The youth of today will be our leaders of tomorrow.
The Royal Canadian Legion is committed to ensuring the tradition of Remembrance remains relevant to and supported by younger generations. We promote youth-specific education regarding Veterans and Remembrance through a range of local and national initiatives.
The Legion encourages Canadian schools to promote Remembrance Day Ceremonies, and local Branches are often involved in supporting those ceremonies. Remembrance is also promoted through the Legion’s school-aged poster and literary contests. These contests see more than 100,000 students each year honour Canada’s Veterans through creative art and writing. As well, the Legion distributes Poppies and educational materials, and offers schools the opportunity to have a speaker share stories and experiences about Veterans and Remembrance with the children.
Other local activities include:
Commemorative ceremonies for youth
Legion Youth Auxiliaries coordinated at the Branch level
Support for Cadets, Scouts and Guides to strengthen their leadership and growth
Partnership with Cadets to deliver Poppy campaign
Encourage youth participation in Remembrance ceremonies
Youth scholarship and bursary programs, coordinated at the Branch level
At the national level, we offer a Teaching Guide that educators across Canada can use to enrich their curriculum and promote Remembrance.
Youth leadership and sports
The Royal Canadian Legion's mission is to support Veterans, promote Remembrance and strengthen communities. As part of our commitment to our communities, the Legion is involved in developing youth leadership at the local and national level. Canada’s youth play a crucial role in the growth of our communities and in continuing the tradition of Remembrance. We encourage youth leadership through a number of ways.
The Legion has long supported the Cadet movement as well as Scouts and Guiding organizations in Canada in the promotion of leadership, fitness and the spirit of service to country. In particular, we work closely with Canadian Cadet Organizations, as Cadets support the Legion in promoting Remembrance and honouring Canada's Veterans.
In the Legion’s early days, Legionnaires promoted youth sports as a way to help children whose fathers or mothers were serving abroad. From these informal beginnings, the Legion developed local, provincial and national youth athletics programs.
Today, Legion Branches support youth sports in their communities and help channel athletes into the Legion’s Provincial and National track and field programs.
The Legion’s National Youth Track and Field competition is the only one of its kind in Canada and has come to be regarded as one of the best in the country. Annually, it helps hundreds of athletes aged 12 to 17 years to develop their potential and strive to become Canada’s future Olympians. In fact, many of our former participants have gone on to international and Olympic success.
Through the Legion, many youth have learned the value of leadership and teamwork, among other important skills. In addition to promoting youth leadership, the Legion provides youth education opportunities to promote and encourage Remembrance among the next generation.