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Scouting Life Blog

No Carts left behind Article

January 21, 2022

67th Winnipeg Joins the Bear Clan Patrol

The Bear Clan Patrol in Winnipeg provides support to citizens in areas...

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Scouting for Life Article

November 23, 2021

Scouting for Life

It’s a typical October day in Vancouver, the heavy rain pooling on the laneway...

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No Carts left behind Article

September 8, 2021

Beaver North Star Award Project: No Cats Left Behind

We’re Keiran and Keagan. We’re eight-years-old twins. We like to catch bugs, ride bikes,...

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2020 Amory Award recipients Article

September 2, 2021

2020 Amory Award recipients Algonquin Provincial Park Adventure

In September 2020, members of the 1st Bolton Venturer...

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70th Group Article

May 29, 2021

Hat’s Off to 70-Year Pin Recipients

You won’t see them hiking steep terrain, soaring down ziplines...

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Brooklyn's Article

May 24, 2021

4th Triwood Venturer Raises Awareness for Type 1 Diabetes Research


Brooklyn Rhead, a 4th Triwood Venturer, is aiming...

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Northern Group Article

May 23, 2021

Northern Group Shines a Light On Community

It’s easy to feel like the bloom on the phrase “everyone is in it...

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60th Winnipeg Article

May 20, 2021

60th Winnipeg’s Yvonne Kyle Scores National Award

The Governor General’s Sovereign Medal for Volunteers...

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The Bear Clan Patrol

YVONNE  KYLE, Scouts Canada Storyteller - January 21, 2022

The Bear Clan Patrol in Winnipeg provides support to citizens in areas of the city with high incidence of poverty, homelessness, and addictions. A grassroots, community-minded group, Bear Clan Patrol uses street patrols and outreach programs to help neighbours get to know each other and to provide citizens with familiar faces they can turn to in time of need. Patrols strive to give all people a greater sense of safety and community. 

The 67th Winnipeg Scout Group has a long history of contributing to their community, including volunteering at the local food bank and soup kitchen and organizing garbage clean-ups. When a group contact suggested to Venturer and Troop Scouts that they could invest some time with the Winnipeg Bear Clan Patrol, the youth were quick to take it on.

The role of the youth on patrols varies. On one occasion when the Bear Clan was focusing on youth in the neighborhood, the Scouts prepared care packages with healthy snacks to hand out, primarily to children and families. During a cold winter night patrol, youth helped to deliver blankets to folks on the street. On another evening, they were the lookouts in a search for used needles that their Bear Clan hosts collected for safe disposal.

Patrolling with the Bear Clan has made the Scouts aware of circumstances they had not previously seen first-hand. They knew homelessness was a concern in their city but until the patrol, they had not met anyone without a place to live. The run-down, crowded houses of families they shared their care packages with showed them poverty that is uncommon in their comfortable, middle-class neighborhood, and needles and empty bottles brought home the reality of addictions to the youth.

What had the greatest impact on the Scouts though, was not the challenges but rather the smiles.  Conversations with the people they met did not usually go beyond a simple “thank you” for some fruit or a blanket, but the smiles told the youth how much a small gift meant to them. When Bear Clan members spoke to shy, quiet children, the youngsters opened up and became chatty and friendly. It made the Scouts feel good that the Bear Clan presence allowed children in vulnerable circumstances to feel unafraid. For the Scouts, seeing for themselves the effect of friendly words and simple acts gave them a personal connection with the people they were helping that was more gratifying than any other service work they had done.  

The Scouts who worked with Bear Clan Patrol have some sage advice for anyone not sure how to respond when they encounter people struggling on the street.

“All people deserve dignity.”

“Be kind to them.”

“Don’t assume they’re a bum.”

“Don’t make judgements. People are not in their situation by choice.”

“People being down on their luck doesn’t mean they should be written off.”

“If you have time and opportunity to help your community, you should.”

“We should feel lucky about what we have and not pissed off about what we don’t have.”  

Thank you to 67th Winnipeg Scouts and Venturers Liam Fitzell, Dylan Delaat, Ruby Murphy, Sam Ormiston, Liam Keeney, Kevin Sim and Justin Murphy, and Scouters Judy Brown, John Delaat and Larry Stewart for their help in preparing this story.

Brenda Jew and Ken McFaul

Brenda Jew and Ken McFaul

Kevin Bowers

Kevin Bowers

KATE MACDONELL, Scouts Canada Storyteller  – November 23, 2021

It’s a typical October day in Vancouver, the heavy rain pooling on the laneway adjoining Chown United Church. Spilling out through the Church’s gym doors on this dark, wet Saturday afternoon are the cheerful sounds of conversation and laughter. These belong to a group of people gathering to celebrate the 75th anniversary of 46th Chown Group and the awarding of a 50-year service pin to outgoing Group Commissioner Ken McFaul. Beavers and Venturers collect in tight clusters while seniors in neckers and fully loaded badge scarfs mill around the brightly lit gym. They’re looking at displays, watching slide shows and exchanging the stories that can be heard at every Scouting social event across the country. 

Now in his 23rd year of volunteering, Kevin Bowers is 46th Chown’s Registrar. A retired IT specialist, Bowers started Scouting with his now 29-year old son in Beavers and has never left the movement. “I had never been winter camping before, so as my son was learning about it, I was learning too, learning things we still do together as a family,” he says of his early years. Bowers has since been able to use his professional skills for the benefit of the Group, managing the transition to MyScouts. He also supported Scouting for children from single-parent families, many of whom he believed did not otherwise have the opportunity to camp. “But now,” he confesses, “I keep volunteering because I like the camaraderie of the leaders more than going to the camps.” 

Accountant Bruce Warren joined Chown’s Beaver Colony in 1968. Raised in a Scouting family, he began volunteering for Scouts in university. Being a Scouter took on added significance years later when he and some like-minded parents in Tswawwassen created a new Group, numbering as many as 150 children at one time. “We all believed the important part was to get the kids outdoors, camping, hiking, doing service projects, picking up garbage, planting trees, whatever was the thing of the day, but always outdoors.” The skills learned still serve his children well. “As a young man, I had no fear of going off anywhere because I knew how to look after myself and I can see that in my sons now. They’re 31 and 33 and they can just pick up and go off on camping trips, hiking the West Coast Trail, and I attribute that to Scouts.” He still offers his time when needed. 

Brenda Jew, 46th Chown’s Chair, heard about the Scouting from friends and signed up her sons, now 26 and 29. She’s quick to attribute her sons’ independence and leadership skills to their years in Scouting. “Scouts has prepared them for life.” An administrator at Children’s Hospital, she started volunteering as Group Secretary when her boys were still young. Twenty-two years later, she’s the Group Chair and still attends all-sections camps where she loves to help with the cooking. Even though her own sons have long since moved on, Jew says she has no intention of giving up her volunteer work with 46th Chown. “I can’t quit because they’re like my children. They’re my Scouting family and I’ll stay as long as they still want me around.” 

Keiran and Keagan Daeninck

Story Submitted By KEIRAN AND KEAGAN DAENINCK  – September 8, 2021

We’re Keiran and Keagan. We’re eight-year-old twins. We like to catch bugs, ride bikes, tell stories, play Nintendo Switch, and spend time with our family. We started Cub Scouts with the 163rd Winnipeg Group this spring and before that we were Beaver Scouts. Our favorite things at Scouts are camping, having adventures, and earning badges like the Pet Care Beaver Badge. We really liked the Great 8 Challenge, especially making water filters because we got dirty. 

Our family has three cats named Super Nova, Merlin and Pungee. Super Nova and Merlin both came from Rescue Siamese, a cat rescue shelter in Winnipeg. Merlin is a “foster fail.” We fostered him during the pandemic and then we fell so much in love with him we adopted him. He is so cute. We love cats and we keep asking for another one.    

If you get a rescue cat, you’re giving an animal a second chance. We wanted to help more cats and we know Rescue Siamese always needs money to look after the cats that come to the shelter. So, for our Beaver North Star Award project, we decided to raise money for them. We called our project “No Cats Left Behind, like the Scouts No One Left Behind program – they help kids in Scouts and we help cats. Our slogan was “Be a Cat Hero!” Our goal was to raise $1000.00. 

We made a poster and thought up a commercial. Mom helped us record the commercial and she posted it on the 163rd Winnipeg and Rescue Siamese Facebook pages. If people donated money or supplies to the shelter they could send us a photo of their pets. We would make a drawing from the photo. Mom took pictures of our drawings and sent them to the pet owners. Sometimes along with a realistic drawing of the pet, we would make a fun surprise like a Batcat and a dog with a unicorn horn. The drawing we liked best was the rainbow bridge. The donor’s cat Lucy had passed away – the owner said she crossed the rainbow bridge – and they missed her. Our cat Behr died when we were younger and we miss him too. We drew Lucy on the rainbow bridge and Behr on the other side so they could keep each other company and not be lonely. Lucy and Behr both came from Rescue Siamese. 

Our favorite parts of No Cats Left Behind were seeing all the different pets and helping the shelter cats. We really liked making the pictures and seeing how they turned out. And we had lots of fun surprising people with our drawings. We did have a few fights along the way, mostly when we couldn’t remember whose markers were whose, but mostly we worked pretty well together. 

We did about 70 drawings and we made a lot of money, like $900.00. We were a little disappointed we didn’t reach our goal but then somebody donated another $100.00 to make $1000.00. We were pretty happy.  

You could “Be a Cat Hero” too. Give a cat a second chance by adopting it or by donating money or supplies to Rescue Siamese.

Written by Keiran and Keagan Daeninck with help from Tara Baxter-Daeninck and Scouts Canada Storyteller, Yvonne Kyle.

1st Bolton Venturer recipients

Story Submitted by Venturer Scout ROBERT MILLIKEN,  - September 2, 2021

In September 2020, members of the 1st Bolton Venturer Company completed their Duke of Edinburgh Award Adventurous Journey requirements after months of activity restrictions due to COVID-19. A joint trip was carefully organized by eight youth: Robert Milliken, Erik Mumford, Tom Hedley, Alexander Lee, Christopher Dunn, Isaac Soward and Daniel Quintal. The trip took them on an exciting four-night canoe trip through Algonquin Park including through eight beautiful lakes and involving 13 portages.

 Although planning a four-day camping and paddling expedition takes a lot of thought and organization in regular times, this team was faced with developing their plans during a pandemic. The team was required to incorporate many new practices into their plans to ensure everyone’s safety and to be ready to go when conditions opened to allow camping activities such as this. The group quickly began organizing virtual meetings and discussions which were facilitated remotely via Zoom and Discord. Everything from planning the lightweight equipment needed, watching paddling safety videos, reviewing maps and establishing a route to planning healthy meals, as well as creating packing lists and transportation plans were done virtually in advance of the trip.

The group also used these meetings to map out how to ensure that they met all COVID-19 safety protocols such as social distancing, masking, sanitizing, etc. This led them to review the way equipment was handled ensuring that not only did participants maintain good hand washing/sanitizing practices but also that everyone handled their own materials (tent, paddle, PFDs, packs, gear etc.) Everyone identified their own personal belongings with uniquely coloured paracord to ensure items were easily identified to limit accidental handling. Masks were worn throughout the trip and everyone slept in an individual tent which was kept with the rest of their gear to ensure social distancing and allow for sleeping without masking.

All the planning was well worth it; it allowed the youth to experience the beauty of Algonquin and prove to themselves what they are capable of doing, especially on the long portages and through the rain… lots and lots of rain (and some hail!) The team’s effort was rewarded with being selected as the Scouting 2020 Amory Award recipients recognizing their initiative in conceiving, planning and executing an outdoor adventure activity.

Special thanks to their advisors Scouters Derek Mumford, Karen and Dwight Matson, Andrew Soward and Rover Ethan Mumford whose guidance, patience and expertise was invaluable in making this a trip of a lifetime.


70-Year Pin Award

 KATE MACDONELL, Scouts Canada Storyteller – May 29, 2021

You won’t see them hiking steep terrain, soaring down ziplines or bunking down in a tent at camp, anymore. They go about their business a little more quietly these days, often behind the scenes in a Group or Council committee. Yet three recent recipients of 70-year pins have, between them, donated more than two hundred years of service to Canadian youth. Two hundred and ten, to be exact. That’s an astonishing two centuries (plus a decade) of their collective time, attention and caring. 

Their names are Mina Heinbecker (1st Hamilton West Mountain), Wayne Godfrey (11th Westminster Sault St. Marie) and Art Fletcher (Cascadia Council). Over the past seventy years, they have held a wide range of roles, from Troop Scouter and regional Scout Master to Provincial Commissioner and Honours and Awards Committee member. While each has built lifelong friendships through their volunteering, what truly unites them is their drive to serve Canada’s young people through the Scouting movement. In their own modest words: 

I can run the games now, even if I can’t get down and play them. I get along with people but the kids are more important. Some of them have never been away from home before, or they don’t get quite enough attention at home. The things we do are small but so important to the child. The youngsters take a lot of it in and most of them will come back and say, ‘I remember when we lit that campfire and I nearly burnt the house down.’ One of the youngsters couldn’t skip worth anything and so we learned to do it together. These are the things they wouldn’t have learned if they weren’t in the Group. – Mina Heinbecker, Pack Scouter 

I’m 89 years old and can’t keep up with them but am still active in the Group. I have kept involved because I enjoyed the movement, dealing with the leaders and the boys. You learn something new every day from the kids. It’s unbelievable what they can show you. I tell new leaders that it’s an experience you will never get from anywhere else. It also gives you the opportunity to teach the younger generation what life is all about. I have a knack for knots and don’t know how many boys I taught to tie knots. When you do it for 65 years, there’s a lot that go through and learn from you. – Wayne Godfrey, Group Committee member  

I can’t get out as much as I used to but am prepared to do what I can to assist Groups here with honours and awards. I started volunteering in 1949. I’d had a pretty happy experience as a Scout and was 18 years old and wanted to give back. I was headed into teaching and it’s just another form of teaching. Beyond things like the ability to take care of oneself in the bush, and cooking, it builds leadership in youth. It has enhanced my life because of my involvement, the personal satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping youth. That’s what keeps us all involved, knowing that we’re helping kids to develop. – Art Fletcher, Honours and Awards Committee member 

Congratulations to all of you and a great big thanks from Scouters and youth across this country! 


Brooklyn Rhead

Brooklyn Rhead

LAURA FLETT, Scouts Canada Storyteller - May 24, 2021

Brooklyn Rhead, a 4th Triwood Venturer, is aiming to raise $5000 for type one diabetes research as part of her Queen’s Venturer Award. Brooklyn is inspired by her and struggles with type one diabetes since her diagnosis in February 2020. Her aim is to raise awareness while fundraising for research towards a cure.  

Brooklyn’s efforts have included reaching out to friends and family, community leaders, community foundations, news networks, and Scouts Canada. She has also plastered posters throughout her Calgary community and she has spoken about her project on Global News Radio. She is hoping for more opportunities to continue to spread awareness and funds for her project in the coming weeks.  

Prior to her diagnosis, Brooklyn suffered from symptoms that included extreme thirst, hair loss, fatigue, inability to concentrate and weight loss.  Even though symptoms varypeople diagnosed with type one diabetes will show symptoms of tiredness, shakiness, confusion and in severe cases, loss of consciousness.  

 Understanding the signs of an undiagnosed and untreated type 1 diabetic could be lifesaving. This means giving the individual sugar as soon as possible. Sugar can include jellybeans, skittles, or juice. According to Brooklyn, “If the individual is unconscious, it is important to call 911.  

Type one diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It is not caused by lifestyle or sugar levels, but instead occurs when the body attacks itself. The cause of type one diabetes remains unknown. Individuals with type one diabetes do not make any insulin, and so they need to monitor their blood sugar levels carefully. Unless there is a cure, Brooklyn will need to remain aware of the impact of her lifestyle choices and be ready for complications at any time. 

 As Brooklyn finishes her journey as a Venturer Scout and a high schooler, she has begun to look forward to her next steps in life: 

 “Having diabetes encouraged me to really explore who I am and what I want. This exploration confirmed my desire to pursue a profession in healthcare where I envision evolving research and medical discoveries leading to prevention, treatment and cures to diseases like diabetes. Now I want to embrace this energy and drive within me as I pursue a Bachelor of Nursing degree and then specialize in diabetic care. I will be most likely attending the University of Lethbridge. It is exciting to think of the possibility of living on my own, especially with type one diabetes. Being diagnosed so recently, I know it will be a big adjustment, but I am excited to pursue independence.”  

 If you would like to support Brooklyn’s campaign to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for type one diabetes or to learn more about this disease, you can find more information here.




Beaver Colony

KATE MACDONELL, Scouts Canada Storyteller – May 23, 2021

It’s easy to feel like the bloom on the phrase “everyone is in it together” has faded. That’s unless you live on the shores of Temiskaming Lake in Northern Ontario, where the newly launched Temiskaming Shores Scout Group has been meeting officially since October 2020. It’s still limited to a Beaver Colony of about 16 and a Cub Pack numbering 11 youth. It doesn’t yet have a single tent to its name. It doesn’t even have a regular indoor meeting space. Yet this Group is already knocking it out of the park when it comes to understanding the value of community and service to others. 

The Group came together through the drive of Group Commissioner Bethany Marques, a public accountant and single parent of two young children who moved to this northern community eight years ago. The daughter of veteran Scouter, she wanted to provide the same opportunities to her son that her daughter enjoyed in Guides. “We’re a big hockey town but hockey isn’t for everyone. Scouting is even more about community and teambuilding, as well as getting youth outdoors so they can enjoy and learn skills in our amazing natural environment. I wanted my son and other kids in town to get to experience this.” 

With the support of her small but growing Scouts Canada network, Marques took the training to become Group Commissioner. Her initiative was matched by the local community, which gathered in support of her vision. Not having assets of any kind, the Group received $2,000 for pandemic-related safety gear and supplies from The Temiskaming Foundation through their For Kids Sake grant program. Temiskaming Anglers and Hunters Association provided operational support. The local Nordic ski club provided trails where the kids could meet and pursue programming when not in lockdown. And permission was given for campfires in a field next to the Quality Inn.  

The opportunity to return these and other acts of generosity wasn’t long in arriving. On a Thursday in early March, a flash flood shut down the business providing financial support for the Northern Animals Rescue and Sanctuary. Group leaders met on the Sunday evening and within a few hours had organized a bottle drive. Leveraging Marques’ professional network, they elicited enormous immediate community support through radio announcements, use of a local realtor’s trailer to hold the bottles, public space provided from the municipality, a truckload of donated pet food and supplies, and cash donations.  

What comes next? The Group has just received a $5,000 donation from the Frog’s Breath Foundation for the purchase of camping gear. Another item on their list is creating a Scout Troop for graduating Cubs and to meet growing demand. Finally, they hope to hold their very first investiture and distribute the Group’s brand new necker, designed in consultation with the youth. “What we’ve done so far has not just been about the volunteer time or community support, but the youth. They’re getting excited and wanting to participate. And being our first Group, they’re the ones responsible for getting us up and running. We want to have a big ceremony for them as soon as we can get back together.” 



Yvonne Kyle and 60th Winnipeg youth Group

(click to enlarge picture)

KATE MACDONELL, Scouts Canada Storyteller – May 20, 2021

The Governor General’s Sovereign Medal for Volunteers is awarded for performance of “significant, sustained and unpaid contributions to their community.” This aptly describes recent Medal recipient Yvonne Kyle’s 44 years of work on behalf of Canadian youth Group Commissioner and Scout Trooper for 60th Winnipeg, volunteering for Scouts runs in Kyle’s blood. “We’re probably at about 130 years of Scouting now, as a family. My great uncle was a Scouter in the UK with Baden Powell. And my daughter has a Wood Badge 2. She would be the fourth generation in our family to have it.” 

Originally trained as a teacher, Kyle worked in social disability services before starting a fire alarm services company with her husband in Winnipeg. She started as a Cub leader after she aged out of Girl Guides and channelled her passion for teaching into Scouts. She has helped generations of children and youth to learn how to camp, cook, light a fire, and look after themselves. “There’s absolutely nothing a kid can’t learn in Scouts and shine doing it. We have to acknowledge that shine and make sure we help them grow. And let them try out being a leader as well as a follower, because that is important too.” 

Finding the right balance between respecting that they’re young while pushing them to try to learn new skills has been one of the cornerstones of her success. She refers to her skill in making youth feel confident enough to believe they can go out and do something. “One of my kids said that he was grateful that I had pushed him as hard as I’d done. He was ready to quit more than once and I’d said ‘No, you can do this, we can figure it out.’ And when he accomplished something he was so, so proud of himself and so grateful that he had gone through with it.”  

Kyle has had equal success in developing youth in her Group into what she calls “lifers.” She attributes this to making volunteering as enjoyable as possible for the adult leaders. “The Scouters need to have as much fun or more than the kids. If not, they won’t stick around.” Events like potlucks and barbeques, or just getting together online to check in with other Scouters, are scheduled regularly. Pre-pandemic, she also counted on lots of good chats with Scouters around the campfire. “When the kids are asleep, we bring out the hot chocolate and make secret smores, the ones with Tim Tams.” 

Where Scouting and Guiding were once what kids did without question, Kyle notes the many extracurricular options now available. “They do Scouts one year and then gymnastics or hockey the next. Team sports are good and they will develop and learn but they’ll learn in one area, they’ll learn hockey skills. But if they do Scouting they learn in a whole lot of areas. They learn to be good citizens, good people, good outdoorsmen and women. They grow into rounded people and if you’re part of that development you feel really proud of yourself.” 

Kyle is honoured to receive the Sovereign’s Medal, saying she was shocked and humbled by the acknowledgement. And how does she plan to celebrate? With her Scouts, of course. “I haven’t received the medal yet, but I’ll celebrate with my kids and Group. They’re hinting that they’re going to plan something when allowed to. It will probably be outdoors and they’ve hinted there will be canoes involved which is very appropriate because we’re a canoeing Group. But I will definitely celebrate with the Group.”