The Schools and Scouting, Partners in Education program in Northern Lights Council is a practical, learn-by-doing, initiative to assist youth and underserved youth, in urban and rural settings, develop important life-skills and leadership traits that will enable them to become more successful and self-reliant as adults.
The program is developed in partnership with principals, teachers, parents and students to ensure the program content compliments the classroom curriculum in core subjects, as mandated by Alberta Education, in science, nature studies, social studies, physical education, and environmental stewardship. The program can also include a unique focus on Aboriginal culture and traditional values for the in-class and day-camp workshops. Cultural relevance and appropriateness is provided by Aboriginal Elders, teachers, and community cultural associations who are consulted prior to the program materials being introduced to the students. Northern Lights Council has also seen fit to establish a Schools & Scouting Aboriginal Advisory Steering Committee to provide program oversight, cultural content, and act as a liaison between Scouting and our Aboriginal communities in urban and rural areas in northern Alberta. The Advisory Committee is comprised of 7 members – a Cree Elder, 2 Métis representatives, a community partner representative, a community partner youth representative, a Scouts Canada staff member, and the Schools & Scouting Group Commissioner.
Prince Charles and Inglewood Elementary Schools have been involved in Northern Lights Council’s Schools & Scouting program for the past 3 years and just over 1,000 students have benefited from participating in the program. Through support from government grants and private sector donations, Scouts Canada, Northern Lights Council, is able to offer this program to those youth who are unable, for whatever reasons, to participate in mainstream community-based programming. The opportunity to experience the outdoors and learn about nature, outdoor survival techniques, and Leave No Trace camping is the highlight of the program for the youth involved.
The Northern Lights Council Schools & Scouting leadership team, as well as the teachers and parents, have seen tremendous successes and behavioural changes in the youth who have gone through the program. The program enables youth to become more self-confident in their daily lives, take on leadership roles, take pride in their culture and traditions, work collaboratively on problem solving issues, make healthier choices, and demonstrate better inter-personal teambuilding, communication, and listening skills. The program provides the youth with a foundation of very valuable life skills to prepare them for later in life as adults, and empowers them to take on new roles and give back to their family and community. With community and corporate support, the Schools & Scouting program is able to invest in preparing our youth for success in their futures and our communities as a whole.
For further information, please contact Ken Lausen, Council Field Executive, Northern Lights Council, Scouts Canada, at (780) 454-8561 or by email at email@example.com
, or Rockford Lang, Schools & Scouting Group Commissioner, Northern Lights Council, at (780) 454-8561 Ext. 249 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org