Scouting has been a big part of my life. I joined the Scouting Movement when I was just four-years-old. Through Scouting I have learned how to light a fire with flint and steel, how to tie many different knots and I’ve learned to survive in different temperatures. I’ve had the opportunity to sleep in tents, unheated cabins, quinzhees and shelters I’ve built with fellow Scouts.
At my Troop’s last winter camp, we built quinzhees and slept in them, went sledding and even snowshoeing. Another unforgettable camp that our Scout Troop went to was last summer at the Haliburton Scout Reserve. Every day we canoed to our activities, and during our adventures we went snorkeling, sailing and enjoyed many other fun activities. Beyond that, despite my fear of heights I rappelled 50 feet down a steep rocky hill.
During my years in Scouting I have encountered many challenges while learning a ton of new skills. Through Scouting I have had the opportunity to make new friends who have the same interests as me. I have also had the opportunity to volunteer in the community at different events, like helping our local community kitchen in September 2018 when Barrhaven lost power for a couple of days due to the tornados that hit Ottawa.
I am also an activity leader with the my Scouting Group’s Beaver Colony, and a program assistant for the a program at my local ice skating club. I try my best to go out and volunteer as much as I can because I love to help other people.
As a Beaver Scouter, I’ve learned a lot about dealing with kids of a younger age. Who knew that being a Beaver Scouter could be so much fun? I get to plan and run meetings with crafts, games or any other of the amazing ideas that Beavers come up with. During one of the Beaver meetings that I facilitated, we made rocket ships out of toilet paper rolls; this was a great introduction to another meeting that I have started planning which includes a pop bottle rocket activity. Although most people would say that being a Beaver Scouter is too much work, I enjoy it. Another reason that I love being a beaver scouter is that each of the Beavers in the Colony know me as my Scouter name, ‘Rascal’, and when they see me at the rink or somewhere else they still know me as Rascal—that makes me smile. I love the energy and the enthusiasm that the Beavers show when learning something new and participate in all their great activities.
Scouting is so amazing because it brings people from a variety of backgrounds and interests together to do the things they enjoy. It also makes me feel like I am where I belong. When I am anywhere else, I feel invisible and like nobody can see me, but when I’m at Scouting events or meetings I feel included and not invisible. I have made many fantastic friends in Scouting. Me and my friends choose which adventures we are going to go on together, and then we fundraise for them. Sometimes we don’t always agree on where we are going to sleep or what activities we are going to do, however, we all have a great time and share all our memories together afterwards.
Before I joined Scouting, all of my adventures were planned by my parents. Through Scouting I’ve learned how to plan my own adventures with my Scout Troop. After, we review what worked well and what we may need to change for next time. I’ve now started thinking of all of the big adventures that I can plan during my time in Scouting, like working my way to climbing Mt. Everest by starting with the Adirondack Mountains. I’d also like to go backwoods camping and canoe camping. Some of the adventures that my Troop has planned are the Pacific Jamboree in British Columbia in the summer of 2019, and visiting the Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland for 2020.
Scouting has given me the opportunity to learn new skills and participate in many unforgettable adventures that I wouldn’t have been able to do without Scouting. Scouts has been a very valuable experience with lots of incredible memories to share. Scouts has taught me many helpful skills that I will continue to use in the future.