Operation Pixar 2013: Learning Points For All

By Anthony Lam

LANGLEY, B.C. – Last weekend, over 150 youths and 100 leaders descended upon Camp McLean in Langley, British Columbia for Operation Pixar 2013, a themed competition camp hosted by the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group with the support from over 90 program leaders from 17 different Scouting groups.  In concordance with the theme, many leaders and participants also took the time to dress up as Pixar characters while youth played heroes by working along a storyline that requires them to perform Scouting tasks to ‘save’ their costumed leaders.

Can you identify who’s being who?

We use the term ‘competition’ loosely though – our goal is not to purely create a competitive environment.  Rather, our goal was simple but ambitious – enable youth to learn and refine their outdoor skills, and to create an event that reinvigorates excitement into Scouting.  What can be a better way to learn new Scouting skills than through a camp?  In retrospect, I learned the most when I attended competition camps as a Scout way-back-when, and I believe that this competing-while-learning mentality is one of the best models in which to learn Scouting skills.

Ultimately, our camp was still a competition camp, so youth were marked based on their performance for various core Scouting topics such as orienteering, pioneering, first aid, fire making, and more.  Skilled leaders from around our Scouting community ran these programs throughout camp on Saturday as our participants freely moved from station-to-station to show what they know.  This free-roaming model may seem unstructured at first, but it allows for youth to learn and refine their time-management skills, as well as critical teamwork skills as they push each other through challenges with mutual support.  Several leaders have told me that this free-roaming model is very new to them, but they are pleased to know that it does give youth more chances to learn essential soft skills by putting them in leadership roles amongst others.

We all hope that this camp has proved to be a positive learning experience for leaders and youth alike.  In planning this camp, I learned a little something too.  I had always thought that the more you work on thinking of how to manage problems in an event, the lesser chance that it will happen.  But even after spending nights upon nights poring over details and scenarios of what could have gone wrong at camp, there are always going to be bumps along the execution process that put you off-course.  It is important to remain grounded and flexible in anticipation of these surprise changes, and to understand that it’s only effective to proactively work at the problem.  I was blessed to work with such a talented group of leaders around Greater Vancouver – many of whom have many more years of experience than me, and arguably much more well-adapted for situations like these.

A running joke amongst leaders is that when they were recruited to be a Scouts Canada member, they were told that they would only have to invest an hour a week to lead youth in activities.   Of course, many dedicated leaders now realize that the aforementioned statement is not true, but I argue that it is not true in the best way possible.  There is simply no greater satisfaction knowing that the time and effort you put into planning activities for youth is directly affecting the lives and knowledge of our future leaders.  Indeed, the planning team has worked around the clock planning this camp like it was a second job for the past four months by trying to define and refine every little detail for this camp, but even so, I think it is safe to say that none of us would have it any other way.

This camp would not be possible without the help of leaders from other Scout groups.  Their knowledge, skills and dedication to the Scouting Movement was made apparent in their presence at camp.  We are grateful to the leaders who volunteered their hours to attend program planning meetings and even more hours to put programs together.  Collectively, we were able to impart new skills in youth, and to create an extremely memorable experience.

At the end of camp, leaders all went home with a tired-but-satisfied look on their faces.  I left with a group of newfound friends that I would never have had the chance to meet if it were not for this camp.  We would like to thank all volunteers who contributed to this camp’s planning process.  We are all very proud of being able to host an event of this caliber for troops around Greater Vancouver, and as leaders, we could not be any happier with the successes we have achieved.

Our photo team has walked around tirelessly throughout camp and has produced over 600 quality shots of leaders and youth.  Please visit our photo page here.

Operation Pixar 2013 was a competition camp held for Scout-aged youths from around Greater Vancouver on March 8th, 2013 to March 10th, 2013 at Camp McLean in Langley, BC.  We had successfully attracted over 250 members from the Scouting community into one weekend of fun and challenges.  We would like to congratulate the following groups for placing first-, second- and third-overall respectively:

  1. 33rd Kerrisdale Centennial Scout Group, “Russell” Patrol
  2. 4th Northview Burnaby Scout Group, “Rex” Patrol
  3. 69th Knights of Kensington Scout Group , “Edna Mode” Patrol

We also extend our congratulations to the following patrols for their success throughout camp:

  • Best Costume Award – 7th Mountain Burnaby, “King Fergus” Patrol
  • Best Site Decoration Award – 1st Coquitlam, “Mike Wazowski” Patrol
  • Best Spirit Award – 138th East Vancouver, “Linguini” Patrol
  • Iron Chef Award – 69th Knights of Kensington, “Lightning McQueen” Patrol
Anthony Lam

2 Responses to “Operation Pixar 2013: Learning Points For All

  • Brian C
    5 years ago

    Well written and a fitting reflection of Scouting leadership. Thanks for hosting!

  • John Wong
    5 years ago

    Excellent summary Anthony.
    A roaring success for the 180th and other participants!

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