Chris (left) and Ian Wilson are partnered for life as a father-son team in the Scouts. Ian was the recipient of a Kent-Harrison Foundation Scholarship.

Salute to the scouting way of life

Father son duo acknowledge the good life in the great outdoors

Father and son duo, Chris and Ian Wilson met up with The Observer to discuss scholarships, UFV, and a lifelong passion for the scouts.

Ian recently won a scholarship from the Kent-Harrison Foundation (KHF).

The UFV student is enrolled in the Bachelor of Physics program and finds the demands slightly more intense than highschool, though, he will attest that his time in the scouts with Dad, RCMP officer and volunteer firefighter Cst. Chris Wilson at his side, as a time that has taught him real grit.

“Over the years they’ve supported the scouts through annual grants from the community. The scouts for the past number of years, probably six, have benefitted from monies from KHF,” said Chris of the bursary Ian received to go toward his physics degree.

The amount that Ian received from the non-profit organization was $750.

Ian has received multiple scholarships, not only for his outstanding academic achievements, but for his work in the community.

“I’ve benefitted from the scouts — they’ve definitely put their best foot forward to inspire young adults to get involved with community organizations. All of scout money from grants and bursaries goes toward the youth — we’re definitely very grateful for that.”

Ian attributes much of his success to the solid foundation that scouting has provided, and considers himself lucky to have had his father for a guide throughout his journey as a scout coming up the ranks (Chris has been a cub and scout leader).

At 18, Ian, confirms that he will stay a scout until he is 26 years of age (the oldest age category for scouts which ranges from ages five to 26), while continuing a lifelong journey with the organization.

Aside from skill building in the great outdoors, character development, and a level of confidence, the organization has helped Ian to foster a healthy understanding of the environment. He has also had the privilege to build lasting friendships with countless peers who have traversed the developmental goals and challenges integral to the scouts.

“I’ve been in scouting since I was five years old — when I turned eight, Dad became my cub leader and has been following the program ever since. The benefit of scouting is something I wouldn’t trade for the world and it’s an organization that has taught me a lot of values that have made me who I am today,” said Ian.

On the KHF foundation

KHF has been an integral part of many vibrant activities taking place within the District of Kent and Village of Harrison Hot Springs over the past 22 years.

The Foundation’s mandate “to promote education, cultural advancement and community health and well being” can be seen within the grants that have been distributed since 2001.

Grants are distributed annually to local groups to fund worthwhile projects that reflect positively on the District of Kent and the Village of Harrison Hot Springs.

KHF is a registered non-profit society under the B.C. Societies Act with a board of directors who serve on a voluntary basis. It was founded in 1994 as a collection of funds that formed a permanent endowment for charitable purposes.

The Foundation administers multiple funds, the capital of which comes from individual donations, the District of Kent, local fundraising events as well as dividends on investments managed by the Vancouver Foundation. The money received stays in the community.

Since 2001, Kent-Harrison Foundation has benefited the local communities by distributing over $142,000 to local organizations. Applicants come from areas of Arts & Culture, Family & Youth, Education, Recreation & Environment, Health & Welfare and Seniors. In 2015, the funds distributed by the Foundation have helped the following local organizations.

• Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society

• Kent-Harrison Arts Council

• Harrison Festival Society

• Agassiz-Harrison Senior Peer Counselors

• First Agassiz Scouts

• Kent Elementary P.A.C.

KHF also administers four endowments: Wallis Maguire Endowment Fund, the McCombs Family Endowment Fund, the Mayor Don Ramsay Endowment Fund, and the Pretty Family Memorial Scholarship Fund that help local senior secondary students to advance to further education.

Each bursary is $500 and has specific criteria for students going into law enforcement, environment & recreation or students from Harrison Hot Springs or from Harrison Mills.

Potential applicants submit an application through AESS including a 100-300 word essay outlining their future plans and the reasons they should be chosen for the bursary.

Kent-Harrison Foundation remains committed to providing a unique opportunity for local residents to invest in the future of the community.

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