Should the Rover Scout leaving age of 26 be raised?

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Jim Buckland
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Should the Rover Scout leaving age of 26 be raised?

Post by Jim Buckland » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:03 am

Prior to the 1957/58 Scouting year there was no upper limit or retirement age for Rovers. The maximum Rover Scout age prior to 57-58 was infinity or death!No age limits on Rover Scouts ensured continuity and the continueation of existing Rover Crews.During that fateful Scouting year of 1957-58 when the maximum Rover Scout age was limited to 23 years these older Rovers most of whom were either other Section Scouters or Service or Resource Scouters lost interest in Scouting because their Rover Scout Link was severed and left Scouting!
Much later( late 80's or 90's?) the Rover Scout retirement age was raised to 26. I am not advocateing or even suggesting that the Rover Scout age limit return to pre 57-58 times of infinity or death but what about raising the age limit another 3 years like was done in the past to 29 years of age?

Nick Pearson
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Re: Should the Rover Scout leaving age of 26 be raised?

Post by Nick Pearson » Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:17 am

As a Newly Crispy-ed Rover (I aged out of Rovers this week), I wholeheartedly believe that there should be a hard cap to Rovers.

This is a blessing and a curse. The curse comes from the fact that the best and most developed Rovers have to step back, leaving a hole in the Rover crew. The blessing is for the other Rovers, as this hole now gives them the opportunity to develop.
We already can see what would happen in the adult side of the organization if there was no age cap; the best would continue to fill the roles, and never have any heat to develop others to fill those roles. I've seen this exact situation happen in other countries with no age cap, and can see our current Scouting culture would follow suit.

The hard age cap forces the (smart) crew to think proper succession planning. The age cap forces the crew to develop their younger Rovers. Development opportunities that stretch the abilities of the individual are given to the younger Rovers. Too often the older Rovers act as a shield for the younger Rovers; taking on the harder task. This stunts the younger Rovers. While this isn't done in malice, or deliberately, it is a factor.

This is done as an act to "save the crew", but it's a very sort sighted vision. Yes, if you give the junior Rover a task and they fail, the crew may be behind. Not giving them that task though, guarantees that they will never be able to do it.

If we truly believe that we are a youth development organization, then an open age limit to Rovers will kill whatever institutional heat we can apply to make sure the development opportunities stay with the youth, where they are suppose to be.


--
Having said that, I've seen a third way. If I'm not mistaken, New Zealand allows for Rovers up to ~35, but after ~26 they cannot fill executive positions and/or vote in the crew. Basically, they are codified Crispy Rovers, so not much change from what we have currently.
Nick Pearson
18th Seymour Rovers
Alumni | 180th PCC Rover Crew - http://www.PCCRovers.com

http://www.OnceARover.ca

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makr
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Re: Should the Rover Scout leaving age of 26 be raised?

Post by makr » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:08 am

I have to agree with Nick here.

Caps force succession and peer-learning, provided you have new Rovers coming up. A good group or area commissioner should be looking at all the Rovers getting booted in a year that aren't currently attached to a section or annual project or whatever to stay on as a service scouter. Yes, the definition is basically the same, but it's a technicality that forces youth development.

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Errol Feldman
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Re: Should the Rover Scout leaving age of 26 be raised?

Post by Errol Feldman » Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:21 am

Nick Pearson wrote: --
Having said that, I've seen a third way. If I'm not mistaken, New Zealand allows for Rovers up to ~35, but after ~26 they cannot fill executive positions and/or vote in the crew. Basically, they are codified Crispy Rovers, so not much change from what we have currently.
I think this is one of the better solutions. Allows for succession and also keeps the experience to help the successors succeed.
Errol Feldman
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Jim Buckland
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Re: Should the Rover Scout leaving age of 26 be raised?

Post by Jim Buckland » Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:09 am

It was my experience with my Ottawa 46th Ottawa Crusader Rover Crew and my 1st Air Force District Husky Rover Crew that upon reaching 21 years of age Rover Crew members, in then Service stage did not run for executive Rover crew positions. Rover Scouts age 21 to 23(the then Rover retirement age not the post 1985 age 26 -actually the member's 27th Birthday), but were allowed to be selected by the different Rover Crew Executives to become their assistants. These were simply excellent methods that my former Rover Crews utilized to develop their younger Rover crew executives, as per their then Rover Crew Rules.

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Scouter Richie
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Re: Should the Rover Scout leaving age of 26 be raised?

Post by Scouter Richie » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:23 pm

My crew's by-laws prevent members from filling positions in the year before they are booted so that they can act as mentors.
Nick Pearson wrote: Having said that, I've seen a third way. If I'm not mistaken, New Zealand allows for Rovers up to ~35, but after ~26 they cannot fill executive positions and/or vote in the crew. Basically, they are codified Crispy Rovers, so not much change from what we have currently.
I like this idea. I would modify it so that after 26 they can't fill any position other then providing advice. This way it is the new members who are planning outings.
YIS
Richie
Deputy Council Youth Commissioner - Youth Training & Special Events
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Nick Pearson
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Re: Should the Rover Scout leaving age of 26 be raised?

Post by Nick Pearson » Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:03 pm

The crew I'm with now has 7 Alumni Rovers, members who have graduated/aged out. We are still very much involved, but in support roles.

We will be project coaches, peer mentors (all our Rovers have mentors, who work together to produce a Personal Development Plan for the mentee), assist with unique resources (our connections for example) where needed, and work on a few support (infrastructure) projects.

Let me be clear. Our job is support. Execution is left to the Rovers.

This is situation forced because of the age cap, and I would have it no other way. We can play around with the actual age, or have tiers of involvement, but either way there has to be a enforceable mechanism that forces people to step back and give the youth the chance to tackle difficult problems, preferably with support.
Nick Pearson
18th Seymour Rovers
Alumni | 180th PCC Rover Crew - http://www.PCCRovers.com

http://www.OnceARover.ca

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Re: Should the Rover Scout leaving age of 26 be raised?

Post by southpaw_1979 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:59 pm

Once a Rover always a Rover.

My crew have all moved on, and the group no longer exists but has a solid Venturer company from what I understand that could eventually reform the 35th Rovers. I still proudly wear my Rover Sweater.

The relationships that are formed are what really matters. A great many of us are now in leadership positions and are still known as the rovers when we gather for whatever function.

Some of us have even moved out of town and joined other groups but that has just provided opportunity to do joint activities. I'd love to be able to rejoin Rovers but heck if there was no age limit who would be the skips? Rovers have too much fun.

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Re: Should the Rover Scout leaving age of 26 be raised?

Post by kit » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:59 pm

I'm on the "no, there has to be some way of forcing new/young rovers to step up" team. In my current crew, we've had some very active members booted in the past year, and I think it's done us a heap of good; because we're losing members, those of us who are left need to step up and fill the roles. The crew evolves because our interests change; our MudBash (rally) buggy is currently unused because the guys who were seriously interested in it have aged out, and none of us can be bothered right now. This is actually a good thing; the buggy's been a point of contention (between the love its and the hate its) for ages, as a drain on crew funds and time. For now, nobody loves the darn thing enough to fix it up and race it, but we haven't gotten rid of it yet either; someone may come along who falls in love with it.

Another reason for there to be a hard cap is so that we don't scare off new members. Honestly, an 18 year old has a very very different life view than a 30 year old does. Said 30 year old's presence may even keep the youngin from joining, based on the creepy/weird factor. I know that the 1st South Van crew sort of had this problem; we had a whole bunch of 23-24's, and then when our Venturers finally aged up, the age gap was hard to mitigate. We couldn't hang on to the younger crowd because 1) we were pretty tight-knit to begin with, and therefore terrible cliquey, though I think we tried to avoid it 2) I don't think we ever treated the new kids as anything more than glorified venturers; we didn't really treat them as peers, like we should have 3) we were in a different stage of our lives, essentially. It's hard to relate to a 1st year uni student when you're 2 years out of school and working fulltime.

Havinng been to NZ and hung out with the rovers there, I can clarify how their system works. Rovers in New Zealand don't have advisors. They have associate members. That's what the 26-35 year olds are called. They hang around to help the crew out, but (generally, though it varies crew to crew) cannot spearhead projects of their own, unless they started the project as a full Rover. Associates are meant to be the voices of reason and experience (and, well, sometimes they are) but shouldn't be the driving force behind a crew or the way it works. They don't have voting rights, and cannot be on their crew executive. Essentially, Associates are peer-group advisors, instead of having crews try to find appropriate other adults to help them out. It means that the crew is advised by its own members, who know some of the crew's history, some of its politics, and problems they may have had in the past. Of course, when a member hits 36, their time as a rover is most certainly up. But the 10-year transition period means that by that time, most people have had enough anyways, and may have wandered off to help another section, or just moved on in their life.
Kit Templeton
Alpha-Theta Rover Crew, Melbourne, Australia
(inactive) 1st South Vancouver Rovers, Vancouver, BC

Pulowi21
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Lucky you!

Post by Pulowi21 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:28 pm

I am normally a Scout in El Salvador, but I´ve been in canada for studding and enroll in scouting here ...
In El Salvador, Rovers are up to age 21 .... and here is what I think
People 16 ... 18 ... 21. . and 26 ..definitively have different interests, things in mind, faces in life ... I think its easier to interact with people you can relate to, than with people you share less in common with ...

I think, the older you get, the busier you get.... work.. family.... etc.... and What I LOOOVE about my rover crew in El Salvador, is that I get to see them every Saturday afternoon ( day we normally meet).... we share looots of activities and games together... etc... we have time to do all these things... we have similar likes.... and that allows us to communicate and face activities better.... but....

I mean... who doesn’t want to be a Rover for the rest of their lives!! .. is the best thing that ever happen to me.. .and I´ll keep in touch... but... after 21... I realize I need my time to experience the real Outside world... just like school... you just have to apply everything at some point :)

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