter. You should also make sure that your choice for Support Scouter has the time to work with you on the Wood Badge II program.

With the introduction of The Canadian Path, our Youth are expected, with support, to become more self-directed and take on more leadership roles as a result. But it shouldn’t stop at our Youth. Scouters should also be expected to take responsibility for their own learning and training as well. The updated Wood Badge II training reflects The Canadian Path to allow you to work with a Support Scouter and complete your training on your own time. Scouts Canada is excited about these changes, as it offers a greater opportunity for Scouters to obtain their Wood Badge II certification. For more detailed information regarding the new Wood Badge II training, you can Scouts.ca/WB2 and download guides both for Section Scouters and Support Scouters. Or you can contact our National Learning & Development Team Lead, Ross Benton, at ross.benton@scouts.ca.

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Scouting Life: 26th Halifax Scouts Win Engineering Design Competition

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog http://www.scoutinglife.ca/2017/05/26th-halifax-scouts-win-engineering-design-competition/ by Jeff Schroeder

This year, the 26th Halifax Scout Troop in Nova Scotia took part in the Junior High Engineering Design Competition hosted by Engineering Nova Scotia. It was a fun and challenging afternoon, and it presented those who took part with an opportunity to be creative around current issues of climate change, and to design and engineer a safer and more resilient environment to live in. And I’m very pleased to announce that through the hard work and creative spirit of our Scouts, a team from the 26th took home first prize for their design.

The event took place at the Central Halifax Library on the 25th of March 2017, and it was a city-wide competition open to junior high aged youth. The teams that entered were given only vague details about the parameters of their design projects prior to the competition. Everyone knew that the theme of the competition had something to do with climate change, but that’s about it. Each team was given the parameters of what they were to design and engineer at the start of the competition, and everyone had an hour to complete their design.

The main idea was to build something (what that was wasn’t specified, it could be anything) that would prevent toxic waste from spilling out of a container during an earthquake. The toxic waste was represented during the competition by coloured water, and the container was represented by a cup. The teams were not allowed to cover the top of the cup as part of their design, and the top of the copy had to be at least 10cm above the surface of the table. Teams were also provided with a variety of materials they could incorporate into their design: elastic bands, BBQ skewers, tape, string, popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners.  Each item provided was priced, and the teams were limited to a total budget of $150.  For instance, a popsicle stick would set the teams back $10, so you had to be “wise in the use of resources.”

26th Halifax Scout Group

At the end of the allotted hour, the designs were tested using an earthquake simulator provided by the organizers, and the designs were judged on their ability to keep the “toxic waste” from spilling, as well as taking into account the overall cost of the design and the team’s presentation (sales pitch) of their design.

As a Scouter, I was proud of our Scouts.  They understood the problem, worked together well as a team, and got a functional design working in an hour, under budget. In relation to the overall turnout for the event, this in and of itself was an accomplishment: most other teams weren’t able to complete their designs.

Our Scouts created a design that came out as a tripod – something our Scouts have built in real life at camps – so in many ways Scouting gave them the basis for a good STEM design. Our Scouts have also had some prior experience with design and build. As a Troop we have made really good use of the “Let’s Talk Science” outreach program offered by Dalhousie University (letstalkscience.ca). So pioneering, combined with some design/build experiences as well as some fine teamwork served our Scouts well. In addition to this, Ryan Greene, who was one of the Scouts on the team, is a National Youth Spokesperson. He did a great job “selling” the design to the judges. Yet another place where participation in Scouting helped.

26th Halifax Scout Group

We all had a great time and a ton of fun. Through the great work of our Scouts we received $100 towards our CJ’17 fund for winning. I’d encourage everyone in Nova Scotia to consider checking out future events hosted by Engineering Nova Scotia. They host events during March, which is National Engineering Month. Maybe we’ll see you next year at the Design Competition!

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Fill out a Survey for STEM for a chance to Win!

It has been almost 4 years since Scouts Canada’s STEM program was launched at the Canadian Jamboree 2013 in Alberta. Over the past 4 years, the STEM team volunteers and staff have worked hard to create fun and exciting resources and opportunities for Scouting youth: Trail Cards and STEM kits that helps youth better experiment with the natural connections between Scouting and STEM and STEM station at various national and provincial Jamborees.

Now we need our Scouters’ feedback to see how the program is working and what we can do to make it better. Whether they are a STEM guru in their Scouting world, or have never heard of the program before; Whether they have used Scouts Canada’s STEM resources, or are hearing about them for the first time, we want to hear from them. And we want to ask you to promote the survey so that we can get as many responses as possible. Please distribute this link to the Scouters you work with and ask them to share their thoughts and feedback:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P6XFNV5

As an added bonus, if they fill out the survey before May 7th, they will be entered into a draw to win a $50 Scout shop gift card. So there’s really no reason not to do it!

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!

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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.

img_4759

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?

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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.