The Canadian Path program is the way Scouting is done in Canada. The Canadian Path brings Scouting back to its roots by using the Scout Method as its basis, which was first introduced by Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Scout Movement.
On The Canadian Path, youth take the lead in deciding what adventures they will pursue. Taking charge, youth will organize ways to achieve these goals, and will collectively reflect on their experience after the goal is met.
The Canadian Path program helps youth develop into critical thinkers, extend their personal progression and encourage active participation in an inclusive team environment.
Scouts Canada’s program revitalization has a number of motivations. According to the World Organization of the Scouting Movement’s Renewed Approach to Programme, a youth program “should be adapted to the needs and aspirations of the young people of each generation.” Scouts Canada had not comprehensively updated its youth program in nearly fifty years. Based on feedback from youth, parents and Volunteers, The Canadian Path was developed to better serve our membership today and in the years ahead.
There are lots of easy ways to get started on The Canadian Path. Keep the Four Elements in mind when reflecting on your Section’s program, and do your best to include them equally with all of your adventures. The Canadian Path Instructional Videos playlist on Scouts Canada’s YouTube channel will help your Section figure out how to get on the Path, and Scouters can discover useful tips by exploring the Canadian Path online training modules available through the David Huestis Learning Centre on MyScouts.ca. For more ideas, check out the list “14 Ways to Get on The Canadian Path” on Scouting Life.
A Contact Scouter (such as a Contact Colony Scouter or Contact Pack Scouter) is just what the name suggests: the member of a Section Scouter team responsible for communication, especially with parents, the Group and with other Sections within the Area. A team of Section Scouters should work together as peers; the Section’s Contact Scouter is not necessarily the leader of a Scouter team.
In Scouts, Venturer Scouts and Rover Scouts, the Section Leader (a youth) should be the Section’s main point of contact, but the Section’s Contact Scouter should be apprised of the Section Leader’s communications regarding the Section. The Section Contact Scouter must remember the Two-Scouter Rule when communicating with youth, including online and phone communications.
To ensure that youth see themselves as the leaders they are, the Canadian Path team has been working to change the terminology pertaining to our Volunteers, specifically moving towards the title of “Scouter” rather than “Leader”. MyScouts.ca will be updated to reflect the change, meaning that all Volunteer roles at the Section level will be updated, as well as various other Volunteer roles.
The transition to The Canadian Path is a journey for youth and Scouters alike. There is a lot to learn, but understanding the new concepts and processes is important to Sections’ long-term success. The decrease in the number of youth pursuing badges is most likely a result of this focus on learning the new structure of the program, and will likely self-correct over the next year.
The decrease could also be a result of the youth being exposed to new and exciting opportunities thanks to The Canadian Path. Just because youth aren’t pursuing badges, however, doesn’t mean that they aren’t benefiting from our Scouting program. Badges aren’t the outcome of the Scouting program; they are simply recognition of what youth have accomplished. If youth aren’t interested in badges, perhaps there’s something else that you can do to recognize youth in a way that will make them feel proud of their accomplishments.
- The roles of Beaver Leader and Scouter in Training Colony are now both known as Colony Scouter.
- The role of Contact Beaver Leader is now known as Contact Colony Scouter.
- The roles of Assistant Cub Leader and Scouter in Training Pack are now both known as Pack Scouter.
- The role of Cub Leader is now known as Contact Pack Scouter (typically “Akela”, outside of MyScouts.ca).
- The role of Troop Scouter is now known as Contact Troop Scouter.
- The role of Assistant Venturer Advisor is now known as Company Scouter.
- The role of Venturer Advisor is now known as Contact Company Scouter.
- The role of Assistant Rover Advisor is now known as Crew Scouter.
- The role of Rover Advisor is now known as Contact Crew Scouter.
- The roles of Service Scouter, Service Team Leader and Training Team Leader are now all known as Support Scouter.
- The role of Council Recognition Administrator is now known as Recognition Administrator.
- The role of Council Training Administrator is now known as Training Administrator.
For years, Section Scouters have been providing feedback through the Volunteer Satisfaction and New Scouter surveys that they’d like a more holistic approach to the support they receive. New Scouters find it difficult to get the support they need to be effective because they are pointed to a variety of other Scouters for their support. A new Section Scouter would prefer a mentor who can provide all of the support and guidance needed. This holistic approach has been developed and promoted as part of the Volunteer Support Strategy introduced in 2011. With the shift to online learning, the importance of in-person support has increased. Having a single role name for all those Scouters with exceptional training and experience makes it easier for Section Scouters to find a mentor.
While the title “Advisor” is a good fit for the role of adult Volunteers supporting Venturer Companies and Rover Crews, it has been changed to “Scouter” simply to be consistent with other Sections.
The roles of Keeo and Kim have disappeared from MyScouts.ca to eliminate confusion over youth volunteer roles. When volunteering with a younger Section, Cub Scouts and Scouts shouldn’t be registered as a Scouter/Volunteer, but should be regarded as part of that Section’s Scouter team; they do not require any screening in order to volunteer, but their role should be explained to the youth in the Section in which they’re helping.
A youth who volunteers with a younger Section should be registered in MyScouts.ca as a participant in the Section that reflects his or her age. For example, a twelve-year-old who volunteers with a Cub Pack would formerly have been registered in MyScouts.ca as a Kim; this youth should now be registered simply as a Scout. Youth from Packs and Troops should be encouraged to take turns volunteering with younger Sections so that they all have a chance to develop their leadership skills.
To eliminate any confusion over youth roles on the Section Leadership Team and the role of Company Scouters, Venturer Scout is now the only role name available to youth aged fifteen to seventeen.
The Canadian Path and the LDS Priesthood Quorum ages line up quite nicely, except for the 11 year-olds. It is important that the Bishop of each congregation does not get hung up on interpretation of the Handbook of Instruction or Scouts Canada references, and does what is best for the youth; for example, if there are only two 11-year-old boys and ten Deacons aged 12 and 13, then they should all be brought together for Scouting activity nights. However, the manual can sometimes be strictly interpreted, and the two 11-year-olds are left out. Priesthood Quorum identity can be achieved on Sunday, at quorum meetings and in service efforts, allowing for youth to participate together on Scouting activity nights.
The Canadian Path (with its focus on youth-led Scouting) encourages a mix of ages within Patrols and activities because it allows older youth to mentor, train and lead the younger youth. The purpose and outcomes of The Canadian Path should be kept in mind when church leadership is making decisions regarding the facilitation of the Scouting program in LDS Groups.
Still need help? Please feel free to contact the Scouts Canada Help Centre