Fun adventures. Amazing outdoor experiences. Personal growth. Parents and youth will find them all on the Canadian Path, Scouts Canada’s new program being rolled out in Powell River.
Over the past 100 years, parents and guardians have played an important role in encouraging their children to challenge themselves in their scouting program, and the Canadian Path is no different, says 1st Powell River Scouts group commissioner Chris Bolster.
“The Canadian Path is really the next natural step in delivering Scouts Canada’s mission to develop well-rounded youth, better prepared for success in the world,” says Chris. “For our youth, it’s all about having fun, learning and going on adventures during their time in Scouts.”
2019 has been a milestone year for 1st Powell River, he adds. “After being effectively closed for a few years, we found some really great adult volunteers and were able to open a Beaver Colony and Cub Pack this spring,” says Chris. “This wouldn’t be possible without the support from the community.”
The Canadian Path, emphasizing personal growth through firsthand experiences, was fully implemented as Scouts Canada’s program in 2015, but since 1st Powell River has been dormant for the past few years, 2019 will be the first year for the group, explains Chris.
“Across the country, we are finding youth are more engaged in Scouting,” he adds. “We’re excited about bringing the Canadian Path to Powell River.”
Scouting on the Canadian Path encourages youth to develop in their own way, at their own pace, and to take advantage of the unique opportunities for discovery that our natural world offers.
“As our girls and boys progress through Scouting’s unique challenges and adventures, they develop into confident and capable individuals,” says Chris.
The Canadian Path program includes a focus on being youth-led, emphasizing new adventures, and Scouts Canada's plan-do-review approach to experiential learning.
“Being youth-led doesn’t mean there isn’t adult supervision,” says Chris. “Rather, the youth decide what activities they want to undertake and what challenges they wish to give themselves.”
Adult Scouters play an active role in mentoring, encouraging, guiding and inspiring the youth, he adds.
“It’s quite personally fulfilling to volunteer,” he says. “I encourage any young adults who want to work with children in their careers to contact us.”
Using Plan-Do-Review, Scouts work as a team at every stage as they plan and pursue their adventures, he says.
“Planning is where youth leadership begins,” explains Chris. “As the youth carry out the activity they learn new skills. They then review how things went, present accomplishments and discuss how things could be improved next time.”
It’s key to the group’s development, too, he adds.
“Review is really impactful for other youth in the group as it helps them relate to and learn from their peers,” says Chris.
Youth are able to choose from among dozens of possible adventures, each supported by a trail card that guides them safely along the way. Each adventure falls within one of six program categories, including environment and the outdoors, leadership, active and healthy living, citizenship, creative expression, and beliefs and values.
All of these adventures follow a framework that supports youth growth and development in six areas, including socially, physically, intellectually, in character, emotionally and spiritually, he adds.
“This whole-person approach is what sets Scouting apart,” says Chris. “You won’t find many other youth organizations doing this.”
Registration for September is open and can be completed online at scouts.ca. Applications are being taken for Scouts Canada’s No One Left Behind program, a national registration-fee subsidy program designed to reduce financial barriers for youth from lower-income families.
1st Powell River Scouts’ meeting calendar follows the school year. Information about 1st Powell River Scouts can be found at 1stpowellriver.ca.