Scouts Canada, the country’s leading youth organization, offers challenging programs for boys, girls and youth age 5-26 in thousands of individual groups in most cities and towns across Canada.
Explore SCOUTSabroad Projects
In August, 2006, a Contingent of Venturer Scouts, Rover Scouts and Advisors from Tri-Shores Council travelled down to the Valley of Peace, Belize, to build a hurricane shelter/community centre with the community. For three weeks, the group worked, played and learned alongside Scouts from across Belize and the people who lived in the Valley of Peace. After completion of the project, the village council commented that it was the first time the community had come together as one to do anything, especially anything of this magnitude. The community centre remains a central fixture of the community life in the Valley of Peace.
In July and August of 2007, Venturer Scouts and Rover Scouts from Nova Scotia travelled to Sanyang, Gambia, to develop a facility that would allow for economic growth in their community. The central focus of this project was a large lodge that can be used for training purposes for youth and leaders, national meetings and events, and general purpose workshops. When not being used for Scouting activities, the lodge can be rented out to obtain income to further develop the site, both to Scouting groups, community groups, and for hotel-type lodging. The lodge also provided employment to local community members.
In July, 2008, a group of Venturer Scouts and Rover Scouts from the Montreal area embarked on a project in the Southern African country of Namibia. Their goal was to improve facilities at several nursery schools in the area of Okahandja, about 70 kilometres north of the capital city of Windhoek. None of these schools receive government funding, despite the huge influx of AIDS orphans swelling the numbers of children in the classroom. Many of these schools were in a state of serious disrepair and lacked even the most basic sanitation facilities prior to their assistance.
In August, 2008, leaders and youth from the Scarborough area took on a project in Ghana, West Africa, to build a dormitory building in the Scout village of Nwodua. The benefits of building this unit were numerous; it enabled local and surrounding youth to participate in Scouting programs and to gather and learn essential life skills. By being involved in this project, it also provided Scouts Canada youth with an understanding of cultural diversity, links to scouting around the world, self-discipline, leadership skills, cooperation and team building skills, and appreciation for the benefits of education.
From July 2-25, 2009, a combined group of youth, Scouters and support staff from the Tri-Shores (London) area travelled to the city of Fernando de la Mora, Paraguay, to rebuild a school which now has the capacity to house 250 students. Today this city is one of the most important cities in the country with a population of 200,000 habitants. Bordering the cities of Luque, and San Lorenzo to the North, Villa Elisa to the South, Ñemby to the East and Asunción to the West, the location of this school will be crucial in the education of hundreds of local inhabitants.
Costa Rica 2009
From July 4-17, 2009, the 152nd Millshaven Scout Troop from Northern Lights Council travelled to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. The Scout group spent 2 weeks working with volunteers and youth from a local group called El Puente, as they set up a Scout Troop in the area and helped to refurbish local classrooms.
From August 25-29, 2009, the 25th Dunbar Heights Venturer Company, from Vancouver, BC, successfully participated in a community development project which took place in Cusco, Peru. The project was designed to improve the quality of life for Peruvians though the construction of a chicken coop at a local school in order to provide a food source for the students as well as a source of revenue for the local community. The project was done in conjunction with ‘Peru’s Challenge’ – a charity that oversees the construction and operation of schools, and works towards the improvement of basic infrastructure in small, local communities.
South Africa 2010: Defending Mafikeng
In cooperation with the South African Scout Association, Scouts Canada took part in the United Nations Millennium Development Goal #1: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. In August of 2010, youth and adults from across both countries travelled to Mafikeng, Northwest Province, South Africa to dig wells and build community food gardens and rain water reservoirs. During the weeks spent in South Africa, the project participants built and/or refurbished eight different schools, including building and installing downspouts and water tanks where needed. The participants also took part in an educational seminar on HIV/AIDS, and provided many other smaller community services to the local villages.
Kenya 2011: Hanne Howard Fund
The Hanne Howard Fund runs a project in the Lenana slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya for 125 orphans and other vulnerable children. The Hanne Howard Fund provides safe shelter, access to healthcare and education and a Scout Program for these children. To help raise funds to support these kids, in the Spring of 2011, youth, leaders and staff from the Ottawa area sorted and boxed hundreds of donated pencils, which youth and leaders were then encouraged to pick up at their nearest Scout Shop after making a donation. What a great way to support youth in Kenya! For more information on the Hanne Howard Fund, visit www.hannehowardfund.org.
After visiting with the members of the Kenya Scouting Association (KSA) at the 2010 World Rover Moot held in Kenya, it has been agreed that the Scouts Canada Brotherhood Fund will assist the KSA in purchasing new computers for their Scout Shop(s). The intent of the project is to update, expand and modernize their Scout Shop operations to better serve the members of the KSA. More information about this project will become available as the details are finalized.
In July of 2011, a group of 35 Venturer Scouts, Rovers Scouts, leaders and parents travelled to Vicente Guerrero, Mexico for 16 days. After 18 months of planning, fundraising and volunteering, the group travelled a total of 8,200 kilometres by bus to help provide four local deserving families a hand up out of poverty. The group worked alongside these families for a week to assist them in building their homes. The group is now planning to create an emergency fund for Hero Holiday to use to provide emergency care (food, healthcare, education) to this community in Vicente Guerrero, Mexico.
Sierra Leone 2011
After serving a seven-month tour in Freetown, Sierra Leone, along with seven other Canadian soldiers, CWO and Task Force Sergeant Major, Mike Lacroix, wrote to Scouts Canada requesting assistance to refurbish the Grafton National Scout Camp in Sierra Leone. Working closely with Mr. John Sesay, the National Training Commissioner at Grafton Scout Camp, Lacroix, with financial support from the Canadian Forces and the Scouts Canada Brotherhood Fund, was successful in repairing and refurbishing the main hall and washroom/showers of the building. This camp building will now provide a location for local youth to learn the skills required for raising livestock and crops to feed surrounding villages in a country where the youth unemployment rate is about 40%.