The Junior Canadian Rangers want YOU!

Dianne St. Jean

This spring will mark the beginning of the sixth year for the Junior Canadian Rangers in Valemount.


This year the group has 22 youth enrolled, an impressive number; however, a larger number of kids requires more volunteers to help keep the program rolling, and that is why the Junior Canadian Rangers really needs your help.

Snowmobile safety course
Snowmobile safety course
Sheri Gee photo
After volunteer garbage clean up.
After volunteer garbage clean up.
Sheri Gee photo

Sheri Gee is control leader and has been there from the beginning, and while there is at least one other adult Ranger, the main problem the group is running into, says Gee, is the lack of volunteers in what is called the Adult Committee.

Adult Committee members are volunteers from the general public – they don’t need any special training other than what is required of them in their volunteer role such as, for example, driving kids to events or supervising. The only requirement in becoming a volunteer is a screening and RCMP criminal check. After that point a form has to be filled out and sent away.

Eugene Jamin is Chair of Valemount’s Adult committee - but there are no other members.

The small number of volunteers in relation to the large number of kids presents a special challenge. For example, moving kids from one location to another requires more seats than what they have. Also, regulations dictate that in a building there has to be a ratio of one adult per ten kids, but in open space or on the land it is one adult per five.

The Junior Canadian Rangers is an essential program for community kids, not only in giving them something to do but also in providing a wide range of skills and learning experiences. Their activities focus on three circles: traditional skills, life skills, and ranger skills.

Traditional skills vary according to region and culture; in our case one example would be logging, such as how to properly handle a chain saw. Ranger skills are self-explanatory, with a focus on survival skills.

The Junior Canadian Rangers want YOU!
Sheri Gee photo
Snow shelter building.
Snow shelter building.
Sheri Gee photo

 

 

 

 

 

Life skills is the area where there is the biggest need for volunteers.

“Everyone has life skills,” says Gee. “It could be something as simple as cooking, or sewing, maybe even just giving a talk about something.”

JCRs also participate in exercises. Throughout their history they have taken part in dog sledding, building snow caves, including building a quincy (packing down a pile of snow, then digging down into it as a means of survival), canoeing, snowmobile training (with instructors from the Canada Safety Council), and archery, just to name a few.

A particularly important program – PHASE – which stands for Prevention of Harassment and Sexual Abuse through Education – is a military program and is funded by them. The military also funds two exercises per year as well as basics such as uniforms.

The youth also contribute to the community through volunteer activities such as picking up garbage along the highways or delivering firewood; and here in Valemount they play a special role in Remembrance Day ceremonies every year.

That is just another reason why the program is so important.

It’s these types of things that help to form youth into self-confident, caring, and stable individuals, and that’s why volunteers are so important.

If you haven’t volunteered because you believe you have to be there all the time, that’s not the case.

“There’s no obligation to commit for a specific amount of time,” says Gee, “but come out once a month or so at planning meeting to help plan or give ideas. Even once or twice a year is a help.”

Right now would be a great time to attend one of those meetings, as the kids are looking for fundraising ideas and opportunities to raise enough money to use the community bus to go on a day trip of swimming and pizza in Jasper.

What type of volunteer is needed?

“Anyone who cares what youth are learning,” says Gee. “Because they are going to be our leaders.”

She adds, “Involvement in the JCR really changes the direction of youth.”

The Rangers meet every Wednesday evening at the Royal Canadian Legion at 6:30.

To find out more or to volunteer contact Sheri at 566-3777 or Eugene at 566-1374.

Zac's birthday on an exercise
Zac's birthday on an exercise
Sheri Gee photo
Canoe trip
Canoe trip
Sheri Gee photo
Horse riding with Tony Parisi and Katy Elliot
Horse riding with Tony Parisi and Katy Elliot
Sheri Gee photo
The Junior Canadian Rangers want YOU!
Sheri Gee photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dogsledding
Dogsledding
Sheri Gee photo
Bike trail building
Bike trail building
Sheri Gee photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Tang (a favorite winter exercise drink)
Hot Tang (a favorite winter exercise drink)
Sheri Gee photo
The Junior Canadian Rangers want YOU!
Sheri Gee photo