Letter to the Editor
Scouting in Sioux Lookout
Scouts Canada has a long history and that includes Scouting in Sioux Lookout. For those who are not aware, Scouts Canada is the country’s leading co-ed youth organization, offering programming for children and youth aged 5-26. With over 50,000 youth participating across the country, in multiple languages and reflecting Canada’s multicultural landscape, kids and youth in Scouts chart their own path of discovery. Through a variety of fun experiences, outdoor adventures and contributions to their community, Scouts builds resilience and skills that set them up for life.
Once called Boy Scouts, Scouts Canada has been open to girls and boys since 1997 providing programming for Beavers (ages 5 to 7), Cubs (ages 8 to 10) and Scouts (ages 11 to 14) and Venturers (ages 15 to 17).
In the 1960’s Dr. Mitchell of the Mitchell family donated a pristine piece of property to Scouts Canada also known as Boy Scout Point, or Camp Mitchell to the local Scouters. This camp boasts a rustic, 800 square foot cabin with wood stove heat and out house, on nine acres of shoreline property. The property includes a set of hiking trails, geocaches and camping spots including a calm swimming and paddling bay on the Boy Scout peninsula, accessible within 10 mins from the central core of Sioux Lookout.
The local Scout program takes a minimum of 3-5 dedicated volunteers to administer the group and run programming for at least one age group. Scouters (or adult Scout leaders) require screening, training and onboarding prior to leading a group of youth and must always have a minimum of two qualified Scouters with youth at anyone time. All necessary training is provided online and at the learner’s own pace.
However, although we have a few remaining committee members, the Sioux Lookout Scouts program is currently not active until more adult volunteers step forward. The program has seen many passionate and dedicated volunteers and leaders over the past several decades and we hope to see the legacy continue. We know there is no shortage in interest from the youth of Sioux Lookout to experience what Scouts has to offer, but dedicated volunteers are a must to keep this program alive and well in our community. Scouts Canada encourages youth ages 14 to 18 to join the volunteer team. Scouters under 18 are screened and complete the same training as other Scouters.
The Camp Mitchell property is also aging and requires regular ongoing upkeep to host youth programming. Without Sioux Lookout Scouts remaining active, and dedicated volunteers taking the time the property requires, we are at risk of losing this property or allowing it to become derelict and unusable.
Anyone interested in getting involved in Scouts locally, you will be happy to know the local group has an adequate bank balance to reinvigorate the youth programming, plus an accessible spectacular outdoor meeting space, camping facilities and equipment. Scouts Canada also offers an amazing amount of support, resources and training for volunteers whether youth program leaders or group administrators. You can find out more about volunteering at https://www.scouts.ca/volunteer/overview.html.
If you, or someone you know is interested and can devote up to 2-3 hours per week to the program or property, please reach out locally to Natalie Popovic, Group Treasurer/Past Commissioner, at [email protected] or Group Support Scouter Dustin Mason ([email protected]) or Council Relationship Manager Don MacDonald ([email protected]). Local group and regional council members would be happy to host a Spring Season open house and info session at the Scout Property in late April or early May.
For more information on the Scouts Canada Program, visit www.Scouts.ca It Starts with Scouts!
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