A large group of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts trundle noisily along the Ed Nixon Trail skirting Langford Lake.
Their mission? To seek out discarded wrappers, bags and other garbage left by trail users and any other objects that seem out of place in this natural setting.
Liam Adair, a member of the 10th Juan de Fuca Scouts troop and a group youth commissioner, is particularly adept at finding hidden trash at the water’s edge, but takes care to not damage the plant life in the process.
“I don’t like seeing people throw stuff out and I sometimes like to stop them and tell them to take their garbage up and throw it out (in the cans),” he said.
The Monday evening outing for this group, ranging in age from about five to 13 – various adult leaders were also on hand – is part of Good Turn Week, a Scouts Canada initiative that charges local groups to find their own ways to serve their community.
While the event offered a good opportunity to get the kids outdoors and learning about nature, Adair said his group tries to do community service once a month.
“It’s usually cleanups and doing good turns, like whacking down invasive species and stuff like that.”
Further up the trail, second-year Beaver, Jack Marshall, 6, shared that he enjoys visiting the forest with his family. He already seems to be gaining an appreciation for nature. “We’re helping the community so that the earth won’t die,” he said of the trail cleanup. Colin Evans, group commissioner for 10th Juan de Fuca, said the various divisions within the group have been involved in beach cleanups for many years. “We usually do Esquimalt Lagoon, but we’ve been finding that in the last few years that other schools and other interests have been down there too, doing cleanup efforts,” he said. “So we looked for another area that would benefit youth and the community and we came up with Langford Lake.”
The nearly 30 youngsters taking part, among roughly 90 members in all Scouts Canada age divisions that meet weekly at Sangster elementary, wound up the evening scouring Langford Lake Beach for trash.
While the overall haul may not have been as large as some taking part expected, for everyone involved the cleanup got the week started with a good turn and a job well done.
For more information, find 10th Juan De Fuca Scouting on Facebook, or visit victoriascouts.ca/for%20Parents/locator.php