Volunteer Voice: Dirt Under the Fingernails with Scoutrees

Since 1972, thousands of Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts, Venturer Scouts and Rover Scouts have planted trees through the Scoutrees Program.  Scoutrees gives all members the opportunity to demonstrate, through action, their concern for the environment. By planting trees, youth learn about the important role trees have in our lives, the critical need for conservation, the huge impact of climate change and how we can do our part to create a better world.

Find out more at Scouts.ca/Scoutrees.

Scoutree events are an amazing opportunity to bring a Group to life and show people how Scouting is actively involved in bettering the community. We use Scoutrees as an all-Section activity to start off our Scouting Year, turning it into a barbecue and a meet-and-great for all Scouting youth and their family members, as well as some of the locals in the area. This fall, we were able to partner with our local city officials, who donated not only the 300 hundred trees indigenous to the area but two horticulturists to teach our youth and Scouters how to plant and what the plants brought to the area. Our event was home grown, thought up by one of our Rover Scouts and her father, a veteran Scouter of over 20 years. Duties were split up between our Sections: Beavers and Cubs oversaw setting up of the barbecue area and a game, while our Scouts were involved in the distribution of the trees and equipment. We were even able to get our parents involved—they helped the Beavers find good planting locations within the designated areas.

What started out as a small idea has led to big results. Beavers and Cubs who live near the planting site still go back to check in on the trees to ensure they are growing well. They take great pride in telling all their friends about the trees they planted to make their community a better place. In the past, it all seemed like such a daunting task, but when joining together to walk The Canadian Path as a Group and sharing in the organization and delegation of tasks to make the event happen, we wondered why we hadn’t done Scoutrees this way before. They say that many hands make lighter work; when you have the support of the community and your entire Group behind you, it makes for an adventure with life-changing results.

I would strongly encourage all members of the Scouting community to change the world one tree at a time. As the trees grow year after year, so can your Scouts in the same positive outdoor environment, supported by the community and a little bit of dirt under the fingernails.

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