Before joining the Scouts four years ago, Lucas Mallette, 2nd St. Albert Venturer, didn’t know how to survive in the wilderness let alone how to lead a volunteer project. But that has all changed thanks to the many volunteer opportunities that being in the Scouts has provided him in attaining youth leadership skills and outdoor education.
Turns out, Lucas is a natural born leader. He proved that back in the spring when he organized and led a group of his fellow Scouts from the 2nd St. Albert Scouts troop in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
|Lucas, 2nd from right, during Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup|
Organized by the Vancouver Aquarium and the World Wildlife Foundation, Lucas and his fellow Scouts joined thousands of volunteer groups, including other Scout youth groups around Canada, to pick up garbage along national shorelines. His troop worked in an area along the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton’s Emily Murphy Park.
“There were 10 people from my troop that went,” says the Grade 9 student. “We spent the day doing the cleanup. Between the garbage and recycling, we had a tally of over 1,000 items, everything from cigarette butts, metal and plastic.”
The Great Canadian Shoreline Project was part of Lucas’ capstone project in achieving his Chief Scout Award.
“This was my big project, though I do other volunteering here and there. I think it was very good. We just covered a small area. I would like to cover a larger area next time,” says the modest 13-year-old.
Scouter Brad “Hatchet” Istace, with the 2nd St. Albert troop, has been impressed with Lucas’ volunteer efforts. While Istace originally became a Scout leader volunteer to spend more quality time with his son, he stayed in the organization as he saw the need for help in the organization.
|Volunteer leader, Scouter Brad “Hatchet” Istace|
“I saw that my efforts were making a difference to the children that attended,” he says. “We try to instill independence in the scout troop, and for Lucas' project, he must have taken this to heart. I ended up doing very little for Lucas' project, other than provide time in our meeting for him to discuss it with the troop and then show up and the clean up and help. To Lucas' credit, I didn't even know he was working on this until he brought it up with the troop.”
Lucas has also joined his Scout group on other volunteer activities such as raising money for the Salvation Army through their Kettle Drive program at Christmas time, making bee houses to help save bees in the local environment, placing the bee houses throughout the community, selling popcorn for the Scouts popcorn fundraiser, participating in bottle drives, and working for the Kinsmen at the Rainmaker Rodeo.
In 2017, Lucas won second prize for his invention, The Tarp Tap, at Scouts Canada’s STEM competition. He designed and built a device that allows campers to collect and filter rainwater from the top of their tarp while still keeping the tarp water-proof.
“I really love the overall skill sets I get out of being in the Scouts. Before, I didn’t know any outdoor survival skills. I also like being an active community member,” says Lucas.