Hi, I am Randy Abrahamson and I would like to represent Saskatchewan as a voting delegate for the commencing year. Thank you for being interested in the future of Scouting and taking the time to read this brief description of who I am, and my involvement in Scouting over the past twenty years.
Over these past years I have gotten to know a lot of great people across the province. My first experience meeting Scouters from outside of my own group was a pivotal moment (weekend) while taking a WoodBadge I course sixteen years ago. Many of the people that I met at that course are still my friends today. The experience of that weekend has turned out to be a synopsis of my life in Scouting:
I recall being welcomed at the gate to camp by a friendly face and a lantern.
Since then, at many events I have met that same warm welcome. I felt it on my first visit to Wilderness Rendezvous, when I arrived at Arrowhead camp at Gillwell, and my first trip to Anglin Lake.
I remember how the learning we were doing was as much about what the person beside us was contributing as it was about what the course instructor was delivering.
I believe I have learned just as much by watching my friends learn, try, and succeed or fail. Understanding that everyone learns differently has made a huge impact on how I teach my peers or youth. One of my most important lessons was taught to me by a 12 year old who was the most trouble on a hike at Wilderness Rendezvous. We came out of the bush, and his peers were staring at their compasses figuring out their next bearing. They, and myself, became quite annoyed with this boy who immediately started walking across the meadow. Lo and behold, while his peers were busy setting their compasses, he had spotted our next piece of flagging, and was headed straight for it. I realized in that moment that everyone had something important to offer to the group, as long as we were open to their contribution.
The fun we had playing games and talking into the wee hours on Saturday night. 24 hours prior I knew almost none of these people. Now we were acting like family that all came together for Grandma’s birthday.
I cannot count the number of times, or the number of places that this same scene has played out in my Scouting life; Camp Gillwell, Good Spirit, Cypress Hills, Camp Seeonee, Anglin Lake, Bethel United Church, and so many others. Some of these places are gone, and so are a few of the friends, but the memories are still there.
I also remember the Scouts Own from that camp. My first real Scouts Own and there have been so many great ones since. There was 40 or 50 adults and a few youth sitting on the benches of the Chapel at Camp Seeonee. That Scouts Own was planned and led by four youth members of the Saskatchewan Service Corps, aged 12 to 16. They led that Scouts Own with a confidence and professionalism that I knew none of us adults could have matched.
So many times I have been stunned by the capabilities and maturity of Scouting youth, the Service Corps being just one example. The youth at WR coming in from a hike, the many youth who participated in the Swamp Hike, the six Scouts I went to CJ with and so many others. When we treat youth as adults, or at least as much older youth, by giving them more responsibilities and freedoms but yet still holding them accountable, they will truly amaze us. But of course this is true, as the only difference between adults and youth is that youth have less experiences, and it is our job as Scouters to provide them with those.
I will be honoured to represent Saskatchewan as a voting delegate this next year.