Who can join Scouting?

All youth, male or female, ages 5-7 (Beavers), 8-10 (Cubs), 11-14 (Scouts), 15-18 (Ventures), and adults 19-26 (Rovers), and 18+ (Scouters, formerly Leaders), are welcome to join the Scouting Movement.

What is Scouts Canada’s Mission Statement, the principles of Scouting and what Methods and Practices does Scouting use?

All of these questions are best answered on the Scouts Canada website.

Tell us some of the background of Scouting.

Scouting all started with Lord Robert Baden-Powell, a British Army Officer who served in South Africa during the Boer War. During the war he had discovered that boys could be relied upon for things like delivering messages, and “scouting” around making detailed observations to see what the enemy was up to. A training manual he had used with his soldiers he later adapted for use with boys. After this “Scouting for Boys” was published, and the first camp was held in 1907, the Scouting movement soon began to spread across the world, taking on a life of its own without much direct effort from the Founder.

One site about Baden-Powell that should not be overlooked is http://pinetreeweb.com/B-P.htm. Scouting is as much about character and personal development as it is about learning scoutcraft and outdoor skills. Since November 1998 it has been completely co-educational, offering the same opportunities to female and male members, at all levels from Beavers (5 to 7 years of age) to Rovers (18 to 26). The necessary privacy and sensitivity required to accommodate both genders has not proved difficult to achieve; public schools have been at it for years.

For information about Scouting in Elmira, visit the About Elmira Scouting page on this website.

Give us an idea about what our children/youth will be doing.

Scout sections hold a weekly meeting, lasting from one to two hours depending on the age group, as well as outdoor activities whenever possible. These can include field trips, tours, camping, and hiking.

What regular events and activities for youth make up the Scouting ‘year’?

Although the Scouting ‘year’ runs September to August, sections only have regular meetings from September to May, excluding Christmas break and March break. Some sections may attend a summer camp such as a Jamboree during the summer months. Visit the section pages on this web site for more information.

What are the direct costs in time, and monetary expense?

Direct costs include annual registration (which provides insurance coverage), uniform, occasional fees for special activities to cover expenses, and some personal camping equipment like a sleeping bag and a backpack.

Regular meetings are held weekly (1hr for Beavers, 1.5hrs Cubs, …) and there are occasional weekend events such as camps and community service events.

What are the fees?

Registration fees are subject to annual increases. For the up-to-date information, contact the Registrar or any leader (see our Contact Us page).

What is the cost for a youth uniform?

The uniform for Beavers consists of the vest and hat. For Cubs and Scouts, the minimum includes a shirt. Other sections allow the youth, as a group, to choose their uniform requirements. Please consult the Scout Shop.

1st Elmira provides one neckerchief and one woggle without charge to each member. Replacements are provided at cost.

For information on badge placement, see visit the individual section pages on this website.

What do you do at a meeting?

A regular meeting in the regular meeting room will usually include a beginning routine or ceremony, and a variety of activities that include learning new skills, crafts, and games.

Is there a health form to fill out? Once only, or for every event?

Parents are required to ensure that the leader has an up-to-date physical fitness information which is part of the registration form. This usually means filling one out each September, and then updating it whenever needed. Please inform your section Scouters if you have updated your child’s medical information.

Are forms available on-line?

Only on-line registration is currently available for 1st Elmira. Please visit the myscouts.ca website for more information.

What forms must leaders fill out for activities?

Forms are not required for tours and community events within Elmira. Otherwise:

For definition of catagories and to review activity guidelines, please refer to Scouts Canada B.P.&P. Camping and Outdoor Acivities.

What about activities with waivers?

All waivers must be pre-approved by our Scouts Canada Council (for Central Escarpment, contact the Executive Director Elizabeth Barrow).  In many cases, Council will arrange to have the organization accept Scouts Canada’s insurance and enter into an Organizational Hold Harmless agreement, thus waiving waivers.

Are there prohibited activities?

See Section 13001 – Activity Guidelines in BP&P. Prohibited activities are: mud bash events, parachuting, parasailing, hang gliding, Ultralite aircraft, experimental aircraft and similar activities; motorcycle, automobile or power boat races or speed rallies, bungee jumping; paint ball or other activities where a projectile is aimed at a person, and; the sale of fireworks.

Many other activities, although they may contain some risk, may be held as approved Scouting activities; however, all necessary and proper safety procedures must be adhered to, all equipment used must comply with applicable safety standards and have the necessary governmental approvals, and instructors should hold the necessary qualifications.  Refer to Section 10000 for more detail on outdoor and camping activities.

What leader-youth ratios are observed?

The youth to Scouter ratio is 8:1, with a minimum of 2 Scouters required.

What kind of screening and training is available for leaders?

Before an adult can register to be a leader (a program leader or a Group Committee member) the individual must obtain a Police Record Check (PRC), be interviewed by a pair of interviewers, complete manditory Child & Youth Safety training and then begin to serve a three-month probation. The Scouts Canada website contains details of this process.

Training is available online or in-person.

Here are a number of websites for training courses offered in Southern Ontario.

  • The Scouts Canada website, now contains Code of Conduct and e-learning Woodbadge Part 1’s for all sections, Child & Youth Safety, and AODA training. Also, Leader Handbooks can now be downloaded and printed for Colony, Pack, Troop and Company. They are still available for purchase at the Scout Shop. Just go to myScouts.caand register.
  • Central Escarpment (our council) – Wood Badge Part I in CEC
  • Training in other Councils (includes London, Orangeville, Brampton) – Training Outside of CEC


What kinds of controls are there in place to ensure that all activities will be completely safe for the youth, some of whom are merely children?

The next time you read in the paper about someone who got lost in the woods, or went out boating in bad weather and had a near tragedy, you are witnessing what happens when people don’t know how to evaluate the risks, and probably didn’t have proper training to begin with. What we in Scouting do is to separate the risk and danger inherent in an activity from the excitement and enjoyment it is supposed to provide. We achieve this, first of all, by doing an adequate amount of training before the activity, and then provide supervision during the activity, so that eventually what we end up with are experienced youth and young adults, who know what the dangers are and won’t take unnecessary risks.

Finally, we have a set of guidelines that specifies what kind of supervision is needed for the many acceptable and popular Scouting activities. The booklet also contains a list of risky activities that are not appropriate for Scouting. Our procedures are ultimately dictated by the realities of the insurance industry and by legal ramifications in our increasingly litigious society.

But they still won’t be completely safe. There are still risks!

Now that we are living in the twenty-first century, the dangers the world poses for us have not disappeared; they have merely moved from where the early settler, the Prairie farmer and the deep-sea fisherman encountered them to where we now find them – in our cities, on our highways, and on our commercial airlines. That’s why we continue to street-proof our children, and lock our cars and our houses at night. The only thing that will ultimately defeat us is an unrealistic belief that we can ever be totally free from danger and risk. We won’t be free of danger any more than we can ensure our continued good health simply by having eradicated many of the bad diseases of the world.

What Scouting attempts to do is to ensure a link from our children/youth to the outdoors, and to society, while providing challenging supervised activities that teach skills, mold character, and produce citizens.