Devon Staff, Scouts Canada’s Fifth Annual Interamerican Leadership Training Representative
Devon Staff was honoured to represent Scouts Canada at The Fifth Annual Interamerican Leadership Training (ILT) that took place in Ecuador, December 28th, 2017 to January 3, 2018. ILT is an opportunity for leaders in the Scouting movement, from over 43 countries, to gain skills essential to strengthening the impact Scouting has on youth worldwide. Having previously served as a Group Youth Commissioner, Area Youth Commissioner, Council Youth Commissioner, and Assistant National Youth Commissioner, Devon is a natural leader who has contributed to the Scouting movement in Canada at all levels.
“As a youth leader at Scouts Canada, I have encouraged youth and adults to collaborate in our shared goal of developing well-rounded youth better prepared for success in the world,” said Devon, “and that was the youth-led message I echoed at ILT.”
With a total of 43 countries, including participants from Africa, Egypt, Jordan, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, Devon saw many different cultures come together with the shared purpose of creating a better world through Scouting. Working together to develop their leadership, project management and communications skills, participants are provided with the tools needed to face the challenges of tomorrow.
“Working within a team dynamic, ILT gave me insights into how Scouting is done around the world, while also giving me a new appreciation for the movement in Canada,” said Devon, “I particularly noted our advanced perspective on the importance of youth-led programming. It was a great opportunity to share how Scouts Canada empowers the youth voice.”
One thing that reigned across nations was that the adventurous spirit is true to any Scouting movement, no matter where you are.
“It was fun to hear about the different adventures and explorations other countries embark on,” said Devon, “especially the journeys scuba diving and volcano climbing.”
Part of the training program is to give back to the hosting country. Devon and the other participants took part in a tree planting which is quite fitting since, in Ecuador, the more love you put into planting, the more prosperous the tree will be.
“When planting trees in Ecuador, you plant with your hands – no shovels- and include a note in the soil with a good wish for the trees future.” Said Devon. “Once all of that was done, you kiss the tree on its leaves. Through the tree planting we gave back to the community, but also learned about Ecuadorian culture and the love they have for their natural life.”
The International Leadership Training is a great opportunity for any Scouting youth looking to strengthen the movement and develop new leadership skills. If you are aged 18 to 26 years, keep an eye out for information on how to apply to the 2019 Interamerican Leadership Training.
So what was Devon’s most valuable insight from the training?
“My biggest takeaway from ILT is that as youth leaders we are the mentors of future generations. Our aim should be to become the leader we needed during our early Scouting years.”