This post is not just about Star Wars fans… it is not just for Scouting volunteers… it’s not just because I feel an insatiable need to say thank you. Let me explain a little about what happened to me last summer so you can fully understand what my sincerest appreciation means and why I feel the need to share it.
Last summer I was running one of the activities at FTE (Family Training Event), which is a Scouts Canada training camp which brings over 200 youth and adults together for a seven-day camp jam packed with training opportunities. I was trying to figure out a way to run some kind of a social hub for volunteers and participants… a place to gather people together throughout the week. When they decided on a Star Wars theme for the 2018 event, I was overcome with excitement… I was going to create and manage the cantina from Tatooine. The bar where everyone hung out, the music was amazing, and where we all met Han Solo for the first time.
I found the best partner a guy could ask for and Richard and I ended up running an amazing activity all week and one of the truly amazing parts was our special guests. On our opening day we had a couple volunteers come out to play with the youth for an hour. Then they played with the adults for a bit too. On our closing day, we had several visitors from a galaxy far, far away.
I wish that there was a way to thank these amazing people for what they did but I could never do them justice. At the end of the day, we fed them and they went on their way but the memories that they created in those youth that week will stay with them for so much longer than most of us can imagine.
They actually weren’t from a galaxy far, far away but I wanted to mention that these Star Wars fans came to a scout camp on Sylvan Lake, Alberta from Red Deer, Edmonton, Calgary, and Drumheller; and a couple were from Grande Prairie. That’s right, these people drove for up to 7 hours to come hang out with a hundred of our beavers, cubs, and scouts. I cannot recount my appreciation more than I did last summer, but maybe I can extend the love that they shared by introducing someone else to these groups of amazing people who give so selflessly.
When I first heard of a group called the 501st Legion, I was shocked that there were so many fans with Star Wars costumes that they had their own Facebook page… and then I found out that this was just one of many. Not only was I talking to just the Alberta group, but that there were a few other groups online that I could contact to see if their members would be able to attend our event. It took some significant skills with communications keeping up with all these groups but the results were simply amazing.
I am going to link you to their Facebook pages here but unless you are from Alberta, you are going to have to do some searching for a local group of your own. Each group specializes in the good guys, the bad guys, the bounty hunters, the droids and other characters… it is kinda crazy when I think about the organization that these groups of fans have created.
- 501st Legion Badlands Garrison
- Rebel Legion Outrider Base
- Hett’ciri Clan
- Saber Guild Echo Base Temple
If you are a scout volunteer running a Star Wars themed activity, or anyone for that matter, and you would love to have a special guest show up to blow the minds of your youth (and some of your adults)… you now have a choice to make. Do you want to go to the dark side? I hear they have cookies.
One of the questions that I know you have, is how much did these people charge me to come out and perform for our group? The answer is simple. Nothing. I offered something but all they would take was a meal and my appreciation. If you absolutely insist on supporting them, they encouraged us to make a donation to their favorite charity. If we all gave $100 to the Stollery (a children’s hospital here in Alberta) I am sure our little gifts would mean something to someone.
If you have any comments or questions about our event, feel free to ask below. If you have a question about who these people are, when they are available, or how to get them for your event, click on one of the Facebook groups and let me know how it goes for you!