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International Opportunities

There are many ways to discover the world of Scouting outside your meeting hall.  Sections and Groups may participate in a Pen Pal program with other Scouting youth from another country or participate in an International Exchange.  Through Scouting, youth learn what values they have in common with others around the world and learn firsthand the amazing similarities and differences that all people share, and the qualities that keep global Scouting youth connected.

Beyond the Pen Pal program and Exchanges, Scouting youth also have the opportunity to participate in International Development Projects (IDP) as well as International Volunteering opportunities.  Here youth experience another country and culture and begin to better understand their place in the world. There’s also the opportunity to host international partners and help youth from abroad experience Scouting in Canada.

PEN PAL & DIGITAL PEN PAL PROGRAM

Here’s your chance to discover a whole world of Scouting outside your meeting hall. By participating with your Group in the ScoutsAbroad Pen Pal Program, you’ll have the opportunity to talk with members of Scouting from around the world. You can make connections and learn all about what Scouts do in other countries. This is your opportunity to get involved in international Scouting even at a younger age. Imagine all the places in the world and new international friends that are waiting to be discovered by you!

 

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES

As we go through Scouting, we learn what values we have in common with others around the world. By going on an international exchange, you’ll learn firsthand about the amazing similarities and differences that all people share, and the qualities that keep global Scouting youth connected.

By experiencing another country and culture, you’ll be able to better understand your own place in the world. You’ll also have the opportunity to host your international partner right in your own hometown. You’ll meet more people, learn new things and experience the world.

 

Upcoming Exchange Opportunities

Interested in starting an international exchange with your group or section? Contact the International Committee today. We already have youth going all around the world. Don’t miss your opportunity to start planning your own international exchange!

 

International Exchange Request Form

Exchange Request Form

International Development

Where will Scouting will take you? To another side of the world, working side by side with other members of the Scouting community, fighting poverty and inequality or working towards environmental initiatives to make a lasting change in the world.

From as early as Beaver Scouts, we learn to help take care of the world, to do our best, be prepared, challenge ourselves and serve others. International development projects through ScoutsAbroad put everything you’ve learned to the test. You get the opportunity to grow, build your resume, find your passion in life, and change the world. Its youth development through international development, and it starts with Scouts.

Interested in planning your own international development project? Contact the International Committee today to get started.

 

RESOURCES

Past Development Projects

Project Project Description
Kenya 2012 In 1991 Scouts Canada traveled to Kenya with the goal of building a small health centre for a rural community. The clinic now treats 250 people a day and it was time to return for an upgrade and expansion.
Madagascar 2012 Following through on a promise made in 2008, 22 Venturer Scouts, Rover Scouts and Scouters traveled to the village of Ambato Boeni to work with the community to build a school and a washroom facility, but the impact was much, much greater than just that.

Read the Madagascar Project Final Report »

Read the Madagascar Project Six-Month Project Update »

Mexico 2011 In July 2011, a group of 35 Venturer Scouts and Rover Scouts, Leaders and parents traveled to Vicente Guerrero, Mexico for 16 days to help build four houses to help local families to break the cycle of poverty.
South Africa 2010 In August 2010, youth and adults from across Canada and South Africa traveled to Welkom, South Africa to build community food gardens and rainwater reservoirs. During the three weeks spent in South Africa the project participants upgraded eight different schools with reservoirs, including building and installing downspouts and water tanks.

Read more about the South Africa Project »

International Volunteering

In world Scouting, the opportunities to lead and volunteer abroad are nearly limitless. By representing Scouts Canada abroad, you venture into the world of diplomacy. Whether it’s by joining the short-term staff at Kandersteg International Scout Centre, or by representing Scouts Canada at the World Scout Conference (or any and every possibility in between), you will be challenged to put everything you’ve ever learned about international Scouting into working with others for a common goal. By volunteering internationally through Scouts Canada, you will take your first steps to lead the world.

 

Current International Opportunities

Open call for World Scout events International Service Team

Delivering a positive and engaging Scouting experience at World Scout events this year is particularly important as we continue to connect the Movement online due to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To ensure we offer this experience for Scouts around the world, World Scouting is currently recruiting a diverse team of dynamic, enthusiastic and experienced volunteers to join the new World Scout events International Service Team for 2021 and beyond.

This global team of volunteers will be key in helping to plan and deliver virtual World Scout events happening this year, including the Jamboree-on-the-Air and Jamboree-on-the-Internet (15-17 October 2021), as well as the 14th World Scout Youth Forum (18-22 August 2021) and the 42nd World Scout Conference (25-29 August 2021).

National Scout Organizations are encouraged to share this open call through their networks, inviting Adults in Scouting with a variety of skill sets and experiences to apply for the various roles which can be viewed through the role description.

Applications can be submitted through this form no later than 21 March 2021. Positions will be filled on an ongoing basis, so early submission is encouraged.

 

Learn More

Ongoing International Opportunities

Opportunity Location Dates Information
Pool of international delegates for Scouts Canada Conferences, forums and workshops all around the world Pool is open from Sep. 1 to Aug. 31 each year See below to learn how you can apply.
6-12 month volunteer opportunity Scout Activity Centres across the UK (including Gilwell Park) Negotiable Click here for more information.
Short-term Staff (seasonal) Kandersteg International Scout Centre, Switzerland Seasonal Click here for more information.

INTERNATIONAL DELEGATES

 

Here’s your opportunity to step into the world of diplomacy by representing Scouts Canada on an international level through ScoutsAbroad. Submit your application to the International Programs Team today!

In order to increase Scouts Canada’s ability to participate in international conferences and forums, the International Commissioner maintains two pools of qualified Scouts Canada youth and Scouts Canada adults, to be drawn from when required.

When an opportunity comes up, you may be contacted by the International Commissioner, requesting your permission to submit your name for a conference. In some cases, the conference will be fully funded. In other cases, there may be a fee for registration or travel. Once your permission has been obtained, Scouts Canada will put your name forward.

Your name will never be submitted to a conference or forum or other event without your written permission. Being accepted into the pool of applicants does not guarantee that you will represent Scouts Canada. There are only a handful of opportunities each year.

If you do agree to represent Scouts Canada, you are expected to attend the full length of the event, contributing in a meaningful way on behalf of Scouts Canada. Before you leave, you will be required to complete an online training module about representing Scouts Canada abroad. Upon your return, you will also be required to submit a report to the International Programs Team and the National Key 3.

Conferences and similar events tend to last from 3-5 days and may require a day or two of travel before and after.

For the Scouts Canada Youth pool, all youth aged 14-26 are encouraged to submit an application. Your application will be held for consideration until 31 August of each year. You may reapply as many times as you like.

Please submit the following information to intl@scouts.ca:

  • Curriculum Vitae (outlining academic, Scouting, personal and professional experience)
  • Letter of motivation (including your areas of interest, like training or the environment, and why you would like to represent Scouts Canada)
  • Photocopy of the information page of your passport (this is not required to apply, but will speed up the registration process for conferences. Not submitting one with your application may make it harder to submit your name as a delegate on time)
  • Photo of you in your Scout uniform (also sometimes required for registration with conferences and events. Also not required for application to this pool, but may be necessary later on)
  • Scouts Canada membership number as found on myscouts.ca

Applications are accepted throughout the year, so please apply today!

JOTA-JOTI

Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet last took place on Friday October 16th until October 18th, 2020. (with a Special Edition JOTI event also held April 3rd to 5th, 2020) 
 
Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet will next take place on Friday October 15th and Sunday October 18th, 2021.

What is Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet?

The Jamboree on the Air, or JOTA, is an annual Scouting event that uses amateur radio to link Scouts around the world, around Canada, and in your own community. Held on the third full weekend of October each year, this worldwide jamboree requires no travel, other than to a nearby amateur radio shack, Scout meeting place, camp or community center.

JOTA started in 1958 (with the World JOTA Bureau located right here in Ottawa, Canada), making this year's event the 63RD annual JOTA. In 1997, communicating through the internet was added, and this was called Jamboree on the Internet or JOTI for short. Both annual events are sanctioned and sponsored by the World Organization of the Scouting Movement.

In short, it's the best way to talk to over a million Scouts and Guides without having to leave your own community!

How do I get started?

The National JOTA/JOTI Team is developing resources to help you join the JOTA/JOTI experience or make your event better! Resources available include: 

  • Getting Started Guide for JOTA and JOTI (download it below) 
  • Scouts Canada national JOTA/JOTI crest available 
  • Participation Cards for all your youth and Scouters who participate 
  • Resources for gamesactivities, and Internet safety (download below) 

If you are interested in or planning to participate in JOTI or JOTA within Canada, please register now so, we can keep track of participation as well as send you resources you can use. 

The following downloads are available: 

Download these now and use them on JOTA/JOTI weekend! 

For more information, e-mail the National JOTA/JOTI Coordinator.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • PEN PAL PROGRAM
     
  • Pen Pal Program FAQ

    The Scouts Canada Pen Pal Program (PPP) is a way for every youth, starting with the youngest Beaver Scout, can make friends with Scouts around the world. There are over 30 million Scouts in 173 countries worldwide. Through the Pen Pal Program, you can learn about different customs, learn about how Scouting is different (and how it’s the same) and make new friends in every corner of the world by exchanging letters, postcards and/or greeting cards, etc.! 

     The aim of the Digital Pen Pal Program (DPPP) is to facilitate online interaction between registered members of Scouts Canada and registered members from other National Scout Organizations (NSO).  The traditional Pen Pal method used letters and/or postcards, but DPPP focuses on digital interaction through email, virtual meetings, and digital photographs, etc. 

     
     

    Once an NSO has indicated to Scouts Canada that it has a section/group interested in participating in PPP/DPPP, Scouts Canada will do its best to facilitate a linkup. A Canadian section/group with similar interests will be identified, and a Canadian Scouter provided with the NSO’s contact information. Once the Scouters have connected, they will collect, review, collate and send their section/group’s correspondence and photos, as well as remain responsible for youth behavior. 

    The Contact Scouter or the Group Commissioner of a section/group must register the section/group by contacting the National Coordinator at penpal@scouts.ca telling us what group you belong to, your area, council and if there’s a country you’d like to partner with. All participants in this program must be an active registered member of Scouts Canada. 

    If you have already made friends with another group in another country, you can absolutely write to them! This is part of what scouting is all about! The Pen Pal Program/Digital Pen Pal Program are here to help groups get connected with other groups in other parts of the world. 

    When you register for the Pen Pal Program/Digital Pen Pal Program, you can indicate not only what country you would like to correspond with, but also what age section, like another group of Beaver Scouts. 

    Using the Pen Pal Program is a safe and secure way to make a connection. We can ensure that any group you’re paired up with is in good standing with a member organization with the World Organization of the Scout Movement. This way we can maintain our commitment to protecting our youth.

    No, you will need to sign up with your section or group. The basic program format requires section/group interaction, NOT individual contact. 

    To protect youth privacy, first names, ages, interests and hometown are all shareable information; personal email addresses, telephone numbers and home addresses are not. Photographs must conform to any NSO privacy rules. When meeting virtually, the “Two Scouters” rule will be observed. What this means is that two Scouters from each NSO will be online during each virtual meeting to guide its conduct. Parents are also welcome to participate in virtual meetings as observers. 

  • INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGES
     
  • International Exchanges FAQ

    An ISE is an exchange between the youth and leaders of two Scouting Groups in two different countries. The ISE normally includes a visit by the Scouting Group in each country to the other country.

    An ISE normally spans 2 years and frequently occurs in the summer months of the year. An ISE normally involves both Scouting and touring and each leg of the exchange is approximately 2 weeks duration. The activities of the ISE are normally planned and organized by the Scout Group in the country that is the host.

    Yes, an ISE could be a non-Canadian Group coming to Canada or a Canadian Group going to another country with no return exchange trip.

    You may indicate interest to Scouts Canada by completing the International Exchange Request Form. When completing this form indicate which country or countries you would like to exchange with.

    You may mail or e-mail the completed form to Scouts Canada’s International Commissioner: intl@scouts.ca. They will then contact other Scout associations on your behalf to begin a dialogue to help you partner with a group and begin planning your exchange program.

    If your NSO has its own International Exchange Request Form you may complete it and forward it to your International Committee.

    In addition to the normal risk factors associated with Scouting Activities it will be necessary to consider factors such as the availability of medical treatment, general sanitation and the availability of reliable drinking water and possible questions of geo-political uncertainty in the region. Scouts Canada, through its contacts with the NSOs in the Countries in the region can assist with the assessment of such risk factors and, where the risk is unacceptable will advise Groups not to pursue an ISE in certain specific countries or regions.

    The activities associated with an ISE typically include a mix of Scouting and touring. The Scouting activities normally include: camping, hiking, canoeing, swimming, etc. and the touring activities include visits to points of interest, taking in a sporting or theatre event, visits to a shopping mall, etc.

    As much as possible both host and guest Groups cover their own costs. Inevitably the host Group will incur a few costs associated with hosting, which are not possible to recover from the guests, but, this will be a reciprocal situation, which should come close to balancing out in the end.

    You may complete an International Exchange Request Form and forward it to the International Committee who will forward it to all of the Scouting Groups in your Area recommending that they consider you in any International Exchange plans which they may have.

    Your first step should always be to contact the International Committee. This way we can ensure that the partner NSO is aware of the exchange, to provide additional support. We can also check that all parties in the partner country are members of Scouting. By contacting the International Committee and completing the International Exchange Request Form, we are also able to help support you, making sure you get the best possible experience.

  • INTERNATIONAL
    DEVELOPMENT
  • International Development Projects FAQ

    An International Development Project is a partnership between Scouts Canada and another National Scout Organization (NSO). The objective is to work together towards community development. This project can take the form of a construction project (like a hospital or a school), or a training project (like delivering FOCUS or Woodbadge Training). The result should always be working towards ending poverty and inequality in the world.

    First, you’ll want to find a number of people who will serve as the core of your team. Then, check out the Community Development Project Request Form and Planning Your International Development Project guide, which will give you the basics. When you’re ready, you can start to fill out whatever information you have in the IDP Request Form.

    It’s important to remember that this form is really just a way to start a dialogue with the International Committee. We’re here to support you and your team to help you be successful. By filling out the form as completely as you can (with any information you can give us), we can help you to work towards filling out the rest. The hardest part is getting started. The rest, we can help you with. We’re at your service.

    You may email the completed form to intl@scouts.ca, or mail it to Scouts Canada’s International Commissioner at the National Office:

    International Commissioner, Scouts Canada
    1345 Baseline Road
    Ottawa, ON K2C 0A7
    Canada

    Yes, the Canadian Scout Brotherhood Fund, which was created directly after World War II to help rebuild scouting in Europe, is available to help cover the material costs of an IDP. Today, the Brotherhood Fund is maintained through money coming from the annual Scoutrees Campaign.

    There are requirements for this funding however. Funding can only be granted where Scouts Canada’s youth will be directly involved in the completion of the project. Funds can only be used towards project materials, not transportation or program, or any other expenses. As well, when a group receives funding for their project, they will be required to complete a Final Report to share the story of their project with everyone.

    This is one of the ways the International Committee can help. We have the means and the network to contact every NSO in the world. By filling out your CDP Request Form, you can help us make a connection with another NSO.

    The most important characteristics of a good IDP are sustainability and relevance. Neither of these are possible without the input and guidance from the partner NSO. Remember, this is a partnership. By talking with the partner NSO and the local community, you’ll be able to better understand their priorities and together, you’ll be able to accomplish a sustainable and relevant project.

    How creative are you? Sales, service, volunteer efforts, and soliciting donations are just a few of the possibilities. Be creative, and remember to follow Scouts Canada’s Bylaws, Policies and Procedures. Talk to you Group Commissioner to learn more about policies surrounding fundraising efforts.

    There are all sorts of resources, one of which is the Planning Your International Development Project guide. In this guide, you’ll find a checklist of things you’ll need to consider while doing your planning and preparations

    As soon as you’ve submitted your IDP Request Form, a member of the International Committee will be assigned to your project. This volunteer will be your key contact and your support throughout the entire planning and execution of you IDP. They are full of information and are ready to answer all your questions. You can also refer to the Planning Your International Development Project guide, and take our e-learning course.

  • INTERNATIONAL
    VOLUNTEERING
  • International Opportunities FAQ

    Volunteer opportunities are all different. They depend on the situation and the event or location. You could be anything from helping to run the aerial runways on The Quick at Gilwell Park, to serving as a Youth Advisor to the World Scout Committee.

     

    In almost all cases, you’ll need to apply. In some cases, applications are received on a continuous basis for ongoing programs. In other cases, applications are received for a very specific event or time frame. Whenever an opportunity exists though, there will be instructions on how you can apply.

    Costs associated with volunteering abroad will vary considerably. There will be some opportunities where all costs are covered through sponsorship and there will be opportunities where you may need to pay for your transportation or other costs. There are always ways to help alleviate costs by fundraising.

    It’s always a good idea to discuss international opportunities with the International Committee. The reason is actually one of security. We can verify that any opportunity you’re interested in is authorized by the World Organization of the Scout Movement. We might also be able to give you more information for your application! We want to you to lead the world, but first and foremost, we want you to do so safely.

    First step, contact the International Committee at intl@scouts.ca. We can get in touch with another country’s Scout association to find out what might be available for you.

    As with so many other things, it’s all about what you bring to an experience. You can get so much out of these opportunities, but generally, you can expect to learn about global issues, make contacts in different parts of the world, gain self-confidence, get some really cool pictures and stories, gain experience that you can put on a resume, and make your mark on the world.

    The biggest challenges can sometimes be finances, depending on the opportunity. This can easily be overcome by fundraising. The second biggest challenge is a fear of the unknown. What will the food be like? Who’s going to take care of my dog? Is it safe? Do I need a visa?

    The good thing is, with all of this, the International Committee is dedicated to supporting you and helping you through every step of the way. We are passionate about international Scouting and we are at your service.