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Novel Coronavirus — July 12, 2021 Update: Explore Scouts Canada’s actions as we continue to follow the direction of government and health agencies in maintaining public health. View recommendations and stay informed here.

Scouting is needed now—more than ever

This year has been challenging. We are inspired at the resilience of our Scouters and our community. What you are doing for youth has a positive impact — whether you are Scouting virtually, outdoor or indoors. If you are not convinced or you need a pick me up, please take a moment to learn more about how Groups and youth are actively Scouting in different ways — across the country.

Since we extended current memberships to December 31 for free, the new Scouting Year program will begin on January 1st, 2021 and run until December 31, 2021 —and we can’t wait!

Now is the perfect time to look ahead and start thinking about how to facilitate a great, safe, youth-led program this winter. Whether you’re Scouting virtually or in-person, this edition of The Woggle has some fun ideas for your weekly meetings and your weekend outings. And don’t forget—we’re in full-on recruitment mode, so now is the perfect time to grow your Scouting community!

We hope you’re as excited to get started as we are to jump into a new Scouting Year.

Grow Your Group

You may have seen the fun tongue-in-cheek ‘pandemic badges’ that we’ve released this month for a fresh take on recruitment. Join the fun and expand your Scout Group by recruiting locally! Discover a Recruitment Toolkit and our full collection of pandemic badges to start growing your Scouting community.

 

Recruit More Members

Looking for more Scouters? Our new Volunteer Recruitment Video captures the voices of real Scouters and youth, sharing their personal experiences with the benefits that volunteering with Scouts brings.

 

Seasonal Skills

Winter Tips & Tricks

Stay active this winter for safe, fun adventures! Discover how to dress warmly, be sun-safe and get the right gear to take advantage of the snowy season.

Dress for Success

  • Dressing in layers allows you to remove layers as you get too hot. If youth are doing a high-exertion activity (building shelters, hiking, etc.) they will get warm!
  • As you get warm, take off layers and add layers as you get cold. Store any layers that you have removed somewhere dry and close by, like a backpack. Depending on the conditions, you might want to remove a layer under your coat and then put your coat back on – your coat will keep you drier than a sweater if it’s snowing.
  • Non-cotton layers closest to your skin (base layer) are ideal – this could be long underwear, non-cotton pants, etc. Cotton will absorb moisture from your body and will hold it. We all know how long it takes a load of laundry full of jeans and sweaters to dry! Polyester, poly-blend, wool, and other non-cotton materials will wick away the moisture from your skin and will keep you warmer as a result, even after you’ve sweat.
  • This does not mean that families should be running out to buy a whole new wardrobe for their youth! For the most part, families should be able to make do with what they have. Need a t-shirt? A soccer jersey can be a good alternative – and fleecy pajama pants can be great under snow pants!
  • This video from REI Co-op offers a bit more information about layering and the kinds of materials that you should consider – it’s not a winter video, but the principles remain the same throughout the year.
  • In winter, gloves vs. mitts is a long-standing debate, but true winter people know that gloves AND mitts is the real secret. If you have a thin pair of gloves (those light stretchy gloves you get in multi-packs, or even thin gloves meant for winter running or cross-country skiing), put those on under a pair of mitts. Then, when you need to use your hands for something and have to take off your mitts, your hands will still be nice and warm!
  • It can be tempting to add lots of layers to your feet but be careful! If you cannot wiggle your toes inside your boots, you may start to cut off circulation to your feet, which will make you colder. Before heading out for a day of adventure, make sure you try out the boots and socks you plan on wearing that day. Make sure you have some wiggle room!

Be Sun-Safe

  • The sun can be dangerous, even in winter, and it can be easy to forget about when you do not feel its heat!
  • Take breaks in the shade to get out of the sun – the sun reflecting off of the snow can be even more damaging than direct sunlight.
  • Wear sunglasses and sunscreen when spending time outside in the winter – your eyes and skin will thank you!

Getting the Gear

  • Getting the right gear might be a barrier for some families, but this does not mean that you cannot do winter activities.
  • Hosting a gear swap can be a great way to help people get the gear they need – have people bring in old gear that no longer fits or they no longer need: coats, boots, snow pants, etc. and have people swap items or small amounts of money for the items they need.
  • If your Group has the space, consider stockpiling extra essential gear – as youth grow out of winter gear and families no longer need it, add it to the stockpile. As youth need gear, try to quietly match youth with gear that fits them and fills their needs – depending on the scenario, this could be a permanent loan, or just something temporary for a camp or adventure.
  • You do not have to run out and buy all new gear – encourage families to look through what they already own. Fleecy PJ pants are great pants for winter adventures, and that wool sweater grandma knitted last Christmas would make a great warm top!

Top 5 Tips for Winter

Need quick tips for winter adventures on the go? Explore fun hacks, methods and reminders to stay engaged this winter.

Scouter’s Five: Top Five Tips for Winter Adventures

  • Youth will get tired much faster than during spring, summer or fall activities. The energy required to keep warm, plus the extra effort of moving through snow will burn them out faster than in other seasons. Plan to take more breaks or have shorter days than you normally would. Scouters may also find themselves becoming more tired – be mindful of taking breaks during activities and plan ahead for driving home.
  • You will be warmer if you’re moving. Youth will get colder much faster than adults, so this is something to be conscious. Try to find ways to allow youth to keep moving around – let them wiggle, have a dance party, etc. When sitting down for a longer period of time, like a meal, having a way to stay warm, like a fire, is important.
  • Helmets, helmets, helmets. While you might not wear a helmet while tobogganing, skating or skiing with your family, they are required for Scouting. Youth may not participate without a helmet! See Scouts Canada’s Winter Sports Standard for more information
  • It can be hard for youth to gauge how they are doing in the cold – and as a Scouter, it can be hard to keep track of a whole Section’s worth of youth. Pair up youth in buddies and do regular ‘buddy checks’. Ask your buddy how they’re doing – are they warm enough? Is their clothing dry? Do they need a break to catch their breath or warm up?
  • Plastic grocery bags are a great addition to your supply list. They can be used to hold wet gear and keep it away from dry gear in your backpack or can be used to line wet boots so that your feet stay nice and dry!

Trail Cards: Winter Adventures

Activity ideas to keep you Scouting all winter long!

Campfire Cooking

Foil Meals

Foil meals are an easy way for everyone to have a nice hot meal at camp (or during a day activity), while making sure that everyone is preparing food individually. They can be made at home ahead of time or frozen and then brought to a day event where they can thaw while you do your activities.

To make them, take a piece of tin foil and add meat (pre-cooked), veggies, potatoes (again, precooked or frozen ones are best), etc. Add spices and sauces for the best possible flavour. When you’re ready to eat, place the wrapped foil packages into the coals of a campfire. Wait until they’re warm and then eat! You can even make things like grilled cheese. 

Songs, Skits and Cheers

Campfires might look a bit different this year, but that’s ok! COVID-19 experts recommend that singing and shouting should be avoided – which makes it hard to run a campfire. Why not try some different things at your Section’s next campfire?

Try using your campfire as a time to reflect on your day or weekend. Use ‘roses and thorns’ as a review activity around a campfire. You can also still perform skits (as long as you’re distanced!), tell shaggy dog stories, or share myths and legends! 

New Program Enhancements

There’s a lot to look forward to this year in Scouting, discover our latest program enhancements and additions to keep your Groups engaged!

Personal Achievement Badge Portal

The new Personal Achievement Badge (PAB) Portal is here! As we move into winter programming, try something new in your Section with a portal that makes it easy to find and plan which PAB youth want to work towards. This has been created to help give youth the tools they need to plan and succeed. Youth can explore new interests and set goals.

Start working on your badges today!

Scouts for Sustainability

Planning for your winter cycle? Try adding some programming related to the Sustainable Development Goals! With our new Scouts for Sustainability program materials, your Section can continue its journey on the Canadian Path while working to create a better world. With new infographics, activities and Trail Cards, there are lots of great resources to help your Section get started on working towards a brighter future!

 

What difference will you make?

The Great Canadian Scouting Adventure

We’re excited to launch a new series of virtual learning modules about Canada and the world, coming soon thanks to the support of Heritage Canada.

Youth will be engaged in interactive discussions and activities around parks, historic sites, Canadian and world heritage. These modules will display local culture, history and the environmental biodiversity of these sites. We’ll announce the launch on our @scoutscanada social media channels, keep an eye out!

Activity Finder

Explore hundreds of activities to drive your Scouting adventures! Search by your age level in Scouts, length of activity, season and Program Area to find the activity that’s right for you.

Start Exploring

Canada Learning Code

Looking to try something new this winter? Canada Learning Code (CLC) offers free virtual coding workshops! Request a virtual visit from CLC for an upcoming meeting and learn something new.

You don’t need to have any knowledge of coding to book a session – just access to a computer. Sessions can be arranged for any Section — Beavers to Rovers, so book one today! 

 

Canada Learning Code

Try This App! Earth Rangers

Have you ever heard of Earth Rangers? Earth Rangers is an environmental organization that allows kids to take on missions to help protect our planet! The Earth Rangers app allows you to join Earth Rangers, accept missions and earn points for all the missions that you have done. The missions you accept will teach you how to protect animals and their habitats and help make a difference. Earth Rangers is free to join – all you need is the app! 

Get the App!

International Year of Plant Health

Have you ever built a bat house, helped a habitat or been a plant doctor? Try out one of our new Life on Land activities as part of Scouts for Sustainability!

Tell us about your adventures by emailing sdgs@scouts.ca and your Section will receive some crests to celebrate the International Year of Plant Health! #IYPH2020

Fall fundraising and the year ahead

This fall we were excited to partner with the Canadian roaster, Equator Coffee, to bring a new, safe and “contact-less” online fundraiser to communities across Canada.

As we review the success of Scout Coffee, let’s look forward to Scout Seeds and Scout Popcorn returning in 2021!

This fall, instead of selling Scout Popcorn, Scouts raised money by selling a co-branded coffee with a Canadian company called Equator. Read on to see the positive impact! 

  • $525,516.33 sold in Scout Coffee products.
  • $148,157.47 went directly to Scouting Groups.

We will continue to sell Scout Coffee online in the new year for Groups needing an extra boost in caffeine and fundraising sales!

Coming this spring…

  • Groups can still fundraise for their Scouting adventures with Scout Seeds, starting in February, and Scout Popcorn starting in March 2021.
  • Interested in selling Scout Seeds or Scout Coffee? Email:Emily.jamieson@scouts.ca for more information.

The Revenue Development team is looking for volunteers to support fundraising initiatives. If you are interested, please email: Emily.jamieson@scouts.ca.

#ScoutsDoStuff

Tag @scoutscanada in your #ScoutsDoStuff pics for your chance to be featured in our next edition of The Woggle

153rd Old Mill Scouts has been delivering Santa Boxes for more than 20 years for kids in need in Toronto—as risk increases, so does need! 

Sherwood Park Cubs collected more than $15k worth of toys for donation this holiday season. 

2nd North Battleford Cubs in Saskatchewan decorated the outside of a local health centre to bring cheer to residents. 

A 1st Haney Venturer Scout collected and fixed 60 bikes to donate. 

1st Southfields has stayed active throughout the pandemic with fun activities virtually and in-person.