Scouting and Guiding in Alberta
Scouting in Alberta has a long history, from the 1900s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live. In 1983, the 15th World Scout Jamboree was held at Kananaskis Country, an area of Provincial Park 4,000 feet in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 80 miles west of Calgary, Alberta. The Spirit Lives On was the theme of the World Jamboree, with a total attendance of over 15,000 Scouts from nearly 100 countries.
Alberta Scouting is administered by two Councils within Scouts Canada: Northern Lights Council in the north (also responsible for the Northwest Territories), and Chinook Council in the south. In general, each council's territory is divided into Areas, and each Area contains sponsored Scouting Groups.
Local Groups and sections
Scouting Groups are usually community-based, but may be based on something else they have in common, such as an LDS Group. Each Group has a cardinal or ordinal number attached to its name. For example, "Dalhousie 141", "1st Yellowknife". Each Group comprises one or more Sections (Beaver section, Cub section, Scout section, Venturer section, and/or Rover section), all managed by a Group Committee.
Among Alberta's varied Scouting groups and sections are Adventure Scouting Groups, Ismaili Scouts, and Rover Crews with romantic names like Knights of Dionysus and Knights of the Crimson Cross.
In 1981, the 5th Canadian Scout Jamboree was held at Kananaskis, Alberta, with 19,000 in attendance.
In 1993, the 8th Canadian Scout Jamboree was held at Kananaskis, Alberta, with 12,000 in attendance.
In 2005, Northern Lights Council hosted a jamboree at Camp Woods. Chinook Council hosted a joint Alberta-Saskatchewan Brotherhood Jamboree at Camp Impeesa, celebrating the common centennial of the two provinces.
Impeesa Extreme is a high adventure camping program run by the Chinook Council of Scouts Canada operated at Camp Impeesa in Alberta's Crowsnest Pass. The program was founded in 2003 in response to a need to keep older youth in Scouting.
The program consists of adventures like caving, mountain biking, trekking high mountain ranges, rappelling down granite cliffs and fly fishing crystal clear streams. The program sends one of their expert Trail Scouters with each group to help them learn about the local ecology and the techniques for their adventures while promoting learning by doing.
Impeesa Extreme provides all the equipment that a group needs for their adventure. All they have to bring is your pack, personal clothing and sleeping bag.
Camp Impeesa was first founded during the late 1960s with the idea of having a base camp from Scouts to take backpacking trips in the southern canadian rockies. This idea was abandoned by the camp committee during the 1970s and the camp became a residential program for Cubs and Scouts.
In 2001, Mike Bingley began the process of developing a high adventure camping program at Camp Impeesa. With the help of a dedicated team from around the world, this program became Impeesa Extreme. The program was launched in 2003 with six patrols from as far away as New York City and Chicago. The first summer included the additional challenges of forest fires, including the Okanagan Mountain Fire which forced the program to move five times.
2004 saw the program triple in size, partially due to word of mouth advertising and the cancellation of the 2004 Saskatchewan Jamboree. 2004 was the last year that Mike Bingley was involved with the program.
2005 saw Chinook Council hire a full time outdoor program manager to take over the operation of the program for the 2006 season. Mike Bingley returned to this role in 2009.
Francophone Scouting groups exist in Calgary and in Edmonton. They are part of the Association des Scouts du Canada.
Girl Guides are served by the Alberta Provincial Council - Guides of Canada.
- Arrowhead Area
- Calgary Area with its headquarters in Calgary and website http://www.calgareaguides.com/
- Chinook Area with its headquarters in Lethbridge and website http://www.albertagirlguides.com/chinook_index.html
- Cypress Hills Area with its headquarters in Medicine Hat and website http://www.albertagirlguides.ca/cypress_index.htm
- Edmonton Area with its headquarters in Edmonton and website http://www.guidesedmonton.ab.ca/
- Michener Area
- Northern Lights (Fort McMurray Area)
- Parkland Area with its headquarters at Red Deer and website http://www.albertagirlguides.ca/parkland_index.html
- Peace River Area
- Prairie Rose Area
- Tamarac Area
- Woodsmoke Area
In addition Alberta Provincial Council supports guiding in Yukon and Northwest Territories
- Yukon Area with active units in Whitehorse and Watson Lake
- NWT Area with active units in Fort Simpson, Hay River, Inuvik, Norman Wells, and Yellowknife.
- Camp Jubilee in the Calgary Area
- Westover in the Calgary Area
- Batuk in the Calgary Area
- IASG in the Calgary Area
- Camp Mockingbird in the Calgary Area
- Guide/Scout Hall in Banff
- Camp Okeekun in Chinook Area
- Elkwater Camp in Cypress Hills Area
- Sandy Lake Beach in Edmonton Area is located on Sandy Lake 60 km northwest of Edmonton
- Tangletrees in Edmonton Area is located on Pigeon Lake some 85 km southwest of Edmonton. It was acquired in 1943.
- Williams Wilderness in Edmonton Area is a zero impact campsite donated in 1969.
- Chinook Council, serving south-central Alberta including Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Calgary
- Northern Lights Council
- Alberta Provincial Council - Guides of Canada
- Les Scouts Francophones de Calgary
- www.ScoutingAlberta.org - A volunteer portal where your troop can have its own website. Also has many resources including a complete calendar of activities from Cubs to Ventures