This is my twenty-fifth year of being actively involved in Scouting—17 of those were spent as a youth and Scouter in Germany, three as a Scouter with the 22nd Halifax Troop, and the last five as the Contact Scouter for the 1st Aylmer Troop.
A lot of my outdoor skills (except for winter and canoeing skills) came from my Scouting experience in Germany, but the rest of my outdoor skills were developed through in-person Scouter training in Canada.
I went through in-person Wood Badge I and II training in Halifax which was a great experience. There are benefits to in-person training that can enhance online training.
After a 13-year break from Scouting, I again became involved as a Scouter in Aylmer. When I joined the Troop, all but one Scouter from the previous year had left; we were pretty much starting from scratch. Voyageur Council’s ScoutCon helped me a lot. I was able to refamiliarize myself with the structure of the program and all the ceremonies that go along with it. I have attended ScoutCon every year since. It is an invaluable opportunity to exchange ideas with other Scouters and hear about adventures that you otherwise probably wouldn’t find on your own.
Another great source of support was the monthly Heritage Area Scouters’ Club. Having that support in the Area and being able to attend camps that are organized just for Scouters was a real blessing, especially during my first year with 1st Aylmer. To work on my winter skills, I attended the Voyageur Council Winter Skills workshop.
When I took a patrol of 8 Scouts to CJ’17, I would have been lost without all the meetings organized by the Voyageur Council contingent. Those meetings and the pre-camp were a big reason for our successful jamboree experience.
Lastly, I have learned a lot from my fellow 1st Aylmer Scouters. Over the last five years, I have probably attended 30 camps with other Scouters, and I am constantly learning new things from them that make me a better Scouter myself. Our Group is actually planning a Scouter-only camp in 2019, so that we can really dedicate some time to our own internal 1st Aylmer Scouter training.
We don’t yet have a formal Scouter mentoring program in place in our Troop (it’s something we’re working on), but as Scouters we learn from each other all the time—and we often pick up a few things from the youth as well!
A new approach, called the Scouter Development model, aligns Volunteer development with the Scout Method and The Four Elements of The Canadian Path.
Fully adopting the Scouter Development model will enhance our ability to deliver our Mission, get more capable and confident Scouters supporting youth in their communities, while maintaining our focus on safety and program quality.
Volunteers create and execute Scouter Development plans using the interactive Plan-Do-Review method.
Episodic workshops focused on connecting Scouters with applicable skills (Indaba Days, ScoutCon, ScoutingU, etc.) provide excellent value for time and are fully recognized within the Scouter Development model cycles.
More information on the Scouter Development Model is coming soon! Keep an eye on Scouts Canada’s Learning and Development resources for Scouters.