Locals receive honours for Scouts and Venturer participation

  • Wed Jul 15th, 2015 3:24pm
  • News

Several young Red Deer citizens have recently been awarded high honours and praises for their commitment and achievements in the Scouts and Venturer programs.

Kole Heilemann (Chief Scout Award), Jaret Pack (Chief Scout Award), Heather Mast (Queen’s Venturer Award), Evan Schollie (Queen’s Venturer Award) and Eric Wilkinson (Chief Scout Award) were all recognized in a ceremony at Edmonton City Hall last month.

The awards were presented by Terry Grant, Scouts Canada’s Chief Scout – also known as ‘Mantracker’ from the Outdoor Life Network and Discovery Television series.

Schollie, 17, said that the ceremony was a great honour and that it means a lot to him to have received the Queen’s Venturer Award.

“It was very important for me to get the award because it’s a build up of all the work I’ve done over the past few years. Usually people can’t complete this in one year – they’ve got to be working on it for usually two or three years to get it. I’ve been in scouting for 11 years, and it took me three years to earn this award,” Schollie said.

“It was a very fancy ceremony in Edmonton City Hall. Mantracker presented the award to me, which was cool. There were some other kids there getting scouting-related awards but there weren’t many of us who received the Queen’s Venturer Award.”

The Queen’s Venturer Award is the highest capacity of recognition for youth members in the Venturer Scouts Canada program, and the Chief Scout Award is the highest award that can be achieved in Scouts Canada.

In order to receive the Queen’s Venturer Award there are several requirements a person must achieve. These requirements include holding a Venturer Award, a first aid certificate and a World Conservation Award. Additionally, those attempting to achieve the award must also complete many hours of community and volunteer service and demonstrate skills such as leadership and peer mentorship.

“One of the requirements is you have 100 hours of volunteer service, so I helped with the younger kids and led some of their activities. I’ve helped at the food bank and have participated in environmental clean-up events. Through my school I did some peer tutoring. I really enjoyed the peer tutoring because some subjects like science I find really fun. It’s rewarding to teach that to younger kids.”

Schollie will be joining several hundred Canadian Scouts, including eight other Red Deerians, at the World Jamboree being held in Japan from July 28th until Aug. 8th. He will depart for a pre-camp in Hong Kong on July 23rd.

Heather Mast, 18, received the same Queen’s Venturer Award. She took part in a World Conservation Event, planting over 700 trees with various students and Scouts in Red Deer and spent time with a local pastor discussing religion and spirituality.

Additionally, she has participated in community projects such as the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter (CAWES) gift-wrapping at Christmastime, Salvation Army kettle campaigns and has worked with food banks and various environmental awareness events.

“I also did a project in Madagascar last year with the Scouts, and it was amazing. I went with a girl from my group and several other Venturers from across Canada. Madagascar has a lot of poverty, and we went down to participate in building a school and provided labour for that project,” Mast said.

“What I enjoy about Venturers is that we’re very active and involved in the community. We did lots of activities like camps and hikes. We have a really great set of leaders. They’re the ones who plan most of the youth events. At the Venture level, we run most of our own events, but I’d really like to thank our leader, Bruce Schollie. He’s the one who pushed us to do these awards and get through them.”

Both Evan and Mast worked over several years to complete their status and were very honoured to be recognized.

kmendonsa@reddeerexpress.com