Around the world and here at home, the Scout movement motto has always been “Be Prepared.”
It’s not surprising then that Scouter Scott Murdoch is working to ensure that youth and parents have all the information and tools to consider joining the Scout program this year.
Murdoch, area commissioner for Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough counties, hopes that a series of town hall meetings will stir up interest in the century-old organization.
“When I was a scout back in the 1960s and ’70s, that was the heyday with all the baby boomers,” he said. “Pictou County was a really big area for cubs and scouts.”
He said that there were about a thousand youth and volunteers associated with the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Adventurers and Rovers at that time but that the all-around membership has been declining since.
“There’s only about 100 people in the program, including adult volunteers,” said Murdoch. “That’s partly due to lower youth population in the area and so many other programs for them.”
But Murdoch said the Scout movement is changing gears and getting back to a more youth-led organization with opportunities for leadership, physical fitness and personal growth.
The strategic plan, established to chart the next three years of Scouts Canada, aims to create quality programs, deliver Scouting adventures and put youth on a great path forward in life.
“The program has everything,” said Murdoch. “There’s the nature and outdoors side, physical fitness, learning new skills and earning badges. What more could you want?”
He said now, more than ever, there is a need for a program that helps youth work together, communicate and compromise.
“These town halls are open to all interested in the program. You don’t have to have children to get involved,” Murdoch noted. “We’re open for business for volunteers, parents and youth looking to join.”
Registration fees for Scouts in Pictou are $145, which includes insurance for trips. Fees cover membership for the year.
Pictou County Scouting will also be hosting a Family Fishing Derby on June 14 at the Boy Scout camp on MacKinnon Lake in Sunny Brae. The camp was vandalized in September 2011, with smashed doors, fires and graffiti on the walls. The funds from the derby will go towards continued repairs to the camp.
Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and the derby runs from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event is open to youth ages 15 and under though parents or guardians must be present. The entry fee is $15 for youth ages six to 15 and $20 for guardians wishing to participate. Entry is free for youth under five.
For more information, please contact Scott Murdoch at 922-2805.
On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn
May 20: Trenton Elementary School at 6:30 – 8 p.m.
May 22: Walter Duggan Consolidated School at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
May 27: Antigonish Education Centre at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
May 29: A. G. Baillie Memorial School at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
June 2: Pictou Elementary School at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
June 3: Thorburn Consolidated School at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
June 10: River John Consolidated School at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.