While I’m in the middle of taking my Woodbadge II for Company and Crew, it occurred me there aren’t a lot of resources on the more obscure parts of a well-rounded program. All parts of the Venturer and Rover Scout Programs are important, but some like camping or service get a lot more attention than topics like conservation or even simply administration of the Company or Crew.
So this will be one of many in a series of improving various aspects of youth programming at the Venturer and Rover Scout levels.
The main thing I find that gets attention from companies and crews when talking about the Environment is Leave No Trace. From the simple, “pack in what you pack out” to more elaborate codes of conduct, it can have various meanings for various activities. Leave No Trace Canada is a “national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and inspiring responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships.” Otherwise a perfect outside agency to learn from for being experts in their field. They offer various levels of training, an awareness workshop which covers the basics, and trainer certifications to put on the workshops.
Venturer Scouts can take the course which can satisfy various requirements:
- Contribute to Section 4-f of the Exploration Award
- Section 3-c,i of the Outdoorsman Award
- Contribute to requirement 3 of the old World Conservation Award
Rover Scouts can take the workshop, or even take the trainer certification and put on courses for Venturer Scouts in the area. Besides, it never hurts to get a refresher to use when you’re planning your exploration events.
[Editor’s note: A LNT session will be put on by your’s truly at the upcoming Mash Moot, and is available to put on courses upon request.]
World Scout Environment Award
Somewhat recently, The World Scout Bureau implemented a changeover of requirements and name of the the World Conservation Badge. It’s now called the World Scout Environment Program and it has three levels, Cub, Scout and Rover. Venturer Scouts would aim for the Rover level for their Queen’s Venturer Award.
All the information and requirements are on the Bureau’s webpage, and there is quite a bit of information included in a folder download. Remember this badge is aimed for Venturer and Rover Scouts in the Canadian format, so Rovers can aim for this award as well.
I suppose I would be yelled at if I didn’t mention Scoutrees.
To be perfectly honest, despite be involved with scouting for 20ish years and have numerous Scoutrees badges on my campfire blanket, I’ve never directly been involved with planting trees in Scouting. My best links are the Scouts.ca website with their information and contacting your Council office for more information.
So those are the hard program elements that are involved with Venturer and Rover Scouts. However that doesn’t really help you if you’re looking for ways to help out locally. Here are some ongoing projects in the Greater Vancouver area that are always looking for volunteers.
Ivy Busters is a conservation program developed by the Stanley Park Ecology Society that works with the community to remove an invasive species, English Ivy, from Stanley Park. They meet twice a month on the second Saturday and fourth Sunday.
The Sierra Club has a website full of links to various organizations in the lower mainland. Burns Bog, BC Wetlands Society and their local group in Vancouver all have their contact info listed
Pacific Spirit Park, which is where Nite Hike is held, has three programs for conserving the park:
- Holly Haulers– Meets Saturday Afternoons
- Ivy League– Meets once a month
- Camosun Bog Restoration Group – Meets Saturday mornings
So there’s a quick run-through of some environmental programs and resources available in the Lower Mainland. So grab something and make it happen.
What other environmental programs ideas did we miss? What would a crew dedicated to environmental stewardship look like? What kind of impact would they make?
Edit: Amanda below commented on other localized conservation efforts, feel free to post information in your area in the comments below!