Scouts Canada has been serving Canadian youth for over 100 years. Owen is a Beaver and this past weekend swam up to cubs. The ceremony was held around a camp fire at Opemikon camp near Perth, Ontario. We stayed for two nights, slept on bunkbeds in a cute little green cabin. Zoe being a girl guide which is a sister organization to Scouts was invited to be in on the fun and fun it was.
We were new to this Beaver group since scheduling technicalities prevented him from continuing with his previous group. It was wonderful because we arrived on Friday night with knowing practically nobody and left on Sunday feeling like part of the gang. I love how children can step right into a group of strangers and within a couple of hours be playing as though they were old friends.
I love Scouts Canada. What do I love about it? Well it brings families and community together. It teaches leadership, friendship, caring for others and a love for the outdoors. On Saturday morning we went for a hike in the woods. We climbed over rocks, climbed steep hills and followed the winding path to the look out which overlooked Christie Lake. Parents and children walked side by side or in single file and our leader educated us on the ecology of our surroundings and how to care for it. "Leave no trace that we were here". A message of respect for nature was translated and I enjoyed it as much as the kids. On our hike back to camp we met up with a group of cubs hiking in the woods. They explained to us that another group was following them and would be guided by the arrows and X's they had left on the trail. How fun! So on our way back we noted the arrows drawn on the path and the X's made with sticks. The children guessed as to their meaning and they had very good insight, as children always do.
That afternoon was the well awaited water gun fight. Zoe and Owen were stoked as Jay bought them their very first real water gun. In fact the whole camp awaited the fun battle of getting soaked. I cannot express how joyous it was. The laughter ringing through the trees, small legs running with delight and parents getting into the action.
With hammer and nails we crafted our very own bird house. I helped both Zoe and Owen build theirs and it's interesting how both approached the project differently. Zoe helped me by passing the nails and hold pieces in place while Owen wanted to do the project by himself with minimal assistance. We worked together as a team and it was beam building. In fact the whole weekend was a team building weekend. Although Zoe was older then the Beavers she played with them and had a little entourage of admiring girls. I noticed that as the weekend wore on Zoe and Owen played together with less bickering. Discipline was barely needed as they seemed to listen and know what was expected of them. You might remember my post back in 2010 entitlied "Hold Onto Your Kids". Well this past weekend reminded me exactly of the importance of parents involvement in children's lives. Not only parents and their children but adults from the community coming together and supporting, upholding the space for children in the community to feel safe as they discover themselves in this crazy world. Together we can create a good base and hold the space for them to thrive and grow into healthy individuals and as adults be great peers for the young in their lives.
Scout Canada is a volunteer based organization. They depend on people like us to give of ourselves and share our gifts for a better world. Often we hear about what's wrong with the world well I believe that there is loads of good that surrounds us and that scouts Canada is one of those good things. In fact in September I plan on becoming a Cub leader!