Scouts Canada Investiture Ceremony
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Ottawa, Saturday, October 16, 2010
One-hundred years ago, Robert Baden Powell asked Earl Grey, then Governor General of Canada, to organize scouting in Canada.
As Canada’s scouting movement matured, the Governor General’s role evolved into a largely honorary one. But the relationship between scouting and the Governor General remains strong.
Today I am proud to stand before you as Patron of Scouts Canada.
I spent my youth getting educated. And I have spent most of my adult life as a teacher of young people. I am passionate about education.
What makes scouting especially relevant to me, is the way scouting values connect with the three themes I chose for my term:
- Community and family
- Education and innovation
- Volunteerism and philanthropy
Voluntary activities have one thing in common: no matter how much you give, you get back more.
What you put into scouting—as a scout or as a leader—benefits the scouts, benefits the scouting organization, and benefits your community. Maybe even as much as it benefits you as individuals.
You should be proud of the scouting program, with its focus on service, on leadership skills, on a healthy and active lifestyle, and on the appreciation and protection of our environment.
Those skills and those values have never been more relevant than they are right now.
We need values like those promoted in scouting to ensure that we use strive to attain a Smart and Caring nation. As the world seems to spin faster and faster, we need those values to tell us where we stand.
So I find Scouts Canada’s recent growth and ambitious growth targets very exciting.
I am thrilled to see your focus on climate change, your work with partners like Robert Bateman’s Get to Know program, and your interest in helping people in trouble all over the world.
I am also excited about the way younger and younger people are becoming involved in the leadership and governance of Scouts Canada.
Scouting is so much more than camping and crafts and planting trees. It’s about preparing young people to go out into the world—and change it.
Our world moves forward to a great extent on the energy of our youth, on the unwillingness of our young people to accept without question the ways and the wisdom of past generations.
The young among you may have found that this frustrates your parents and your grandparents—and perhaps even your older brothers and sisters. But that is your job.
Do not be hesitant. Be bold. Take the path less travelled. And change our world.
While change without direction can be a dangerous thing, I think that all of us can be guided by Lord Baden-Powell’s simple advice upon his retirement from scouting: “Try,” he said, “and leave this world a little better than you found it.”
I would like to congratulate all of the recipients for having shown such courage in dangerous situations. I am touched by their dedication and devotion, but most of all, I am touched by their sense of community and well being of others.
Congratulations to all the recipients and to you all, as you take Canadian scouting into its next 100 years.