An Activity for Each Program Area of the Canadian Path
As Scouts, the Canadian Path program leads us on our journey to become the best we can be. With a focus on youth-led planning and adventures, each activity that Scouting youth do fits into one of the six Program Areas of the Canadian Path—we are limited only by the boundaries of our imagination.
The Canadian Path is a fun, hands-on learning experience where Scouting you can discover their potential in a safe, adventurous and inclusive way. With tips for exploring each Program Area, the following active games, creative crafts and community service projects are some of the many ways that the Path can be discovered and enjoyed. With youth at the helm, the possibilities are endless!
Environment and Outdoors
The great outdoors have always been a staple for the Scouting movement. Lucky for us, we also have a seemingly unlimited array of cool places to explore in this expansive country!
Whether you’ve been on 53 hikes and 18 camping trips, or have never spent much time in nature, I’m asking you to continue to experience the outdoors with an added focus—instead of simply going from one place to another outside to reach a destination, take time to enjoy the journey. Take a moment to look, listen, learn, smell, taste and breathe—don’t just rush through nature, or pull out your phone will sitting outside. For your Environment and Outdoors activity, I challenge you to find green space, get those legs pumping and take a moment to be mindful and present in the great outdoors!
Beliefs and Values
As Scouts, we all share common beliefs, many of which are universal: respect oneself, one’s community and nature. One of the ways to practice these Scouting values is by giving back to the community.
As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” Two of the activities that my Scout Troop often engages in are preparing and serving food for the homeless and less fortunate in the community. We’ll spend a few Friday nights making sandwiches for delivery and a few Sunday evenings helping to serve meals and clean up afterward at a local church.
Preparing and serving food for those in need is just one way to give back to the community, but it’s not the only way. Paying it forward can be something as large as conducting a clothing drive to provide winter clothing for those in need, or something small like holding a door open for somebody. It all makes a difference.
Healthy and Active Living
For this category, it’s okay to be self-centered. In fact, that’s what I want you to do. Eating well and exercising regularly helps you and only you, first.
My next suggested activity is to go out of your way to be healthier, whether you take baby steps or leaps to get there. Try biking to school or work, or eat an apple instead of a candy bar—play sports instead of video games. You would be surprised at how much that can help you, and you can have fun while doing it!
Regardless of the action you choose to take, make the effort to get up, get out and move. One of my favourite sports is basketball. I have been playing it for around eight years. It keeps me healthy and fit. Tournaments with your Section can always a blast, so think of a few rousing cheers and play ball!
Canada has always been a hospitable country, welcoming people from around the world and celebrating diversity.
My next suggested activity is to try something culturally foreign to you, like food. Last year my friend told me about an amazing food,‘momos’. A momo is a Tibetan-style dumpling with a wrapping of dough, and filled with whatever you have a craving for. I first had beef momos and instantly my mouth watered at the little bit of heaven that had just entered my body. I would have never known about momos if it weren’t for the Tibetan immigrants who brought this delight with them while immigrating from Tibet.
There are so many culturally diverse activities, foods, and stories to explore and they all can be found right here in your backyard!
Creative Expression can be found in so many different ways: through dance, visual art, drama, music—or even acrobatically scoring a goal while playing hockey. Art is just an expression of your imagination.
In Scouts, that can apply as well when we interact with nature. My next suggested activity is to make an Inukshuk in a place where people can see it. Inukshuks are Inuit structures made from rocks resembling humans. They are made to display a multitude of messages, like which direction the nearest village resides.
As a Section activity, erect an Inukshuk along your hike, at the summit, on a campground or elsewhere. It’s a great fun activity to mark where you’ve been, and it combines other aspects of the Canadian Path as well, like learning about other cultures (Citizenship) and experiencing nature (Environment & Outdoors).
Leadership can be described in many different ways: creating a team, showing responsibility, taking initiave and more. Of those three in particular, the one that I love the most is to taking initiative. It only takes a spark to light a fire.
As a Scout, I challenge you to organize and lead at least one community service project. It could be a clothing or food drive, or helping your neighbour rake their leaves in the fall. My Troop’s soup kitchen project couldn’t have started without someone taking the lead in organizing it. Whenever we attend the community dinners, at least 40 of Toronto’s less fortunate are served a hot meal by a friendly Scout.
The six Program Areas of the Canadian Path are designed to help you grow as a Scouting youth and have fun at the same time too. So roll up your sleeves, gather your Section and let your imaginations run wild at the endless possibilities of planning your program. Happy Scouting!