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Battlefields Council Elections

Candidate Statements

Andrew Bienhaus

As a four and a half year old, his Mum put him in this brand new Scout program at the church, called Beavers, and he never quite escaped. Today, as Group Commissioner of the largest group in the Council, Andrew also Serves Scouting to host multiple camps and events each year, that cross numerous council lines. He would offer; that this very visible success is based entirely on the team of dedicated volunteers which he has the pleasure to facilitate, but a leader - leads. Always seeking to bring more adventure, more Scouting, to more youth. For Scouter Andy, it is always about the quality of the experience for them, over the sheer numbers.

As a Bar to the Silver Acorn holder, and a former member of a very active Board of Governors, he is a hands-on Scouter at all points in his day. As a Trainer and Service Team leader in the past, he always brought his ‘A’ game, and proudly shared how much he learned from each person he met in the process.

Outside of Scouting, Andrew owns his own IT Consulting and Training firm, and has spent the last 20 years sharing that wisdom across North America, and with his own community.

While others thank him for his work, his wisdom, and his enthusiasm, he would be quick to point out and thank others, as the source of all successes. That humility, and his daily living through the Scout Law, are what make him a level five leader in our community.

Carolyn Askeland

I have been a registered adult member within Scouts Canada for nearly 30 years, and prior to this time was active as a youth member with Girl Guides and Scouting program when I could convince my Grandfather to bring me to Beavers and/or Cubs.

As a member of Scouts Canada, I have held various position and increasing responsibility over my Scouting career from section scouter, to contact section scouter, group committee member, area commission, council popcorn coordinator and group support scouter to name a few.

Within each of these roles, I have taken my role seriously and live up to the Scout way. I have come prepared to meetings, tried my best and always willing to share, challenged myself and other Scouters and youth to go beyond. I am deeply routed in the Scouts Canada program and organization.

It is due to the challenges and success within these roles, that I have a fulsome understanding of the Scouts Canada organizations, its bylaws, policies and procedures and place for each. I understand the organizations structure and processes that have been implemented in recent years, to continue to make Scouts Canada the leading youth serving organizations and its plan for sustainability.

I recognize the importance of the voting member and will take this responsibility seriously. Taking the time to understand the motions being put forward, ask questions when clarification is required and always utilize my vote with the best interest of our youth membership at the forefront.

Within the professional career, I am the Executive Director of a not for profit health service organization.

I not only understand the significance of the voting member and its responsibility to represent Battlefields council, but the integrity of this process to our organizations. Voting in favour or against a motion is not to be taken lightly. The consequences of voting blindly, causes fault within the governance of the organization. I for one, want to continue to be an agent for positive change within Scouts Canada, so that our youth and adult members can continue to grow into well round members of society for success in the world.

It is critical that during this global pandemic, Scouts Canada Board of Governors demonstrate the leadership needed to assist in navigating our organizations through these unprecedented times and ensure a solid foundation remains for years to come. This starts with the significant role of a voting member when casting their vote in favour or against a nominating report. We have one opportunity to put in place a board with leadership, foresight, critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities. It starts with you and casting your vote in favour of myself as one of our councils voting members.

I respectfully, submit my name to stand for nomination for Scouts Canada Battlefields Council voting member.

Connor Christian (Youth)

My Name is Connor Christian and I have been in Scouting since I was 5 years old. I was a beaver scout and cub scout with First Saint Davids and then moved to First Niagara where I spent 3 years as an active scout and Patrol Leader. During my time as a Scout at First Niagara I was also a Volunteer with St. Davids Beavers. Most recently I have become a Support Scouter. I understand and have seen first hand how changes affect Scouts and Adults Alike. Therefore you should pick me for Voting Member.

Ethan Coudenys (Youth)

As the Council Youth Commissioner for Battlefields Council, I have represented our council twice at the Annual General Meeting as the Council Youth Voting member. Representing the common values and changes that the members of Battlefields Council have and allowing the youth to have a strong voice and a fierce advocate.

As the Scouts Canada program is Youth-Led, I would say that a Youth Voting Member at Large represents the values and principles of the scouting spirit and allows for the youth to have a stronger voice alongside the other two voting members. It allows for scouters to believe in the leadership of youth at the national level when it comes time to vote.

As the Member At Large for Battlefields Council, I will represent the needs, the values and the principles of our council to the best of my ability and will fight for youth and scouters to have an indestructible voice representing them at the national level. 

Fiona Tunmer

I am applying to be the one of the Battlefield Voting Candidates at the Annual General Meeting.

The worldwide scouting and guiding movements have played a critical role in my life since my enrollment in Sparks and up into Rangers where I earned my Canada Cord from the Girl Guides of Canada.

I have been involved in a leadership role with Scouts Canada for 7 years. I have energetically taken on the roles as Section Scouter, Area Member, and Group Committee Member. One of my unofficial roles is the BP&P Expert as I have read every publicly published document from Scouts Canada, World Scouts, and UK Scouts. I am a reliable Support Scouter stepping up to aid the youth and adults as they grow into well-rounded individuals, better prepared for world. In that aim I have created an Unofficial Scouting Handbook for Troop and an easy to follow Outdoor Adventure Skill Badge Album to aid the youth through the Canadian Path.

I was awarded the Medal of Good Service for my ability provide an inclusive adventurous global program. I am a respected Scouter within the Battlefield Council as I embody the Scout Law in my empathetic approach to scouting. I am confident in my abilities of sharing the spirit of scouting with my community.

Currently, I am a Nature and Forest School Practitioner and a Registered Early Childhood Educator. My teaching mission follows many of the similarities to the Canadian Path. I facilitate thinking, engage minds, and listen to questions. I encourage risk and support struggles. I cultivate dreams and foster daily learning. I do all of this because I believe that children are naturally creative. It is my role to provide them the freedom, materials, and space to let their creativity blossom to its full potential.

 My educational pursuits have given me the opportunity to expand my scouting horizons to include the United Kingdom Scouts while I attend University of Cambridge. During my studies, I was the student representative for the education department comprising of over 10 000 students. I was responsible for collecting, synthetizing, analyzing, and presenting the students needs to the University Board of Education and the Ministry of Education. It was a critical time as the University was creating an entirely new and award winning English As Second Language.

I am an outdoors and travel enthusiast. I have enjoyed countless hours exploring nature with more then 350 days spent sleeping in tents. Being bilingual in both official languages has made it easier for me to have lived in 7 of Canada’s beautiful provinces. My next great adventure includes a scientific expedition through the Canadian Northern Artic.

Finally, I am passionate about growing the Scouting movement and ensuring that more Canadians benefit from great, safe outdoor adventures. I am driven to implementing Scouts Canada’s Value into as many youths as possible. I am an active listener and an innovative problem solver making me a valued asset to any team.

Gino Sferrazza

I started as a Pack Leader with the 45th Hamilton and held that role for 9 years. From there, I started a new group, the 75th Hamilton. I was Pack Leader for 16 years. After 25 years in Cubs, I moved to the Venturer Company and I’m still there today. I was appointed Co-Group Commissioner in 2007 still hold that role to this day. In June 2019, the 75th Hamilton merged with 3 other proximate Groups forming the new 1st Hamilton West Mountain Scouting Group. We have both successfully retained and grown within the initial year. Our inclusive Group maintains that safe Scouting is our Number 1 priority.

In the last 10 years, I have held positions including Council Commissioner, BFC voting representative, Camp Manager, Director on the OIB, BFC Popcorn team and member of the BFC Service Team. These roles have come with great responsibility in decision-making. I have learned that Scouting is more than just Section, Group or Area. These experiences have enabled me to make well-rounded choices for the good of the local groups, and the betterment of (then) Areas, Council and across the country

In 1974 I joined Boy Scouts as a Cub with the 45th Hamilton. I progressed to Scouts and then became a Junior Beaver Leader until 1980. The rest is history.

HOBBIES AND OTHER SKILLS

  • Drummer for 50 years
  • Percussion Instructor
  • Loyal Order of the Moose Member
  • Rappel Master and Pitch
  • Grandpa

HONOURS AND AWARDS

  • 35 Year Service Pin 2019
  • Bar to the Silver Acorn 2018
  • Award for Fortitude 2015
  • Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012
  • Silver Acorn 2012
  • Medal of Merit 2008
  • Trainer 2 & 3 2008
  • Medal for Good Service 1996
  • 10 year Long Service 1993

For the past 21 years, I've have held numerous non-section roles, at various levels, that have equipped me with invaluable skills, problem resolution and people management experience.

SCOUTS CANADA

  • Group Commissioner Orientation 2019
  • WB I for The Canadian Path 2018
  • Part 1 – Crew 2013
  • Part 2 – Company 2010
  • National Commissioner Course 2008
  • Part 1 – Company 2008
  • Part 2 – Pack 2002
  • TD1 1994
  • Service Team - Part 1 1992
  • Part 1 – Pack 1988

SCOUTS CANADA ROLES AND EXPERIENCE

  • Assistant Cub Leader - 45th Hamilton 1983-1992
  • Pack Scouter - new 75th Hamilton 1992-2008
  • Company Scouter - 75th Hamilton 2008-2019
  • Crew Scouter - 1st Hamilton 2010-present
  • Company Scouter -1st Hamilton West Mountain 2019-present
  • Service Team Pack 1992-1999
  • Trainer - WBI, WBII, TD1 & Workshops 1997-2013
  • ADC Pack 1999-2001
  • DCC Battlefields 2001-2006
  • DAC Hamilton 2006-2008
  • AC Hamilton 2008-2010
  • BFC Popcorn Team 2009-2018
  • DCC Battlefields 2010
  • CC Battlefields 2010-2013
  • OIB – Ontario Incorporated Body 2014-present
  • Camp Manager 2013-present
  • Co-Group Commissioner 2007-present

Ian Hetherington (Youth)

My name is Ian Hetherington and I am applying to be a council voting representative for the battlefields council. I have been a beaver scout for 3 years, a cub scout for 3 years, a scout for 4 years and I am in my second year of ventures. I have also been a scouter for 3 years. I earned my 6-star award in cub scouts, chief scout award, and the medal of the maple. I attended the 24th world scout jamboree as a member of Canadian unit 009 with 1st topsail and 4th grand falls. I also plan to attend the Poacher international jamboree in 2021 in England. I have been a youth member of 9th Welland, 3rd Fonthill, st. Catherines scouts about and 20th Welland. I am also a scouter with the 10th Welland beaver colony.

Larry Chrysler

I have been a member of Scouts Canada on and off for 45 years as a youth and now an adult. My roles include group commissioner, deputy area commissioner - safety, troop scouter, area training team member and my most recent role as group support scouter.

I have progressive views of Scouts Canada and support the efforts to ensure we remain relevant in our increasingly diverse and ever-changing world. I believe we should always be looking to how we can improve the quality of our organization for our youth and scouters. My current role as group support scouter has given me the opportunity to see what is needed at a group level and I believe I can represent my council and vote wisely for my council, youth, and scouters.

Mark Jasper

Scouter Mark, is a consummate professional, and a true Scout in his heart. His skills as a backwoodsman, are only exceeded by his skills at the boardroom table. As a youth member in Burlington, he learned skills through Scouting, that are with him to this day. In his twenties, he served as a backwoods guide, leading expeditions through uncharted country, for weeks at a time. In his late twenties, he raised a Canadian start-up environmental recovery business, to a level where it is world renowned today.

Both of his children started in Beavers, and one is now a Venturer, and the other a Rover.

He continues to offer his time, amid the demands of the business world, giving us his high-adventure expertise for things like zip lines, aerial rescue, and backwoods canoeing. Many know him for his lead at Snowball each year, sharing the hands-on skills to cook live game with Scouts, when in a survival situation. His leadership teachings at shared fall camps, are worth their weight in gold for the adults present – let alone the youth they are aimed at, and who embrace them openly.

And through it all, he lives by the Scout Law, every day.

Michael Henderson (Youth)

Hello, my name is Michael Henderson I am currently a Beaver Scouter, Venturer Scouter, and a Rover participant with the 58th Hamilton.  I am also a group support scouter with battlefields Council.

The Reason I would like to be Council voting representative is that I would like to help bring battlefields Council scouter’s and youth voices to decisions that are made at national.    The reason I enjoy Scouting is that I can go on bigger adventures and explore different places. As a Rover, I have gone on international travel and experience Scouting in other parts of the world.

I have experienced a lot in Scouts Canada.  When I was the area youth commissioner for Hamilton Wentworth area, I learned so much from listening and supporting the scouters and youth in the area. One of my favourite things that I enjoy doing when I was area youth commissioner was helping to present recognition to the volunteers and youth.  also, I also enjoyed hearing how the youth achieved their different award/recognition in area.  

Currently I am a Group Support Scouter for battlefields Council, and I enjoy helping give support to groups around their group health and help support their group commissioners.   

Also, I have been a beaver scouter for about five years I enjoyed the excitement and enthusiasm in beavers. I also enjoy the beaver’s creativity when trying to figure out problems. For example, one night we were doing our stem activity and the beavers wanted to stop water using a dam just like beavers would.  So, beavers use playdough, sticks and other materials to try stopping the water.   This is very interesting the different designs and how creative the beavers were doing this activity.

Outside of Scouting I am a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) and I am currently going to University for my Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education.

Mike Eybel

Mike Eybel is a father of two, Scouter of many, and explorer of the backcountry.

Volunteering as the Battlefields Council Commissioner, Colony scouter, and Company Scouter, Mike enjoys seeing quality programming take root in his local Scout group and across the Council.

In addition to volunteering locally, he is a past moderator of the Scouts Canada National Discussion Group on Facebook. Mike recently put together the National Virtual Campfire connecting volunteers and youth from across the country with scouting spirit.

Mike loves to be an active Scouter on Social Media, where he engages with youth and fellow volunteers from coast to coast to coast on a variety of topics from quality programming to revenue development to the best way to roast, grind, and brew fresh coffee at camp.

Nicholas McCoy (Youth)

Hi my name is Nicholas McCoy I am a scout with the 26th Hamilton scout troop. I have been with my group for 9 years now. Over those years I have been a counselor at cub camp for 2 years, I was the kio for beavers and I have volunteered at beaver camp and I have helped the cubs with 6 camps and also helped with our group sleepover. As you can see I have been to a ton of camps over the years all of them have taught me something new and give me memories that will last my lifetime. Right now I am also our troop leader and that has taught me a lot. I am lucky to have such great people in my group that I know will help me succeed in everything. I have also participated in my group's Christmas concert, Remembrance Day ceremony and our youth service. I can go on and on about my journey through scouts but I could never fit it into 750 words, I have been through a lot of stuff from the bad to the best times I have ever had each time giving me memories that I will never forget. During these 9 years I have worked with a ton of kids and in my school I volunteer at least 2 hours a week doing tech. I also help with the recycling for school and I help in the office handing out papers photocopying delivering stuff to other classes preparing for assembly's, our schools food days and a bunch of other random tasks. Also I am an older brother and everyone who has a sibling knows how hard that can be sometimes. Being an older brother has taught me leadership skills and other good things to know when dealing with cubs and beavers. One thing that has always come naturally to me is public speaking for some reason. I have always loved doing speeches in front of my class or at assemblies or scout events. Another thing about me is that I like to read and I always have a ton of books at camps at home or in school. Something that I find is good to do in scouts is when you are at a camp talk other groups. I think this is good to do because you can make a ton of friends, and it is interesting to find out how other groups do there program because then you can maybe find something that you want to do with your group. So as you can see I have done a bunch of volunteering camps and I have leadership experience and I am good at public speaking. Those are some things about me and why I think I should be the youth voting representative.

Sean Bienhaus (Youth)

As one of seven Beavers present at the first meeting of his home group’s rebirth in 2007, Sean is proud to still be helping today. From his first Sixer’s Council, to two terms as Patrol Leader and then Troop Leader and Chief Scout, to Company Executive and President of the largest Venturer Company in the Council, leadership, common sense, and compassion, are in his soul.

On a weekly basis, he is meeting with the Beaver and Cub pack leadership team, and is an engaged Youth Leader among the kids. The youth look up to him, his wit, his charm, and admire his strong morals. Amid that work, he is also working with others through the Duke of Edinburgh program, at the Gold Level. When faced with adversity in his Scouting world, he pulls the team together, and they strike a plan forward – and they have been faced with things, that they should not have had to face, and have come out on top.

In his personal life, he is an Honour Student, presently graduating from Bishop Ryan CSS, honoured and selected by staff and students, as their 2020 Class Valedictorian.

Not bookish by any means, Sean also holds a Black Belt in Wado-Ryu Karate, and has been the Lead Guitar for the last two years at BR, not only playing live gigs with several bands, but also playing lead last fall with Boris Brott and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, in their Bohemian Rhapsody concert series.

His Scouting journey is just beginning, but his feet are well placed on the path to success.

Tess LeBrun (Youth)

My name is Tessa LeBrun, and I am a 2nd Year Venturer with the 1st Port Dover Venturer Company.

My Scouting Journey started back in 2011, when I joined the 5th Simcoe Beaver Colony as a brown-tail beaver. Ever since I joined the Scouts Canada program, I have thoroughly enjoyed the many adventures I have been able to go on as a part of Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, and now, Venturers.  I often have had the opportunity to speak to my friends and others in the community about my experiences in scouting and how it has had a great impact on my life.

About three years ago, I completed my Woodbadge I – Canadian Path. I have had the opportunity to work as a scouter with many different groups and have volunteered at a few different Camps.  Some of the groups that I have worked with include 5th Simcoe, 1st Simcoe, 1st Port Dover and the South Lake Simcoe Area (a part of Shining Waters Council).  I am currently working on earning my Woodbadge II – Canadian Path. I have also received training to be a Youth Leadership facilitator and look forward to sharing these skills with other youth.

 I have held a variety of leadership roles at the Section, Area, and Council levels, including assisting with younger sections (beavers, cubs, and scouts), being the Area Youth Commissioner of Lynn Valley Area, as well as my current role, which is Council Support Scouter for Youth Engagement and Opportunities. My experience in these roles has enabled me to experience huge personal growth in terms of my self-confidence, my organizational skills, my leadership Skills, my communication skills, and more.

I was 12 years old when I first started as the Lynn Valley Area Youth Commissioner. My young age, as well as the fact that I was often the only youth sitting at the table, meant that I had to learn really fast how to advocate for the youth in my area, and how to make sure that my voice was heard. This was, at times, a difficult path to travel, but I believe the experience has led me to be a better spokesperson for the youth I represent.

The skills and experiences of my different roles within Scouts Canada have given me a broader and richer perspective on involvement with Scouts Canada as a youth member. 

Scouts Canada is an organization that focuses on youth-led programing, recognizing the importance of youth engagement and incorporating the perspectives and voices of youth in all elements of the program.  Scouts Canada has always encouraged youth involvement for making decisions and developing programs at all levels (group, counsel, provincial and national) and I think that being a member of the voting committee is a great way to ensure that the youth’s voices continue to be heard and for programing to continue to be youth-led, even through all the craziness we’ve had recently. Scouting isn’t easy to facilitate right now. Scouters are doing their best, but it is times like these when they could use all the help that they can get. Youth don’t have much of a voice, currently, which is something that I would like to change.  I want to be that connection, a young person who helps to ensures that Scouts Canada continues to be a positive, youth-led organization. 

I thank you for this opportunity to further develop myself, as a both a Youth and a Scouter, as well as the opportunity to be an advocate for those around me.

Vincent Bulman

I was a Cub Scout and Scout in my youth and returned to scouting when my youngest decided that Cubs was for him.  I volunteered and have now been a scouter in West Niagara for 12 years.  I’ve had the roles of Cub Scouter, Troop Scouter, Venturer Advisor, Crew Skip, Group Commissioner, Council Deputy Electoral Officer and Council Recognition Administrator. As is true for many other Scouters, I hold several positions; I’m currently the Contact Troop Scouter and Registrar with 1st North Grimsby. I’m also part of the Canadian Contingent Management Team to the Norway Jamboree 2021.

I have a broad network of fellow scouters in Battlefields and other Councils. I believe in collaborative scouting and participate in the sharing of resources with scouters and scouting groups from Battlefields and other Councils.  I have provided support for Scout Basics and Klondike at Nemo and Snowball at Manitou.  I have taken scouts to Haliburton Scout Reserve, on canoe trips in Algonquin Park and the Grand River, to Calumet in Pennsylvania and have been to the Canadian Jamboree 2017.

I have seen the transition to the Canadian Path and the new on-line training.  This training, I believe is the first step in volunteer training.  I am a strong believer of in-person training since provides hands on experience and develops a network.  In person training also lifts the spirit because by looking at the experience of others we see our success.

I have been the Deputy Electoral Officer for Battlefields Council for several years and have noticed that Battlefields has been direct appointing its Council Voting Representatives for the Annual General Meeting because of a lack of candidates.  I want to challenge that. 

As your representative, I give you the section scouter and youth, a voice.  My vote at the annual general meeting will be cast for what I believe to be in the best interests of Scouts Canada.