Scouts Canada strays from tradition

Scouts Canada is saying goodbye to uniforms and badges for two of its new programs.

Extreme Adventure lets teens plan and train for an outdoor trip, such as mountain biking or whitewater rafting. Scouts About is an after-school play program.

Children and teens in the programs won't be required to recite the Scouts promise, which is about duty to God, the Queen and helping others.

Andy McLaughlin, a spokesperson for Scouts Canada, says the organization is trying to be more relevant and flexible.

"There's none of those symbolic types of things that are in our traditional scouting programs," he says. "These are informal options for communities and for young people and really a chance for them to try us on in this informal way."

McLaughlin says the hope is that those enrolled in the new programs will eventually move on to the core programs.

Eric Fernberg, head of another scouting association called BPSA Canada, says children enrolled in the programs shouldn't be considered Scouts. Fernberg says Scouts Canada is watering down its own principles in the name of making money and attracting new members.