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Pacific Coast Council Elections

Candidate Statements

Alex Mendes (Youth)

I'm entering into my 11th year of Scouting with the 1st West Vancouver Group. Over the course of my Scouting career, I've taken on the roles of: Assistant Patrol Leader, Patrol Leader and finally Senior Patrol Leader, achieving my Cheif Scouts Award in 2019. I have grown through the many opportunities presented in Scouts, always trying to step up to the plate as a leader. As Council Youth Commissioner I hope to inspire more youth to be their best throughout the council.

Outside of Scouting, I enjoy my academic pursuits and am a member of other volunteer organizations such as: West Vancouver Youth Philanthropy Council, the Sea-to-Sky Constituency Youth Council and my local Electoral District Association.

As the Council Youth Commissioner, I spend a lot of time interacting with youth of all ages from all across the council. Because of this hands on experience, I feel I have an in depth and personal connection to the passions of youth. I hope to turn their Scouting dreams into a reality through leadership opportunities and support that I can help provide as Council Youth Commissioner. As a voting member I hope to be a voice of unison for these aspirations and ambitions seen all throughout the Council.

Chris Nemeth

Your Pacific Coast Council Voting Representatives have acted this past year to communicate concerns of “Everyday Scouters” to the Board of Governors including our Chief Executive Officer, National Commissioner and National Youth Commissioner. Our attendance at the Scouts Canada National Convention and AGM in November was very important, and I think we influenced the Board of Governors to decide to pay Council Voting Representatives expenses to attend future AGMs. We also encouraged them to hold the recent “Town Hall Meeting” for BC Scouters.

Your Board of Governors has recently clarified the role of Council Voting Representatives to:

  • “Broadly represent the interests of all Ordinary Members, especially Ordinary Members from the Council they represent, as we conduct the business of the corporation,”
  • “…election of Board of Governors members as recommended by the Nominating Committee,”
  • “Bring forward important issues to the Board of Governors and/or Management,” 

The Board of Governors wants to hear from “Everyday Scouters” and as a Council Voting Representative, independent of the normal “chain of command,” I will find more ways to hear your concerns and advocate for you.

Positions Held & Training:

  • Volunteer with 1st West Vancouver since 1993
  • Troop, Company & Crew Scouter, Group Commissioner, West Vancouver District Service Team, North Shore Area Service Team, Trainer (Troop (Wood Badge I & II), Company (Wood Badge I), Group Committee (Wood Badge I), Group Commissioner (Wood Badge I), Canadian Path (Wood Badge I & II))
  • Pacific Coast Council Voting Representative 2019-20
  • Wood Badge I Pack, Company, Group Committee & Group Commissioner; Wood Badge II for Troop, Crew & Canadian Path; Trainer III
  • Silver Acorn, West Vancouver Civic Commitment Award

Ilyas Kherani (Youth)

My name is Ilyas Kherani. I am 14 years old and have been in the Scouting movement since I was 5 years old. I am a grade 9 student who attends Stratford Hall. My hobbies and interests are music, playing sports, watching hockey and volunteering. I had a life changing experience that involved several injuries in my grade 7 year. I came in thinking that it would be a normal year, but it was quite different from normal. It started out with a concussion in mid-October. It took me three months to go back to school full time. Then, I took a skiing trip in February and skied off an embankment and got another concussion. Shortly after my concussion, I was diagnosed with post-concussive migraines. I had started getting better from my migraines and broke my foot. I was almost healed from the broken foot when I broke my other foot. This gave me a different perspective in life, where I felt that I needed to appreciate the time I can give back to my community. I feel that I would be the right candidate for this position because I have the personal skills to work with others. I have also faced challenges that I feel have made me more compassionate and understanding. I have been involved in many volunteer opportunities starting at a young age, when I played the triangle and currently play the snare drum in the Ismali Marching band. I have volunteered within my community as an Ismali volunteer and most recently as a team leader for youth volunteers. I have also been a Student Ambassador and Grade Leader at my school. Through the Scouting movement, I received my Chief's Scout Award in June 2019 as a Pathfinder Scout. I also received a Perseverance Award from my school in grade 7. This award was given to me at the end of the year, despite my many injuries that occured that year. I am also currently working on my bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award, which I hope to finish by the end of thi summer. When I think to the future, I want to see the equality in representation in the Scouting movement. I feel that I would be a good candidate for the Youth Voting Representative given my relevant interests and experiences.

John Geyer

As the current Council Commissioner for PCC, I am passionate about bringing our Council together through events like Scouter Development Days. In the coming years, I am excited to work on expanding the opportunities for both youth and leaders to learn and be trained in key topics via both online and at in-person events in accordance with guidelines. Another key area of focus is working with Scouts National to ensure that our Council is both providing and receiving knowledge and benefits of being part of One Scouts. As a voting member, I commit to being a voice for advancing the views of our Council.

I joined Scouting in 2010 and have been a leader in the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Venturer Sections. During my time as a section Scouter, I helped bring a focus on outdoor activities; including working with my Venturer youth to get PADI scuba certified. The transformational benefits of our program are unparalleled and as such, I am passionate about growing the Scouts program so that all youth can explore the outdoors, challenge themselves, learn leadership skills, and give back to the community.

Peter Mills (Youth)

I have been an active member of Scouts Canada for the last 16 years having been involved from being Beaver to now a Rover. As a youth I have attended a plethora of local, national, and international events where I encountered and learned of some of the many ways that individuals experience Scouting. My major roles include volunteering as my Group’s Youth Commissioner, Deputy Camp Chair of Camp Byng, a Senior Section Camp Assistant Camp Chief, and OOS at local and national jamborees. In these roles I focus on providing quality places to engage in Scouting and quality Scouting program.

As your Pacific Coast Council Voting Representative for the 2019-2020 Scouting year, I worked hard to bring the needs and feelings of the members of PCC to all of the levels of Scouting. Alongside other voting representatives, I was a part of working to get more representation of the members of the organization and we have made steps in that direction. I feel that it is my duty to continue to work on the issue as a Voting Representative once again in the 2020-2021 year.

I intend to help bring the vision of Scouters and Staff in line with each other. To take a strong stance on protecting our irreplaceable physical properties. As a well-informed member of the organization I will ensure that I vote to protect the most important assets we have in Scouting.

Roger Levens

My name is Roger Levens, my group is 6th Centre Lake in Burnaby, I am running to be one of your 3 Voting representatives for Pacific Coast Council (PCC).

My involvement in Scouting is:

  • Participated as a Beaver, Cub, Scout, Venture and Rover
  • Volunteered with Colony, Pack, Troop and Company including being section lead with Colony and Pack, currently section lead with Troop.
  • Deputy Area Commissioner in Burnaby organizing Troop activities for last 3 years
  • Led or team member at 12 camps each with between 75 and 300 youth attending
  • Worked on 3 Scout properties including being on the original committee that built Camp Whonnock.
  • Quartermaster/Asst QM for 15 years
  • Taken the lead on restarting Carriage House. Worked with the City of Burnaby to secure a long term, no charge location to reopen. Worked with the QM team to create the business plan for the operation.

My focus is on providing a great program for the youth. If we provide a strong program, youth will want to participate. In order to provide a great program, we need resources: volunteers, volunteer training, program, camps, finances and democracy. If elected I will use my vote to support these items.

Volunteer Training

  • I support in-person Wood Badge training. PCC has a network of trainers that we need to reactivate and support. The on-line training courses should be the back-up option when in-person training is not available.
  • I am in favor of doing Group Commissioner training locally. Flying GCs to Ottawa for 4 days to train is expensive and environmentally unfriendly.
  • I support Scouter Development days as an opportunity to network and learn skills.

Program

  • I support having a section program book available for youth and Scouters. A book would provide all the section information in one place and would work well in conjunction with Scoutstracker.
  • I support a slower rate of change to our rules (BP&P). BP&P should be clear, concise and have limited change. As a volunteer-run organization we need to have a stable foundation on which to create programs for our individual section.
  • I support the elected voting representatives proposing, amending and approving all changes to BP&P and doing this once a year at the national AGM, the rules approved in November should not come into effect until the following September. The voting delegates would be the voice of the local Scouters with respect to BP&P.

Camps

  • I support PCC continuing to have its camps and cabins for use by the youth, I support the work of the many volunteers who operate and maintain those Scout camps.
  • I support the work done by BCY Scout Properties to provide us with properties on which to have our camps and cabins.
  • I support ending the lawsuit started by Scouts Canada against BCY Scout Properties over the sale of Vancouver Scout shop. Youth registration fees should not be funding lawsuits.

Finances

  • I support local groups keeping a portion of the annual registration fee. I would like to see this amount increasing each year until groups are keeping half of the registration fee. Parents should know a portion of the registration fee is staying with the group to pay for their child’s program.
  • I support the Council team having control of their bank accounts and setting their own budget based on the needs of the Council.

Democracy

  • I support groups having control over their registration process.
  • I support the 2020 AGM motions brought forward by Chris Nemeth to make Scouting more democratic.
  • I support local groups electing their GC and local Councils electing their Commissioner, rather than the current appointment process.
  • I support Councils having AGMs where the membership elects the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners, where financial statements, budgets and other items are approved by the membership.
  • I support Area’s and Area program, if Area Scouters are prepared to organize them.

Volunteers

  • Our movement’s success is based on the efforts of many volunteers. We need to support our volunteers by giving them good training, straightforward program rules, camps to use, financial resources and a democratic environment where their voices can be heard.
  • I support making it simple to remain a member when you are no longer part of a group, this would include those in camp committees, resource Scouters and Guild members.

Thank-you for considering me.

Sebastian Markwick

Dear members of PCC, I’m writing to seek re-election as voting member for our Council. I first want to thank you all for choosing me to represent you for the 2019-2020 Scouting year.  In that time we have been able to speak directly with you and bring your feelings, opinions, and concerns to the organization as a whole. 

In my nearly 20 years as a member of Scouts Canada I’ve been through and know the program inside and out. Though this year has changed a few things you’ll usually find me as a Troop Scouter with the 1st West Van And helping out on the Camp Byng Committee. In the past I’ve been involved on Council and Area levels, as well as the 2019 Pacific Jamboree. 

Thank you for taking the time to consider me for your vote.