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Shining Waters Council Elections

Candidate Statements

Daniel Lei

Hello, My name is Daniel Lei, I am currently a GSS of Shining Waters Council. My Council Commissioner Kit Cheng has recommended me to be nominated as the SWC Council Voting Rep. Yesterday, I had a good discuss with Scouter Kit Cheng and he has supported and recommended me to get nominated to this position.

To introduce myself, here is a brief history of my Scouting career:

  1. I was a founding member of 333rd Markham Scout Group, Markham, Ontario in 2003. The 333rd Markham has been around for 17 years. I have been volunteering in this Group for 17 years;
  2. At 333rd Markham,
    1. In the beginning of my Scouting years, I have worked as Contact Colony Scouter for 9 years at 333rd Markham,
    2. Then I have helped the Group to setup the Rover Crew in 2012,
    3. I have been working in 333rd Markham as Contact Crew Scouter for the last 8 years,
    4. I have also been in-charge of many camps and activities at 333rd Markham,
    5. I have been acting Group Commissioner during the absence of my GC at 333rd Markham
  3. In the Council involvements, I have been working in the capacity of
    1. GSS, SWC – 1 year till now
    2. Area Commissioner of YHW Area – One Year until the position was changed
    3. Deputy Area Commissioner of YHW Area – Group Support Lead for 3 years
    4. Deputy Area Commissioner of YHW Area – Group Support for 2.5 years
    5. Assistant Area Commissioner of YHW Area – Special Event for 2 years
    6. Trainer of SWC – 12 years
    7. I have attended many Council / Area Events including camps, fun days and many other activities
    8. I have completed Woodbadge I and II. Also completed Canadian Path WoodBadge I online. I have also completed Trainer Development I (TD1) when it was still available. And countless other trainings and sharing workshops.

In my day job, I am an IT Manager looking after a team of programmers and in charge of Business Applications in my company. I have been a project manager as well as people manager in my work career for more than 15 years. The above are just a brief introduction of myself.

Elkan Fok (Youth)

Starting as a cub and growing into an actively involved Youth Spokesperson, my ten years in Scouting and volunteering in the Shining Waters Council have given me valuable experience that I can apply to my other aspects of life. By being a voting representative, I can help shape Scouts Canada and serve as a bridge between the organization and its youths.

Besides enjoying activities within my group, I have gone beyond to be an Assistant Trainer in Outdoor Skills Training camps for 3 years, served as the Master of Ceremonies for group, area, and council level events, and served in First Aid and cooking teams in many Scouting events. I enjoy being a good steward of the environment and helping out others. Organizing Shoreline Cleanup, Yellow Fish Road, Adopt-a-Stream, food bank, and first aid projects are things that I consistently do and find great joy in doing.

In the STEM program, I go around to various groups to share this expertise with the Scouters and Youth. In CJ’17, I brought this knowledge nationwide as a STEM program volunteer. This specialization has allowed me to facilitate STEM workshops and promote the STEM program at ScoutCon 2018 in the Shining Waters Council.

As a Scouts Canada Youth Spokesperson, I had the opportunity to share about Scouting to the general public at the Outdoor Adventure Show. I found in this role that I was able to learn more and connect with the larger picture of the Scouting community, being able to work with others nationwide to promote Scouting. Other achievements I have gotten within Scouts Canada include the Six Star Award, the Chief Scout Award, the Queen’s Venturer Award, the Medal of Maple, and the Medal for Good Service.

In recent times under the pandemic, I have worked with Scouter Henry Fok to develop online programs to help youth enjoy Scouting at home. We share these programs with others and invite other groups to join us. We utilized this opportunity to connect with Scouts in other countries, such as Taiwan and the UK. 

Scouting is a big passion of mine and I take it seriously, which is why I spend so much time helping this wonderful organization. If I become a voting representative for the Shining Waters Council, I will make sure to bring the concerns of both the youth and the adults to the table and promote meaningful change that will benefit the movement as a whole. Thank you for your support this upcoming election! Happy Scouting!

Fiona Empke

I have been involved in Scouting since September 1991 when my son joined Beavers as a participant and I joined as a Scouter. Since 1991 I have been involved in Colony, Troop and company at the Section level. Additionally I have been involved at the Area level as a member of various training teams and service teams. Currently I am a Troop scouter and secretary of the group committee for 5th Aurora.

I have stayed involved in Scouting through the many changes I have observed as I believe in the ultimate mission of Scouting to prepare young people for the future. As Scouting continues to evolve in these changing times I think it is more important than ever that the voices of the volunteers regularly working with the youth are heard. I want to try to ensure that volunteers are included in the decisions made for future changes to this movement.

I am prepared to represent the youth and Scouters of Shining Waters Council as a Member at Large Voting Member to the best of my ability and I hope to be able to represent everyone’s viewpoints.

Greg Peach

For those that do not know me, my name is Greg Peach. I joined Scouting as a Cub in 1976 and went all the way through the program to Rovers. I transitioned into a Scouter with Troop in 1987 and became Troop Scouter in 1990. I have lived in Barrie since 1993 where I was a member of the District Service Team and Assistant District Commissioner for Rovers. I am currently the Group Commissioner for 10th Barrie and a Group Support Scouter. I am proud to say the I am a 3rd Generation Scouter and my son Adam, who has achieved his Chief Scout, is a Colony Scouter and moving up to Venturers, is proudly carrying on the tradition!

Why Am I telling you all this? I strongly believe that my background in Scouting and my ability to adapt to the ever-changing landscape makes me an ideal candidate to represent the members of Shining Waters Council at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM). I was honoured to represent you this past year as a voting member and believe that the coming year will be key in keeping Scouting viable in the present situation we are all in. While many feel that the AGM is just a rubber stamp event, I am able to tell you that it is not. Many grass root initiatives get their start at such venues and it is the perfect platform for the local scouting community to have their voices heard.

Thank you for your consideration and I hope that you can support my bid to represent you at the 2020 Annual General Meeting.

Jason Gingrich (Youth)

I have been an active member in SWC since joining as a Cub in 2007, and have been a volunteer since 2014. Having been involved with various Council projects even before my current role of Council Youth Commissioner, I’ve had the opportunity to build relationships with various Groups across the entire Council. These relationships have been essential to leading with a front-lines-first mentality, ensuring that our Groups & Youth are the focus of the work done at the Council level.

Manon Rodrigues

I have been a volunteer with 1st Bradford since 2014.  I started as a drop and run parent.  I was approached when my child went from Troop to Venturer to be a Troop Scouter.  My youngest was just coming into Beavers and I felt I could make the commitment.  I am glad I did.  When I embarked on my journey, the Canadian Path was in its infancy.  I really became passionate about implementing the Path in our Troop and know it is relevant in today’s world.   I have made new friends, learned new skills, and pushed myself outside my comfort level. 

As a Voting Representative, I want to see Scouting is kept relevant.  I want to see the Canadian Path accessible to all.  Most importantly, I want to see the youth achieve their best on their own terms.  To have experiences that even amaze themselves, have successes, learn from failures, and take pride in a job well done.  As a Troop Scouter, one of the most amazing things to see is when a youth smiles and says I did this! Whether it is their first camp or 50th or their first or 5th portage of the day. When you see their smiles and pride shine in their eyes, it makes being a Scouter so worth it.  During a Winter Camp, a new youth wanted to build a tarp shelter for the weekend after seeing other groups building one. The youth recruited another youth, gathered their supplies, and said we are going to do this.  The first night, their gear spilled out, there were drafts, and the tarp had dropped.  The youth did not give up though, they did not go home, and they were not going into a tent.  They went back to the drawing board and that night, their shelter kept them and all their gear under the tarp, warm, and no drafts.  Their excitement was palpable.  They were excited to tell their parents. And we were there for support and even though the first night had fewer successes, they were always safe. I just remember them smiling, standing proud, and that memory always grounds me.  It always brings me back to why I am involved in Scouting.

I have always overlooked the call for Voting Members.  However, with the current COVID-19 events and offering Scouting at Home, there is a need to keep Scouting around for all our current and future youth as well as for the adult members.  Another Scouter had mentioned that I should consider putting in my name.  I have passion, perseverance, and resourcefulness.  I think outside the box as much as I think inside the box.  I felt I could not overlook the call this time.  Now is the time for me to act.  I want to see changes that keep our youth safe while experiencing the great adventures they can create in Scouting.  Scouting has to be inclusive, accessible, relevant, and affordable.

A little side note about the youth and the tarp shelter.  I was watching as they were building their shelter.  I saw where they would spill out and if it snowed they could get wet.  I went over and offered assistance, gave my input, showed where……but when I looked up the light diminished in the youth’s eyes, shoulders slumped, and the youth retreated within themselves.  It was wow, I really was killing the spirit here.  I looked around, did a risk assessment.  If they got wet?  There were dryers 20 minutes’ away, extra sleeping bags in the back of my truck.  They were on a flat spot so if they did spill out they wouldn’t be rolling down a hill.  I handed the youth the pegs and said I’ll be setting up tent over there, let me know if you need anything.  I had my failure and success at that camp too.  Learned a valuable lesson, youth are capable.  They just need to be heard. They need people who will allow them the opportunity. And as a Voting Member I would do that for our youth.

This is a new part of my journey in Scouting. I believe that we must always elevate ourselves to another level to help make changes.   I would like to be a part of continuing the movement and as a Voting Member I can be a part of it.  There are also other ideas to I would like to share and want to hear what others have to say.  I would like to see emails created for Scouters and youth to be part of their identity during their Scouting journey. I hope I can introduce this concept as a Voting Member.