As part of a five-year revitalization of Scouts Canada's programming, a new youth-led Scouting program called The Canadian Path is being introduced.
"Education research has shown that learning is most successful when children and youth drive the process," said Dr. Judith Newman, education consultant for The Canadian Path and former Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. "The Canadian Path's learner-centric approach fosters an environment that gives youth control of their learning and inspires them to figure out things for themselves with the help and guidance of volunteers, providing greater opportunity for individual and team growth."
The Canadian Path is comprised of several components:
- A non-formal approach to learning
- The seven components of the Scout Method
- The Four Elements: Youth-led, Plan-Do-Review, Adventure, and SPICES (the six attributes Scouting aims to foster: Social, Physical, Intellectual, Character, Emotional and Spiritual)
- A balanced program in six Program Areas: Environment & Outdoors, Leadership, Active & Healthy Living, Citizenship, Creative Expression, and Beliefs & Values
- A personal journey of growth
The Canadian Path was developed by hundreds of individuals across Canada with a broad range of backgrounds and professions including educators, social workers, outdoor educators, spiritual leaders, project managers, youth members and adult volunteers. Scouts Canada consulted thousands of members throughout the process, surveying youth members to determine what they most wanted to get out of their program, and travelled across Canada to test out programming with different Scout groups to garner their feedback.
Although adult volunteers are still actively involved in helping to support and guide local groups, Scouts aged five to 26 are taking on more responsibility and a hands-on approach to choose, plan and run their own activities and adventures.
"By putting the Scouting Movement in the hands of Scouts, we're able to challenge young people in new ways by encouraging critical thinking, and provide them with a greater sense of personal progression, engagement, fulfillment and accomplishment," said Doug Reid, project lead for The Canadian Path. "Through this process, Scouting becomes a leadership apprenticeship, providing youth with tools, knowledge and skills to be strong leaders in every part of their lives."
The Canadian Path was developed in consultation with different Scouting programs around the world, including Scouting Ireland's successful One Programme, on which many of the principles of The Canadian Path are based. Scouting has always been about helping youth grow and develop, and The Canadian Path sustains this tradition with a progressive awards scheme that recognizes youth for their continued growth and development in key areas of tangible skills and knowledge.