Have you ever received amazing support from volunteers or shared fun Scouting adventures and moments with them? Of course you have! They are the backbone of our organisation and they are the amazing people who deliver amazing Canadian Path programs across Canada. If you don’t fully know it yet, volunteers are the ones who keep you safe, make sure you get the support you need to accomplish your goals and ensure that Scouting is an amazing experience for everyone. At Scouts Canada, there are thousands of volunteers working every day through the year to make sure that all of this happens.
So what do you say we take a minute to look back upon how a volunteer has helped you on your Scouting journey? Scouters help us during Scouting adventures and during our regular meetings’ activities. I know that for me, my Scouters have helped me overcome my social anxiety of working collaboratively in groups. There are no words to express how this has been valuable to me and has become part of my identity as a Scout and a Canadian. A personal example of how my Scouters have supported me during a Scouting adventure would be how they were able to give me the confidence and resources to build a shelter and sleep in it.
This may seem like a lot, but I assure you that any Scout would most likely have similar experiences to share about how much volunteers have assisted them on their Scouting journey and in their lives in general. There are a lot of different ways in which our Scouters support us. Some Scouts receive more practical support by learning how to tie new knots, whereas some Scouts require more encouragement and advice to reach bigger goals. Scouters are always looking to do their best for youth and how they can help each youth individually, which is a part of what makes Scouts Canada volunteers so amazing.
Every Scouter dedicate at least a couple hours per week working with youth during the regular meetings, but this number can be much higher when planning and attending camps or other events. During this time, they give direct support to youth and act a valuable role model. Scouters also spend time helping support events, communicating with parents and taking care of other Scouting business. What this means is that every Scouter not only commits to being a good role model but they commit time and energy.
Some Scouters also have different roles while still having the normal Scouting responsibilities – such as Group Commissioners. These roles include things like being a member of a Group committee, volunteer at the council or national level, or any other administrative role. These Scouters are a very important part of the organization.
As mentioned before, Scouters act as role models and as trusted adult who bear the huge responsibility of helping every youth become a kind, trustworthy, and considerate person. You can approach your Scouters with any issue you may be facing inside or outside of Scouting, and they will do everything in their power to support you. This meant the world to me when I was trying to build confidence and simply needed a trusted adult to speak to. I realize that this requires a big commitment and a lot of dedication on the part of volunteers.
So the next time a volunteer assists you, compliments you, offers support, mentors you or leaves a lasting impact, make sure to take the time to thank that person. If you want to formally recognize the actions of outstanding volunteers and give them a shout-out, you can add your commendation on our website: www.scouts.ca/thanks.
To all the volunteers of the world and our Scouts Canada Volunteers: Thank you for your commitment!