18 February 2013
What Scouting Means to Me
This week is Scout – Guide Week with Founder's Day on Friday, February 22nd. This is a time that we can and should set aside to think about what Scouting means to you. How has it influenced who you are and who your youth are. I have learned many valuable lessons in scouting like “Paddle your own canoe” with its various meanings like taking charge of who you are, standing up for yourself and being responsible. Also, “You get what you get so don’t get upset.” This was from a Scouts Own and it gave all of us a moment to reflect on what we all have and how fortunate we are. It also sent the message to use the resources that we all have been given. We all have talents and we can use them in so many ways. Sometimes we just have to figure out what we have.
Here’s my list or “What Scouting Means to Me.
- Friendship: my best friends are Scouters. I’m always meeting and making new friends. The friendship that you see within groups. Youth who have become life long friends.
- Loyalty: sticking by those friends through good times and the not so good times.
- Compassion: reaching out to others – Helping other people at all times.
- Duty: a sense of responsibility to our community.
- Laughter: I laugh more at scouting events than anywhere else. Sometimes we laugh until our sides hurt.
- Camping: getting out an enjoying the experience
- Outdoors: the ability to be out there.
- Campfires: the magic. Being able just to sit and enjoy the warmth of the fire and those around me. Enjoying all that comes with a campfire.
- Songs: all the songs, action, silly, quiet, sung by everyone.
- Skits: always love a good skit.
- Yells: how clever they can be.
- Area Camps: the chance to be part of a Beaveree, Wolf Howl, Scout Challenge camp to see youth working with youth in a large setting.
- Training: it’s what makes us better Scouters to improve our programs. Learning: learning from other Scouters, new tricks. Learning from Scouts and seeing things from a fresh perspective. Learning by doing.
- Sharing: not just for Beavers. Sharing experiences.
- Being prepared: being ready for whatever comes up.
- Skills: learning and honing skills, developing, growing, understanding.
- Smiles: one smile from a youth member at a camp is worth it all.
- Games: I’m still learning. I need new ones.
- Crafts: The creative nature of our youth and leaders, it’s amazing what you can make from almost nothing.
- Projects: all projects, camp projects, community projects, things that show who we are as Scouts and what we do for our communities.
- Confidence: the confidence that one has to be able to speak freely in a Scout setting, to be heard and respected for their thoughts. The confidence that is developed and exhibited by all Scouts as they progress from Beavers to Rovers. The confidence to take on leadership roles at all levels. The confidence of all our leaders.
- Responsibility: taking on new responsibilities and being responsible for our actions.
- Programs: the amazing programs that we have and that are delivered week in and week out by dedicated volunteers and enjoyed by the youth.
- Youth leadership: a truly amazing thing to see and very much respected.
- Knots: what would scouting be without knots? Velcro? I don’t think so.
- Cooking: how to prepare a gourmet dinner on a single burner stove.
- Service: I am in awe of the service that is provided to our youth and our community.
- Commitment: the commitment of leaders.
I’m not sure if this is what BP had in mind when he conceived the notion of Scouting. For over a hundred years Scouting has been providing a place to learn, grow and lead. So give yourself some time this week and throughout the year to think about what Scouting means to you.
Yours In Scouting
17 July 2012
Volunteer Training Requirements for September
It’s been a busy two months since taking over as Area Commissioner. Much has happened on the Scouting front. We are all aware of the KPMG report and if you haven’t had a chance to go through it I encourage you to do so. Even prior to the publication of the report Scouts Canada was working on a new Child and Youth Safety Policy, which affects how we are to do business from now on. Please take the time to review and become familiar with the material that can be found on the following web sites: Child and Youth Safety Update - June 2012 and Child and Youth Safety.
Some of the critical points that I would like to emphasize here are the mandatory training and the training deadlines that are before us. Please note that these are not an option. As outlined in the recent Child and Youth Safety update, the following are updates to Scouts Canada’s policies:
- All members, 18 of age and older, require consistent screening; this is a change for Rover Scouts and BP Guild members.
- All members under the age of 18 acting in a position of trust (e.g. Camp Helper, SIT, AL, CYC, AYC) must go through the same screening as adult screening with the exception of the police records check requirement.
- Mandatory training has been added to the registration process.
- All members (including new members): Child and Youth Safety Training, Accessibility Training and Module 1 of Wood Badge Part 1 must be completed by all Rover Scouts and Scouters prior to registration.
- Renewing members: Wood Badge 1 training must be completed by all prior to renewal of membership (grace period until December 31, 2012).
- All Scouters must review and certify their acceptance of the Scouts Canada Code of Conduct.
- As of September 1st 2012, no pending member can participate in Scouting programs or wear the Scouts Canada uniform without first completing all steps of registration and screening.
The training can be found online at MyScouts.ca. The CYS Training takes just over an hour to complete. At the time of writing this I still have not taken the Accessibility Training so I can’t comment on the time it takes. So the same applies to me – get it done. The Training and Area Team will be available to assist groups and individual who need help in getting through all this. Yes, I know that this is a lot to dump on everyone over the summer. I will be available through the latter part of July and beginning of August for presentations and training. Please let me know if you need help.
As with any large change there will be bumps in the road but we will get it all smoothed out to be able to do what we do best and that is deliver a fun, adventurous program for youth in our area.
Yours in Scouting