New Rover at the AGM

 

By Sandra Lee

Let me preface this post by saying that the AGM was a bit overwhelming. I had never been in a place that only hosted recognizable and rewarded individuals. Despite this, it was a worthwhile and humbling experience.

A lot of information about different topics were presented to us during this conference. As a young Rover, everything was new to me.

The Annual General Meeting of 2015 was held in Montreal, Quebec.

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Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to gather and meet with a group of amazing people. The first day of the 2-day conference was on Friday, November 13th. Throughout the weekend, there were themes about working together, networking, and learning from other councils to improve the scouting program back home. The Scouts Canada Expo had a “Canadian Path” inspired scavenger trail, where Scouters and Venturer Scouts visited different booths. Our booth promoted two exciting campaigns:

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On the left were our very own Bucket Ranger t-shirts that we sold as part of our Rover crew fundraising campaign. I was astonished by the positive reception at the event; we sold out in many sizes, and we had many more people asking us when we will do another sale. It showed me that the community, as a whole, supported our Rover crew and what we were aiming to do for the success of Scouts Canada. On the far right, you can see our former and current president promoting the upcoming jamboree in Whistler, BC called Adventure16. (http://www.scouts.ca/adventure16/) Suffice to say, there was also overwhelming interest in the event, not only by council volunteers, but also by the Youth Spokesperson representatives of Scouts Canada from across the country.

Attending the AGM was the perfect opportunity to meet new Scouters, who have a plethora of knowledge and experience in the Scouting movement. We were surrounded by individuals with advice and actions on how to exemplify the important scouting values of leadership, management, outdoor survival, and team building.

Voting at the Annual General Meeting didn’t start until Saturday afternoon. Scouters flew in from across Canada, and others voted online.

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During the voting process, those who were not voting members were invited to sit behind the voting members to watch and listen to speeches of inspiration, dialogues about Scouting challenges, and recognition for outstanding services by our volunteers and staff. In the midst of all the intensity, I managed to capture two photos that, I hope, can paint a simple picture of the diversity of Scouting and the strength of volunteers and staff that make the Scouting movement possible.

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To vote for or against, members were asked to hold up green and red signs. Here’s a group picture of the voting members from our scout group, with 2 Scouters from the Voyageur Council on the right. The choices and discussions made at the AGM, as decided by an elected group of volunteers, will shape what we do in the coming year, and it is this diversity and strength that makes Scouting one of the largest youth movements in the world.

ME AT AGM

This conference hosted the best of the best. Everyone I met this weekend were on much higher levels of experience. They were decorated, recognized, and have certainly contributed more to the movement than I have. Those who travelled with me included 3 (2 of which are former) presidents (Brandon Ma, Karina Lee, and Eli Chan), our two vice presidents (Dylan Book and Karen Tse), and of course, our head advisor, Scouter John Chow. Everyone who attended had a title except for me. 

I felt an overwhelming amount of information during the presentations and speeches, which I had recorded for future references. However, there were a few things that stuck with me that I hope all Rovers in the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group, as well as any aspiring Rovers to join in the future, can come to understand:

Conferences are not supposed to be a drag

Our Scout group hosts monthly crew conferences, at which Rovers can network, get updated, and get re-inspired to keep doing what they do. These conferences take a lot of planning, and they are very informative, even fun sometimes. However, these conferences may feel too far away or too long, and, sometimes, aren’t as interactive. When a Rover isn’t engaged, conferences can feel like a drag. They shouldn’t feel that way. Our monthly crew conferences resembled that of the AGM, and we’re fortunate to have intelligent people who can provide these events to us.  I think our crew conferences are spectacular for two main reasons:

  1. They are the largest gathering of Rover Scouts and Scouters within the Pacific Coast Council. Whenever we go to conferences, we are part of an event that is reputable and admired by many across the country.  
  2. In these conferences, our Rovers always show their best sides. These conferences are never planned, held, and presented with half etched efforts. Once a month, we get to see people try their best and execute their plans. In my opinion, that’s pretty spectacular.

We are part of something bigger than ourselves

We are not just members of the largest youth volunteer movement in the world. We are part of a movement that stands for actively making the world a better place. This is not cliche. This is fact. At the AGM, everyone I met was in proactively and passionately striving for that.

We can find these kinds of people at the monthly crew conferences too.

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Younger Rovers should attend the AGM. It’s an opportunity for learning more about the organization. Believing in this youth movement means believing in young leaders. It was very comforting seeing people my age take on such important roles. In order to lead in the organization, a rover would need to know more about it. I’m very honoured that my head advisor had invited me to attend.

I wish the AGM was held for a longer period of time. I recorded some of the speeches, and wrote down a lot of notes, but it felt like a lot of absorb. To be completely honest, I don’t know much about the movement and I don’t know everything about The Canadian Path, but I get it. I get that every time I attend an event that involves people outside of my own Scout Group, whether it be the AGM or a camp, a bit more of my trail gets paved. I get that each time I put myself out there, I always discover something new that inspires me to keep exploring.  

 

Mostafa Nejati

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