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Battlefields Council Candidate Statements

Nicole Ellerker

I was first introduced to “Scouting” back in 1991, when I started Sparks. I then proceeded to Brownies with the 82nd Hamilton Pack. I flew up to Girl Guides but the outdoors and challenge wasn’t there. In 1998, my friends introduced me to the 75th Hamilton Scouting Group through the Bing a Friend initiative. I tried it out for a couple meetings however the meeting dates did not work with my schedule.
 
I enjoyed playing soccer and swimming and participated in many extra curricular activities however sports were not my forte. During my teen years, I volunteered at Hamilton Health Sciences, Chedoke Hospital at the Coffee Shop where I logged more than 100 hours. I graduated high school in 2004 and attended Niagara College, Welland Campus for Law Clerk studies. I got married young, 19 years old, and had my first son while I was in my last term in college but I was determined to graduate; and I did!
 
I moved back to Hamilton and decided to give up my starting career to stay home and care for my children. During that time, I started knitting hats for the premature babies at the hospital. When my boys started school, I started volunteering for various programs (i.e., Hot Lunch, Cross Country, Barbeques, Breakfast with Santa, First Communion Luncheon, Staff and Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon) and was eventually hired as a lunch supervisor. I registered my boys for Mount Hamilton Youth Soccer Club and volunteered as an assistant soccer coach for a few years. As my boys got older, I remembered my days in Brownies and found a Scouting group through their friends and immediately signed my boys up. I began as a parent volunteer and was then asked to become a Scouter. I jumped at the opportunity!
 
I have been a Cub Scouter for 3 years now and thoroughly enjoy every second of it! I completed my Woodbadge 1 online but still had lots more questions and felt I had lots more to learn. I participated in Basic Outdoor Skills for Scouters and met many other wonderful Scouters. I organized Apple Day at St. Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Elementary School for the past 3 years. The kids got to “dress down” and got an apple for a donation. I help and have helped with other groups and various sections, where needed. I was honored to receive my Medal of Good Service last year during the Battlefields Awards Banquet. In November 2016, I received my Woodbadge II for Pack. I was part of the Canadian Path Support Team for Battlefields Council and helped other Scouters receive more information about relevant topics regarding the Canadian Path. I have been named the Canadian Path Ambassador for the 75th Scouting Group for any Scouter who needs help or more information. I have also helped arrange Victoria Day Camporee at Nemo for the Scouts for the past 2 years.  I also volunteer at the Hamilton Scout Shop every Thursday and some Saturdays. 
 
Every year my youngest son and I fundraise and walk the 5km Telus Walk to Cure Juvenile Diabetes. I also participate in many obstacle course races that support various charities. A few years ago, I was hospitalized and diagnosed with various mental illnesses but I do not let that define my life. I manage my illness through various therapies and medication. I have spoken at various establishment about mental illness to spread awareness and end the Stigma and to promote mental wellbeing.  I am only 31 years old and I have a lot more to learn and a lot more to do!!!
 

Ashley Guay

Hello Battlefields Community,
 
For the past year and a half I have served as the Council Youth Commissioner of Battlefields Council. In doing so, I have had the chance to be your voting member in the past year. It’s my role to ensure the youth of our council are being heard, and that the intergenerational relationships between our youth and scouters is being built.
 
I wish to be your voting member again, to act in the best interest of our council community and to help voice the council’s opinions. With my position I communicate with many people in the council and with my platform, I can use all the feedback I get to make the decisions I will need to make.
 
I am a strong believer in the foundations of scouting, and believe strongly in properly supporting all levels of our volunteers, from sections, to group, to area, to council. Without each level of the organization, our youth would not be able to have the strong impact we have now.
 
I am open to hear from those within the council, and hear what feedback anyone wishes to voice. I can be reached at ashley.guay@scouts.ca
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
Yours in Scouting,
 
Ashley Guay, Council Youth Commissioner - Battlefields Council

Bill Kowalchyk

My name is Bill Kowalchyk and I am writing today to request your support in my candidacy as a Council Voting Representative for Battlefields Council to the Scouts Canada National AGM.
 
I first joined Scouting as a Cub in 1976 in Burlington, Ontario and remained involved through Venturers, earning my Chief Scout's Award along the way. After a 10 year hiatus, I returned to Scouting as a volunteer in 1996 – returning as a Pack Scouter with the same group I was involved in as a youth. This is now my 21st year as a Scouter and through the years I have worked with primarily with Pack and Troop, with a few stops at Colony and Company. While maintaining my involvement at the section level, I also recognize the need for participation and leadership at the Area and Council levels. I have been involved behind the scenes as a Group Commissioner, Deputy Area Commissioner, Deputy Council Commissioner and Area Commissioner. As a member of Central Escarpment Council, I was a voting member in 2005 and 2006. I recently completed a 3 year term as Burlington Area Commissioner and have recently moved to Battlefields Council as my children are now youth members in Dundas. 
 
I am currently 6th Dundas Group Commissioner as well as DCC for Marketing and Communications for Battlefields.
 
At the National level, I was part of the Program Revitalization team for the Scout Section and also was a part of the team which developed the Personal Achievement Badge system. While I am a strong supporter and believer in the Canadian Path program, as a Section Scouter I fully appreciate the challenges Scouters have faced in transitioning to the new program.
 
I live in Dundas with my wife and three children and have worked in Quality Engineering in the automotive parts industry for over 20 years. I am very excited to be able to share my love of Scouting with my step daughter (Rover) and two sons (Beavers) who are all now active and enthusiastic members of Scouts Canada.
 
I feel that with my background and experiences in Scouts Canada at both the Area / Council level, and most importantly at the section level, I would be a good representative of the members of the Council and would be honored to serve as a voting member for Battlefields.

Nathan St. Johns

Hi. My name is Nathan St. John. I am 15 years old and am a grade 10 student at Hamilton District Christian High School. I have had the pleasure of being a part of Scouting for 5 years. I am currently secretary for the 6th Dundas Venturer Company. 
 
Besides Scouting, I am currently involved with my high school's' production of Les Miserables. I also enjoy Lego, video games, hiking and reading. I enjoy reading a good story and then re-telling them at campfires. Nothing beats campfire stories and songs while sharing roasted marshmallows and s'mores with friends, family and fellow Scouts. 
 
I love Scouting. It has become a part of me. Besides providing lots of fun and adventures, Scouting has given me so many opportunities to grow, mature and learn. I have learnt life skills, conservation and skills necessary for my future career.
 
Each year, I have attended various camps offered by Scouting. My very 1st camp was Camp Wilmac. I enjoyed all of the activities and learned many life skills. It is here that Baghera (Scouter Mike) introduced Canoeing to me. I discovered that I love canoeing. It has become my favourite sport. Baghera took the time to teach me how to canoe and came out with me every time I asked to go out on the lake.  I now enjoy passing my love for Canoeing onto Beavers and Cubs.
 
Scouting is a way for me to experience my passion -  Environmental conservation. I believe we have a responsibility in protecting our environment and all the creatures that are a part of it. With Scouting, I have learnt and practise low impact camping and have the opportunity to share my knowledge with Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. If we can teach conservation to youth, I believe that there will be a beautiful, healthy environment for their kids to enjoy.
 
I attended Scotia Jam in 2015 with 6th Dundas Scouts. What amazing experience! I did so many activities - zip lining, mud run, rocket launching, and so many more. I also discovered my love of badge trading. Besides collecting some really cool badges, I have meant interesting Scouts and Scouters. I have heard so many interesting and entertaining stories through badge trading. Scotia Jam was my first big trip without my parents. According to my mom and dad, I came home a very different boy. I came home, a  more independent, confident, person. I also learned not be a picky eater. I eat just about everything, except Irish stew and eggs. I had such an awesome experience, I am attending this year's Canadian Jamboree as an Offer of Service. I am sure that I will have memories of my journey that will last me a lifetime!
 
I want to become a Youth Voting Member in order to learn more about Scouts Canada and give back to the Scouting community. I am honoured to be nominated by the many Scouters at 6th Dundas. This is a chance for me to give back to the Scouting community. I also believe it is  an opportunity for me to learn more about what Scouts Canada has to offer me and other youth. This is another opportunity for me to grow and mature. Thank you for your consideration and tell the rest of the nominees that I say good luck.
 
Yours in Scouting,
Nathan

Greg White

Growing up in a Scouting family I couldn’t wait to be registered as a Beaver Scout, and did so as soon as I was old enough. I continued my youth activities all the way up to Rover Scouts. During these years Scouting gave me something and somewhere to belong, and helped me understand that there is far more to the world than just what I can see. Scouting gave me leadership opportunities and helped me make friends; many of whom I will never forget.
 
Over the years I have had the opportunity to routinely participate in many adventures; from the Beaver Sleepover at SkyDome, to canoe trips through Provincial Parks to becoming a team lead for the Great Lakes Jamboree Rappelling Tower.
 
I have had the privilege of serving as a volunteer with Scouts Canada for nearly 15 years and in that time I have held numerous roles including; Area Youth Commissioner for Merritt Trail Area, Deputy Council Commissioner responsible for Program and Special Events and as the Canadian Path Ambassador in Battlefields. I have worked with the Troop section and I am currently a member of 20th Welland where I serve as a Company Scouter. 
 
This Fall I will begin a new chapter in my Scouting career as I have the honour of becoming the Council Commissioner here in Battlefields. 
 
I believe that no matter what role we hold, our age or experience, we are all equally important members in Scouts Canada. I try to always do my best to support my fellow Scouters and Youth Members so that together we can ensure everyone enjoys great safe Scouting adventures.
 I always try to act in what I firmly believe to be Scouts Canada’s and Battlefields Council’s best interests.
 
I want to ensure that Scouting is fun for everyone, and I hope that every member feels comfortable brining their questions or concerns to me.

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