1907 - 2007: A Century of Scouting


What could a seven-year-old Roslyn School student, a City employee at Public Works, a former city councillor and a retired businessman have in common? Answer: They have all shared in the Scouting experience.
In 1907, when Robert Baden-Powell introduced a program for boys to learn leadership and outdoor skills, it was the beginning of a movement that would catch on like wildfire and spread around the world. One hundred years and millions of youth later, Scouting is thriving in every corner of the globe.

Westmount saw the founding of their own Scout groups in the very early years of the movement and C. S. Allan, founder of the Allan Candy Company and Westmount Scout leader, was instrumental in purchasing land with the help of several Westmount families to found the Tamaracouta Scout Reserve near Milles Îles in the Laurentians. Since 1912, thousands of youth have camped there learning about nature and how to work in harmony with their companions. Neil Mackinnon, present-day Scout leader, has photos of those early days and will be putting them on display as part of the centennial year events in Westmount.

Throughout 2007 there will be various events and activities organized by local Scouts not just for their current members but for the public as well. For many years Scouts have participated in Westmount Family Day and St. Jean Baptiste and this year they will be out in force with lots of activities for the public to join in.

The Westmount Scouting Centennial Committee is especially interested in finding former Scouting members who would like to tell their story and share their experiences. They are planning several articles in local papers and displays of memorabilia from residents who have been involved in Scouting over the years.

They would like to find 100 former Scout members, be it from local groups or with groups from around the world. If you are interested in being part of the Westmount Scouting celebrations or would like to share your story, you can contact the local Scouts at westmountscouts@yahoo.ca.

by Virginia Elliott
for the Westmount Examiner, January 29, 2007