Aboriginal Awareness became more than just another badge for the 3rd Scarborough Cubs and their families. It became the Scouting adventure to discover what Aboriginal culture was and is! And to top it all off, their experience was broadcast coast-to-coast on the CBC.
Akela Lorne Rogers wanted to give his Cubs a real taste of Aboriginal awareness, more than what could be learned from books. Francis Sanderson, the grandmother of two of 3rd Scarborough's Cubs and herself a Native Canadian, was able to draw on the resources of the Native Canadian Centre of toronto to show the youth that Native Culture was and is a vibrant and important part of Canada.
The Cubs were taught to make moccasins just like the Aborigines. Each Cub was given a piece of deer skin and leather thong. They measured their feet, cut out the deer skin and used the thong to sew them together, thus becoming the proud owner of a pair of authentic Native moccasins. They understood how Natives used to make what they wore.
Native folklore took on a whole new meaning when Dream Catchers and deer skin pouches were used along with feathers and leaves to reinforce the stories and legends.
After a few weeks of hard work and visits from the Native Canadian Centre, the Cubs were ready. On June 9, the 3rd Scarborough Cub Pack along with their families were invited to attend a special ceremony to receive their badges at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto on Spadina Rd. They took the subway to the Centre (a new experience in itself for many of the youths) and arrived full of anticipation and wearing their handmade moccasins.
Traditional native drumming welcomed the Cubs and special guests which included East Scarborough's Area Commissioner Barry Jones. Next a tribal elder explained the significance of tobacco to the Native peoples and performed the pipe ceremony. The drummers performed some native songs and taught everyone some native dances.
In a delicious method of keeping with Scouting's "learning by doing" philosophy, everyone was given a strawberry and encouraged to open it. They were then told the story explaining the space in the strawberry and its shape. Then the best part, eating the strawberry!
It was now time for the badge presentation. Barry Jones presented each Cub with his Aboriginal Awareness Badge in a miniature burch bark canoe. Each Cub also received a howling wolf, hand carved from bone by one of the elders.
Still the adventure was not over. The cubs, parents and special guests were treated to a Native feast consisting of bannock, venison stew, cranberry juice and, of course, more strawberries for dessert. The final chapter came when everyone re-lived the whole experience on CBC's 11 o'clock news as their story was beamed throughout Canada.
Thanks to the inginuity and imagination of their Akela Lorne Rogers and the wonderful people at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, the cubs of the 3rd Scarborough Pack did not just come away with another badge. They came away with memories of an adventure in Scouting that helped them to a better understanding of the culture and history of our Aboriginal peoples.
School permits for the 1997-98 season have been mailed to the Group Committee Chairperson. Note the following dates:
School permits start: Week of September 8th, 1997
Municipal Election: Monday, 10th November, 1997
Winter Break: Monday, Dec.22nd to Friday, Jan 2, 1998
Spring Break: Monday, March 16th to Friday March 20th, 1998
Education Week: First week of May, 1998
School permits end: Week of June 15th, 1998
Information: Shirley Godwin, School Permits, 490-6364 Ext.224
It is impossible to give a detailed report, but we hope that all the groups who hosted will send us their personal reports with photos. The feedback from our visitors and hosts alike are fantastic. Everybody had a great time and friendships were forged.
But just imagine the amount of work, the communications by mail, fax, e-mail and phone that went into the planning of those visits, trips and hosting. The Regional Council salutes all those Groups, Scouters and community partners who made it possible. Because of you, over 337 Scouts, Venturers, rovers and Scouters know that Scout Hospitality and camaraderie are alive and well in the Greater Toronto Region. You were the best ambassadors Scouting could have had.
A special thanks goes to Scouter Hugh Jones of Niagara Falls Ontario. No group was too large and everybody was placed, even when it was back to back. Either in his Church The Drummond Hill Presbyterian Church or in his group's Scout House the 1st Niagar.
The Bloor Jewish Community Centre and the Bathurst Jewish Centre for allowing our visitors to use their facilities the swimming pool. To Geof Osborn and Bob Wall in greeting numerous groups at the airport; to our staff members Ed Balyk and Mark Purcell for the numerous e-mail messages sent and received on our behalf on their private web sites.
Thanks for a job well done!
As summer comes to an end and a new Scouting year begins, many of us ask the question once again, should I come back as a volunteer for another year? Many of the volunteers who have not been with the movement for a long time sometimes ask the question more frequently than the leaders who have been around for a while. Scouting takes more time than we all admit, and sometimes its hard to be a volunteer.
|MAKE A DIFFERENCE|
For me there is one overriding reason. It is to make a difference. Not in the lives of every youth member with whom we deal, or adult member we meet. That would be nice, but to me is not as essential. Making a difference for one youth or one adult is all it takes.
One such event I will not forget for a long time. A very nervous young man arrived with his mother one evening, a few weeks after my Cub Pack had started for the fall season. the Pack was starting to come together, and he had never seen a Group in action before. He was fascinated, but clearly scared.
Over the next few weeks I kept a special eye on him to help him fit in with the others and make sure he was having a good time. He seemed to be growing in front of our eyes. The time came for his investiture, and the tradition in our Pack was that all the parents would be invited. I would take the new Cubs through their oath and promise to make sure they would not get stuck.
This Cub was still nervous that evening, but he was the only one who could stand in front of the whole Pack and say his oath and promise complete. That was one very happy young man with two proud parents, who told me afterward this was the first time their son had the courage to do anything like that in public.
|THE LITTLE THINGS|
The message is it's the little things we do that mean a lot. Sometimes it is the Scout volunteer who is the only person outside a family to take an interest in the youth as a person, and help them grow with the knowledge that someone cares.
A senior leader in another city has the saying"little things mean a lot". If there is some little thing that can make a difference in helping a youth to reach more of his potential, or one of our co-volunteers reach theirs, then we have done our job.
Wanting to help is all it takes. The opportunities will arise for all of us to be an influence, no matter how large or small we think the results will be.
I can't tell you today what precisely it was that helped that Cub gain confidence in himself that autumn. All I know is that he did, and we as a group helped him. He is a very solid young man today, and I like to think the movement helped him get there.
That's why I come back. That's why everyone should be coming back. We can all make a difference, and everyone counts.
Open to All Rovers and Venturers
September 26th - 28th, 1997
Snake Island (Toronto Islands)
$12.00 per person untill September 12th,
or $15.00 after September 13th
Contact: Shanna Rice 416-406-4830, Kathryn Suchostawski
905-676-9128, Derek Stokke 416-690-2770
This year over 600 Scouts and business leaders attended the Haliburton Club in the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Toronto to enjoy breakfast and boost their donations to Scouting by a whopping 56%. The total brought in was $114,321.
The Haliburton Breakfast supports the camping facilities of the Greater Toronto Region. The three camps, namely Woodland Trails, Oba-Sa-Teeka and the Haliburton Scout Reserve, need re-equiping and maintenance year round. The Haliburton Club provides the lion's share of the money for these crucial needs.
The Kiwanis Club of Toronto foundation donated $15,000 dollars to purchase 15 new canoes and related equipment. Some of the canoes were on display at the Breakfast, and Peter Willson, President of the Toronto Kiwanis Club, presented the cheque to our Executive Director, Jim Georgeff, on behalf of the Foundation.
The Optimist Club of Etobicoke bought a new barge for carrying the hundreds of campers and their equipment to the sites around Kennabi Lake at Haliburton Scout Reserve. Gordon Holly, President of the Optimist club, presented the cheque for $10,000 to Jim Georgeff. The barge will have the name of its donor prominently displayed.
The Breakfast Chair this year, Denis Marsh, Senior Vice-president of Beutel Goodman and Company, was pleased at the big turnout. He attributed the success of the breakfast to the members of his breakfast team: Patrick Walsh, Senior vice-president, SEI Financial Services Ltd, Chuck Caiger, President and CEO of Canadian Pacific Pension Investment Management, and David Cooper, Senior Vice-president, Royal Bank Insurance Group (and Immediate Past President of Scouts Canada, GTR). He praised the work of Scouting support staff, and set a target of $135,000 for his colleague, Chuck Caiger, who is next year's Haliburton Breakfast Chair.
This year's guest speaker turned out to be a surprise. John Amatt, who put Canada's first team on top of Mount Everest, was taken ill but he managed to find a substitute as distinguished as himself: Jim Elzinga, also a former Scout and a mountain climber who pioneered a new route to the top of Everest.
Jim stepped in and provided a breath-taking slide show of the adventure of climbing the world's highest peak (29,028 ft). You have to be a little crazy to do a thing like this, he conceded; it is a test of motivation and determination to overcome all the obstacles, the mountain itself being the last, and greatest, of them all.
Jim Elzinga was thanked for his last minute acceptance and excellent presentation by Past Chair of the Haliburton Club breakfast, Bil Saunderson (Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, Ontario).
There were other distinguished guests as well: Miss Canada, Catherine Dunn of Orillia, gave out prizes worth $5,000 which were delivered by the Raptor's mascot who gave a great show by running through the tables with the prizes and posing for pictures with the winners. The prizes were donated by the Blue Jays, Raptors, Argonauts, Maple Leafs, Sheraton Hotel and White Rose Nurseries. The presentation paddles were painted by Scouter Peter Harris.
A special thanks to Paul Jones of CFRB, "The Voice of the Raptors", for doing an outstanding job as our Master of Ceremonies.
The entertainment didn't end with the breakfast, because afterwards there were display of Scouting photos, camping and climbing equipment, opportunities to pose with all the celebrities for pictures, and a chance to try out the Toronto Maple Leaf Slap Shot Maching.
We cannot thank the corporate executives enough who have given of their time, their support and direction in making this event the success it was. And thanks to the many volunteers, the Marketing, Special Events and Camping Committee, who looked after the display. In conclusion, thanks to my right hand, Harry Bruce, who has spent the last 6 months keeping me organized and administratively sound.
We look forward to exceeding our goal of $135,000 in 1998. And, by the way, the date is Thursday, May 28, 1998 at The Royal York Hotel, when we will hear from astronaut Ken Money.
See you there!
($70 donation to the Scout
Foundation, $30 for dinner)
Second ticket for youth:
Information and tickets:
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