By incorporating the Canadian Path’s four elements — Youth-led, Plan-Do-Review, Adventure and the SPICES — the 86th Woodcliff Cubs annual ‘Big Adventure’ leave youth with invaluable skills for future success.
So what is the ‘Big Adventure’? Every year Cubs are challenged with a great Scouting adventure. This year they challenged themselves with a hike over 3 days and 2 nights. Using ‘Plan-Do-Review’ the Cubs start planning their excursion by identifying what outdoor adventure skills they will need and what they need to pack. This youth-led Group is tasked with getting their pack together, themselves, and telling their fellow Cubs why they think they need each item. From this exercise they quickly learn what is essential and what isn’t. The next step the Cubs take to prepare is to improve their outdoor adventure skills by hiking with their packs on mountainous terrain.
Once the 86th Woodcliff Cubs are geared up and their hiking skills perfected, they are off on an adventure of a lifetime. With contour maps in hands, the group is able to pace themselves accordingly and tackle the climb. One of the biggest challenges the Cubs faced was a grizzly bear encounter on the trail. With Scouts Canada safety tips in mind, the youth slowly backed away and changed course. Preparing for possible dangers on the hike helped the group remain calm and out of harm. During the ‘Do’ phase, the 86th Woodcliff Cubs enjoyed the views, forged lasting friendships and tackled the rough terrain in strides. When the group arrived at camp they utilized task lists to divide up responsibilities to settle in for the evening. After camp was set; comradery, campfires, games and laughter prevailed.
The last stretch of the hike is always a tough one for the Cubs, especially those in their 1st and 2nd year, but the 3rd year pros are there to motivate and act as mentors pushing the younger Cubs to the finish line. The promise of a cooler of pop and treats awaiting doesn’t hurt either! With chips and a cold drink in hand, the youth review their experience discussing what worked well, what didn’t, and what they learned. Some youth learned that running shoes are not a good idea on a hike, while others gained valuable knowlege on how to economise and pack more food by hydrating their home cooked meals. Ultimately, the 86th Woodcliff Cubs gained an appreciation for nature, the meaning of teamwork and the confidence to take on their next challenge on the Canadian Path.