Being Prepared: Toronto Scouts and Climate Change Junkology Conference

Yesterday over 200 youths from participating Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from the Old Mill, Humberwest and Skyline regions of Toronto participated in a day-long "Junkology Conference." Activities were designed to teach about climate change and all participating Cubs and Scouts worked on earning their recycle badge (photo after the break).

The event was part of impressive new emphasis on climate change education from Scouts Canada that resulted in a 2006 Canadian Environment Award. The Climate Change Education and Action Program (CCEAP) "encourages all members of Scouting to actively reduce greenhouse gasses."

One of the highlights of yesterdays conference was Oliver Samonte, nicknamed Dr. Recycle. Participants were inspired and taught to make toys and activities using everyday waste (photo above, end products in slideshow below).

Photos above include (in order) the recycle badge, Dr. Recycle, scouts working on junkology projects, finished junkology projects, a cool chess board with pieces made from old film canisters, cubs learning about tire pressure, climate challenge badge.

I should admit that yes, I was a cub. In fact, my old troop (the mighty 4th) was part of the conference yesterday, still led by the same woman who was leading when I was a boy (if you can believe it she has been involved in cubs for over 55 years!). I lasted a few years in cubs and enjoyed it. Though I learned a lot about nature and respect for our planet, I never had the opportunity to work on a recycle badge (it hadn't been created yet) and don't remember hearing anything about reducing greenhouse gasses. I was really proud yesterday to see Scouts Canada take such a leading role in environmental eduction, after all, they should. It's another example of my envious appreciation of a youth eduction program today. Maybe it's a sign I'm getting old, I keep hearing myself say, "when I was a kid we didn't have...."

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