GTRSI Home Fastcounter
Visitor Forms | What's New | Links | Resources | Awards | Webrings | GTRSI Chat! | Search
My Picture | Message Board | Home | Back
or Mirror Sites at Geocities, Tripod or @Home (Old Site)

Scouting News
Scouting News

November '98

  1. Risk Management
  2. Risk Management (Part 2) , Sharing The Caring , Santa Boxes
  3. Scouter Achievement Badge , GTR Training Calendar , Along The Training Track
  4. Camping Policy , Focus For Our Youth
  5. Training Recognition
  6. Area News
  7. Bulletin Board

Risk Management

Creating an environment for safe and satisfying Scouting

By Adrian Barker, Regional President

This is one of the hottest topics being dealt with by our National Council Office Services these days... and with good reason. At the present time, there are a number of specific situations related to Scouting activities that are being carefully considered by Scouts Canada.

While some of these situations may be of a somewhat trivial nature, others are far from being insignificant in terms of the potential financial liability to our organization. One recent suit involved an aircraft hangar that was burned down!

Do we hear the smug comments of local Scouters saying "This could never happen to my Group!" The reality is that this kind of thing can happen to any of us if we do not take adequate precautions, and even then the unexpected can, and often does, happen.

Consider, for example, a group of Scouts hiking in the mountains of Western Canada a couple of years ago who found the trail took them longer than expected and were forced to camp out overnight. They even had the foresight to take a cell phone, only to discover that they were behind a mountain and out of range of the receiving station. Other than being somewhat cold and uncomfortable, the Troop was safe and in no immediate danger. However, without proper Leader training and good clothing and equipment, the outcome may have been very different.

What is Risk Management?

Risk is defined as a hazard, the chance of bad consequences or loss of or exposure to danger or mischance. Risk management is taking control of potential hazards or dangers to minimize the potential for negative results.

One example of Scouting's practices which are consistent with effective risk management is that all volunteers in Scouting, Leaders and Group Committees alike, annually complete an Application for Membership and Appointment of Adults. Our National Screening Process and the new requirement that all adult members submit to police record checks is another example where our National Council and all other Councils across Canada have taken steps to reduce the chance that persons unsuited to leadership in Scouting are recruited and installed in positions of influence or trust.

The Group Committee's Role

It is reasonable and expected that Group Committees would require their Sections to plan their activities and provide details of these plans at Group Committee meetings. These gatherings give the Committees the opportunity to employ risk management as they review the proposed activities of their Leaders and provide input before approving them.

It is certainly the role and responsibility of the Section leadership team to plan their program, but the role and responsibility of the Group Committee in overall supervision of the Group must also be acknowledged.

When does it Apply?

Any parent can empathize with the idea that the practice of risk management goes on all the time. It may almost be something we do without really thinking about. Asking a family member to not leave a skateboard on the stairway because someone might trip on it is a good example.

Leaders and Group Committees, thinking about the needs of their Scouting family, need to employ this same approach. As a natural step of planning any event or activity, go through the following basic steps of risk management.

Risk Identification - Think about and discuss the realistically possible outcomes of the activity. For example, if a Group of Leaders and Cubs are travelling together downtown on the subway, is it possible that they could get separated.

Risk Evaluation - Determine the potential for loss or injury and the impact that this will have.

Risk Control - generally speaking, two options exist - eliminate the risk by not conducting the activity, or better yet take steps to ensure that the risk is minimized. Ask yourselves questions like:

Cont'd on page 2

Top of Page

Risk Management

Parental Permission

By registering their child with Scouts Canada through a Group and reading and signing the Application for Youth Membership form, parents give permission for their child to be involved in Scouting. For extended activities such as week-long camps, travel or canoe trips, Groups should also circulate and receive back a signed permission form from the parents. Scouts Canada supports and recommends this practice because it shows responsibility on our part and reminds parents about the activity and clearly defines the authority of the Leader(s) in charge.

Some examples...

A more local example of exercising risk management is the completion of a Tour Permit to advise Regional and Provincial Scouting offices (and even National Council, if necessary) of the intention of a Group to travel outside Ontario, especially when travelling to another country. A review of the permit helps to ensure that the activity has leadership appropriate to the situation and that other coverage, such as extended medical or flight cancellation insurance, has been sufficiently considered.

Groups planning trips need to consult with their Area's Activities Advisor and complete an Activity Plan Review Guide. Call your Area Commissioner if you need the name and number. Other measures for general activities might include ensuring that designated first aider with current certification is included in the leadership team.

Furthermore, and in keeping with our Regional policy with respect to training, we need to ensure that all Leaders participate in at least Part I training for the Section in which they are involved.

Some Group activities involve outside service providers such as kayaking, climbing, river rafting, etc. In many instances, the company requires participants to sign a form waiving their right, and that of their immediate family, to take legal action in the event of any perceived negligence. The effect of this action is that Scouts Canada now assumes the liability, and the resulting financial risk, should a mishap occur. National Council has made it quite clear that this is not an acceptable practice. Scouts Canada insures its members and accepts responsibility for their actions when performed during authorized Scouting activities. We also expect other organizations to do the same. Parents who waive the rights of their child are not doing so at the request or advice of Scouts Canada and are not protected by Scouts Canada insurance.

The intent of this is not to deprive our members of the legitimate enjoyment of activities that may well be physically or mentally challenging or stimulating. The intent is to ensure that participation in such activities is done without undue financial risk being undertaken by Scouts Canada. To do so is unfair to other members and at worst shows poor leadership and judgement.

A copy of a nationally approved Indemnification Agreement which is Scouting's answer to waiver forms is available from your Field Executive. It is strongly suggested and provides an equitable sharing of risk between service providers and Scouting users. Its use should be negotiated with firms offering activities to local Groups.

Reporting Accidents and Incidents

If the unfortunate occurs and an accident befalls a Scouting member, after ensuring that are appropriate medical attention is received, you need to contact your Field Executive and report the situation. It is very important that accidents and incidents be reported as quickly as possible.

The Importance of Registration

The chance of accidents underscores the importance of ensuring that all youth, Leaders and Group Committees are registered. As a reminder, the deadline for initial 1998-99 Group registration was October 31. Registration of additional youth and Leaders can be received by the Group and should be forwarded to the Regional office. Acting in a timely manner prevents last minute hassles and the unwanted situation of having activities happen (camps for example) while any of the participants are unregistered.

There are clearly many facets to risk management. It is incumbent upon all members of Scouts Canada to ensure that they personally take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety and well being of our members, other persons and the communities in which we live and carry out our activities. Failure to adequately manage risk will result in increased membership fees to pay for the additional liability insurance premiums that will ensue as a result of legal action to pay for damage to people or property. This will affect everyone. especially those most vulnerable and most in need of Scouting and the skills and experiences that it can provide.

Our hope is that Scouting Groups will continue to engage in the kinds of activities that challenge and stimulate our youth to grow and develop as together we work to achieve our Mission. Good Scouting!

Top of Page


By Roy Trueman

A successful Scouting program is like a mosaic or jigsaw puzzle with many pieces. All the components are important to the picture, and when a piece - especially a big one - is missing, it's usually easy to spot the gap. During 1998 the Ontario Provincial Executive Board reminded its regions of some important elements:

Leaders who care about their youth make them feel unique, special, and valued as individuals. This caring can take many forms such as greeting youth by name, positive recognition, fairness, and adjustment to individuals unique challenges and capabilities. At the same time, avoidance of certain negatives is also helpful: for example, shouting, threatening and singling individuals for public criticism do not encourage youth to remain in a Group.

Leaders who are knowledgeable are more comfortable with the range of their Section's program opportunities. The depth and variety such Leaders provide helps ensure that youth develop and maintain a high level of interest. Knowledge can come from many sources: personal experiences, reading and TV, outings to places like the zoo or conservation areas, and the many Scouting training courses offered throughout the year.

Enthusiasm rubs off on our youth. It's a big part of the Scouting Spirit. Be careful, though, because it is highly contagious. Enthusiasm can be expressed in a smile, a cheer, how announcements are made and recognition given, in any introduction of a special guest, and in many other ways at camp or in a meeting. You may not always feel enthusiastic after a long day or week of other activities, but making the effort will provide so much positive feedback, that your energy and spirits may soon be fully restored.

Youth remain in their Section, and link to the next Section more readily when the program satisfies their individual needs and expectations. How can we satisfy each youth's needs when there may be 10, 20 or more others in the Section?

First, we all have many needs in common, such as safety, respect and development of our full potential, which can be provided by caring Leaders in a balanced, planned program. Variety helps ensure each event has something for everyone. And everyone wants to have fun!

Second, we can adapt to meet individual needs and challenges. The extra initial effort to ask and understand pays off well, as all concerned - Leaders and youth - learn and grow through giving, caring and sharing.

Developing these skills and practices will help you develop a positive, rewarding relationship with all the youth in your Section.

The Part I training courses offered by GTR and its Areas are a great place to start or continue this process.

Top of Page

Attention all Scouters!! Santa Needs you!!

Call your Area Coordinator now!!

November 28 - December 21!!

Agincourt, Dan Van Nice 292-6738
Bendale, Malcolm Smith 494-3901
Brownsea, Jim Potter 665-6708
Brownsea-Warehouse 3, Joe Bills 638-7414
Brownsea-Warehouse 3C, Harry Bruce 493-7710
Humber West, Roy Henry 247-8426
Old Mill, Syd Griffin 236-8893
East Scarborough, Bern Bellamy 266-0245
West Scarborough, Rich Hyland 284-7148
Seton, Chucki Smith, 462-9643
Seton-Warehouse 4, Bill Walker 222-4841
Skyline, Bill Simms 233-6527
Sunnybrook, Ted Zuber 445-4973
The Alders, Jack Lyons 233-8997
Willow Valley, Eric Locke 438-8278
or Noshir Dastoor (905) 470-1199
Coordinator, Robert Engel
(H) 223-9876 (B) 490-6364 x 246

Santa's Hotline 490-6364 #226

Top of Page

GTR Training Calendar

Go To The Calendar

Top of Page


While the majority of badges are designated for youth in Scouting, there are a select few created solely for Leaders. A relatively new but significant one is the Scouter Achievement Badge.

This particular insignia consists of six sections of achievement, as listed below, and when all have been earned the completed crest has the Scout emblem in the centre.

Spirituality - The golden thread that runs through all of our Section programs and is one of the elements in our Mission Statement. A one evening workship assists us in making sure the golden thread is there.

How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk. - A means of developing greater confidence and self-esteem in our youth and to better handle those awkward situations in communication that will occur from time to time. This workship consists of three 3 ½ hour sessions.

Cultural Awareness - Canada is home to people from all around the world. Scouting has developed - with the input of numerous new Canadians - a program to assist us in understanding the cultures and needs of the many communities that make up our greater Scouting family. This is a one evening workshop.

Scout Craft - The outdoor camping skills so very essential to Scouting. The skills learned on this week-end course will help us when we go camping as well as at our regular meetings.

First Aid - St. Johns or Red Cross courses enable us to better serve our youth, particularly in camping, but also at any time of infury or illness. Obtain an up-to-date card of successful completion of one of the above courses and this section of the badge will be awarded to you.

Project wild - This is a one day course on how to best use the outdoors as an aid to learning and to assist us in developing interesting programs.

The Scouter Achievement Badge in comjunction with Part I and Part II wood Badge Training, is the measure of a well trained Leader in all aspects of Scouting.

We hope to see many Scouter Achievement Badges on campfire blankets, jackets or wherever we keep our collection.

Further information is available by contacting Jenevie Austin at 490-6364, extension 237; Training Dpartment at Scout Office.

Top of Page

Along The Training Track

What is a Wood Badge Part I? What is Gilwell? So often these questions arise from new Leaders. Let me try and answer those questions.

About 1918, Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting decided that he wanted to recognize Leaders who had taken and achieved a level of leadership proficiency. He took beads from a necklace that Dinizulu had given him, added an old bootlace and created the Wood Badge. In addition, Wood Badge consists of a distinctive neckerchief with the McLaren tartan on the apex and a parchment certificate. The training that B-P started has today developed into leadership training that is recognized world wide as an achievement of leadership skills.

Wood Badge training has been split into two parts. Part I is a weekend or equivalent of training for new Leaders or a Leader new to the Section. This training covers the basic requirements and needs for a new Leader to that Section. Once a Leader with Part I has gained some experience in the Section they may take Part II training. This training represents 50 to 60 hours of training and is usually held on 2-3 weekends plus some evenings, or alternatively a full week in an outdoor setting. In Part II training, the focus of the training shifts to the candidates sharing their experiences and doing a lot of hands on training.

Wood Badge training is much more than just learning how to do the job. It also provides and opportunity for Scouters to enjoy Scouting fellowship. Campfire, Scouts Own, meal times, and spare time activities all foster this comradeship that Scouters feel for each other during training courses.

Information on dates for Wood Badge and other training courses offered by Greater Toronto Region is located elsewhere in Scoutin News or on our web page at

Top of Page

Camping Policy

- it's important when you think about it

By Rob Selby, Director of Camping

Keats once wrote that "extensive knowledge is needful to thinking people - for it takes away the heat and fever." Scouters are thinking people, and even though from time to time even the best of us can get fevered and hot when not aware of why certain policies exist, we deserve as much knowledge as possible.

In an effort to give Scouters greater awareness of the payment policies for our Regional camps (while keeping temperatures to a healthy 98.60F) the following is a review of our Camping Payment Policies and a brief explanation of why they exist.


Group Bookings - In most cases, full payment is requested within 30 days of making a reservation. For example, if on November 10, 1998 you book a camp for May 7, 8 & 9, 1999, payment is requested by December 10, 1998. Why so soon? For the good of Scouting and the youth we serve. Our camp sites are popular. If a Group books a site, doesn't pay, and then cancels a month prior to the camp date or even worse fails to show, youth in other Groups that would have loved to have gone to camp at that time lose out. So when you book a camp several months in advance, expect to receive an invoice asking for payment within a month.

To assist your Group in its financial dealings, a $100 deposit is required within 30 days of making the reservation for camps in the next Scouting year. The balance is due October 1 of that year. In other words, if in February, 1999, you make a reservation for May, 2000, $100 is requested in March, 1999, and the balance by October 1, 1999. This helps to insure that the youth who pay for the camp are the ones attending the camp.

Area Bookings - We make an exception for Area events. Deposits of $ 100 are required one month prior to the date of the camp, the balance is payable by the date of camping. This gives Areas the opportunity to collect fees from various Groups before the camp fee is due.

Refunds - Here again, we must remember the youth in other Groups that would have liked to camp on a particular weekend, but perhaps nothing was available when their Leader called to reserve a site. Keep in mind if you book a camp and cancel at the last minute or don't use it, somebody else probably would have liked to camp there. If you must cancel, call us. With one month's notice, Camping will refund your fee, but only if another Group books that facility. If the facility is not used, no refund will be made.

There are exceptions to some rules (not to "every rule"), however, and we are human (or at least like to think so). From December 1 to March 31, we will give you a credit for use solely at our camps for sites cancelled with one month's notice. Also, if during the winter months, a Group is unable to reach the camp because of weather conditions which are deemed extreme, one half of the fee will be refunded.

Booking for 1999 & 2000 - The Camping Department takes reservations based on the Calendar year. You can book now for next year - 1999. As of December 1, 1998 we will take booking from GTR Groups for the year 2000. (Yes, we have the technology) This is a distinct advantage we give to our own Regional Groups. Groups outside of GTR cannot book until January 1, 1999 for the year 2000.

SPECIALS at Oba-sa-teeka and Woodland Trails

Yes, there are some specials to be had even at camp!

Plan a winter camp in a village - 50% off on villages and sites from November 1 until April 15 and July 1 until September 15. This is a great opportunity for Scouts, Venturers & Rovers to enjoy the fun, challenge and satisfaction of camping in the snow. (Not available to Colonies and Packs)

Take a Hike! - 1 day hikes are free and we'll provide site or village if booked 2 weeks in advance (conditional on availability)

How about 3 days for the price of 2? - On long weekends (3 day weekends) the fee remains the same as regular weekends!

Training - Area or Regional Training courses receive 50% off Sites and Villages for outdoor courses. (unfortunately, this is not applicable to training at the Haliburton Scout Reserve.)

Here are a few things you may wish to make note of in planning your personal & Scouting calendars;

Accommodations based on total capacity (includes all campers, youth and adults)
Lodges at Woodland Trails
Big Pine (Both Sides) 48 people
Big Pine (One Side) 24
Elmview 32
Maplewood and Hickory Hill 28
Chalet 24
Lodges at Oba-Sa-Teeka
Ojibway 28 people
Algonquin 28
Mohawk 28
Oba Junction 16
Wigwamin 8
Villages at Woodland Trails and Oba-Sa-Teeka
30 to 40 people


Haliburton Scout Reserve (HSR) is currently more than 55% booked for 1999. This is tremendous and we look forward to another full camp at HSR in 1999. Once more, however, we must be aware that if a Group books and fails to attend some other Scout Group may miss out. Therefore, if you are already booked for HSR a deposit of $200.00 should have been paid by November 1. If you are booking now, you are asked to pay the deposit within 30 days. If you haven't booked yet for the summer of 1999 at HSR, we encourage you to call and make a booking soon for another great summer camping.

Deposti Refunds for HSR - Since your Group's plans to camp at HSR no doubt hinge on a number of factors (time off work, family vacations, etc.) which are not always firm until the new year or even later, the following schedule for refunds is provided:

We hope that this information clarifies some of our camp policies and why we have them. We are here to assist you and insure that your Groups get the camping experience that is an essential to a full Scouting program. We don't expect you to remember all of these details mentioned here but trust that the knowledge of why the policies exist gives you the understanding that it is Scouting we seek to serve. Should you wish to make a camp reservation, or are seeking further clarification of camp policies please contact the Camping Department at (416) 490-6364 Ext.233.

Top of Page

Focus For Our Youth

During the May, 1998, Regional Commissioner's Forum and Regional Group Services Forum, workships were delivered by the Field Services Staff to the Area Commissioners and Area Forum Chairs. These workships evolved out of concern for the workloads of those present.

Participants broke off into small Groups and brainstormed the many roles, tasks and jobs which were required. It was noted that many of the items listed in the brainstorming portion could be shared with their team members. After filling many pages of flipchart paper, each Group was asked to come up with their "Top Ten List".

The Groups then reconvened and shared their lists. The larger Group developed a smaller list of the most important and common items. The Commissioners and Forum Chairs agreed at the end of the exercise to adopt this final list as their Focus for the 1998-1999 Scouting year.

Here are the Lists:

Area Commissioners

Area Forum Chairs

The Commissioners and Chairs will be putting their teams through a similar exercise and every Group would benefit from setting their priorities for the upcoming year. By focusing our energies:

And most importantly...

This exercise will help us all "Focus For Our Youth."

Top of Page


The Scouters listes on Page 5 completed training in GTR between
May 30 and October 31, 1998

Scouting in GTR has benefited greatly from the time, effort
and commitment of these Leaders

Top of Page

Area News

Go To Area News Page

Top of Page

From Regional Commissioner Doug Gough...

Due to the number of available courses being limited and the great need for Part I Training by GTR's Leaders, The October 31, 1998 deadline for completing Part I Training in the Leader's Section has been extended.

All Leaders without Part I in their Section are urged to plan now to receive the training they need. For assistance in planning how you'll receive training in your Section, contact your Service Scouter.

Scouts Canada's Mission

To contribute to the development of young people in
achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiri-
tual potential as individuals, as responsible citizens and
as members of their local, national and international
communities through the application of our Principles
and Practices.

Scouting News is printed 5 times a year for
Scouts Canada in the Greater Toronto Region,
265 Yorkland Ave, North York M2J 5C7.
Tel: (416) 490-6364

Editor: Paddy Bateman
Top of Page

Disclaimer: Anything posted to this Home Page
are the opinions of the individuals who posted them
and are not the views of Scouts Canada.