Good Turn Week
Good Turn Week is an initiative spearheaded by Scouts Canada National Youth Network that follows the principles of Scouting, which teach youth to always do unto others as they would do unto you. This is when Good Turn Week was born, campaign designed to encourage Canadians to do 'good turns' for each other.
Since 2010, Scouts from coast to coast to coast have participated in Good Turn Week and encouraged Canadians to do what we have been doing each day for more than 100 years … a good deed for our neighbour. Beaver Scouts promise to 'help take care of the world.' Cub Scouts promise to 'do a good turn every day.' In the end, throughout all the groups of Scouts Canada a significant part of our identity as Scouts is that we 'help other people all the time.'
A good turn is defined simply as an act of kindness provided without expectation for compensation or recognition. It's small acts of kindness like this that do so much towards promoting a sense of community, citizenship, and friendliness and compassion in our world. Join in on the movement!
Good Turn Week began as a small initiative in British Colombia in missing date by missing who.
In missing date a decision was made to move from handing out wrist-bands to focusing on supporting Scouting-based community projects.
Good Turn Week Ideas
- Get cooking: make a double batch of your family’s favourite dessert; keep some for home and give some to the neighbours.
- Donate to a food bank: go to the grocery store and pick out some of your family’s favourite non-perishable foods, then head over to the local food bank to donate them.
- Give flowers to an elderly neighbour: Plant colourful flowers in a pot or purchase a bouquet. Either gift will brighten your neighbour’s day.
- Pet-sit: Take care of a friend’s pet while they are away.
- Make gifts: Make a bunch of bookmarks and then visit the library and ask to leave them at the circulation counter for others to use and enjoy.
- Volunteer: Gather up the whole family or Scout Group and spend the afternoon volunteering for a local charity.
- Give the gift of relaxation: Look after a friend or family member’s children for the day.
- Clean out the closet: Donate clothes, toys and books to charity or take old towels and sheets to the animal shelter.
Good Turn Tracker
Introduced when Good Turn Week went "national." The Tracker showcases all Good Turns happening right across the country on a fun, interactive map. Scouts, Scouters and the public can share their Good Turns on the Tracker by providing a brief description, photos and/or video that showcases them doing their Good Turn.
The hashtag #GoodTurnWeek has been used for a number of years to help promote both the initiative and individual acts of kindness.
Benefits of Good Turns
Even the smallest of Good Turns have the power to help shape and change the world in a significant way to make it a friendlier, happier place. Good Turns you can do every day like, holding the door for the person behind you, buying someone a cup of coffee or walking a friend’s dog, can make a difference.
A York University study found that people who performed small acts of kindness – every day for five to 15 minutes for a week – increased their happiness and self-esteem. Studies also show that doing Good Turns can have physical and mental health benefits including: boosting the immune system, reducing stress, speeding recovery and weight loss.
Conducted on behalf of Scouts Canada, a 2013 Harris/Decima survey examining the frequency in which Canadians perform good turns found 51 per cent of Canadians are the recipient of a good turn at least once a month, while only 28 per cent of Canadians have a good turn performed for them twice a week or more. With 365 days in a year, once a month is not enough.