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Scouts Canada enrollment in Alberta outpaces volunteer numbers, children turned away
Published Friday, September 29, 2017 9:23PM MDT
Interest in scouting has spiked in southern Alberta over the last few years but the bump in membership has not coincided with an increase in the number of adults willing to volunteer their time to help run the program.
“We've been growing consistently for the last four years,” explained Fiona Nicholson, Scouts Canada’s Alberta executive director. “One of the sad things is we are turning kids away because we don't have enough volunteers.”
The Southern Alberta chapter of Scouts Canada currently has approximately 6,000 child participants but nearly 1,000 children remain on a waiting list to join.
Nicholson says it’s important to find places for all of the children currently waiting as scouting offers a number of benefits especially for kids in large urban settings.
“It’s important in the city because it's all part of the community,” said Nicholson. “I think a lot of kids suffer from a deficit of being out in nature and participating in their community.”
“(In scouting), kids really do get the opportunity to participate and make a difference.”
According to Scouts Canada, every adult who volunteers allows the organization to place eight more children in troops.
With files from CTV’s Chris Epp