I was a 3rd year Cub when Scouts Canada’s program, The Canadian Path was introduced. After one of my weekly meetings, Akela came to me and said, “The Canadian Path offers the Seeonee Award. If anyone can do it, you can. Take a look and let me know.”
The Seeonee is the Top Section Award for Cubs, and requires youth to review their personal progression, earn 10 Outdoor Adventure Skills, complete 15 hours of community service and complete a community service project. The idea behind this service project is to use the Plan-Do-Review method to carry out an initiative that gives back to the community. The biggest challenge I faced earning my Seeonee Award was coming up with a meaningful community service project that I could accomplish. After much deliberation, I decided that I wanted to help the women and their children, who visit the St. Joe’s Women Centre in Ottawa.
To get started, the first thing I did was visit the centre to learn more about what services they offer, where their needs were, and how I could help out. I decided to make toiletry kits, which would include a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, lip balm, deodorant and tissues. Since it was Canada’s 150 birthday, I chose to make 150 kits. It was an ambitious goal, but I thought I’d give it a try.
I made a flyer with all the important information, and with clipboard in hand, I visited many hotels, pharmacies, stores and dentists. Most people I met were very interested in my project and donated items to help. In one case, an employee overheard me talking to the manager and approached me to donate $50 of his own money. With one hotel, I returned to pick up the items and was speechless when they brought out a luggage cart full of donations. It was beyond amazing!
Everyone who sponsored me got their name on my flyer and after my project was done, I thanked them for their support and showed them what we had accomplished. In the end, I got almost 3,000 donations and $145. When I dropped off my toiletry kits, the women at the centre were so happy. The timing was perfect because it had been a month since the centre had shampoo and conditioner to offer the women. They gave me a fabulous thank you card, signed by everyone.
I really enjoyed doing this community service project because I wanted to help people. In turn, I learned how to be confident in talking with strangers, public speaking and improve my organizational skills. I didn’t realize was how much fun it would be and how valuable my time and efforts were to others.