Scouts Canada

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Scouts Canada
Scouts Canada.png
The Scout fleur-de-lis and the maple leaf of the flag of Canada with two sticks to create a stylized tent or campfire in a stylized badge[1]
Headquarters Ottawa, Ontario[2]
Country Canada
Founded 1914, incorporated June 12, 1914[3]
Founder Baden-Powell
  • 73,947 youth[4]
  • 26,873 volunteers[4]
  • 296 employees[4]
Chief Scout Terry Grant[5]
Patron Scout David Lloyd Johnston[6]
National Commissioner Doug Reid[7]
National Youth Commissioner Kaylee Galipeau[8]
Executive Commissioner and CEO Andrew Price[9]
Affiliation World Organization of the Scout Movement
Scouts Canada
 Scouting portal

Scouts Canada is a Canadian Scouting association. Scouts Canada, in affiliation with the French-language Association des Scouts du Canada, is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). Scouts Canada provides programmes for young people, male and female, ages 5 to 26 across Canada. In its 2011 annual report, it claims a membership figure of 101,283 youth and volunteers, which would make it the largest youth organization in Canada[citation needed].[10]

Scouts Canada's stated aim is "to help develop well rounded youth, better prepared for success in the world."[11]


The organization's stated mission is "To help develop well rounded youth, better prepared for success in the world."[11]

Scouting, as practised by Scouts Canada, is based on three principles representing its fundamental beliefs. The principles are:

  • Duty to God
  • Duty to Others
  • Duty to Self[12]

Scouts Canada runs on a co-ed manner. Scouts Canada states that the organization is committed to diversity.[13][14] Scouts Canada has a policy not to discriminate for reasons of gender, culture, religious belief or sexual orientation.[15] Although Scouts Canada's principles requires a basic spiritual belief, it states that members are not required to subscribe to a religion or belief in God.[16]


For the history of Boy Scouts, Scouting and the Scout Movement in Canada before the formation of Scouts Canada see Scouting in Canada.

Scouts Canada acknowledges "There is evidence that a few Scouting groups started up in Canada in 1907",[17] before Robert Baden-Powell's book, Scouting for Boys was published in England in 1908. Boy Scouts and the Scout Movement were well established across Canada before Scouts Canada or its parent organization, The Boy Scouts Association of the United Kingdom were formed.

In 1910, The Boy Scouts Association was formed in the United Kingdom and its founder, Baden-Powell wrote to the Governor General of Canada, Earl Grey and asked him to organize scouting in Canada. In 1914, a branch council of The Boy Scouts Association was established in Canada under The Boy Scouts Association's Overseas Department. The Canadian General Council of The Boy Scouts Association was incorporated by an Act of the Canadian Parliament on June 12, 1914. The Canadian General Council continued to be represented internationally by The Boy Scouts Association of the United Kingdom until October 30, 1946, when the Canadian General Council became a direct member of the Boy Scout World Conference, now the World Organization of the Scout Movement. The organization continues to be a branch of The Scout Association of the United Kingdom. The Canadian General Council of The Boy Scouts Association changed its name to Boy Scouts of Canada by an amendment to its incorporating Act of Parliament. In 1976 the Scouts Canada logo was introduced and the organization, by its By-laws, adopted the name Scouts Canada. In 2007 The Boy Scouts of Canada legally changed its name to Scouts Canada.[18][19]

In 1972, Scouts Canada began accepting female members as part of its Rover Section. This was expanded in 1984 to include the Venturer Section. In 1992, co-ed Scouting was an option for all program sections and became policy for all sections in 1998.

Organizational structure[edit]

Scouts Canada is governed by a Board of Governors. Administration of the organization is divided into twenty Councils, each administering a whole province or large part thereof. Each Council is headed by a Council Commissioner appointed by the Executive Commissioner (the top staff member reporting to the Board of Governors), and a Council Youth Commissioner appointed by the National Youth Commissioner. Council Commissioners furthermore appoint their management teams to manage the interests of the council. All positions are publicly posted and a selection committee interviews personnel based on skill set.[20] Councils are subdivided into Areas, formerly called Districts, each headed by an Area Commissioner appointed by the Council Commissioner, and an Area Youth Commissioner appointed by the Council Youth Commissioner.[21]

Scouts Canada has two affiliated Scout associations:

Under the World Organization of the Scout Movement's constitution, only one organization is recognized in each country.[citation needed] Canada is the only country in which this recognition is held jointly.[citation needed] Scouts Canada and L'Association des Scouts du Canada are divided by language.[citation needed] Many other countries also have more than one Scouting organization and some of these have formed national federations which are the WOSM members.[citation needed] Scouts Canada and L'Association des Scouts du Canada send a joint delegation to meetings of the World Organization of the Scout Movement; this is coordinated through the Committee on Cooperation.[citation needed]

David Johnston, the current Governor General of Canada, is the "Patron Scout" of Scouts Canada.[citation needed]. From 1910 to 2013, the Governor General of Canada was either the Chief Scout for Canada (prior to 1946) or Chief Scout of Canada (after 1946).[23] On April 19, 2013, the Scouts Canada Board of Governors appointed Terry Grant as Chief Scout of Canada.[24]


Scouts Canada members learn to scuba dive in a swimming pool

Full-time programs[edit]

Scouts Canada offers five full-time programs, which it states are open to males and females:[25]

Beaver Scouts[edit]

Beaver Scouts is a scouting program aimed at children between ages 5–7. Activities include crafts, games, sports, music, hikes, and camping. Spiritual fellowship is also an activity in the program.[26]

Cub Scouts[edit]

Canoeing, Scouts Canada, Toronto Troop, 1st Yorkminster, Toronto Ontario, 1978. Photo by Wayne Ray.

The Cub Scout program is a program intended for 8 to 10 year old children. Activities of the program include hiking, camping, and what the organization refers to as "water activities", such as canoeing and kayaking. The program's states that its purpose is to encourage members to "try new and more challenging activities." Its motto is "Do your best".[27]


Mountaineering Scouts

The scouting program of Scouts Canada is a program aimed at children between 11 to 14 years old. Activities include outdoor activities, camping, and hiking, as well as participation in youth forums. It claims that its purpose is "having fun while gaining value leadership skills and self-confidence. "[28]

Venturer Scouts[edit]

The Venturer Scout program is a program intended for teens between 14 to 17 years old, with a stated aim to "offer exciting, real life, hands-on experiences for youth." Its activities include hiking, camping, and training programs.[29]

Rover Scouts[edit]

Rover Scouts is the final youth stage of Scouting, aimed at teens and young adults between 18 to 26 years old. Activities include what the organization describes as "adventurous activities" and "helping in local communities".[30]

Vocational programs[edit]

  • Medical Venturers/Medical Rovers (Medvents/Medrovers) is a new program that consists of Venturers and Rovers that learn and provide first-aid. Medical Venturers have been credited with saving lives in Toronto by using an AED to assist a patient in cardiac arrest.[31]
  • Fire Venturers learn basic fire fighting skills while working with fire departments[32]
  • Police Venturers learn firearm safety, crowd control, and similar skills while working with police departments[33]

Part-time programs[edit]

Scouts Canada also has programs designated as Part-Time Programs.


Craig Kielburger speaking at a National Scouts Canada Conference in Ottawa in uniform

SCOUTSabroad is a program which was created to support the Canadian Brotherhood Fund.[34] Scouts in wealthier countries like Canada help Scouts in developing countries help themselves on the road to self-sufficiency. The Canadian Brotherhood Fund provides through grants, “seed money” for many community development projects.[35] Groups of Scouts in developing countries develop and carry out projects to improve their own lives and the future of their communities. In some cases, members of Scouts Canada participate in travelling abroad to assist in carrying out portions of a project.[34]


The SCOUTSabout program aims to fulfill Scouting's mission with those children who are not members of a Scouting organization.[36] SCOUTSabout is implemented in 3-month long modules, often after school, to appeal to those families who do not want or can not commit to year-round activities.[36][37] Theme based, the focus is on structured play and learning by doing without uniforms, badge programs and ceremonies.[36][37] SCOUTSabout is for children between 5 and 10 years old.[36][37]

Extreme Adventure[edit]

Extreme Adventure offers the opportunity for young people aged from 14 to 17, to plan and participate in a variety of short-term adventure-based activities.[37] Example activities are: hiking, long-term camping and travelling abroad to participate in humanitarian projects.[37] The program seeks to realise Scouting's mission with non-members.[36] There is no uniform and are no ceremonies associated with this program.[36] It is designed to include development of leadership skills and self-esteem and the participation in community projects that is also offered through the ordinary programs.[36] Extreme Adventure is based on the Venturer Amory Adventure Award concept.[36]

Major awards[edit]

Scouts Canada has several major awards:

  • The Chief Scout's Award was established in 1973 as the top award in the Scout section.
  • The Queen's Venturer Award is the top award in the Venturer section. In 1968, the normal upper age for members of the Scout section was reduced from 17 to 14 and the Venturer section was created for ages 14–17. As part of these changes, Queen's Scout rank was replaced with the Queen's Venturer Award.
  • The Amory Adventure Award is awarded to the Venturer company that exhibits the most initiative in conceiving, planning, and executing an outdoor adventure.
  • The Medal of the Maple was created in 2007 and is awarded for distinguished youth service and excellence within the Scouting Movement.[38]


Main article: Scouts Canada Camps

Scouts Canada operates about 200 Scout camps across Canada.[39] Well-known[citation needed] camps include Impeesa Extreme, Haliburton Scout Reserve, Camp Byng and Tamaracouta Scout Reserve. The Tamaracouta Scout Reserve is among the oldest continually operating Scout camps in the world.[40]

Major Events[edit]

Canadian Scout Jamboree[edit]

The Canadian Scout Jamboree or CJ is a jamboree run by Scouts Canada for members of the Scout and Venturer sections. The Jamboree will usually have several groups from other countries attending, most notable from the United States. The CJ that would normally have been held in 2005 was cancelled shortly after CJ'01 due to concerns about volunteer burnout. In 2004, CJ'07 was announced. CJ'07 was the first CJ held at a Scout camp.


ADVenture is run by Scouts Canada for members of the Venturer Scout Section. Created to further differentiate Scouts and Venturers, ADVenture provides a different style of national camp for an older age group.[citation needed]

  • 2012: 1st Venturer ADVenture, Haliburton Scout Reserve, Haliburton, Ontario.
  • 2014: 2nd Venturer ADVenture, Newfoundland

World Jamborees hosted by Scouts Canada[edit]

The 24th World Scout Jamboree will be held in 2019 at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, West Virginia. Scouts Canada will co-host along with the Asociación de Scouts de México and the Boy Scouts of America.

Canadian Moots[edit]

Moots are for Rover Scouts.

  • 1st Canadian Rover Moot: 1951, Blue Springs, Ontario 538 Attend[44]
  • 2nd Canadian Rover Moot: 1956, Sussex, New Brunswick
  • 3rd Canadian Rover Moot: 1959, Banff, Alberta
  • 4th Canadian Rover Moot: 1962, Mekinac, Quebec Around 1000 attend[45]
  • 5th Canadian Rover Moot: 1966, Parksville, British Columbia
  • 6th Canadian Rover Moot: 1970, Birds Hill Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • 7th Canadian Rover Moot: 1974, Camp Samac, Oshawa, Ontario
  • 8th Canadian Rover Moot: 1978, Camp Impeesa, Pincher Creek, Alberta
  • 9th Canadian Rover Moot: 1982, Camp Wetaskiwin, St. Catharines, Ontario 531 Attend[46]
  • 10th Canadian Rover Moot: 1986, McLean Park, Langley, British Columbia

World Scout Moots hosted by Association des Scouts du Canada[edit]

  • 14th World Scout Moot: 2013, Awacamenj Mino Camp, Québec

National Youth Network[edit]

National Youth Network members at the National Scouts Canada Conference in Ottawa during the month of November, 2012.

The National Youth Network consists of Scouts Canada youth from across the country.

Consisting of each Council Youth Commissioner, three Assistant National Youth Commissioners and chaired by the National Youth Commissioner.

Projects Develop and promote FLEX, FAST and FOCUS – Scouts Canada’s Youth Leadership training programs for Cub Scouts, Scouts and Venturer Scouts and maintain and adjudicate the Medal of the Maple for Distinguished Youth Service.

The National Youth Network is only a small part of the larger Scouts Canada Youth Network that is made up of the National Youth Network, the Council Youth Networks, the Area Youth Networks and other youth representatives across Canada.


Scouts Canada has begun a process with the goal of doubling its membership by 2014.[47] This process includes more direct program support to leaders; building on such things as a partnership with the Robert Bateman Foundation, a program help line,[48] an award-winning Climate Change program[49] and a variety of camping programs across the country.[50][51][52]

Good Turn Week[edit]

Good Turn Week Bracelets

Scouts Canada has designated April 14–22 as "Good Turn Week", encouraging all Canadians to perform a good turn for someone else. The organization has set up a collection system available via SMS short code or a website.[53][54]

2011 uniform redesign[edit]

A Canadian Scouter in the quick dry uniform option

As part of this plan, Scouts Canada re-designed its uniforms with models designed by Joe Fresh Style. Beavers uniforms changed only in colour and fabric. While the major changes in the uniform design are seen in the changes to the style of the button-up shirt and its colour from khaki to grey, green, blue, or red, for Cubs, Scouts, Venturers, Rovers/Leaders respectively. It also offers a technical t-shirts for moisture management.[55] As part of the re-design the sash was eliminated as a uniform component[55] The new design received high marks from Fashion magazine Flare stating that the new uniforms are both stylish and comfortable[55]


Organizational Structure[edit]

Scouts Canada is governed by a Board of Governors not directly elected by members. Each of the Councils elects "voting members" at their annual general meetings who in turn elect the Board of Governors and the Chief Commissioner at the National Annual General Meeting.[citation needed]There are concerns about the lack of representation and lack of accountability of this governance structure. One concern is that the councils and thereby the "voting members" and Board of Governors are not representative of local scout units.[citation needed]

There are Scouters who wish to transform the organization to a one member, one vote structure eliminating the "voting member" method whereas the board would be elected directly by members, most notably members of an organization called SCOUT eh!

Child protection[edit]

In 2012, the CBC ran a documentary stating that Scouts Canada had not always reported leaders who had sexually abused children to the police, relating to incidents that took place between 1960 and 1990.[56] Scouts Canada subsequently posted a video apology[57] and had cases reviewed by KPMG's forensic investigations unit.[58] The report from KPMG subsequently "found no systemic intent to cover up or hide incidents of abuse"[59][60][61]

Youth protection[edit]

In the late 1990s[citation needed], Scouts Canada modernized its screening practices for adult members.[citation needed] Applicants must complete a Police Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Check (which would turn up pardoned sex offences). As well, local volunteers interview applicants and check the multiple references they must provide.[62] Scouts Canada volunteers are prohibited from being with a youth member alone; two fully screened volunteers are required to be present at all times.[63] In the event that volunteers are suspected of misconduct, policy requires that they are immediately suspended and the relevant authorities are notified with all information shared.[62][64]

Scouts Canada provides with some of its handbooks, and online, a booklet called How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide.[65] In addition, it is a badge requirement in the Scout program for parents and youth to review a portion of How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide[66]

Relations with other Scout associations[edit]

In 1998, the Baden-Powell Scouts' Association of Canada (BPSAC) was established in Canada, rejecting the modernization of the Scout method by WOSM and Scouts Canada in 1968.[67] Scouts Canada challenged the association and successfully argued that the word "Scout", in the context of a youth organization, is a trademark held by Scouts Canada. This decision relates only to the case decided on the evidence presented. The decision does not prevent the use of the word "scout" by individuals or societies except in trade. Following this decision the B-PSAC reformed as the Baden-Powell Service Association. The BPSA, a member of the World Federation of Independent Scouts, now has independent organizations in British Columbia,[68] Ontario[69] and New Brunswick.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Contact Scouts Canada". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  3. ^ "Scouts Canada History". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  4. ^ a b c "Scouts Canada Annual Report 2011-2012". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2012-11-19. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Board of Governors". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  7. ^ "Scouts Canada". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2014-05-15. 
  8. ^ "Scouts Canada". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  9. ^ "Scouts Canada's Board of Governors Announces New CEO". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2014-03-27. 
  10. ^ | Scouts Canada Annual Report 2011-2012
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^ Values | Scouts Canada
  13. ^ | Scouts Canada FAQ, Does Scouts Canada Admit Both Boys and Girls?
  14. ^ | Scouts Canada FAQ, Do You Have to Believe in God to Join Scouts Canada?
  15. ^ | Scouts Canada FAQ, Are Homosexuals Allowed to Join Scouts Canada?
  16. ^ | Frequently Asked Question | Scouts Canada
  17. ^ "Scouts Canada History". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  18. ^ Scouts Canada Act
  19. ^ Scouts Canada Official Name Change Legislation
  20. ^
  21. ^ Scouts Canada By-Laws, Policies and Procedues - Section 4000
  22. ^ Original Agreement between Scouts Canada and L'Association des Scouts du Canada
  23. ^ Scouts Canada History
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ "Scouts Canada By-Laws, Policies and Procedues - Section 5000". Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  26. ^ "Beaver Scouts". 
  27. ^ "Cub Scouts". 
  28. ^ "Scouts". 
  29. ^ "Venturer Scouts)". 
  30. ^ "Rover Scouts". 
  31. ^
  32. ^ "City of Toronto: Toronto Fire Services - Recruitment". Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  33. ^ "Ottawa Police Venturers". Ottawa Police Service / Service de police d'Ottawa. Retrieved 2013-01-31. 
  34. ^ a b SCOUTSabroad
  35. ^ Canadian Brotherhood Fund
  36. ^ a b c d e f g h Francis, Ross; Ian Mitchell (June–July 2002). "It's All About Mission" (PDF). The Leader. pp. 8–9. Retrieved 2007-03-05. 
  37. ^ a b c d e "Short-term Programs". Scouts Canada. Archived from the original on 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2007-03-05. 
  38. ^ The Medal of the Maple for Distinguished Youth Service
  39. ^ Scout Camps Directory - ScoutDocs
  40. ^ | Tamaracouta Scout Reserve Details
  41. ^ Canadian Scout Jamboree 2013 Retrieved March, 2012.
  42. ^ Northern Lights Council Page. Retrieved June, 2010.
  43. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  44. ^ . Youtube Retrieved April 10, 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  45. ^,1606002.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  46. ^ . The Leader, December'82  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  47. ^
  48. ^ program help line
  49. ^ Climate Change Resources
  50. ^ Chinook Council
  51. ^ Greater Toronto Council
  52. ^ Camp Tamaracouta
  53. ^ Scouts Canada | Scouts Canada Invites All Canadians to Join "Good Turn Week"
  54. ^ "Become part of the wave". The Star (Toronto). 2010-03-10. 
  55. ^ a b c Scouts Canada redesigns its uniforms | News | National Post
  56. ^ "Scouts Canada admits not all past sexual abuse reported to police". CBC News. 2012-02-17. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 
  57. ^ Scouts Canada Apology- YouTube
  58. ^ Steve Kent (2011-12-08). "An Important Message Regarding Child and Youth Protection - December 8, 2011". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^ "Scouts Canada refers more than 100 sex abuse allegations to police". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 2012-06-25. 
  62. ^ a b Scouts Canada By-Laws, Policies and Procedures - Section 7000
  63. ^ Scouts Canada. "Scout Canada’s Youth Protection Procedures and Guidelines". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  64. ^ Scouts Canada. "Youth Protection". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  65. ^ "How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent's Guide". Scouts Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  66. ^
  67. ^ "Scouts Canada strays from tradition". CBC News. 2000-09-07. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  68. ^ BPSA British Columbia
  69. ^ BPSA Ontario

External links[edit]