Pockets of Excellence

By: Sandra Lee

We are not inheriting the world from our ancestors. We are borrowing it from our children. 

— Moss Cass

Do you think that the world can be a better place by next year, or 10, or 20? Can we end world hunger, slow down climate change, or lower the number of those living in extreme poverty within the time span of our generation?

Well, according to the leaders of our world, yes we can.

Let me share a story:

Earlier this September, governing members of the UN were at a meeting in New York, and agreed upon a new set of Global Goals for the developing world to be accomplished by 2030.

Sustainable Development Goals_E_Final data-lazy-sizes


This is actually possible.

Consider this: In 2001, the UN set their Millennium Development Goals, one of which was to decrease from 36% to 18% the proportion of the developing world living in poverty.  They gave themselves until 2015.

This year, only 12% of the developing world lives in extreme poverty.  While the work is not over, this means that over 1 billion people have been lifted from extreme poverty. Of course, we can’t stop at this. There’s still a lot of unfinished business.

This is why being a Rover Scout matters. 

We can’t all barge together hoping that with collective action, we can somehow create a solution to any of these crises. It doesn’t work that way. There needs to be a layer that covers the ‘every-day’ people who, albeit their smaller tasks, make the bigger impacts.

Earlier this week, I conducted an interview with our Scout Group’s vice president, Dylan Book, to cover some highlights of the AGM. For our previous blog on the AGM, click here.

I prefaced this interview by asking him why attending the AGM was personally significant. He said: It was an opportunity to connect with Scouters from across the country. Since my experiences from our International Service Projects, I’ve come to realize the importance of connecting with different scouters I can learn from. For instance, Mark Little, the council commissioner for Chinook, Alberta, works in upper management in his professional life. He uses professional change management strategies to implement fairly unpopular decisions that still need to be made. 

Why would that help him in Scouting?

It became obvious that not every council commissioner is using the same techniques and tools, and aren’t necessarily good at the same things because, as we can all see, Canada is a huge country. It is often more likely that council commissioners never meet to talk about their jobs. It’s great that we could have a gathering to share knowledge and best practices so we wouldn’t have to reinvent the ‘wheel’. This also means that we can bring these lessons home to our own Scout Group and apply what we’ve learned to improve our teams.

One national effort to prevent reinventing the wheel is the Canadian Path. The Canadian Path is Scouts Canada’s refocusing of our national program and framework in keeping it relevant for our youth members. This came from asking a very basic question: What can you do in scouting that you can’t do anywhere else?

Dylan explains: Scouting is not an outdoor organization. It is not a citizen training course. They’re definitely both elements of scouting, but there’s a chance you can get better experiences from other groups. What makes scouting different is that it is youth led, and that the leaders of this organization knows the importance of refocusing. 

Each Rover who is a part of our Rover Crew contributes to the success of Scouts Canada by doing their projects so that they can do better for themselves. In doing so, they become leaders for Scouts Canada in the long term to help youth reach their potential. Any of us could potentially be the next Neil Armstrong, Harrison Ford, Martin Luther King Jr., or Barack Obama, all of whom had been in Scouting.

Dylan: A lot of talk at the AGM was about membership because membership is the best measurement we have at helping youth reach their potential.

The bigger the number, the better a place we can make the world. 


Mostafa Nejati

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