Scouts is a program designed for children 11 to 14 years of age with the option to continue in the section until their 16th birthday and it shares the Aim of Scouts Canada with Scouting’s other programs.
The aim is to help boys, youth and young adults to develop their character as resourceful and responsible members of the community by providing opportunities and guidance for their mental, physical, social and spiritual development.
More specifically, the emphasis of the Scout program is on activities which help children to:
- develop self reliance
- pursue hobbies and personal interests
- develop self discipline and the skills of working co-operatively with others
- co-operate in setting and achieving patrol and personal goals
- practice leadership skills
- relate with adults
- be of service to others
- camp, explore the outdoors, and develop good conversation practices.
- behave in ways that show their concern for others and their understanding of God
Details of the Scout program are contained in The Canadian Scout Handbook and The Scout Leaders’ Handbook. With this emphasis in mind, a leadership team, recruited by the sponsor, works to provide a program that will provide a wide range of skills and activities. The leadership team may consist of parents, other adults and older youth.
Scouts usually attend weekly meetings in a group called a patrol – which usually has from 5 to 8 members. A troop consists of one or more patrols. A volunteer adult works with the troop as Troop Scouter and should have one assistant (Scout Counsellor) for every one or two patrols. One Scout is elected by the patrol as Patrol Leader. Leadership in the patrol can move from Scout to Scout depending on their activities or projects.
To be invested as a Scout one must, among other requirements, know and understand the promise, law and motto.
The Scout Promise
On my honour, I promise that I will do my best, To do my duty to God, and the Queen To help other people at all times, And to carry out the spirit of the Scout Law.
The Scout Law
A Scout is helpful and trustworthy, kind and cheerful, considerate and clean, wise in the use of all resources.
The Scout Motto
Many Scout activities place great emphasis on living and playing in the outdoors – in harmony with nature and in the environment. Hiking, camping, games, exploring, summer and winter sports comprise the principal activities of Scouts. Indoor activities are mainly oriented to acquiring the necessary skills for successful activities in the outdoors.
The Scout badge system is divided into two principal sections. There are fifteen achievement badges – each of which has three levels so that a patrol or small group can work at that level which is a reasonable challenge for them. There are 31 challenge badges which focus on individual hobbies and interests and are earned by individual Scouts.
Other awards are available such as the Chief Scouts’ Award.