Several Sudbury and Ontario-based organizations, including Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal, the Mining
Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO), the Ontario Mining Association and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s Mining Matters program assisted with exhibit material and planted seeds for a continuing relationship between Scouts Canada and the country’s mining industry.
Selecting a mining and forestry theme for the Canadian pavilion was easy, said Scouts Canada deputy executive commissioner Kim Derry.
“The mining industry is a significant employer and Canada was built on natural resources, so why not promote what we do?
“Scouting isn’t just about going camping,” he added. “It’s about developing the full potential of young kids. Part of that is teaching them about becoming leaders and educating them about employment opportunities.”
Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal supplied several hundred copies of its RockON career-planning magazine for just that purpose.
Derry, a deputy police chief with the Toronto Police Service, learned about the use of cutting-edge technology in the mining industry as he canvassed potential sponsors.
“I really got excited about the use of virtual reality technology and joysticks in mining. Kids are unaware of that.”
Following a conversation with Derry, MIRARCO business development officer Jane Djivré worked with colleagues to create an online Scouts Challenge trivia game to familiarize scouts with the mining industry.
“Originally, it was meant for participants at the World Jamboree, but then we found out about a Canadian Jamboree (July 25 to August 1st at Mille-Isles, Quebec), so we made a few more contacts and supplied bookmarks promoting the Scouts Challenge for both events.”
The grand prize, a Magellan Explorist LE GPS, will be awarded in September.
Djivré also found Derry receptive to a possible national certificate or badge program focusing on the mining industry.
“We’re really excited about it because we know the mining industry is in need of human resources, and we’re looking for creative ways to introduce the industry to kids,” she said.
“We found that the Scouts have changed a lot. They’re really trying to encourage kids to think about vocations and broaden their minds about what’s out there for them.”
There are 78,000 scouts and 24,000 volunteers in Canada. Worldwide, the organization boasts 28 million members in 155 countries.