What do you think of when you hear the word, “Scouting?” Maybe you think of camping, outdoor adventure and fun with friends. What about opportunities? Every day, Scouting offers youth across Canada many opportunities that help them develop into well-rounded individuals, better prepared for success in the world. From outdoor savviness to life skills, from hands-on learning experiences to receiving unique opportunities, Scouts offers youth countless ways to discover their capabilities.
Through Scouting, I have been able to gain new leadership opportunities with the help of my Scouters, to help me develop many skills that I didn’t have before.
For Saskatchewan Scout, Ana-Alexandra M., and Alberta-based Scout, Joshua H., their Scouting journey led to working with the RCMP. That’s right! The Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s National Youth Advisory Committee (NYAC) is a program that invites a group of young Canadians (ages 13 to 21) from across the country to discuss issues that their communities are facing, like youth crime and victimization topics, on a private online forum.
I believe it is vital to do something, to change our world one step at a time. I can help educate youth, solve problems in my city, give views to the people who are usually overlooked, and more!
Representing a national youth voice, the NYAC’s feedback helps the RCMP develop and improve on effective youth strategies, while also positively impacting the youth; community service hours, a reference letter, interacting with peers across the country and enhancing their critical thinking skills are only some of the benefits for program participants. After hearing about the NYAC through Scouts Canada’s Youth Spokesperson Program (YSP) and applying, both Ana-Alexandra and Joshua were accepted.
“Scouting made me appreciate the importance of teamwork and being part of a community. As a Scout, I have learned the importance of helping out whenever I can, and it has also given me the confidence to do so,” Ana-Alexandra shares. “This summer I volunteered more than 30 hours of my time to a local volunteer group, enabling me to have fun and meet a lot of new people.”
When asked why she applied to the NYAC program, Ana-Alexandra explained, “It enables me to use my voice to help my country. I believe it is vital to do something, to change our world one step at a time. I can help educate youth, solve problems in my city, give views to the people who are usually overlooked, and more!”
Through the NYAC program, Ana-Alexandra has been able to build on her skills gained through Scouting. “I have learned many skills, including listening to others’ insight, but most importantly, expressing myself in a way that people can understand my message. The latter is especially applicable to my Scouting experience, as I am part of Scouts Canada YSP Program and get to put my communication skills into practice.”
She concludes, “I strongly believe that being a part of the NYAC is a life-changing experience for me, just like Scouting has been. If you ever have the chance to apply, then you should strongly consider doing so.”
Scouting is pretty much how I was able to land my position with the NYAC.
Along with Ana-Alexandra, Joshua also had the chance to participate in the NYAC program.
“Through Scouting, I have been able to gain new leadership opportunities with the help of my Scouters, to help me develop many skills that I didn’t have before—like public speaking, communication skills and identifying how I can help in situations,” he shares.
Thanks to Joshua’s Scouters, he has been able to excel through the Scouting program and beyond. “They also helped me discover my passion for volunteering and helping, and introduced me to many opportunities like the RCMP’s NYAC program and Scouts Canada’s YSP Program.”
Joshua continues to explain that he applied for the NYAC program because “I feel that youth in Canada are not properly represented and that this would be a good way for me to represent youth in my region. It also stood out to me because I would be able to help raise awareness on many modern issues that are not being talked about enough nowadays.”
As a youth-led program, Scouting empowers its youth members to take leadership in their own lives and in their communities.“In Scouts, critical thinking can help us work better as a team, providing different perspectives on issues and conflicts that can then be used to help develop everyone’s teamwork skills and understanding,” he explains, adding, “In the NYAC I was able to voice my opinion on issues involving youth. The critical thinking skills that I developed by answering challenging questions about modern and thought-provoking topics is still applicable in Scouts.”
In an online interview, Ana-Alexandra and Joshua reached out to a past NYAC participant and Chief Scout Award recipient, Tai C. Currently a Venturer Scout, she reflected on her experience with Scouting and the NYAC program:
“Scouting has given me many outdoor skills, [as well as] a proper and respectful way to speak to people, and stepping up to assume a leadership role in situations. Scouting is pretty much how I was able to land my position with the NYAC program.
First, my school’s RCMP representative chose me to go on a camping trip because of my Chief Scout Award, and then he told me that he was very impressed with my behaviour and overall act while I was there—and offered me the NYAC application.
I chose to join the NYAC because I feel it is important to raise awareness of issues from every part of Canada. Scouting has been an amazing experience for me; I have made many new friends, given me the chance to see a lot of things that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, and it got me my first job.”
The stories shared by Ana-Alexandra, Joshua and Tai are only some of the many out there that demonstrate how Scouting helps develop youth into extraordinary citizens.
“Without Scouts, we would not have even thought about joining the RCMP’s NYAC program or sought out opportunities to help in our community,” Ana-Alexandra concludes.
Your journey with can start today at Scouts.ca. #ItStartsWithScouts
Interested in the National Youth Advisory Committee (NYAC)? Apply by September 12, 2019.