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Saskatchewan Council Elections

Candidate Statements

Benjamin Eng

My name is Benjamin Eng. I have been a member with Scouts Canada for 25 years. I am the Group Commissioner and founding member 1st Saskatchewan Chinese Scouting Group since the group started in 2008.

I begin my scouting journey when I was 21 and I was a Cub leader for 7 years with Regina 86th Scout Group and later became the Group Commissioner of Regina 86th from 2006 - 2008. I have been actively participating and leading youth program (Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Venturers, and Rovers) through my 25 years of service with Scouts Canada at the group level, area level, and Council level.

I have been a Trainer with Saskatchewan Council since 1999. I have organized and led several WB I and II and various training events as a trainer and coordinator. I also organized several Area Kub Kar Rally and Council-wide promotion events.

Besides my volunteer role, I was employed by Manitoba Council from 2001 to 2003 as the Membership Development Worker and worked for Scouts Canada - Saskatchewan Council as the Council Field Executive for 10 months.

I have completed my WB I and WB II for Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Venturers, and Group Commissioner. I also complete my Trainer I, II, and III and got my 4th beads.

I had the opportunity to attend Canadian Jamboree 2001, and 2013 as Sub Camp staff and couple other provincial jamboree.

Garret Lissinna (Youth)

Within this write up I will give a rundown of my time with scouting and some reasons as to why I am interested in this position. Having held this position in the previous year and really enjoying the experience and opportunities it offered me, I would like to continue my involvement at this level of Scouts Canada.

My scouting career bagan 17 years ago as I started to work my way through the sections. During my time as a scout I was able to attend the Canadian Jamboree as a participant at CJ13 and an offer of service at CJ17. I found my time at CJ17 particularly eye opening as it was my first step into gaining independent experience as a Scouter. This was pivotal to my decision to expand my scouting career into a leadership role on top of my involvement at a rover level. For the past 2 years I have been working as a cub scouter and plan on continuing my involvement at this level into the future.

Venturing into a leadership position made me realize how much I value scouting and has widened my skills when working with the younger sections. I believe this is valuable as I am someone who they can look up to as an example of where their scouting career can take them. In 2019 I had the privilege of attending the World Jamboree in West Virginia and had a once in a lifetime experience. The connections I made and knowledge I brought back has only strengthened my commitment to scouting and the wonderful experiences it allows youth.

This last spring I have been expanding my involvement at a council level and have stepped up to take on a group support scouter role. Unfortunately with the way the world has gone as of late I haven’t been fully thrusted into that role and have not yet been able to get much training but with the wonderful support I’ve been receiving at the council level I’ve been able to get my toes wet and begin providing support for my first group with the second hopefully coming once the fall season starts to arrive. This has helped me diversify my understanding of the current structure of scouting and made me a more knowledgeable asset for my fellow scouters. I hope to get more fully immersed in this position in the next year.

I hope my perspective and engaged history with scouting brings useful and unique opportunities for my fellow scouters and youth from the group to council level.

Kate Abrahamson (Youth)

My name is Kate Abrahamson and I am 18 years old. I am a 2020 grad (If that doesn’t get me sympathy votes I don’t know what will) and obviously missed my typical grad, and my prom. I honestly think my mom was more upset about it than me, but then again, she paid for my dress. As soon as prom was discussed being cancelled, my mom began figuring out how to give me the “high school send” off everyone else got. She almost immediately thought of having a formal party for some of my friends who had also missed a prom. She told me to start thinking of people from my school that I would want there, and I did just that. My first thought was my escort, Jean-Luc, and then my best friends, Luke, Austin, Logan, Ali and many more. It was pretty simple, after about a minute I’d rattled off over ten names that I wanted to celebrate with me. The problem we found with this selection was not only that these people were not in my graduating class, but they weren’t even from my city. In fact, the only thing that we had in common was that we had all met through Scouting.

To me, Scouting is not just about the lifelong skills you learn, but most importantly it’s about the lifelong friends you make. I have not only experienced it, but I now get to watch it happen with younger youth. On numerous occasions I have been at Anglin Lake and have seen two kids who were strangers that morning now joint at the hip, or someone clearly beginning to look up to a Scouter or a member of my staff. This is a movement that I am immensely proud of being a part of, and I am hoping to be able to help develop in the near future.

Logan Fossenier (Youth)

Hello there and good evening, or perhaps good afternoon… and possibly good morning! My name is Logan Fossenier and I am a Venturer Scout who has been a part of the Scouting Movement for more than a decade now, which is saying a lot for a sixteen-year-old!

Most of my years have been spent as a member of 51st Montgomery Scouts, where I’ve canoed the Red Deer River, Biked hundreds of Kilometers away, and slept in the snow of our Saskatchewan winters. But recently, I’ve also become a member of the Saskatchewan Service Corps, where my scouting skills have been refined, my leadership has been developed, and my work ethic has proved strong. I love Scouting for the help it brings communities, the fun it brings to youth, and the friends it makes in people. And over my years of being a Scout, I’ve started to become aware of certain things that this program has brought to me, that are more hidden and subtle. As a Beaver I felt friendship and kindness, as a Cub I learned how to be a good and respectful member of a community, and as a Scout I was able to experience the ruggedness of the wilderness thanks to my formidable Leaders. But now, as I have become a Venturer, and especially since having joined the Service Corps, I’ve learned to lead and to guide others. It is because of this new skill that I have become more and more eager to bring everything I have been privileged enough to experience in Scouting to the younger aged groups as well. I helped to organize my Venturer Company into being leader-aids for the Beavers, and camping helpers for the scouts. And at the Service Corps, I’ve guided Scouts and Cubs through Shelter-making, fire-lighting, nature hikes, and all other manners of survival and wilderness activities. Even outside of Scouting I’ve been improved as a person, feeling more confident in taking the initiative in class, or being more motivated as an individual to better my personal life. Scouts to me isn’t simply the camping, to me Scouting is an experience that is hard to find anywhere else, one where as a collective, we feel connected to nature, close to our peers, and empowered as people.

These are the simple reasons why I seek to be a part of the Voting Representatives, to help bring about decisions that provide a place for the experiences I’ve had in my years of Scouting, to affect others as well. Thank you for taking the time to read through a brief collection of my Scouting experiences and hope you have a wonderful evening, afternoon, or morning.

Rachel Vogelsang (Youth)

I’m 14 years old and have been in scouts since October 2016 and soon be going into my first year of ventures. As well as my first year of high school. I’ve taken on many roles inside and outside of scouting such as being the troop leader in 2018- 2019 scouting year and been very involved with my school over the years. I have great teamwork and negotiation skills. As well as, I am friendly and accessible. When making decisions I am fair and don’t jump to conclusions right away. I have a strong work ethic and want to be a part of our Scouting decision making. I make decisions with a logical perspective.  After graduation, I want to work in the field of either business, or politics. By being given this opportunity it would help me learn more about how decisions are made within scouting and with me voting we can improve scouting even more!

Randy Abrahamson

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.