Local scouts group in need of volunteers to open this fall
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The First Sioux Lookout Scouts group is looking for volunteers to help revive group operations this fall.
The group that typically hosts about 35 to 40 kids strives to maintain three volunteer leaders for each of its three categories, requiring a total of nine volunteers to efficiently function. “We have some of our returning leaders that have been with us for quite some time. But, we are really in need of volunteers, or the program will not be able to run as it is,” said Lindsay Young, the group commissioner.
Young said that scouting programs are a fun experience for the kids as they learn outdoor skills, as well as an opportunity for volunteers to experience the world through a fresh perspective. “If you were to choose to become a leader and volunteer with our group, that you would find that the knowledge and the experiences that you have with the kids is very enriching, and of course you will learn alongside them. And you can grow your love for the outdoors, watching through a child’s eyes,” she added.
Anyone interested in volunteering with the group may reach out to the group through the Sioux Lookout Scouts Facebook page, or directly to Young via email at, [email protected].
The group had been running from 2003, until the emergence of the pandemic. Young said, “Since the pandemic has hit, we have not had a scouting program. It’s been on hold. We took the feedback of local families and decided that we would press pause, and resume when it became safe to meet again face-to-face outside.” With the loosening COVID-19 restrictions, Young said that the group will likely meet this fall, given they receive adequate volunteer support. “Based on the government’s and Scouts Canada’s guidance, our group is hoping to return to in-person scouting…we typically begin at the end of September, and run all the way to the end of June,” she added.
The group trains scouts between the ages of 5 and 14 to build and give back to the community, branching them into three categories. The youngest are the Beavers from ages 5 to 7, followed by the Cubs for kids aged 8 to 10, and the Scouts for 11 to 14 year-olds.
“Beavers is about making relationships, getting used to being in the outdoors, building community, helping out in the community, understanding that we need to take care of the environment, and of course learning about the principles of scouting,” said Young. She added that the Cubs category, that is an extension of the Beavers, becomes more skilled-based. “They are learning outdoor skills, for example they would learn life skills, creating fires outdoors, creating a shelter outdoors. We are looking at building those outdoor adventure skills.”
The oldest group of Scouts develops all the skills of the younger categories on a deeper level, going on bigger and longer adventures, and learning about environmental and outdoors awareness, shared Young. Their adventures may include camping, building outdoor shelters, winter survival and other things that the Scouts may be interested in learning. “The scouts program has developed a little bit in the last little while where it becomes more personalized, and they can venture out of just the standard set of skills, and if there is something they are interested in, we try and help them and encourage them to grow those skills as well,” said Young, adding, “If we do not have the expertise within our leadership group, we do our best to outsource to people who do have that expertise.”
Young shared that while the group usually opens participant registration around the end of August, the group would require enough volunteers to sign-up before they do so. “I am definitely looking forward to a safe return for all of our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts, to be able to get back to being outside and learning together and growing together and sharing our love for the outdoors and the environment,” said Young.