When Bradford dad, Jason Doyle signed his son Charlie up for Scouts this year, he didn't know he too would also be joining on as one of the group's leaders.
Charlie has been involved in Scouts for a few years, with his dad present for every meeting.
"The Scouts encourage parents to get involved when they choose to attend the meetings and that’s when I got more involved," explained Doyle.
After learning Scouts was in need of new parents to volunteer as leaders, Doyle stepped up to assist.
Doyle was never in Scouts as a kid, but looking back, says it would have been something he would have been interested in being part of.
Doyle grew up in a rural area, spending countless hours exploring the outdoors with the fields and forests around his house acting as a personal playground.
"Honestly, I can say I never really knew much about the organization (Scouts)," he admitted. But, "I’m sure that scouting would have been a perfect fit for me."
As a parent, Doyle says he loves watching his son learn and take on new learning opportunities and adventures.
"I especially love watching his personality grow and develop and shine through in everything he does," he said. "As a Scouter Volunteer, I now have an opportunity to get a small glimpse into the lives and personalities of all the other kids and how they all interact and develop as a group as well as individuals. It is quite a special thing to observe."
Doyle says he naturally likes to help others while experiencing new things with his son. Since the Scouts program is designed to have the youth lead adventures and activities, he sees himself as more of a guide and mentor to the children, and enjoys hearing the unique ideas brought to the table by the youth.
"I think this can really apply to being a leader in many other areas of life," he said of the experience.
In order to become an official Scout leader, there are many steps that need to be taken to ensure the safety of the youth.
"It is not a responsibility to be taken lightly," he said.
To volunteer, a police background criminal check and a vulnerable sector check are required as well as online training.
"It was a very easy process involving our local South Simcoe Police Service while receiving assistance and guidance from the Scouts organization itself," he said. "Taking the training, and learning about such a great organization that my son loves so much was so worthwhile."
In Scouts, all leaders are to come up with their own special Scouter name.
After his training was complete, he and his son came up with the perfect name together, "Java".
"I am known to really enjoy a great cup of coffee and very often I am seen with a Tim Hortons cup in my hand," he said. "It just seemed to fit."
Doyle moved to Bradford 11 years ago after meeting his wife in 2010 and works in the collectibles industry.
He is looking forward to creating more memories with his son this year in the Beaver Scouts group. Doyle hopes to learn as much as he can from the youth Scouters and vice versa.
"The ideas, creativity and endless imaginations of our kids are something that should never be ignored or overlooked. We must continue to support and encourage our children in everything that they do and continue to learn from them as well," he said.