Tanya Spradbow wants to organize Beavers, Cubs and Scouts groups in St. Francois Xavier, giving local youngsters the chance to get involved in Canada’s leading youth organization.
Spradbow, who lives near Elie, now drives her nine-year-old son and six-year-old daughter to Charleswood once a week so they can all participate in the 49th Winnipeg Scout group.
Spradbow is a Cubs leader, with her son in Cubs and daughter in Beavers.
"It is 100% worth it," she said, referring to the long weekly drive.
But she’s hoping to cut down greatly on travel time beginning in the fall if she’s successful in starting Beavers, Cubs and Scouts in St. Francois Xavier.
On Feb. 11 she held a parent information night in SFX with a Scouts Canada representative on hand to talk about the programs. Beavers is co-ed for children aged five to seven, Cubs is for boys aged eight to 10, and Scouts is for boys 11 to 14 years old.
"We need parent volunteers," Spradbow said. "We need male and female leaders."
She explained that leadership training is available for volunteers, but it must be arranged and completed well before the groups start in September.
"You don’t need to be an expert at tying knots," she joked. "We’re hoping to get interested parents signed up."
She knows that some local children participate in Scouts Canada groups in
Charleswood and St. James, and hopes to increase the numbers by offering the programs closer to their homes.
She said there has been an overall decrease in the number of Scouts Canada groups in the past five years, but the 49th Winnipeg group’s enrolment jumped from six to 62 in the past two years.
"I’m hoping to copy their success," she said.
An agreement is in place with the SFX Community Club to use the hall for meetings beginning in the fall, Spradbow said. If there’s enough interest in the Elie area, a group might be able to meet in the Elie Community Club as well.
"We’ll have a group wherever the kids are."
She said there’s an opportunity for local youth to attend a meeting at the 49th Winnipeg Scout group to see if they want to join later in the year. As well, boys aged 11 and over can attend a Scouts summer camp even if they’re not group members yet.
For more information on forming local Scouts Canada groups, contact Spradbow at email@example.com
Note: Due to bad weather, the Scouts information meeting was rescheduled on Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Francois Xavier Community Club.