Category Archives: Lesson of the Day

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You don't control Rovers. You unleash them. #scoutsdostuff #roversdostuff — Kitmonster (@kit_monster) October 9, 2011 Advertisements

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Scouting: Why it matters to me. 20 years on

This was originally written in response for the Reginald K. Groome Scholarship for Scouts Canada youth pursuing post-secondary education.  The scholarship asks to “Attach a typed statement, no more than 200 words, on the value of Scouting in your life.”

Obviously 200 words is crazy hard to fit 20 years of Scouting into, heck I can barely fit a favourite memory into 140 characters. I’ve done most of my post-secondary schooling and I’m not really interested in the money.  I am however interested in what I as an individual have learned from the movement, 20 years after my grandmother (my family can easily go into triple digits of Scouting years and is a whole ‘nother post), an Akela helping with a little camp known as Camp LogJam dragged me along to a workbee, and being told to sit and colour and drink my juice.

So it begins.

I’m not going to tell you how being able to light a fire in the rain with two matches, or have the skill of tying six knots in one piece of rope became the most useful thing I learned in Scouts. Fact is nearly everything I learned in Scouts- from making a picture frame in beavers to camping with my crew in snow caves on the side of a mountain are skills I could have learned  else where.

Except my friends.

(RoVent 2008, left to right Jeff, Kit, Me, Christina and Adam. We purposely made it harder, if you’ll notice, we’re all in the air)

I was not a popular kid in high school, and up until my graduation, I had very few people in my life that knew when my birthday was or more importantly cared. However, going to Venturer and Rover social camps around Vancouver, I met some fantastic people, and then got to know them at these camps every four months or so. At PJ 2003, I met one of my best friends in the world and cemented friendships and relationships far in to the future. When it came time to move out from my parents, I moved into a house full of Rovers, friends from Richmond, Ladner and North Vancouver. None of whom where in my group in Vancouver, and none I would have met outside of Scouting.

Scouting’s life skills have had a lasting impact on my skill set and way of life, but my friends are my moral compass and grounding rod for my life. I might have compass and map in my bag, but without my friends,who I met through Scouts, I’d be lost.

-Mark Burge
1st South Vancouver Crew
East Vancouver Area
Pacific Coast Council

My lessons from the Philippines

Five months.  That’s how long it’s been since the trip. It fells like yesterday.
Memories will quickly fade if not cycled on. So this, in no particular order,  is what I learned on the trip.

  • The human body can survive off of average four hours of sleep over a week.  And thrive.
  • When traveling to a foreign country that has limited cellphone coverage (or your phones frequencies don’t work in) there are other forms of communication.
    • Paper. Seriously. At one point in the trip, the day’s schedule would change so much from the original printed schedule that we didn’t trust it. Ok, I lied. Every day ended up like that. At home, we could all just text each other, update the Google doc, or email each other. No such luck in the Philippines. Ended up using the most ancient system that still works (besides speech). A small group of us would plan the next day based on all the new factors and we would post hand written schedules in each dorm or house. The solution was almost too simple that we overlooked it for too long. So long as everyone knew to expect it, handwritten paper works.
    • Buy a few handheld radios once you get there. Each country has their own set of frequencies and rules on radios, so don’t bring ones from yours expecting them to work. We didn’t go this route, but a half dozen radios wouldn’t have gone amiss.  However, having not used them, I’m not sure if they would have become a distraction though. There’s something about radios that gives a free license to talk way into them, for everyone to listen to you. Used correctly and they will allow dissemination of information down a chain. Used wrong and they just turn into a social distraction.

See the rest

The 20 minute post

I have issued a challenge to myself to write this in 20 minutes.

Clock’s ticking.

Spent this morning talking about the information session we are having next week. We were able to get to three recruitment events this week. Making up for lost time I guess. Previous one was early February. Almost the entirety of my time at that meeting was devoted to explaining the ins and outs of mailchimp to one of the other Rovers so that he can take over duties as Editor in Chief of event invites and monthly newsletters. It was quite a lot to learn at once, but I’m sure enough of the spaghetti stuck.

I did learn something valuable today. Well a few things to be correct, but one I’m going to highlight here.

Through out the day there was some pretty consistent chatter between the team as details came up. At one point the last batch of e-mails came in, and I got them into the e-mail system. Since they were the final piece to the puzzle, I sent the e-mails out. What I did was wrong; a fundamental error on my behalf. Can you guess what it was?
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