Venturers Deliver Scouting to Moose Factory First
A great challenge for the 1st Whitby Venturers turned out to more difficult
than expected as they ventured 1200 km north to the isolated First Nation
communities of Moosonee and Moose Factory on the shore of James Bay.
Four months of planning and preparation were abandoned at the Moosonee train
station when Plan “B” (improvisation) went in to play. In the end, the mission
Seven Venturers and two advisors set out for Cochrane on June 26/02. The
next morning they boarded the Polar Bear Express for the 4-1/2 hour journey
north to Moosonee. On arrival, gear was stashed at the Arena while the participants
got an orientation of the town site.
Plans to run a program for local youth had not been followed through with
by local contacts so the process started over. They were told the children
were still in school and an announcement would be made for the youth to gather
at the Curling Club for activities the next afternoon. The announcement was
The Company packed their gear down to the Moose River to catch a water taxi
to their campsite at Tidewater Provincial Park. This campsite sits on an
island in the Moose River delta, about half way between Moosonee and Moose
Factory. Water Taxi fees $5/person/trip also had a significant affect on
plans since the budget didn’t allow for any indiscriminate travel.
The campsite turned out to be the saviour for the program. A large group
of Pentecostals were camping out for several days in Tidewater. This provided
the opportunity for the Venturers to deliver the Cub aged program to about
35 youth, and to build relationships with the church volunteers to seek a
long-term relationship for Scouts Canada. The children loved the games and
made many trips back to the Venturer camp over the weekend.
The adventure also included touring and environmental and historical interpretation
of the area, the first English speaking settlement in Canada and home of
the Northwest Trading Company established to buy and sell furs in the late
The expedition exposed the Venturers to First Nations settlements and cultural
differences through application of a long-term planning project and execution.
Most of the Venturers had never been to a First Nations settlement before,
nor had they travelled so far north (sub-arctic) to experience the isolation.
Partial funding for the project came from the generosity of
Foundation and the Optimist Club
. For more information contact Brian
to 1st Whitby Venturers