As an ICO scout member for the past five years, I’ve come to realize that Scouts Canada is such a great opportunity especially for kids in the inner city. Many of us don’t really know what it’s like to be connected with nature, and Scouts can change that. We get a chance to spend a weekend out of the city and camp outdoors several times a year. I have learned valuable life skills that I probably never would have had the chance to learn if I wasn’t in Scouts, such as building tents, making fires, learning first aid, and cooking on my own. But the best part is meeting new friends and making lifelong memories with our fellow Scouters.
Every Monday, we start with a few games and then do different activities like sewing, cooking, building model cars, going for outdoor walks and more. Older youth also get a chance to initially “mentor” the younger children by teaching them how to build certain things or try different activities that we are already quite experienced in doing.
This year, the ICO Scout group participated in the annual hobby craft show. This is where you make something creative that you like to do such as art, cakes, essay etc. Our Scouts had such a fun time going to each other’s houses to bake cakes, or simply submit a little sketch they have worked on. I have to admit that our Scout group is quite talented in so many ways, and our hobbies made a great impression at the show. We left with so many first place ribbons and other qualifying ribbons, which shows how talented the youth in our community can be. It was a fun event for our kids to show off what they’re good at, and maybe get a bit of encouragement when bringing that ribbon home.
Over the last month we spent time building model cars from a kit. We designed them, sawed the wood and painted them. Many of the youth learned how to saw for the first time! A few Saturdays ago, we finally went to the Kub Kar rally to race our cars. We started the day with a few lessons like how to build an airplane, learn first aid and talked with some Scout police officers. After that we had ALL the pizza you could imagine (that was definitely my favourite!). But after lunch came the best part: The Scouts got a chance to compete against other kids. It was so much fun! Though none of us won any first place prizes, we got the experience to race cars on the tracks with the very own cars we made.
Lastly, you’ll never guess what we got to do! The older Scout group got to climb Mount Everest! Just kidding. We got an experience almost as great as that: we went indoor rock climbing! So many of us faced our fears and climbed up the highest walls you could ever imagine. We started off at an easier, lower level and by the end, most of us were making it to the top of the highest and hardest walls. We learned how to climb fast, safe and what are the easier rocks to climb on. At one point I was on a wall that was so high, it was hanging from the ceiling not even touching the ground! I was so scared at one point and wanted to come down, but the instructor and the other Scouts were telling me to not give up and keep going, I was almost there. And I think that is one of the lessons I learned from Scouts. At so many points when things got too hard like getting my canoe badge or struggling to build a fire, I was in an environment with people who told me I can do this. Our Scout motto is to “do your best”, and since I’ve learned that, that is what I’ve always done.