Scouters 5 Posts

What makes Scouting Unique

WOSM Logo - a purple fluer de lis with two starts and circled with a rope tied with a reef knot.There are a large number of youth organizations – there’s no shortage of options of ways to enrich a youth’s life. When it comes to Scouting, we have a rich history of creating a youth program that focuses on developing leadership skills, gets kids outdoors, and is frankly a ton of fun. But, that’s not really anything special today. What makes Scouting unique? The Scout Method.
It took me several years to figure this out. Once I became a trainer with Scouts Canada, it clicked for me (this is almost a decade after becoming a Scouter). We use the Scout Method in delivering age-appropriate, non-formal educational programs for young people ages 5-26. This is accomplished by using:
  • The Scout Law and Promise
  • Learning by doing
  • The Team System (or Patrol System)
  • A symbolic framework
  • Nature
  • Personal Progression
  • Adult Support
The Scout Method in a circle

Scout Method, Scouts Canada – September 8, 2016

When to combine these, you get the essence of Scouting. This method was developed by WOSM (World Organization of the Scouting Movement). A few points from their document on the Scouting Movement about who our membership is:

  • A movement for young people, especially suited for adolescents
  • A movement of young people, supported by adults
  • Open to all
  • Voluntary
  • Non-political
  • Complementary to other forms of education
Everyone learns a little differently – and by using our method we help educate and give experiences that help develop well-rounded individuals. This also includes our volunteers. I know that from Scouting I have had the pleasure of learning a lot about the world, myself, and how to contribute to others.
The Scout Method is a system focused on progressive self-education. The intent is to help each of our young members develop their capacities and interested, building on what has already been gained; to find constructive ways of meeting needs at different stages of development; and to open doors to further stages of personal development at their own pace.
The Scout Method provides a way for how we develop naturally. It’s an environment that responds to their needs for action, challenge, and adventure. It’s a system to encourage exploration, experimentation, and discover exciting things offered in society. It’s a way to nurture our natural capacity for inventiveness and resourcefulness. It’s a way to let someone feel acknowledged, respected and appreciated as individuals. It’s a way to fill our need for close and supportive relationships. It’s a way to make sense of the world.
At the same time, the Scout Method offers a framework of life that channels our energy in a way that enables us to experience being autonomous, supportive, and responsible. It gets us to help each other to progressively develop our capacities in these directions in a holistic, balanced and attractive way.
The Scout Method offers a lot to our membership – no matter their walk in life. It’s a place where we are all equal and treated the same. That means your income doesn’t hinder your ability to participate, being of a different faith doesn’t exclude you, and if you have a disability or challenge in your life – you are still welcome and given a chance to grow.
That is the Scout Method and how Scouting is a unique organization that frankly should be experienced by everyone – no matter their age.
It’s also quite possible that the only part I think WOSM gets wrong is that it’s not just something for the youth to experience – it’s also for our volunteers. Without our volunteers learning, experiencing and embracing the Scout Method, they are unable to pass it onto the youth and encourage them to get the full experience of Scouting.

Campfire’s Burning, Draw Near

Since 2016, 23rd Elsie Roy Scout Group has been celebrating Founders Day/BP Day with an outdoor campfire. There’s nothing too special or unique about it, until you realize that it happens in Yaletown – part of the downtown area of Vancouver. The fire may be provided by a propane fire pit, but it’s as real as the group can get to keep it safe and meet the safety standards of the City of Vancouver Fire department.

How did this start? It’s all thanks to the Cub Scout Centennial. For that entire year, the Cub Pack did unique events and adventures every month to highlight what being a Cub has become. The campfire was a group level event hosted by the Cubs and it’s become an annual tradition.

It takes a lot of working with the city to have the event permit issued – about three different departments. Since 2016, it’s become significantly easier to navigate the permit process.

We have found that having this unique event helps our group stand out.

The Power of Eleven

On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, a war that shaped and rocked our society came to an end. Every year we gather, listen to our history, reflect on those who died, and remember. As a Scouter, I’m passionate about taking time to remember – not just WW1, but all wars.

Founders Day

A short 161 years ago in Paddington, UK – Lord Baden Powell entered the world. In his fiftieth year, Boy Scouts started, a worldwide organization that has helped, inspired, challenged, and I like to believe changed the lives of hundreds of thousands. I count myself lucky to be one of the individuals who has found a place within Scouts Canada to help carry on the vision.

Lest We Forget

After attending 2 of our local Remembrance Day Ceremonies, the youth concluded that they didn’t like it. They like the¬†concept, but not the act of doing it. Why? They couldn’t hear anything or see anything. Being in a city, our services are packed. I’ve honestly never actually heard anything being said at a service aside from the firing of the canon, jets over-head and the trumpets. I totally understood what my Cub Scouts were saying.

We asked the Howlers Council a difficult question: “Then what do we do next year?”

A moment of silence. Another moment. One of the newer Cubs started to say something but stopped, saying it was stupid. Another one of the Howlers said that they’d like to hear.

“Have our own service?”

Done deal Cub Scout.

Cub Aged Youth Today

At the age of 9, most Cub Scouts are more so worried about the spelling test they have with words like “before”, “boxes”, “spell”, “laugh” and “mother”. These kids are in grades 1-3. The grade 2 curriculum is comprised of; Arts, Physical Education, Math, Science and Social Studies. Arts is pretty basic stuff. Physical Education, think playing soccer. Math is their addition and subtraction. Science is about animals and how relate to them. Social Studies is learning about Canada’s Traditions and Celebrations. While looking at it simply, this is what the base goal of a grade two’s education is.