Leadership at Haliburton Scout Reserve

By: Tia Layne, Youth Spokesperson, Tri-Shores Council

Haliburton Scout Reserve is located in Haliburton, Ontario — just south of Algonquin Park and about three hours north-east of Toronto. Since 1947, Scout Groups from around the world have been coming to Haliburton Scout Reserve to experience great summer adventures. We have many programs run by dedicated staff members like archery, riflery, climbing, rappelling, Survival Island, waterfront activities and Trapper’s Cabin. Haliburton Scout Reserve is a camp that Scouts, Scouters and staff continue to return to year-after-year for the extraordinary adventures that await them.

My journey started at Haliburton Scout Reserve (HSR) in 2010 when I camped there for the first time as a Scout and again with my Venturer Company for ADVenture 2012. It was after the latter experience at HSR that I decided to apply to work there for the following summer. I had my interview the following February and got hired soon afterwards — I was ecstatic! My leadership skills came into play immediately upon my arrival at HSR.

Every summer at HSR there are two weeks of “pre-camp” where all the camp leaders get the camp ready for the summer. During pre-camp, camp leaders also get to enjoy the camp and all it has to offer (a definite bonus to working at HSR). During these two weeks, and for the rest of the summer, our supervisors trust us to get our work done to the best of our abilities. With this responsibility comes teaching other staff members how to perform certain tasks, leading campers and making sure everyone is having fun. Whether it is you first or sixth summer, as an employee of HSR you are gaining new leadership skills.

My leadership skills came into play immediately upon my arrival at HSR.

Most of my leadership skills were developed while being the Assistant Store Manager at HSR and running staff events. As a part of my current position in the store, I make schedules and train the Staff-in-Training (SIT), in cooperation with my fellow store staff and supervisors. Training and teaching the SITs is one of the most important jobs older staff at HSR have as SITs will potentially become the new paid staff members. We teach SITs how the camp is run, how things work in different departments (they switch departments every week), how to teach a lesson, work diligently in the store, kitchen or maintenance department. Along with teaching the SITs, I also have the fun experience of teaching new staff members in the store itself. This is always interesting to see them learn to use the till, put together food orders for groups or chat with campers and Scouters.

At the beginning of my second summer, I had the privilege of being in charge of various staff events and the Thunderbird (the yearbook we have for the summer). These are activities that have also furthered my leadership skills and are very important to the staff members at HSR. Some events that I have run include: Improvisation Night, Christmas in July and Dinner Theatre. By running these events I learned to plan ahead, organize people and, most importantly, manage my time. There never seems to be enough time in the day while at camp to do everything that we all want to do.

This summer will be my fourth summer at Haliburton Scout Reserve and to date I have gained many skills. From my experience during my first summer as working as the Archery Instructor to being the Assistant Store Manager during my second summer, I have learned so much. I also have run staff events and have worked on the Thunderbird. I have gained so much from my time at HSR that I don’t know where I would be without it. HSR is my family, my home and my favourite job. Leadership really does start with Scouts (and HSR).

To find out more about Scouts Canada’s camps, visit: Scouts.ca/camps.


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