Hello Friends of Shining Waters Council,
I hope everyone had a great week with all the snow and snow day(s)!
It is an incredible honour for me to serve as your Council Commissioner starting today. I would like to re-iterate my thanks to David Williams for his volunteer service as our Council Commissioner for the past 3 years. True to his military background, he served our Council through some of the most rapidly changing times with determination and confidence. Thank you, Dave. I look forward to be working with Jason Gingrich our Council Youth Commissioner, Nicole Donadio our Council Relationship Manager, our Council Leadership Team, and every one of you to move Scouting forward in Shining Waters Council.
Scouts is the best youth movement in Canada and in the world. When we reflect on what success means to us, most people think about good health. Scouts Canada offers an active healthy lifestyle for our youth with all the outdoor adventures – camping, rifle & archery, kayaking, sailing, you name it! That’s Checkbox # 1. After good health, the definition of success varies by people – some define on tangible basis such as money and power, while others define on intangible basis such as respect and happiness. Regardless, the underlying theme is not about following some rigid rules or predetermined path, but is about having a vision, express it, and then blaze a new path with confidence. The Scouting Movement is the perfect fit. Scouts is not about what the Organization wants the youth to be. Scouts is about guiding what the Youth wants themselves to be. That’s Checkbox # 2. Scouts can put a check in both boxes. This is the reason why the Scouting Movement existed for 112 years, is currently the largest youth movement in the world, and will continue to grow for many centuries to come.
About me – I joined Scouts 22.5 years ago with the 6th Richmond Hill Group, and since then Scouting has been part of my everyday life. I also served as York Headwaters Area Commissioner and Deputy Area Commissioner (Program) in the past. Through the years, I had the privilege to be mentored and guided by many great and legendary Volunteer Scouters. My journey with Scouts, both as a youth and volunteer, shaped who I am today. It is the experience that I didn’t and wouldn’t get elsewhere. Professionally, I am an Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society (ACAS) and an Associate of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (ACIA). I graduated from the University of Waterloo and is currently working for a major Property & Casualty Insurance Company.
Shining Waters Council serves over 5,500 members from Steeles Ave (just north of the City of Toronto) to French River (south of North Bay), and from Lake Huron to Lake Simcoe to Algonquin Provincial Park. While geographically and culturally diverse, our passion to help develop well-rounded youth is the same. We want nothing short of the best for our youth. The purpose of Council / Area / Group is to support our front-line volunteers – so that our youth can get the best out of the best youth movement in Canada and in the World. With this in mind, building on today’s foundation, we will be making some changes to our Council Team to better support our people. We will significantly increase in-person training and Scouter development opportunities with the formation of multiple Council Training Teams. We will also build on today’s communication infrastructure to ensure knowledge are shared across the Council – newsletter, a redesigned website, social media, and more. Most importantly, we plan to expand the team by adding 25-30 Council-level roles to enable a more diverse opinion and practice at the Council table. We will communicate the details next Friday, February 22 to all Scouters within Shining Waters.
I know we have many great passionate people and support – youth, volunteers, parents, sponsors, and the communities at-large. As I start my Council Commissioner role, I will be travelling to all 6 Areas within Shining Waters over the next several months. I look forward to meet you at that time. In the meanwhile, I can be reached by email at
. Our Council is about us – and together we can drive the Scouting Movement forward in Shining Waters.
Thank you and I wish everyone a great long weekend
Yours In Scouting,
Incoming Council Commissioner - Shining Waters Council