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

Scouts Canada

1 2 3 16

Scouting Life: Start Dreaming Up Your Summer Adventures!

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog

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

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.


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.

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

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.

Scouting Life: Join Scouts Canada EnvironMentality Fundraising Initiative

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog


For the better part of ten years, Scouts Canada and Sears Canada have joined forced to promote Scouts Canada’s environmental initiatives and youth programming through in-store fundraising events. Previously known as “Eco-Scouts”, EnvironMentality is Scouts Canada’s new and improved environmental stewardship program. For a two-week period, Sears Canada allows Groups to promote Scouting and fundraise in local Sears stores through a point of sale program that benefits Scouts Canada’s environmental initiatives.

This year, from April 13th-26th cashiers at Sears stores across Canada will be asking customers to make a $1 donation to support Scouts Canada. These funds will help us to deliver our environmental programs to Groups across the country.

Sears Canada is highly conscious of their environmental impact and they are excited to aid Scouts in their fundraising endeavors to deliver quality and well-rounded outdoor programming. Groups can raise funds for items like: Scoutrees, shore line cleanups, community gardening and clean-up costs, and environmental education programs.

On Saturday, April 15th and Saturday April 22nd, Sears is inviting local Groups from across Canada into their stores to set up informative booths and displays. At the same time, local Groups will have the opportunity to collect donations from Sears’ customers, which will be allocated towards environmental initiatives. Scouts should use this time as an opportunity to showcase Scouting activities and programs, promote the organization and fundraise.

Each Group is responsible for coordinating the day and time they would like to fundraise at their local Sears store. Scouting Groups will be allowed to take the money they raise with them, ensuring the majority of the funds go directly to the Group’s environmental initiatives.

Whether you chose to raise funds by hosting a BBQ and selling hot dogs and hamburgers, or plan to sell baked goods, it’s sure to be a success – so start planning today!

For more information on Scouts Canada’s EnvironMentality and Sears partnership, contact

Contest – Design the Official CEC CJ17 Badge

To one and all.

Do you have an Artists soul? Do you want one of your creations to be immortal? Do you want to be able to say with authority “I made that”?

We will be running a contest to create the Official CEC CJ17 badge. A panel of judges will be making the choice. The winner will be given 25 special bordered crests of their design.

Now the details:
1. Contest is open until midnight March 30 2017. Winner will announced April 6th 2017
2. All entries become the property of Scouts Canada.
3. Open to all Central Escarpment Council members of Scouts Canada.
4. Please send all submissions to
5. Design may be modified for colours and size for the official badge.

Good luck to one and all!

Scouting Life: 5 Reasons Volunteering with Younger Sections Can Help You Grow

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog

What comes to mind when you think about volunteering with Beavers and Cubs? While at first glance it may seem like glorified daycare, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye – and I mean a lot more.

  1. The Happiness Effect: Let’s start with the obvious. There are many studies that examine the relationship between helping others and being happy. It has been proven that the more people volunteer, the happier they are. Beaver and Cub Scouts is all about having fun, so as a Volunteer you have a guaranteed 1.5 hours a week of facilitating those fun adventures and making yourself happier in general.
  2. Leadership Ability: When you’re volunteering with younger Sections, you’re responsible for managing people. Not a lot of teenagers get to say they’ve been in that position and it will come in handy for the rest of your life, guaranteed. When you’re putting together your resume, make sure to include details of your management experience as a Scouter. For example, as a Scouter with Beaver and Cub Scouts you facilitate program, manage the behaviour of the youth in your Section, and support leadership team meetings. This is sure to get a hiring manager’s attention. The University of British Columbia recently released their rubric for broad-based admission and it noted, specifically, a preference for applicants who have been in leadership positions and can give examples of situations where they demonstrated leadership ability. Volunteering with younger Sections will give you endless examples of your leadership abilities for essays and interviews, setting you apart from the crowd of applicants.
  3. Getting out of Your Comfort Zone: You’ll occasionally be asked to do things you’ve never done before like gathering a group of twenty Beavers or comforting a Cub having an panic attack. Many of these situations will provide you with life skills to call upon in the future and the opportunity to learn things you may not have otherwise. If you have trouble with public speaking or are shy in general, this is a great way to start building your confidence.
  4. Continuous Learning: This is a very important ‘transferable skill’ you will use in higher education and/or your job. We are living in the Information Age where all industries are in a constant state of development and almost everyone has access to the internet. If you’re not in the habit of continuously updating your skills you will always be replaceable, so it’s a good idea to start accumulating knowledge and experience as early as you can.
  5. Networking: This final reason isn’t very obvious. I mean, sure, part of volunteering with Scouts Canada is the sense of community and the opportunity to make friends, but in the younger Sections you are also showing the parents of these kids what you are capable of. You may begin by getting babysitting or lawn-mowing jobs, but one day you might happen to know the CEO of the firm where you would like to secure a co-op placement or a job because his or her child was in your Section. People pay money to get these kind of opportunities – to get to know accomplished people and acquire a mentor – and you’re getting these opportunities every week while you showcase your skills.

Interested? Talk to your Group Commissioner and find out which Section needs you – they’ll be happy to have the extra help and you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour!

The post 5 Reasons Volunteering with Younger Sections Can Help You Grow appeared first on Scouting Life.

What does BP mean to you?

As written by Deanna Di Vito, Youth Spokesperson for Central Escarpment Council.

What does Baden-Powell mean to me? This question is one that crosses my mind every February as we approach Scout-Guide week. Every year, I take advantage of the opportunity to reflect on how Baden-Powell has affected my life and changed me for the better.

Scouts are about developing the whole person, being happy, enjoying life, and leaving the world in a little better shape than when we found it. Thanks to Baden-Powell, the Scouting movement is strong across the world and has had a hand in developing many world leaders. Alas, I’m not a world leader (yet), but Scouts has taught me much about myself and how I can make an impact in the world. Still, this doesn’t answer the question of what BP means me to me.

In simple words, BP is opportunity, growth, adventure, fun, and friendship. Baden-Powell and the program he created showed me what it is like to have friends across the country, and across the world. I know that no matter where I go, and regardless of whatever language barrier may exist, I will be able to find a Scout group and connect with them, making friendships that will last a lifetime. He also demonstrated the role that fun and enjoyment play in learning and growing. Scouts provide the opportunity for growth and learning but do so in such a way that every individual has fun and enjoys themselves. I do not think I would have gained as much from the program if it had been strictly regimented and did not give me the chance to explore, make mistakes, and go on adventures with friends. Furthermore, Scouts is about adventure. I have travelled on many trails, portages, and lakes, and ventured into unknown territory seeking adventure and new experiences. The outdoor skills and knowledge I gained from the Scouting program have helped me to plan and execute these trips with a team of youth, and by myself. Lastly, BP is growth and opportunity. Thanks to Scouts Canada, I have had the opportunity to become a Youth Spokesperson and the Central Escarpment Council Youth Commissioner (CYC). I love both these roles for different reasons. Being a Youth Spokesperson allows me to talk about my love for Scouting and its various initiatives over different mediums, and this has helped me develop and refine my communication skills. On the other hand, being a CYC allows me to connect with youth from across my Council and support them in their endeavours to ensure that they are having the experience they want. Developing meaningful relationships with youth helps me see the impact that BP is having in other lives.

Thank you, Baden-Powell, for helping me to grow, teaching me how to have fun while learning, and giving me many new friendships. You have taught me some ways that I can leave the world a little better than when I found it, and by participating in and giving back to the Scouting program, I hope that I’m doing just that.


Scouting Life: ScoutSafe App — Helping our Scouting youth stay safe

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog

At Scouts Canada our mission is clear: To help develop well-rounded youth, better prepared for success in the world. In order for us to achieve our mission, we must provide a safe environment for our youth members to grow and flourish. Safety is not only part of what we do, but a part of who we are as an organization.

As the largest youth serving organization in Canada, we hold ourselves to the highest standards when it comes to youth safety and culture. We have taken strides to be at the forefront of youth safety in Canada, and we have developed strategic safety partnerships that help us deliver best-in-class safety training to our members.

As part of Scouts Canada’s Safety Leadership priority, we are pleased to introduce a new resource to our safety program. ‘ScoutSafe’ is Scouts Canada’s new Incident Reporting App and electronic management system. Scouts Canada will be the first youth serving organization in Canada to apply this type of technology towards providing a safer environment for youth and Volunteers.

For me, the best part of ScoutSafe is how excited our youth and Youth Commissioners are about the App. They love the idea of having fun adventures, while staying safe.

Caitlyn Piton, National Youth Commissioner

The ScoutSafe App will make it easier for Scouters, parents and youth to report safety incidents as they happen, enabling our Safe Scouting team to respond to incidents in a more timely and proactive manner. ScoutSafe will not only help with incident reporting, but it will also help Scouts Canada maintain safer facilities for our youth members and Volunteers to enjoy.

The Scout Safe incident reporting app is a welcome step-forward that addresses the need for real-time reporting and further enhances our ability to learn from incidents.

Mark Little, Chinook Council Commissioner

ScoutSafe is available for download on both Android and iOS devices. As a Volunteer, parent, youth or staff member, you can join us in achieving our Safety mission by downloading the App to your smartphone or tablet. Simply click the icon below to download your free version:

Please note: ScoutSafe is an addition to the already existing reporting methods that include email, fax, and direct mail, which will continue to operate as usual.

To find out more about Scouts Canada and Safety, please visit:



The post ScoutSafe App — Helping our Scouting youth stay safe appeared first on Scouting Life.

Scouting Life: Canadian Path – Planning my Winter Cycle

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog

If you haven’t done so already, planning for 2017 with your Section can be an amazing fresh start to the New Year! New ideas, new goals and new adventures for you and your Group to explore. Start with the winter cycle and make planning for it fun and exciting for your whole Group. In Scouts Canada’s Program Quality guide, it states a Venturer Company should have 1 outdoor meeting per month, 2 outings / events, 2 leadership meetings and 1 Program Quality Standard assessment. This may sound overwhelming at first, but it is only a guide to help you get you started. Below are some tips and tricks I would recommend to get you on your Path to planning your winter cycle.

In order to make the planning and leadership meetings fun, create a game out of planning your next cycle. On a small piece of paper, put all of your ideas down and throw them into a container (e.g. snowshoeing, skiing, providing food for the homeless). Next, have members of your Group play a game of charades with the ideas! After that, discuss with them and see which activities your Group can accomplish, keeping in mind the Program Quality guide.

Another trick to planning for the next cycle is doing it ahead of time. Camps don’t plan themselves (even though I am sure we all wish they did), so make sure your Group is ahead of the schedule. Allocate the amount of time it will take to accomplish the goal, and create an Expedition Team for each of the outings. In my Group, we have 6 Expedition Teams planning events we are attending or want to attend. Some of the events are happening in the coming year, and others in the future. This makes it super easy for parents to find a contact person to talk to the events about, and getting the youth ready to have their adventures.

Make great use of the cycle you have and take advantage of the weather and everything around!

The last tip to planning for the winter cycle is to do things you can only do in the winter. Anyone can go to the movies at any time of year, or go bowling, but you can only go snowshoeing, tubing or sledding in the winter! Make great use of the cycle you have and take advantage of the weather and everything around!

My company planned out our winter cycle in November 2016. We made sure to follow Scouts Canada’s Program Quality guide and assigned Expedition Teams towards each of the events we wanted to go on. We planned two camps, three outdoor trips, and five outdoor meetings for the winter cycle. Our first winter camp just happened, and we had a blast! We rented out a cabin in the mountain, played cards and went snowshoeing. It is the winter adventures and memories that make the winter my favourite cycle of the year.

The post Canadian Path – Planning my Winter Cycle appeared first on Scouting Life.

Scouting Life: Why I love Winter Camping

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog by Shakil Jessa, National Youth Spokesperson.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for a lot of people, including many Scouts from across Canada who enjoy freezing themselves out in nature in the cold winter months.

The first experience of winter camping that I had was when I was only 11 years old. My parents wrapped me in so many layers and packed so much equipment to ensure I wasn’t cold. In the end, I didn’t use half the gear I packed and it helped me learn for next time the most important things to pack… one of them being a sled, which is essential in order to have the most amount of fun on a snowy hill. Our tent was buried in snow and the next morning we had to shovel it out.

While shovelling snow was a great exercise for us, some of the best activities to do in the snow are snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, tubing, sledding, or having a snowman building contest. While it may be untraditional, during camping trips our Scouting Group loves to take photos. We do photography courses before our trips, get our cameras ready and go out for a couple of hours and shoot some pictures. Pictures are amazing was of recreating memories and it is a great hobby to get into. Whatever you and your friends decide to do in the snow, I guarantee you it will create long-lasting memories, because for me it sure did.

Lastly, the best thing to do while camping in the snow is definitely staying warm. While it may be hard to stay warm in a freezing snow fort, you can make it fun to stay warm. Keeping everyone active by having running races or playing team building games in the snow. Drinking hot chocolate or coffee can keep anyone nice and toasty on the inside, and don’t forget to bring some firewood! Just because it is snowing doesn’t mean you can’t have a fire! Something I’ve learned while camping, especially in snow, is to bring a wheelbarrow to make the fire in.

Getting outside across our amazing country is a great way to celebrate winter, so get out there and have an adventure!

While winter is the most wonderful time of the year, it is also the coldest, so make sure you and your friends are all bundled up for the cold. Getting outside across our amazing country is a great way to celebrate winter, so get out there and have an adventure!

Winter Camping

The post Why I love Winter Camping appeared first on Scouting Life.

1 2 3 16