Burlington Area

Burlington Area History

Burlington Scouts 1912
Burlington Boy Scouts, 1912 (Burlington Historical Society)

Burlington Area Scouts traces its organization back to 1910 when the town’s population was about 1,000.  Sir Robert Baden-Powell had advanced the idea of Scouting in 1908 so Burlington was one of the first towns to take up the new idea.  The first local Scoutmaster was Archie McGibbon, who remained in his position for more than a year, after which there was a succession of leaders including Hughes Cleaver and William Gilbert.  The original enrolment of 25 boys was considered excellent for the small population of Burlington.

At first, some residents complained about the Scouts marching through the streets with bugles blaring and drums beating, but for the most part people favoured the new movement and merchants generously subscribed to their appeals, as they continue to do.  It was the merchants of 1910 who bought the band instruments at a cost of several hundred dollars and stood beaming their approval in the doorways of their shops as the troop marched past in the dust of unpaved Brant Street.   The meeting place those days was the basement of the former public library on Brant Street (the site of the present Civic Administration Building).

In 1912, His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, Governor-General of Canada, took the salute at the march past of thousands of Boy Scouts at the Ontario Jamboree held at Exhibition Park in Toronto.   Burlington’s Scouts proudly brought home first prize for the best marching and best-equipped troop.

When the First World War broke out, many former Scouts enlisted and a great many of them were either wounded or killed overseas.

About 1918, Rev. George W. Tebbs took over the troop.  It was in the 1920s when Scoutmaster Tebbs and the local troop met Lord Baden-Powell in Burlington.  The founder was motoring to Toronto and broke his trip for a short while when he saw the Scouts lined up at Gore Park on the waterfront.

For many years, Rev. Tebbs led the boys as they marched out of town, hauling the trek cart to some distant camping place.   It wasn’t until 1958 that the Scouts’ combined group committees were able to buy the 90 acre camping grounds in North Burlington at Camp Manitou and in 1966 a $13,000 swimming pool was added.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, the organization faltered as enlistments took a heavy toll of the leaders.

At that time, Stanley Craze was appointed chairman of the group committee and began the work of reconstruction; by 1953, there were about 200 Cubs and Scouts in three troops and three packs with a waiting list.

Burlington Scouts 1950
1st Burlington Scouts on Parade, 1950 (Burlington Historical Society)

he Burlington Boy Scouts Local Association was formed in 1952 under president W.G. Gowing.  The headquarters on Elizabeth St. was acquired from the town when it vacated the building as a town hall.   Later, when the police and fire departments built new quarters, the entire premises were taken over by the Cubs and Scouts.

Trinity United Church (later Wellington Square United Church) needed extra space and, in 1959, they purchased the Scout Hall which was next door and renamed it Trinity Annex.  Cubs and Scouts then began meeting in various schools and churches.

For many years, boys in the Strathcona district had their own Scout Hall on Belvenia Rd. constructed originally by area residents for community gatherings.

In 1966, a new district headquarters in Burlington was obtained at 450 John St. and a new group called the Venturers was formed for high school boys.  District Commissioner Peter Bromley headed an organization of 250 leaders, 50 Cub packs, 25 Scout troops and 9 Rover crews for a total of about 1680 Burlington boys active in Scouting.

Scouts 1965
The 3 Sections Of Burlington Scouting, 1965 (Burlington District Scouts Archives)

hen the Rotary Youth Centre was built on Guelph Line, Scout headquarters was relocated there.  In 1996, there were 60 Venturers and 18 Rovers.   The younger youth, 425 of them, enjoyed Beavers; there were 388 Cubs and 209 Scouts.

excerpt from the book From Pathway to Skyway Revisited: The Story of Burlington by Claire Emery Machan.  Reproduced with the kind permission of The Burlington Historical Society.



Woodbadge Part 1 Training 2013


Mandatory and Wood Badge Part I Training


Where:       Port Nelson United Church, 3132 South Drive, Burlington, ON

When:        Friday December 13 and Saturday December 14


It is with regret that we have decided to cancel the upcoming Wood Badge Part I training event.



Although we have been promoting this training for several months, as of today, we still have only one person registered.  This is not sufficient to make the event economically feasible or a worthwhile expenditure of time for the facilitators.  Those leaders who need training can still complete the requirements online.





Dave Smith

Deputy Area Commissioner – Training


(905) 689-6832



New Area Commissioner Appointed


Dear Scouters,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Kowalchyk as the Area Commissioner for Burlington, effective immediately. Bill has served in many roles throughout his Scouting career, most recently as Group Commissioner for 15th Strathcona and as a member of the Area Service team.

Bill is passionate about Scouting and his skills and knowledge will enable him to further the growth of Scouting in the Burlington Area.

Please join us in welcoming Bill to his new role.

At this time I would like to thank Andrew Dixon for all his hard work and service to Scouting in Burlington.

Yours in Scouting,

George Christian
Council Commissioner
Central Escarpment Council


Trio of Venturer Scouts Honoured

Venturer Scouts Honoured

Venturer Scouts William M. (Area Youth Commissioner, Halton MedVents, 31st Burlington), Nicole R. (3rd Waterdown), and Connor T. (Halton MedVents, 15th Strathcona) were all presented Scouts Canada’s Certificate of Meritorious Conduct at the close of the 45th Annual Burlington Area Scout Competition Camp on Sunday April 22.  The Certificates were in recognition of their actions on the last day of the 2011 World Scout Jamboree in Sweden in August 2011.

The trio of Venturer Scouts were part of the Canadian Contingent to the Jamboree and were traveling back to the airport when the bus they were on was involved in an accident on the highway, seriously injuring some of the passengers.  Over 50 youth and leaders from the contingent were on the bus.  Though shaken up themselves, Will, Nicole, and Connor remained calm through the ordeal and, along with other MedVents on the bus, tended to the injuries of the others.

Great work by a great crew of Burlington Area Venturer Scouts!

2011 Chief Scout’s Award Recipients

2011 Recipients

In a special ceremony in Oakville on June 26, 2011, Burlington Area presented the Chief Scout’s Award to 5 exceptional youth from the Area.  Recieving the honour this year were Evan S. from 3rd Waterdown; Kevin G. from 15th Burlington; and Alec T., Christopher B,, and Jennifer B. (not pictured) from 31st Burlington.

The Chief Scout’s Award is the highest award which can be achieved at the Scout level in Scouts Canada. It was inaugurated in 1973 by then Governor General Roland Michener, replacing the Queen’s/Kings’s Scout award.  Only a handful of Burlington Area Scouts receive the award each year. 

In order to earn the award a Scout must earn the Voyageur and Pathfinder Activity Awards which require the Scout to develop citizenship, leadership, personal development and outdoor skills.  In addition, the candidates must hold current qualifications in Standard First Aid, hold the World Conservation Badge, investigate and present findings on Scout Canada’s involvement in World Scouting, and design a challenging program which requires the Scout to excel in each of the four activity areas.  Having done all of that, the recipient of a Chief Scout’s Award must submit their work for judgment by their fellow Scouts, their Troop Scouter, and their Patrol Counsellors. 

In working towards the Chief Scout’s Award, the Scouts perform over 30 hours of service in the community. 

Area Scouts Off To Sweden Jamboree

Bailey & Connor

On July 27 the fields of Rinkaby, Sweden will be transformed into a hustling, bustling city of 38,000, as Scouts from across the world gather for the 22nd World Scout Jamboree.  Scouting representatives from 150 countries around the world will be on hand to celebrate “Simply Scouting.”  Among those participants will be an enthusiastic team of Venturer Scouts from the Burlington and Waterdown communities.  A group of 17 Venturer Scouts and 4 leaders made up of Scouting members from 15th Burlington, 31st Burlington, 3rd Aldershot, and 3rd Waterdown will join 401 participants from across Canada as part of the Canadian Contingent to the event. 

The group departs for the trip Friday, July 22.  The Canadian Contingent will be stopping in Frankfurt, Germany first for a few days of sightseeing, before heading to the Jamboree site later in the week. 

Every four years, tens of thousands of Scouts from every corner of the world gather for two weeks in a tented city for the adventure of a lifetime. First organized in 1920 by Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell to foster worldwide brotherhood in the same way as the Olympic Games, the World Scout Jamboree has grown into a unique international peace camp for youth from different countries to meet across geographical, religious, and cultural borders. Jamboree participants take part in a multitude of activities and adventures and receive extensive leadership training and tools for contributing to a better society in their home communities. 

This is the Burlington Area’s largest contingent to the international event in decades. 

The trip is costing about $4500 per person and the group has been organizing several fundraisers to help with the expense over the past year including bottle drives, maple syrup sales, fundraising nights at Chapters, Boston Pizza and Kelsey’s, and working on the Eco team at the Sound of Music Festival.



White Tail Camp 2014

White Tail Camp

April 25-27, 2014
Mac Lodge – Camp Manitou
Open to 3rd Year Beaver Scouts

Attention Beaver Leaders:

Attached is a form “Calling all Whitetails” that I would ask you photocopy and give to each of your white tail beavers. This is an invitation to the area White Tail Camp that will be held April 25-27 at Camp Manitou. There is no need for the colony leadership team to attend. The camp is run by area cub leaders and is designed specifically for white tails. If some of your youth are too nervous to attend without an adult then we can certainly accommodate a few adults from each colony! Encourage your white tails to come and have a fun camp. THey will earn both their tenderpad badge and a cub naturalist badge while doing all sorts of magical cub stuff!
I would ask that the colony leaders collect the Scouts Canada registration forms and submit them to me as they are required for the camp and the parents do not have them!
If there are any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Yours In Scouting,

Doug Entwistle, Camp Chief , Burlington Area White Tail Camp.
dougentwistle@hotmail.com or 905-333-9786


Information Form For Participating Youth

Colony Summary Sheet

Competition Camp 2014 – Super Mario

Comp Camp

1st Port Nelson / 20th Burlington Venturers have now posted the registration information for this year’s 47th Annual Competition Camp.
The purpose of the camp is for youth to demonstrate their camping, outdoor and teamwork skills that they have learned. The youth will be doing this without the assistance of their leaders.

Leaders are given the opportunity to help “Give back to Manitou” through an offer of service project and network with other leaders attending camp. This project is usually composed of helping to clear brush and tune up the camp for the spring and summer season.
The theme this year is Super Mario.  Details can be found on the 1st Port Nelson website at:

Beaverbee 2014


Information on registration for this year’s Beaverbee is now available.

Date: May 3, 2014


Time: 12:30-5:30(set up begins at 12)


Location: Camp Manitou – Games Field


Cost: $15/ youth (no fee for registered leaders)


Registration Deadlines:


Registration form collection meeting – April 7, 2014 – all registration forms and money are due at this meeting. Please make your cheques payable to 1st Carlisle.

We will have your schedule and information packages ready for you at this meeting as well, if you can’t make this meeting please contact Charyl prior to this day to arrange drop off of registration.


T-shirts will be ready for pick up at this meeting so you will have plenty of time to add your special touches.


2014 Information Package

2014 Registration Forms – NEW

2014 T-Shirt Colour Reference

2014 T-Shirt Order Form

Burlington Area Scouting Honoured

On April 7, Scouts Canada, Burlington Area was awarded the 2011 Mayor’s Community Service Award for a non-profit organization.  The award is jointly presented by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and the City of Burlington. Recipients are evaluated on the basis of criteria that show how they contribute to Burlington quality of life, making Burlington a better place in which to live and work.  Burlington Area’s award category is for a notforprofit organization providing charitable works or services in Burlington.  Recipients must be located within the City of Burlington and not have received a Mayor’s Community Service Award within the past five years. 

Area Commissioner Andrew Dixon, Area Youth Commissioner Jeff Doucette, and former Area Commissioner / current Deputy Council Commissioner Greg Hunt accepted the award on behalf of the many volunteers that are a part of Scouting’s leadership in the Area.  In the video above, which was part of the presentation, Scouter Greg speaks of the accomplishments in the Area over the past few years, and the exciting future of Scouting.

Scouts Canada, the country’s leading youth organization, offers challenging programs for boys, girls and youth age 5-26 in thousands of individual groups in most cities and towns across Canada.