Episode 16 – Jake Forsyth Talks Community

Show Notes

Thank you everybody for joining us at this week’s SDM Interview. So, before we get to this week’s episode, I wanted to remind you all that if anybody wants to join us or know somebody make a great guest as we interview entrepreneurs around the internet, please email us at Hello at stunning digital marketing.com. We’d be glad to get back to you and see if we’re a good fit and arrange an interview. Now on to this week’s episode. In this week’s episode, I interview my good friend Jake forsyte. Jake is a young man who should be a great example to all the youth today. He gives us time selfishly to his community and cares about what he does. So sit back and relax and enjoy this interview with Jake. Good day, everybody. I’m here with my friend, Mr. Jake forsyte, who is a bit of a community involved person. And then we thought I’d chat with y’all a little bit about why communities matter and what you can bring to the table to help your community. Hi, Jake, how are you today? I’m good, how



you doing?



Not too bad. So you and I have known each other. I guess for a long time now I lost track, which is scary. We both lived in the same basic neighborhood for a long time. We both have collaborated on several events together and two different projects over the years. Could you tell our listeners a bit about your background and what you do?



Yeah, so um, I volunteer with a scouts Canada. I am currently at the Council Commissioner, as well as volunteering in the community with a couple of different organizations. The one organization that I volunteer with, for a really long time since I was in grade eight is a Santina community recreation, recreation Association, as well as some local events like putting went to festival I’m the cello and put new in waterfront festival. But I help with logistics with that.



Yeah, it’s and as you know, those events and having been new, both of them having lived in that or on the fringes actually end. They take a lot to set up the waterfront festival is a really good event. Port union. Winter fest is usually towards the end of January, correct? Yes.



It’s always the last Saturday of January from 11am to 3pm.



Yeah. And that event draws really well. So let me ask question, how did you You said you, you started volunteering with the community organization back in grade eight, how did you first get involved with that?



I, they produce a monthly newsletter. And I saw in the newsletter that they’re looking for committee members. And I ran out to one of the meetings and really liked what they were doing. asked how I can get involved. And I’ve been involved now for almost 11 years now.



And that’s, and that’s pretty, pretty good. I mean, a lot of people get involved in groups in the last year or two. And they they kind of move on and find something else to do. Sometimes they move and that’s part of it. But sometimes, as you know, in community groups, the politics can get interesting at times can politics gets interesting, right?



Yeah, yeah, for sure. Like, luckily, with my experience, everybody that’s on the committee is there for the same reason. So politics aren’t too much of an issue. But as everybody knows that everybody has their own opinions. And politics could become an issue but so far, I’ve been lucky and haven’t had to do too much politics within organizations. Yeah.



brings me to my next question. And you know, I’ve seen this having been, you know, grown up in the Scarborough community and lived there for many, many years. And we saw added this coming out of Danzig shooting someone the big problems in many organizations, and they, I truly think organizations are well intended. But don’t they kind of operate in silos and independent of each other? And maybe it was some more collaboration at the higher levels, maybe things would be better in the communities? What do you think about that?



Yeah, so some community organizations and events kind of have in the past offered in silos, where they do their thing to good at doing the thing, and they don’t want to branch out and include other people. Luckily, in our community, the last couple years, we’ve been broadening our community organizations to work with each other and to support each other. So you’ll see the different community associations at each of those events, supporting events, as well as helping publicize and promote their events.



Yeah, and I think that’s really important. I mean, I think part of the problem is, and one of the reasons in many communities, organizations work in silos, it has to do with funding. So if organization a is doing the same as organization B, if you’re after government funding or grants, sometimes it’s, you know, frankly, harder when they realize the it was certainly a community better to get more partnerships and things like that. And then just kind of, you know, helped each other out. And and everybody would be better served, if you know what I mean, from that standpoint.



Yeah, exactly. And, like, the more that the community associations are wanting to work with each other and support each other events, it also helps out each other because then Association B is getting noticed in the community for helping Association a and then one, Association B does event Association, a goes to that event or helps promote it. So there’s kind of that cross promotion and like, support, as well. There’s things going on on the community, like some community associations border on each other. So something’s happening. We often look to the other Association for support. So if you have to go to city council, we, we have like minded reports and requests to city council. And we state that this is how was it enters from sociation, ABC and D feel?



Yeah, I would agree with that. It makes it it makes it a lot easier. One of the things you and I talk a lot about offline, knowing each other as well as we do is your involvement with scouts, Canada, and how did you first get involved with scouts.



I started with scouts. My parents put me in into the program at five as a beaver. And I worked my way up to beavers and cubs received my $6 and seven awards and cubs, and then went up to scouting, got my chief scout award and then went up to ventures and got my queens venture award as an became the area youth Commissioner. And then from there, I joined Volvo’s. And then I joined on the council, a team player doing the events, public events, marketing, communications and training, and then stayed with Dell for a couple years. And then just recently, about just over a year ago, I was appointed as the council Commissioner.



Yeah. Which is a lot of work. And one of the things you just touched on, it’s interesting. You mentioned six stars. And I think you and I had this conversation about a month ago, but correct me if I’m wrong. In my day, since I’m a little older than you. There was only five stars. And now I think you said they were talking about doing with the Star Program altogether, apparently.



Yeah. So a couple years ago, scouts Canada, we did the programming. And it’s now like outdoor adventure scales, and it’s a progression so you can look, you could progress from vivo ism still be working on the same set of scales to cubs. So you start at level one and you can work your way up the levels doesn’t matter. Well, you come into the program, which is pretty cool. Because if you come into the program at 13, you’ll be in scouts. But but you can start, you can start at level one and work your way through. So that way, it’s, it’s a pretty cool program in the sense that if you missed to two years, or whatever you could stop, your levels are not where we think you should be at.



Which isn’t a bad idea. One of the things I think a lot of people get into scouts for and I be forced to say that it is, it sort of intensifies or helps your love for the outdoors. I mean, one of the things I always liked was the camping, the outdoor hiking trips, the canoeing trips, if it weren’t for scouting and cubs and scouts, I don’t know if I ever would have come to that, and have a pretty good dinner that I can do. I don’t know, I think more kids need to get into that to get that because they’re not getting that in the schools anymore. They’re certainly not getting it at home. And I think it’s becoming more and more an issue as we have best way to describe it as an international flavor to our country, if you know what I mean.



Yeah, for sure. There’s definitely a lot of good programs like Personally, I got to go and do things that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I wasn’t in scouting. Like I got to go to France with scouts, Pennsylvania with scouts, Calgary, Alberta, Nova Scotia, new Finland, with scouts. And if I was in scouts, I won’t have had those opportunities to go. Yeah,



I know. You know, it’s, it’s funny, I think back to my days in scouting, and I was in one of the first beaver groups ever in Quebec, in the Montreal area. So b versus In comparison, the scouting movement, beavers is pretty newer. And most people don’t realize that it’s about 40. It’s about 45 years old, give or take a little bit. Um, the, the one of the biggest honors I had was, I had, I had the I liked the grant Allen cubs at a major camp. And that was a for for a sixer. Back then that was that was quite a big deal. So



that’s awesome.



Yeah, I did it twice. And I was just floored that I was asked to do it. One was a, an area camp one was a regional camp, and I just, I just think about, you know, what I learned and what I did, and it’s not, to me, it’s not about the number of badges you get, or the number of stars you get. I’ve seen kids struggle, and to get a badge. And to me, that’s, that means more than a youth that goes out. And he he, you know, it’s easy. If you know what I mean. Sometimes it’s more of an achievement, right? Yeah, for sure. Um, how is scouting changed? And I’m gonna go here, and if you really don’t want to, you can ask the changing of with females being allowed into men’s groups. I know there’s some of that going on. And then then what the whole LGBT issues and all of that how has that impacted scouting and and how you run your programs?



Um, quite, quite honestly, it hasn’t really impacted programming scouts. Canada has been open to females since either 98 or 99. Yep. So we’ve been we’ve been open to females joining our program since then. And we have like, just as many females in our programs as we do, guys, so. So it’s, it’s not really a huge failure for us, because it’s something that, like, I’ve started scouting, and there was goes might be a group light. So it’s just always been known for people like me.



So, and it’s funny, I mentioned that. I ran as as many people as someone Oh, I ran a house lived up in Markham for lacrosse for many, many years for 15. And we had coed lacrosse we didn’t have in our organization we didn’t have female and male programs we have we had COVID the complexity becomes if you have females, you have to have a female leader. Usually. I mean, that’s part of the complexity I would think and the other things like a camp sleeping conditions, things like who goes with you to the bathroom. Things like that, when you say that’s more the issue, just the logistics behind the scene than the actual program itself.



Yeah, so in a way logistics, logistics had to change. Yeah, but um, like, if you go camping and you’re using a cabin, most of the cabins have separate sleeping areas, separate washrooms. So, and then we do have quite a lot of female scouters. So there’ll be, it’s not really a huge concern or issue that we have female youth members.



Assess, it’s just something to be aware of, and there’s always there’s always the parent or the family that says, Why, why are they in? And the reality is they want the same experiences as as the guys and that’s part of the issue. In terms of the program, how, how has the program changed besides evolving and changing the program as the outdoor size of the program changed? Or is it updated for technology? Or? Or how is that impacted discussion?



Um, I would say, like we are, have adopted our program to using more technology. We’re doing a lot of stuff on signtech stem, so science, technology, engineering and math. Just the other week of my commuting, we did a Lego robots. Yes. That’s cool. Which was a huge hit with all the kids. We’re starting to a lot of groups are starting to do geocaching. Yep. Which instead of like a modern compass, a map the morning geocaching book. Some groups do do teach. Like every day compass and map skills. Yeah.



So I and correct me if I’m wrong, you, sir, not still a computer badge in the cup programmers that I’m used to. Right?



Yes, they used to be.



So I think I think the key he just kind of kind of adapter program for the youth of today. But I still think more youth need to think about getting into an organization like scouts can rather because frankly, they need to get away from the computers that need to get away. You know, ironically, as we do a podcast, they say that, and they need to get away from all this technology, and they need to get out and think and then you look at some things that have gone on for years. And in scouting the camps. The other thing that comes to mind is cup cars are still existence in the cup programming the big deal of making our own cup car, which is a skill that’s gone on for years and years and years. And, and the big deal a cup car rallies in the malls and things like that. That’s still a skill that’s probably been in the program. I think cup cars has been in the program for over 50 years.



Yeah, cause this is a huge thing. Like my cup group. We spend like two or three weeks working on them. And then 100 kids come out to make cold calls that they made out of a block of wood by cutting it shaping into a car, designing it and then racing it down a wooden track,



you still get the kids that try and sneak a weight into the flat or is



we we have regulations and rules. So the one of the rules is is a maximum rate. So when you before you waste your call, it gets weighed. So



yeah, yeah, we used to it was funny in the days I did cup cars, we’ve used to set ours on the scale even back four years ago, there were rules. And we’d be like, how close can I get it to the maximum way did that be over? I can remember as a kid growing up, we had competitions for you guys, you know, shaving inches after car at the last minute to make weight, like does every scale slightly different but i think i think that’s kind of one of the highlights. And then of course the other big highlight is is camps for people and summer camps and and winter camps. I think. I think winter camps teach a whole new pile of skills that most kids that they didn’t go to winter camp wouldn’t learn, wouldn’t you say?



Yeah, for sure. You definitely learn a lot of skills at camps and obviously, depending on what season you go camping would depend on the skills that you learn But um, there’s a lot of great summer camp opportunities, like scouts Canada themselves one for summer camps, opportunities and Ontario alone. And, and groups if might choose to do the own summer programming, and summer camps outside of our summer camp properties that we operate, so it’s definitely a huge draw for kids to do summer camps. And it’s a lot of fun. So



that’s a great, it’s a great opportunity. I mean, I, as I say I can do is just think and we’re talking about skills that camps and I can remember, outside of Montreal, the scouts, you started a camp called Camp Anderson. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but it’s a well known camp but not scenario. And they they do a cup camp, and I can remember one year on day two, so they do a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, typically, and our kitchen staff decided to stage a mock strike. So they walked out of the kitchen all day. So that left the poor cubs to fend for themselves with two leaders in the kitchen and make all the food for for the weekend. You know, you look at your back end, it was funny at the time and the opportunity of learning how to cook to cook. I mean, there’s a skill that a lot of kids don’t get any more and it’s just, you know, things like that, that are so important or, or first aid or learning how to survive in the winter or any of that stuff, right? It’s pretty, it’s pretty important. What’s your favorite part about camp? Jake?



Um That’s a really hard question because I enjoy like the whole aspect of camps like being away in like the woods camping, hiking, canoeing kayaking, it’s it’s all great.



I mean, it’s funny though, you can always see the camp the the young first year cub that’s never been away for camp because mom and dad pack everything right. And it’s like, yeah. It’s like, why? If you if you know what I mean, like, you go on a hiking trip, and poor John’s got way too much weight in this backpack, or way too much in this camp stuff. And that’s like, why, you know, they’re gonna, they’re gonna wear the same stuff for two days, whether you like it or not, and they’re gonna do the same thing for today. Right? And they’re not gonna sleep for two days. And that’s just the way it is kind of thing, isn’t it? So in the in the Scarborough area is there stuff in Scarborough and Toronto and Ganges and stuff you’d like to see in community groups happen more than less that isn’t happening right now.



Um, one of the things that would be nice to see groups, and like Toronto do more frequently is like collaborating and working with each other. A lot of community associations are there for the same reason I want the same outcome. So let’s like get together and work together or some community events. Instead of doing five small events on the same street at different times, let’s get together and hold one or two big events.



I would agree. And I think one of the things that can facilitate that is if our elected officials, especially at the Council, I’ve won, I know you in your area, you’ve got a new counselor who’s absolutely wonderful, which is good. If they would facilitate some of this and say, Okay, let’s start a clearing house, kind of to the counselor’s office of all the community groups, and let’s get them talking and use the counselor or their staff to get these groups talking together. What do you think about that? I do?



Yeah, like, am like but I am like the couple of community groups that are together like they, they do a lot of work together, like the presidents of the associations get together once a month. So that’s been something that’s been in the works the last couple years, and it’s getting stronger, and I feel like it’s getting out community stronger. So it’ll be great to see like more communities get becoming.



And then, and then they do things like partner with city organizations. I give you an example of that, as a good friend of mine that’s involved in a group called provis. Stir. She’s one of the senior community groups out there. So those are the ones like carpentry Things like that. And then the community groups are gonna talk to each other, which is problem number one. But the bigger problem, they were looking at developing some technology stuff and just friend of mine very technologically aware. And I said to him, so why aren’t you guys talking to the local library? And he said, What do you mean? And I said, well, the local library already has computer programs in place for seniors. So why are you guys doing all the heavy lifting? Like, you need to kind of work on a partnership and get you in the library working together, you and the why working together? Are you and do it as a win win thing? And then you can, then you’d be better off because everybody benefits at that point, right? So



yeah, for sure.



And we get that a lot in my days was Scarborough Karp, we actually had a, when I was vice chair, we had a working agreement with the YMCA up by the Scarborough Town Centre, and we had a, we were able to use any of the rooms and we did advance in their facility. And as a result, their membership grew and our membership group. So you know, there’s an example of two groups working together, and, and helping each other and for us, it was, you know, rental free facilities, but for them, it was getting our members in the user facility, so they joined and things like that. And we did a lot of special stuff that way. So that kind of helps to right. So and, and I think, and I think your elected officials has to be, you know, to some degree part of some of this when you agree. Yeah. And I think that’s what’s starting to change in your area in the last couple years is you’ve actually got a counselor who wants to be there and wants to help the community and wants to be involved in cares about what’s going on. And, you know, around you, as you know, you that several other counselors, you know, who want to be involved in and care what’s going on. And, and that makes a big difference too, as well.



Yeah, definitely.



So, anyway, thanks for joining me, Jake. Thank you for having me. I appreciate the chat. What are you working on a professional to get away from?



Um, I am in the process of starting my own business doing event planning and consulting.



And if somebody wants to get ahold you want to talk to you? Because obviously, I know from talks with ad, you’ve done many event planning for scouts, Canada, how can they email your again,



they can email me at Jake at Jake forsyth.com. or reach out on social media at Jake for say 17.



Jake’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, find them. You want to see cool cat pictures. They’re out there somewhere. Right? Yep. And if you want some help with event planning, He’s really good. Go to person. Thanks, everybody for listening. Have a great day. Thank you, Jake and talk to you soon. Bye for now. Thank you. Thank you for listening to the SDM interview show. This Podcast is a production of stunning digital marketing comm agency that can help you with your web design, or press security and digital marketing needs. Please subscribe to this podcast. This podcast can be found on Stitcher Radio, Spotify, Google podcasts, Apple podcasts and more. Please don’t miss the next edition. This podcast comes out every Thursday for your listening enjoyment. Until next time, please keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars. And we’ll talk to you all soon. Have a great week everybody. Bye for now.

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