Group Profile: The 1st Richmond Group
In 2017, the new Group Commissioner, Stéphane Pépin, dived right in and gave a new energy to the 1st Richmond Group by helping youth and Scouters run a quality program on the Canadian Path. The Group, comprised of French and English speaking members, explains its success in part by kicking off the Scouting year with youth-led planning of activities and adventures.
Stéphane tells us that all meetings, if weather permitting, are held outside as the outdoors and outdoor adventures are a key aspect of their program.
“This year, we have organized several outdoor Scouting activities such as snowshoeing, skating on trails in the woods, hiking Mount Ham; and also learning Scoutcraft skills such as how to light a campfire (with almost nothing) and how to set up a tent.” said Stéphane.
One of the special activities the youth decided on was to visit the Science and Nature Museum in Sherbrooke, where they were able to observe stuffed animals and their paw prints. The Group was then able to identify these prints in nature at their next Scouting adventure!
“It’s a good way for us to use the learning by doing method and to put into practice some of the Canadian Path program themes,” indicated Stéphane. Thanks to all these great activities, the Group is now looking to open a new Scout Section this year, as older Cubs would like to continue their Scouting journey next year.
Another key element of their program is to support the community by bringing our Vision of Canadian youth making meaningful contributions to creating a better world to life. For example, the Group regularly goes to camp Kinagalawi and Spoonner pound to carry out clean-up projects. The youth pick up debris and big branches outside and clean the main hall for the beginning of the camp season. The Group then uses Plan-Do-Review to figure out what everyone has accomplished, what the youth have enjoyed the most and what can be improved for their next service project.
The visibility of the Group in the community is also very important for the Group to make themselves known and to recruit new youth and volunteers. For example, this year for a fundraiser, the Group will be able to sell beverages and snacks at a big event in a nearby town because the members have succeeded in showing, on many occasions, their spirit of mutual aid and generosity.
Stéphane tells us that the Group plans to further incorporate the Canadian Path in its program next year and is learning by getting advice from long-running Groups in their area, such as the Lennoxville Group. Stéphane has been attending some of their meetings to observe how they work and how they do things in order to help him in both his roles.
“I think that there is no better way to improve and to get some good tips than to connect with other Groups and Scouters. We are planning to organize camps and linking activities with them to provide better adventures for youth and Scouters, and to improve our program,” said Stéphane.
The Richmond Group is a good example of renewal and determination, and of how beneficial it is to be inclusive and open to new ideas. We look forward to seeing what the Group gets up to next! With a strong youth-led program on the Canadian Path with the determination to make their community a better place, the sky is the limit.