With the budding of a new Scouting Year, Scouts have been busy bees. The time for planning community-building projects kicks off as Scouting youth begin to set goals with their Groups for the 2019-2020 year ahead. Through service to others, as Scouting youth, we can take on new challenges to not only better ourselves as members of Scouting, but community members as well.
Discover the top four ways to build connections, friendship and trust in your own neighbourhoods and greater communities, giving a sprinkle of happiness to those you meet along the way.
Fall – Preparing Community Gardens for Winter
Looking for ways to give back to the community? Maintaining green space is a great place to start! Community gardens get to the root of connection, not only providing beautiful spaces or organic foods but friendships and insight into a community’s needs as well. In my own school, we have community gardens to brighten our outdoors and give the opportunity to hold sales or markets. It’s more than just a fun event to attend but a way to meet new people.
While planting gardens in the spring is a great community-building project, so is preparing neighbourhood gardens for winter! Removing fallen leaves, cutting dead branches and protecting plants with wire mesh are only some of the tasks involved. Explore the various ways that your Group can help preserve and prepare community gardens for the cold winter months, here.
Winter – Food Drive
With flowers and vegetables dormant in community gardens, winter can be a difficult time for some to keep their fridge stocked. Hosting a food drive is a great way to connect with your community and help those who need a little more support. The 23rd Nepean Scouting Group understood the struggles of those without food security, and have held food drives to help those less fortunate. It seems easy enough to donate a few non-perishables, but it takes planning and motivation to organize a full food-drive. Their work within their Group impacted more than just their own leadership skills, but the lives of those around them.
Spring – Planting Trees
Planting trees provides an opportunity for us to mend broken grounds from overpopulation and pollution. My own Scout Group, 1st Centre Lake Burnaby, has done fundraisers through ScoutTrees and planted nearly 50 trees in parks that I’ve loved and played in for years. I’m happy to say that they now have a better chance of lasting because of this. 116 East Vancouver Scouts had the same motivation and held a tree planting event for Earth Day.
Discover the importance of Scoutrees and how to get involved, here.
Summer – Bottle Drives
When working to improve your community involvement and attitude within it, a different approach can be taken to not only brighten today but adventures as well. Camping is a wonderfully unique experience, although it comes with a cost. To help subsidize this obstacle, my Scouting Group has mastered the art of organizing Bottle Drives. While showing compassion towards our environment and properly disposing of our waste, we have a fantastic time within our Group and those who come to drop off bottles from within the community. And on top of it all, we get to go to camp from the funds we raise, learning to be better leaders and be better prepared. Plastic waste and refundables are less daunting when you can find support in your community to enrich your space and life. Time flew when we rolled up our sleeves and broke a sweat. It was more fun than work!
Whether we share a smile, garden bed, or forested park, we are the reflection of our communities. We should cherish the opportunities we have for development and growth amongst one another. Community building can have an immediate effect or give long term enjoyment. The next time you feel bored or crave something to do, think of those right around your corner and find a little space in your backyard, recycling bin, park, or heart to share a little extra happiness.