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

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Scouting Life: No Campsite, No Trails? No Problem!

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog http://www.scoutinglife.ca/2017/06/no-campsite-no-trails-no-problem/ by Jeff Schroeder

I take a deep breath, and enjoy the fresh air as it passes into my lungs. I look around…I see the grass, the trees, and a bird flying from one tree to the next. Where am I? It might surprise you to hear that I am taking a walk around my neighbourhood.

Summer is a time when everyone wants to be outdoors. The great weather, the time off…it’s the perfect opportunity to go camping and hiking, or simply just enjoy the outdoors. But what if you don’t have access to these spaces?

That’s where I come in! Don’t fret, there are still many ways to connect with nature (even when you’re in the middle of a city). And if you’re not in the middle of the city, these tips can help you feel closer to the nature that’s right in your backyard.

Deanna Divito — Youth Spokesperson

#1: Channel your inner youth and visit a neighbourhood park or playground. Chances are you need to walk to this area, meaning you get some fresh air and new views. Once you’re there, why not have some fun and play on the playground? I promise, it never gets old.

#2: Take a walk on the wild side and go out at night instead of during the day. Once the temperatures start increasing, it can be a little hot to be outside in the daylight. Why not beat the heat and go for a night hike in your neighbourhood? See if you can find the moon or the stars (or maybe a passing airplane or satellite, if you’re lucky).

#3: Cultivate your green thumb by planting flowers, fruits, or vegetables. Pick your favourite, and get started by planting them inside your house. Move them outdoors when they grow just a wee bit bigger. No backyard? No problem! There are many plants that can be grown on balconies (one example is tomatoes. But feel free to do some research to discover the other plants you can grow!).

#4: Did someone say picnic? Take your lunch break outside one day, or grab some friends and food, and head to a nearby park for lunch one weekend. Think about it: friends, food, and fresh air… I know what I’m doing this upcoming weekend!

#5: Take your workout out of the gym and into the outdoors. Sometimes a change of scenery and some vitamin D can be refreshing and keep you motivated. Added bonus? You don’t have to wait for workout machines! Try it out sometime this summer, and who knows, you might enjoy exercising a little bit more than usual.

#6: Grab a pencil and a notebook, and observe the world around you. Contemplate why trees are green, or why you find that one flower so pretty. Try your hand at drawing, doodling, or journaling about what’s around you. Taking that step back from what’s happening in your life and reconnecting with nature can leave you refreshed and ready to face whatever happens next.

Summer time is truly a great time for adventures in the outdoors. Make sure to spend some time this summer finding nature in your own backyard.

And hey, if you try something on this list, or you have a great experience outdoors, share it on social media with the hashtag #FindYourNature and #ScoutsDoStuff. Tell us what your nature is.

Right now, my nature is having a picnic, so I’ll catch up with you after lunch!

The post No Campsite, No Trails? No Problem! appeared first on Scouting Life.

Scouting Life: Bug Bites and Stings

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog http://www.scoutinglife.ca/2017/06/bug-bites-stings/ by Jayne Robertson

Scouts and Scouters like to be able to identify wildlife big and small when on adventures, but bugs can sometimes be more than simply annoying – they can pose real risks to our health and wellbeing. There are a number of bugs we might encounter that are hazardous, and it’s important to know how to avoid them.

Mosquitoes are all too familiar to Canadians. Mosquitoes can be more than simply aggravating. They can also carry West Nile virus, and too many bites can cause a dangerous allergic reaction. Wear long sleeves and bug repellant to deter mosquitoes when they’re out, especially around dusk.

Head Lice are tiny, tawny wingless insects that make their homes on people’s heads, living off human blood. Avoid head lice by not sharing hats or pillows. Keep your head apart from your friends’ – a little space when taking a selfie can make a big difference! Head lice will not go away without treatment, so visit a pharmacy for a special shampoo if you get lice.

Leeches usually aren’t dangerous, but they can carry disease. Leeches are usually found in warm, shallow, swampy water – which is just the habitat for all kinds of pathogens. A harmless-seeming bite can pose a risk. Remove leeches using a flat, blunt object (like the back of a knife) and then clean any wounds thoroughly.

Bees are found throughout Canada, and they play an important role in pollinating plants. Watch out for bees when you’re around flowers. If stung, clean the sting and remove the stinger with tweezers. Apply a cold compress. Some people are allergic to bees; an EpiPen could be a true lifesaver.

Ticks are tiny bugs that live off the blood of mammals and birds. Ticks are typically found in grassy, wooded areas or along shorelines and in parks – all the places Scouts like to go! To feed, ticks stick their heads into the skin of a host’s body and can remain there up to five days drinking blood. Ticks are known for spreading disease, like Lyme disease. If you have a tick, remove it carefully and deliberately with tweezers. To learn more, check out the safety tip all about ticks.

Wasps are stinging, flying insects (like bees), and you need to watch out for them. Hornets are part of the wasp family. If stung, clean the sting. Apply a cold compress. Some people are allergic to stings, and should use an EpiPen to prevent a life-threatening allergic shock

Spiders, though not insects, are often considered pests – even though they prey on insects that can be far more annoying, and even more dangerous. Spiders in Canada rarely bite, and they do not convey disease. Black widow spiders – which have a red hourglass marking on the stomach – are rare but present in Canada, and they are venomous. If bitten, remain calm. Apply an ice pack and seek medical attention. You can learn more about spiders in Canada at healthycanadians.gc.ca.

The post Bug Bites and Stings appeared first on Scouting Life.

Scouting Life: Does Lyme Disease Tick You Off? Me too!

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog http://www.scoutinglife.ca/2017/06/lyme-disease-tick-off/ by Jeff Schroeder

Read here for prevention and treatment information

This year, as part of your preparations for summer adventures, make sure your Group includes a review of tick bite prevention, and takes the time to discuss Lyme disease. Ticks are a serious issue! Since we spend so much time outdoors on our adventures, there’s a good chance that we will be in areas where ticks live. Ticks can be found all across Canada, and their populations are becoming increasingly infected with bacteria called Borellia bergdorferi, which is what causes Lyme disease. And the ticks that can carry the disease are tiny — about the size of a poppy seed!

Here are a few tips that will keep you bite-free this summer:

  1. Wear boots so that you can tuck your pants into them. This will prevent ticks from climbing up your legs. For added protection you can spray whatever footwear you’re wearing with a 0.5% permethrin insecticide once a month.
  2. Spritz your clothes with the same permethrin spray. Remember though, that these clothes should be laundered separately — the spray can come off in the wash and mix with other clothing and you don’t want it on your everyday clothes, especially your underwear!
  3. Use a 20 to 30 percent DEET repellant on exposed skin. Look for one that has an EPA registration number, which means that there is information available on its effectiveness against ticks.
  4. Once you are home from your adventure, make sure that you wash the clothes you took with you in hot water, and then tumble dry on high heat for 60 minutes. The heat will kill any ticks that happen to be hanging out on your clothing. Don’t just throw your clothes into the hamper as any ticks on them could potentially cause problems for you or others in your household later.

Ticks especially enjoy grassy wooded areas and shorelines, so be extra cautious when taking your Group on a summer hike or a canoe trip.

If you are bitten by a tick, don’t panic! Not all ticks carry Lyme disease and it can take up to 36 hours for any bacterial infection to transfer. However, you will want to deal with the situation as quickly as possible. Here are the steps you need to know in order to remove them:

  1. Pointed Tweezers: You’ll want to have a pair of these in your kit. Household tweezers (which have flat ends) are less effective because ticks are tiny, and there are increased chances of tearing the tick.
  2. Disinfect the Area: Use rubbing alcohol to disinfect the tick-bite.
  3. Grab the Tick: Using a pointed tweezer, you should be able to grab the tick’s head or grab it directly above the head.
  4. Pull Out Tick: Once you’ve firmly grabbed the tick’s head with the tweezers, pull the tick straight out with a slow steady motion. Note that you should not be concerned if the head breaks off and remains attached to the skin, as disease transmission is impossible without the tick’s body.
  5. Disinfect Again: Once the tick is removed, disinfect the area again using rubbing alcohol.

Don’t buy into the myth that ticks can only be found in rural parts of Canada. You may even encounter them while on your urban Scouting adventures in areas such as parks and local greenspace.

TREATING LYME DISEASE

Early detection of Lyme Disease is important, but this can be tricky because symptoms can sometimes take weeks or even months to appear. So if you think you may have been exposed to the bacteria through a tick bite, or you experience symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away. Here are symptoms you should pay attention to:

  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Numbness in face or limbs
  • Nausea
  • Jaw Pain
  • Burning Sensations
  • Light sensitivity
  • Red eyes
  • Muscle aches
  • Neck stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing or getting air
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle twitching
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes

If you are experiencing a combination of these symptoms after exposure to ticks-bites, seek medical attention immediately! Early stage Lyme Disease can be treated with antibiotics, and the longer you wait to seek treatment, the harder it is to treat.

As I’m sure you’ve heard, tick populations this year are on the rise, and with that comes the rise in cases of Lyme Disease. It is important to remember that not every tick bite that takes place will result in a case Lyme Disease, but it is equally important to take precautions against ticks whenever possible. Continue to educate your Group and review tick and tick removal practices to help keep your adventures safe and fun.

As we always say, “Be Prepared.”

Source: TickEncounter.org

The post Does Lyme Disease Tick You Off? Me too! appeared first on Scouting Life.

CEC Summer Nights 2017

Join us for a Summer Night at one of our CEC Scout Camps

Who: Active Scouts and their Immediate Family

Where:

Camp Everton

Wednesday

July 12, 2017

Blue Springs Scout Reserve

Wednesday

July 26, 2017

Camp Manitou

Wednesday

August 23, 2017

Time(s): About 7:00PM until dusk 9:00PM /dark 9:30P

Events: Arrive / Greet >> Hike / Activity(s) >> Campfire >> Mug Up* >> STEM star/ moon viewing

* Bring own mug (We’re leave no trace) & refreshment

Cost: Free (Yes, No charge)

Let us know you are coming @ cec_marketing@scouter.ca Info only NO REPLY(S)

Weather Permiting

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.

The post Woodbadge II on the Canadian Path appeared first on Scouting Life.

Scouting Life: To do a Good Turn Every Day…

This was originally posted on the Scouting Life blog http://www.scoutinglife.ca/2017/05/to-do-a-good-turn-every-day/ by Jayne Robertson

A recap of the projects and power of Good Turn Week 2017

The first question I am asked in every interview and conversation about Good Turn Week is always “what is a good turn and what does it look like?” To address this query, I find it is easiest to simply point to the projects envisioned and brought to life by the Youth of Scouts Canada during Good Turn Week. Across Canada, from April 29th – May 7th, 2017, these projects not only strived to make the world a better place through small acts of kindness, but creatively and generously made a positive lasting impact on their communities.

Throughout Good Turn Week, Scouting Youth were encouraged to put their heads together and come up with ideas for good turns that would set an example for their communities. The Youth answered this challenge enthusiastically, initiating a range of projects that helped the homeless, the environment, less fortunate youth, and addressed many other issues our society faces.

Since the implementation of the Canadian Path has encouraged Scouters to foster a more youth-led program, many of the Good Turn Week projects were driven by Scouting participants and address what they see as an act of kindness in our modern world. With that in mind, it is awesome to see the generous and compassionate spirits of the Youth reflected in their planning and project choices, some of which were truly remarkable.

One of these fantastic projects was the Scouts’ Knit-a-Thon for those in need, which took place in Mississauga on April 30th. This initiative was created by a 1st Sandalwood Cub Scout who wanted to see her Group knit 100 scarves for people in their community in need of warm winter clothes. This was a unique and exciting project which highlights the growing youth awareness of homelessness and poverty fostered by Good Turn Week’s many events.

Another project that addressed the less fortunate in our communities was the Youth-to-Youth Caring Project, which was constructed by the 215th Strathcona’s Cub pack “A”, and was specifically centred on having the Cubs themselves build care packages to be distributed to less fortunate kids. The Cubs decided which issue they wanted to deal with and child poverty was their number one concern. I had the benefit of working with this Group and I know first hand how enthusiastic the Scouters and Youth were about this project. It was led by the Cubs from beginning to end, and the care packages they constructed will certainly make a difference in the lives of several young people in their city.

Some groups decided to work on helping not just other people, but the four-legged members of their community as well. The 23rd Elsie Roy Scout Group did this by having each section create care packages for their local pet foodbank, Charlie’s Foodbank. Donations included toys, food, and treats for dogs, cats, and other small animals whose humans need a little help to get them the things they need.

Other groups decided to go a different route and look at issues around the environment. One of these events was the Bee Houses for St. Albert. The entire 2nd St. Albert Scout Group implemented this initiative that built bee houses to improve the bee populations in their city and protect their local plant and insect life. It was led by all members of all ages. It was a large project that had all five sections working as a team to design, construct, and place the bee houses around the city.

These are only a few examples of the many Good Turn Week projects that took place across the country. To read about more of these inspiring Good Turn Week events, check out the website at Scouts.ca/goodturnweek, and social media platforms (#goodturnweek).

To really get a grasp on just how amazing the Good Turn Week events were this year, I would recommend that you look at the Scouts Canada Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages to see photographs and commentary on the projects. As Youth work on projects like tree planting and food drives, the smiles on the faces of Beavers, Cubs, and Scouts are bright and contagious.

Many of the good turns you can see include work with Scout Trees, our initiative to raise money and plant trees in deforested areas. The participation through Scout Trees is doubly powerful, as Youth can tackle tree planting and Good Turn Week at once, highlighting both projects in one big good turn towards the environment.

While the local Scout groups worked on individual projects, on a national level Scouts Canada worked tirelessly to promote these projects, emphasizing the fabulous job all the Youth and volunteers have done to make their good turns a success.  Youth Spokespeople helped with the promotions by giving interviews and working with programs to advertise the campaign, while creating their own regional good turn week initiatives.

Overall, Scouts Canada has really gone out of their way to make Good Turn Week 2017 something spectacular, spreading awareness on both a local and national stage. Through each act of kindness, the event instilled in Youth the drive to follow in the footsteps of Baden-Powell, who believed that we should all try to make the world a better place, one-step at a time.

The post To do a Good Turn Every Day… appeared first on Scouting Life.

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!

Bill Rice – Gone Home

We are saddened with the news today that Bill Rice, from Burlington Area, passed away this morning. A 35 year volunteer with Scouts Canada who was recently honoured with the Bar to the Silver Acorn and the Award of Fortitude for his battle with Cancer. Bill was a strong supporter and volunteer with The Canadian Blood Services and with Movember were Bill had raised over $30,000.00 to help with Men’s health issues.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Bill’s family.

Gone Home far to soon.

Sincerely,

Deanna DeVito – Central Escarpment Council Youth Commissioner
David Frederick – Central Escarpment Council Commissioner
Ian Foss- Executive Director Scouts Canada

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