At Scouts Canada, all Sections have been coed since 1998, helping all youth to achieve their full potential, discover essential life skills, and explore and protect the environment, all while having fun. And I can confirm that all of this has been true for me and my own personal Scouting experience.
Scouting has given me many opportunities and skills that are helping me to prepare for a life of success, including skills in camping, public speaking, writing, confidence and many, many more. Most recently, the experiences I gained from Scouting helped me successfully achieve a position within the RCMP’s 2018-2019 National Youth Advisory Committee (NYAC).
The 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 (e.g. youth crime and victimization topics) on a private online forum. I applied and was lucky enough to be one of the few youth accepted as part of the committee. I was not expecting this at all, so I was thrilled when I heard the good news.
During the following year in the program, I worked alongside peers to represent young Canadian voices on different topics of concern, including impaired driving, LGBTQ2S+ rights, peer pressure, Indigenous issues and more. We advised the RCMP on videos, brochures and other social media tools to make it more relatable to today’s youth. Overall, I learned about some of the issues youth face in my community, how to work on those issues and how to effectively communicate those issues to decision-makers.
I believe Scouting provided me with the skills that I needed to be successful in this exciting role. In Scouting, I learned how to be a leader, to write, communicate, to send a powerful message and so much more. I also learned how to make a budget, how to be a responsible citizen and how to survive in the wilderness. These skills were enhanced by my NYAC experience.
I would not be the girl I am now without my nine years in Scouting, and without my NYAC experience. If you have the opportunity to join Scouting, I would strongly recommend it as it has provided me with some of my most memorable experiences and memories and it has taught me many valuable life skills.