Which Is It Scouts Canada? — Almaguin News

Scouts Canada's Version

Letters, Almaguin News, Sepember 8, 2004.

A great deal has been reported in the media lately, including this newspaper, concerning Scouts Canada's intention to reduce the number of properties it maintains and operates in Ontario.

As the head of Scouts Canada, a volunteer position, I feel it is important to clear the air and ensure that everyone, both our adult and youth members and the general public, has all of the correct information concerning this situation.

Two years ago our eight Ontario councils began to look at the more than 260 properties we own in Ontario. This was done by a committee made up of volunteers and has involved extensive consultation with our members in communities across the province. The process included a call for submissions from local camp committees, meetings with those committees, surveys of our youth and adult members as to their camping needs, and numerous meetings with senior volunteers across Ontario. All of this took place to ensure that we conducted an open and transparent process seeking widespread input from our members.

Our first priority for all of our camps is to meet the highest standards for health, water quality and safety to ensure our youth are always in the best possible environment. This has placed an increasing financial burden on the organization. In order to maintain these standards we must reduce the number of camps we support.

The positive side of this reduction is that we will be able to upgrade the facilities at remaining camps.I also understand and respect the fact that some Scouters have developed ties with some of these properties, which makes the process an emotional one. I ask, however, that everyone keep in mind our Mission of contributing to the education of young people and focus on providing top calibre facilities and programs.

For those camps that have been designated for closure, there is an appeal process now underway so we can make sure we have not missed any important information in doing our analysis. Our position has always been that if the camp committee has a plan to make their camp financially viable, we will keep it open. However, we will not subsidize camps in such a way that will cause us to increase membership fees or divert scarce financial resources away from program activities.

Any proceeds from the sale of a camp will remain in the community and be used to help improve neighbouring camps or assist with local membership development.

I am confident that Scouts Canada is moving in the right direction. We must stay focused on our number one priority: providing great programs to Canadian youth. It is essential that we not become too tied to camps that may not be meeting our needs today. After all, a Scout must be wise in the use of his or her resources.

Mike Scott,
Scouts Canada's Chief Commissioner,
St. Catharines

Which Is It Scouts Canada?

Viewpoint by Allan Dennis, Almaguin News, Sepember 8, 2004.

In a letter that can be found on this page, Scouts Canada commissioner Mike Scott says he wants to clear the air over the issue of property sales. One of those properties happens to be 47 acres on Lake Cecebe, known as Green Bay Camp.

If readers recall, a few weeks ago a Scouts Canada employee Brian Moore repeatedly told Almaguin News reporter Rob Learn that the issue wasn't about money. "Money is not a focus in this decision", he said.

Now this week the commissioner, Mike Scott, says in order for Scouts Canada to provide a high quality and safe program, theres a high financial cost. This has placed an increasing financial burden on the organization. "In order to maintain these standards we must reduce the number of camps we support."

So this week we now find it actually is the money. And that's good news for the Burk's Falls Scouts, because Green Bay Camp doesn't cost Scouts Canada one cent. Yep, nary a penny, So that should mean the problem is over and all can go on living happily ever after, right?

True if we lived in a perfect world, But alas...

Hmmmmm, I wonder what Baden-Powell would think of all this.