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Novel Coronavirus — December 3, 2021 Update: Explore Scouts Canada’s actions as we continue to follow the direction of government and health agencies in maintaining public health. View recommendations and stay informed here. Learn more about Scouts Canada's new vaccination mandate.

Winter is Coming — Are you Ready?

For many, winter is the best time of year!  The crunch of freshly fallen snow under your boots, carving those first tracks in the snow on the hill or just exploring a new trail with your snowshoes. Even though we’re just finishing up the Around the World in 60 Days Challenge, it’s hard not to get excited by the first snow fall. 

To make sure you’re ready, this edition of the Woggle is dedicated to all things winter. It will get you ready for the season and maybe a new winter Challenge…? You’ll have to read on if you want to learn more.

Don’t forget, the Woggle is for you — so we’d love to hear your ideas for the next edition.  Make sure to drop us a line or complete the quick poll and let us know how we’re doing.

PUTTING THE SAFETY IN WINTER FUN

By Kate Macdonell, Storyteller

In February 2020, before the pandemic took hold, Venturer Vincent Wong decided to take an introductory course on avalanche awareness at Rovent, a winter social camp held in BC’s mountainous Manning Park. This two-hour session outlined some of the basic preparations, tools and techniques used in avalanche safety and response. “Outside of Scouting I like to ski, and I go snowshoeing all the time with my family. I thought it would be nice to have more of a sense of what to look out for and be prepared if anything does happen.”    

 

With most group activities on hold last winter because of the pandemic, heading out into the wide-open Canadian outdoors held even more appeal for youth like Vincent and their families. Even if most never venture into avalanche terrain, some basic planning will help ensure everyone’s comfort and safety outdoors. “Like you would with any trip you’re planning, you need to research where you’re going and what kind of hazards you’ll encounter,” says professional Avalanche Specialist and Scouter with the Pacific Coast Council, Cam Campbell. 

When it comes to avalanche terrain, Campbell strongly advises that youth avoid it, while recommending standardized Avalanche Skills Training courses for those 18 or older. Nonetheless, there are a lot of basic safety measures that apply to travel through any sort of outdoor terrain, even those as flat as the proverbial pancake. These will prepare youth to manage the risks out on the trails, help prevent emergency situations and most apply as much in summer as they do in winter.  

  1. Research your route or trail to understand the terrain. Choose something appropriate to your skill level and identify and plan for potential hazards. 
  2. Monitor weather conditions before you leave on your trip. In the event of extended heavy rain or snow, for example, you may want to reassess your route if it involves a trail that meets or runs along a waterway. 
  3. While travelling, maintain a heightened awareness of the conditions and monitor changes that could make travel riskier. This is known as situational awareness and prepares you to turn around if conditions present any kind of unexpected risk. 
  4. Learn about your equipment and how to use it. Whether it’s an emergency transceiver or a canoe, get instruction in how to use it properly in case you need to use it to rescue someone. 
  5. Finally, do not forget to Plan, Do, Review. Take what you learn and share it with others for future trips.  

For those who are interested in learning more about winter safety, Campbell recommends Avalanche Canada’s online safety centre at www.avalanche.ca. In addition to tons of fascinating information about snow, it provides information about local avalanche skills courses as well as conditions on ski, snowshoeing and snowmobiling routes right across the country.  

As for Vincent, he feels a keen interest in following up on his brief introduction to avalanche safety when possible, even if he usually sticks to local ski resorts and trails. “I do want to take an avalanche preparedness course. Maybe we can do it through Scouting as a Venture company. Our company does quite a bit of hikes and skiing in the wintertime, so I can apply those skills. I also go hiking with my family, so I can transfer those skills outside of Scouts.”  

 

3 Tips to Keeping Things Accessible When Winter Camping

by Laura Flett, Storyteller

Winter camping is an excellent way to make the long winter months more exciting and adventurous for your section. But it’s not uncommon for parents, Scouts, and even Scouters to have doubts about accessibility when planning a winter camping trip.

Check out these three common winter camping problems and some ideas for how you may combat them when planning your next winter camp:

  1. Ensure that everyone in the group has access to an appropriate winter sleep system. Groups can provide winter sleeping bags with sleeping bag liners or rent them at their local gear depot. Sleeping bag liners not only help to keep the sleeping bag clean but also add warmth to the sleeping bag.  Putting one smaller 3 season sleeping bag inside another can also add warmth. Groups may invest in an overbag: a lightweight rectangular sleeping bag that is specifically cut to go over a regular bag and can add 8 – 11 degrees Celsius of warmth to the bag’s rating. You can also use a  bivy sack to add warmth. Bivy sacks are waterproof outer shells that add 8 to 9 degrees Celsius to the rating of a bag. 
  2. Ensure that everyone in the group has a proper clothing layering system. Stress to parents that some of the best winter gear is passed down intergenerationally or bought second hand at the thrift store. Keeping a stock of basic extra gear with your Group can be helpful when doing a gear check both for youth that own limited gear as well as those who may have forgotten an item. Ask Scouting families to donate cold weather gear to the Group when their youth outgrow it. By telling caregivers to let you know if their child is missing something, you can often solve gear shortfalls before they become problematic, or the child becomes self-conscious because they do not own the appropriate gear.
  3. If your Section decides that they want to do a mobile winter camp, but you have Scouts with mobility challenges, look for routes that can be accessed in alternative ways. This may involve letting a member snowmobile in, ensuring that the campsites are accessible through roads, using a sled or pulk, or having the Section come up with other creative means of ensuring that the member can participate.

Everyone should know what winter has to offer, especially Scouts. It starts with Scouts!

What's New

Winter Challenge — Calling all Content Creators!

Psst, want in on a secret?  There’s another fun challenge in the works for this winter (keep scrolling down in the Woggle for a few more details!)  We’re kicking-off the next winter Challenge with a fun and interactive virtual Opening Ceremony and we’re looking for exciting and creative video content from our great Scouting community. 

Keeps your eyes peeled on Scouts.ca for the winter Challenge teaser page and more details about the type of content and how to submit.  It’s going to be sno-much fun!

Senate Series – Join the Senate of Canada for a Discussion on Sustainability

Scouts Canada has teamed up with the Senate of Canada to host a speaker series with Senators on topics that are pressing for today's youth. 

Join Senator Rosa Galvez of Quebec and Senator Diane Bellemare of Quebec for our 5th Speakers Series on how we can pursue a more sustainable life and make an impact in our communities.  

Senate Speaker Series — Sustainability
December 6th, 2021 
7 PM to 8 PM EST   
Virtual  

Register Here

*As featured Senators will be sharing their personal views in each interview, their opinions will express their own perspectives and are not representative of the Senate of Canada.* 

World Scouting Jamboree 2023

Your Ultimate Adventure begins in 2023 on the shores of South Korea!

The next World Scout Jamboree will run from August 1st to 12th, 2023 and will be held in SaeManGeum, Republic of Korea. More than 50,000 Scouting participants from over 170 countries will gather together for WSJ 2023.

Canada will be sending a Canadian Contingent comprised of youth and adults from both Scouts Canada and L’Association des Scouts du Canada (ASC). Participants must have been born between 22 July 2005 and 31 July 2009, and only Scouts are eligible to participate.

Visit us at www.scouts.ca/wj23 for more information including cost. Ongoing info can be found on our updated FAQ page.

Plus follow us on Facebook for all the latest information as it becomes available!

Sign up today to join our newsletter and receive the latest news and information on the Canadian Contingent to the World Scout Jamboree in South Korea! 

And if you have any questions, please email us directly.

Scout Seeds

Yes, this the winter edition of the Woggle, but the Scout Seed fundraising campaign is just around the corner. 

The campaign will be kicking off in February next year. More details will be coming soon, but we wanted to plant this seed now. 

Scout Coffee – Bi-monthly deposits

Let this percolate: Scout Coffee is now a year-round campaign.  That’s right, you can get your coffee fix and raise funds for your Group all year. 

Groups will collect 35% of the retail price of each allocated purchase as profit.  In addition, over 5% will go to the No One Left Behind campaign.  Every two months, Groups will receive an income statement detailing their sales thus far followed by a profit disbursement, deposited into their Group bank account.  The first deposit will be made be in the first two weeks of January, followed by the next deposit at the beginning of March and so on.

Since the campaign’s launch on October 15th, our top selling products have been the Scout Coffee Bundle, Misty Morning and S’more Coffee.  Check out our site Scout Coffee Fundraiser (scout-coffee.ca) to explore how your next cup of coffee can help fund your Group’s adventures. 

Diversity & Inclusion Up-coming Listening Sessions

You’re invited to join the up-coming Listening and feedback sessions – Beginning our Reconciliation and Inclusion Journey.  The November 29th session is a youth focused event.  As a reminder, your feedback will be anonymous, collected by notetakers and these sessions will not be recorded. We look forward to your contribution, while creating a safe and respectful space for all. 

Listening Session – Volunteers: 
Nov 25 – 8:00PM ET
Register Here

Listening Session – Youth: 
Nov 29 – 6:30PM ET
Register Here

Winter is Coming and so is Another Challenge!

Most of you have been hard at work on the Fall Challenge (Around the World in 60 Days) and by the look of all the amazing submissions, it looks like everyone is having a ton of fun!

To keep the fun rolling, we are launching another new Challenge starting this February.

 

Here’s a sneak-peek at what you can expect with the new winter Challenge:

  • Shorter days means a shorter Challenge – 4 amazing weeks!
  • Starting in February and all month long! (OK, technically it will start Jan 31, but close enough!)
  • Choose your challenge each week – pick one of two activity challenge options. Fun, right?
  • Winter Outdoor Adventure Skills – we’ve got you covered!
  • Prizes, everyone loves prizes!
  • And of course, a super cool (hot?) crest!

 

Look for the Scouter’s Guide coming in early December!

To get you in the mindset for winter why not try some of the cool activities (see what we did there) on the Activity Finder.

Have fun and see you at the start of the winter challenge!

Three “Bite-Sized” Winter Safety Tips

Helmets

Previous injuries due to not wearing a helmet: traumatic brain injuries, concussions, fractures, bruises, and cuts. Helmets with cages can help prevent all of the above, and even dental injuries.

Did you Know: 23% of all injuries between the months of November and February were sustained during tobogganing activities.

It is mandatory that Scouting members participating in cycling, skating, rock climbing, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and ziplining adventure wear helmets.

May 2016 Safety Tip: Helmet Safety

Appropriate Footwear

Previous injuries due to inappropriate footwear have included: bruises, cuts, fractures, strains, sprains, concussions, and during the winter months, frostbite.

Indoor Activities

  Footwear and not Sockwear

Slips in meeting halls and gyms sustained by youth only wearing socks cause bumps, bruises, broken wrists, and even concussions. Easily prevent these injuries by ensuring youth bring indoor footwear and make sure those laces are tied up!

Outdoor Activities

There doesn’t have to be snow and ice on the ground in order for slips, trips, and falls to happen. Reduce some of the risk with a pair of boots with good tread and ankle support for uneven ground. In winter, wear wool or heavy synthetic material socks, bring an extra pair in case your socks get wet.

Keeping Safe as Daylight Hours Get Shorter

Previous injuries due to poor visibility/lighting have included: bruises, cuts, stitches, fractures, strains, sprains, concussions, dental injuries and dislocations.

Once it starts getting darker earlier, it’s important to take some extra precautions to ensure outdoor meeting locations and activities are safe.

  • Site inspections prior to each gathering are key to identify tripping & other types of hazards.
  • Hold activities at locations that are well lit. Additional lighting can include solar powered string lights, headlamps, flashlights or even a small generator that can provide an extra light source.

Adjust games/activities to ensure the boundaries of play are well-defined and participants are able to see the activity area & any obstacles clearly.

Mental Health Resources

Opening up about mental health concerns isn’t a new concept. Increased awareness and frequent conversations about mental health are taking place across our communities. Thankfully, new support resources are available and easily accessible.  

Scouters work tirelessly to ensure that every meeting, every activity, every fundraiser and beyond is a fun, safe, and inclusive space to develop well-rounded youth, better prepared for success in the world. It’s tough when we become aware of challenges and adversities that youth face outside of Scouting – despite having completed Respect in Sport training, being well-versed in Scouts Canada’s Youth Protection Policies, and all the other tools, you may feel helpless when a youth needs support beyond what Scouts Canada can offer.

Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 e-mental health service offering free, confidential support in English and French to young people. They give millions of youth a safe, trusted space to talk over the phone or through text or in self-directed supports in any moment of crisis or need.

Respect in Sport Group, Inc and Kids Help Phone have teamed up to strengthen the support resources for kids and teens “… to create some critical tools to assist youth (14 and up) with the many mental health issues they face as they return to school, sport and activity during this unprecedented time. As we all know, mental health is of utmost importance, perhaps now, more than ever. Through close collaboration with our friends at Kids Help Phone we have created these free Mental Health Chats.” – RespectGroupInc.com, September 23, 2021.

While watching the Mental Health Chats, viewers can feel like a part of a tough conversation helping a friend through a panic attack, and they can relate to impossible standards some youth commonly compare their own self image to.

 

Check out the Mental Health Chats:

Mental Health Chat: “Ever get the feeling of something being off?”

Anxiety & Stress Chat: Your Basic 2-headed Monster

Difficult Convo Chat: Don’t Really Want To, but Need To

Self Image Chat: This is Real, That’s Not

Are you curious about what resources are available through KidsHelpPhone? You can explore their website, or watch this recorded webinar about the different help that KidsHelpPhone has to offer youth.

KidsHelpPhone.ca  
1-800-668-6868
Text TALK to 686868

 

Around the Campfire

Keep warm this winter with a reflector fire!

A reflector fire is a great way to take advantage of the heat being created by your campfire. Reflecting the heat back can help you to cook a meal, or to stay warm on a cold day.

To build a reflector fire, build your fire as you normally would. Then, on one side of the fire, build a reflecting wall. You can use wood to do this (but keep it far enough away that it cannot catch on fire - at least 1m away), or in winter conditions, build a wall out of snow. The wall can be any size you want, but the bigger it is, the more heat will reflect. However, don’t make it so big that it becomes dangerous and unstable.

If you’ve built a winter shelter to sleep in (like a lean-to) and are using a fire to keep yourself warm (build outside of your shelter, a safe distance away), a reflector fire is an easy way to keep yourself warm and toasty. 

Top Tips for a Great Winter Campfire

Running a Section or Group campfire in the winter can pose different challenges than warm-weather fires. Stay toasty and have fun with these tips!

  • Keep it Short and Sweet — winter campfires are a blast, but they can quickly go from “cool” to “cold” as time goes on. Consider running a shorter campfire than normal – 45 minutes is a good length, especially for younger youth.
  • Let’s Get Moving! Action songs, standing up songs or any songs that involve movement are a great way to keep everyone warm and awake.
  • Consider an Intermission — take a short break during your campfire and give everyone the chance to warm up with a hot drink. Serve hot chocolate and keep everyone toasty.

 

  • Start Early — We all know that part of the magic of a campfire is the darkness, but with early sunsets in the winter, you can start your campfire early and still enjoy the magical dark!
  • Dress warmly — This tip might seem obvious, but it’s worth adding! Encourage youth to dress in layers to stay warm. Don’t forget your hat and mitts! It’s also a good idea to bring something to sit on, like a tarp, sit-upon or camp chair so that you are not sitting directly on the snow or a cold log. You lose a lot of body heat when you’re sitting on something cold, and no one likes a chilly campfire!

#ScoutsDoStuff

With the Around the World Challenge in full swing, this is the #Explorers Needed edition of #ScoutsDoStuff.  We are loving all the pictures from the challenges and some of the creative ways our youth and Scouters are tackling each Challenge.  Way to go! 





Tag @scoutscanada in your #ScoutsDoStuff pics for your chance to be featured in our next edition of The Woggle

Partner Connections

Scouts Canada partners with numerous like-minded organizations, including these three highlighted below.   

 

Makers Making Change

The Official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ Attempt

Neil Squire and their Makers Making Change initiative are aiming to set an #ATWorldRecord on the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities to raise awareness of the need for affordable assistive technology solutions for people with disabilities. On December 3rd, people around the world will take part in a virtual do it yourself (DIY) assistive technology lesson to claim the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ attempt for the most users to take an online DIY assistive technology lesson in 24 hours.

The countdown to December 3rd, 2021 is on! See more details: www.ATWorldRecord.com

GivingTuesday

Canada, join us for the 9th annual GivingTuesday on November 30, 2021

GivingTuesday is a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Black Friday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it’s a time when charities, companies and individuals join together and rally for favourite causes. In the same way that retailers take part in Black Friday, the giving community comes together for GivingTuesday.

This November 30th – let’s show the world how generous Canada is! Find out more about how you can get involved at www.givingtuesday.ca.


Check out our co-branded resource with GivingTuesday, Kindness is Golden, to get started.

Canadian Ski Council

The most wonderful time of the year is here – the Grade 4 & 5 SnowPass!

Now in its 25th year, families across Canada will embrace the opportunity for their children to ski and snowboard for only $29.99 + tax! This is the most affordable way to start, or keep, kids sliding on snow.

The Grade 4 & 5 SnowPass is a not-for-profit program provided by the Canadian Ski Council. It provides every Canadian student in Grades 4 or 5 the opportunity to ski and snowboard affordably this winter!

SnowPass Specifics:

  • Each SnowPass is valid the day ski areas open for the season and can be used twice at every participating ski area – 100+ ski areas and counting!
  • Parents/Guardians can apply for a SnowPass on behalf of their child in grade 4 or 5 at snowpass.ca. Proof of age and grade are required.
  • New this year: the Grade 4 & 5 SnowPass is completely digital. No physical pass will be issued.
  • This fully digital product provides online access to book ski days in advance, upon approval of an application.
  • For family members not in Grade 4 or 5 that are interested in sliding on snow, explore other affordable introductory programs at https://goskiinggosnowboarding.ca/

Skiing and snowboarding are excellent activities that keep kids active throughout the winter. For more information, visit www.snowpass.ca.

Calendar Icon

Mark your Calendars

November 20 – Annual General Meeting

November 30 – Giving Tuesday

December 5 – Volunteer Day

January 1 – New Year’s Day

January 26 - Bell Let’s Talk Day

January 31 – First Day of New Winter Challenge!

February - Black History Month 

February 21-25 — Scout-Guide Week

February 23 — Pink Shirt Day

Coming up in the Next Edition of The Woggle

Scout Seed Fundraiser details and great spring program planning tips!


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