Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

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Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Robert D White » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:14 pm

Seems likes Rovers, who are now registered as "Volunteer Participants" are now eligible for awards under the Milestone Recognition Program.

At least according to two e-mails I received. The first asked me to make sure all the info for the eligible Scouters in my Group was up-to-date. The second thanked me and then gave me:
the updated list of Scouters eligible for the Milestone Recognition Program 2013 from the 1st Guelph Firefighters Group:
The problem is, except for one Group Committee member, all the names listed are Rover Scouts who are not acting in the capacity of a Section Scouter. Some have been, but are now simply registered as a Rover Scout.

I've already contacted my AC about this and he hasn't been able to get an answer as to why Rover Scouts are now being included in the MRP.

Anyone else - anyone from National - have an answer? Is this a mistake? Or is there a rational reason for offering those only taking part in a Section activity, and not active leadership, being recognized for service?
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Rick Gruchy » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:11 am

Robert,

Have you checked with the help desk? I think you should put this question to them.

Rick

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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Robert D White » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:27 pm

Rick,

Not yet. These e-mails are came from Sandi Burns (National Recognition Advisor) and Jeff Schaffhauser (Director, Volunteer Services). Not sure if it's actually a myscouts.ca question or one for them.

Methinks it comes from the fact that Rovers are now registered as "Volunteers," even though their categorized as "Volunteer Participants." Someone, somewhere, isn't discerning between a Rover who is in a Leadership position - which would be specifically defined in myscouts.ca - and a Rover who is a "Participant." It's a quirk of the new registration process and it seems Recognition and Volunteer services aren't discerning between the two definitions.

Either that or myscouts.ca isn't programmed to do so yet.
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Mike Stewart » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:49 pm

I also suggest that you contact the help centre. The help centre is available to answer ALL questions about Scouts Canada, not just those about myscouts.ca. They are the fastest and most reliable way to get an answer about national operations or policy, which beats any guesses we could give you here.
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by makr » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:30 am

Not that I'm against recognition- it just seems silly to jump out of Rovers and a year or two later be eligible for the ten year medal, which isn't what it's original purpose was.

If they're actively a section leader, yeah absolutely, but a Rover who has stayed in the background? Not so much- one of the reasons The "thank you" program and Medal of the Maple were created- Though the MotM was created to recognize youth who were doing stuff outside their section.

I'd be interested in hearing a response as well.




@EDIT: Double post removed by Moderator

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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Angus Bickerton » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:53 am

Actually, my own daughter received a Certificate of Commendation with the little figure-eight knot flash, and she is only 11. She received it for being really helpful as a Keeo, and in particular, calming down a White Tail Beaver at a camp (he wanted his Dad to drive for 2 hours to pick him up at 10 p.m.). She saved that camp experience for that Beaver, when the adult leaders couldn't, and he went on to have an excellent camp.

I believe that the recognition program has been expanded across the board to include all youth who make some outstanding service to Scouting, and it is as not as "stuffy" as it used to be. I always noticed a divide between urban and rural in terms of recognition. Those Scouters who were more involved at the Area and Council level got lots of recognition, while those who trudged along on the "front line" of Scouting often got ignored, simply because no one nominated them.
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Robert D White » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:37 pm

Angus,

This is different than the Outstanding Scouter Award recognition which led to your daughter receiving a CoC.

A few years ago, as part of the retention element of what had been VRA program, SC decided to honour leaders in the first five years of their service. After the first year, they'd receive their Warrant of Appointment. In subsequent years, up to the end of their fifth year, they'd be eligible for a SC "award" - everything from a lock-blade knife to a travel mug to a t-shirt to a "year" pin. Each year the GCs would be sent a list of eligible Leaders to double check, then the Leaders themselves would be sent a letter asking them to choose their recognition award. The rewards would be sent to the GC to be presented at a suitable time. The idea is, by recognizing a Leader in their first five years of service, they'd be more inclined to stay on and involved (which, if you ask anyone in the volunteer sector, is a valid perspective).

All this was working well until this year. Because Rovers are now registered as "Volunteer Participants" they're being lumped in with the rest of the Volunteers: Section Leaders, Group Committee members, etc. The rest of my argument/perspective are in previous posts.

I'll try a help desk query and see if that gets me further than a question to my AC, who didn't even get a response to the question.
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Sam Wallis » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:54 pm

the recognition for a job well done is good, and should be for youth also. the recognition for 10 years service should only go to someone who served for 10 years, not participated for 10.

just my thoughts
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Angus Bickerton » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:50 pm

Robert D White wrote:Angus,

This is different than the Outstanding Scouter Award recognition which led to your daughter receiving a CoC.

A few years ago, as part of the retention element of what had been VRA program, SC decided to honour leaders in the first five years of their service. After the first year, they'd receive their Warrant of Appointment. In subsequent years, up to the end of their fifth year, they'd be eligible for a SC "award" - everything from a lock-blade knife to a travel mug to a t-shirt to a "year" pin. Each year the GCs would be sent a list of eligible Leaders to double check, then the Leaders themselves would be sent a letter asking them to choose their recognition award. The rewards would be sent to the GC to be presented at a suitable time. The idea is, by recognizing a Leader in their first five years of service, they'd be more inclined to stay on and involved (which, if you ask anyone in the volunteer sector, is a valid perspective).

All this was working well until this year. Because Rovers are now registered as "Volunteer Participants" they're being lumped in with the rest of the Volunteers: Section Leaders, Group Committee members, etc. The rest of my argument/perspective are in previous posts.

I'll try a help desk query and see if that gets me further than a question to my AC, who didn't even get a response to the question.
I know what you mean now. Does create an interesting problem. A waste of SC resources at the very least, and sends an improper message to Rovers.
Angus Bickerton
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Robert D White » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:49 pm

From Angus:
I know what you mean now. Does create an interesting problem. A waste of SC resources at the very least, and sends an improper message to Rovers.
From Sam
the recognition for a job well done is good, and should be for youth also. the recognition for 10 years service should only go to someone who served for 10 years, not participated for 10.
You both have hit on my point. The Rover Scouts listed are program participants - the same as a Beaver, Cub, Scout or Venturer who comes out every week to take part in a program. They are not serving as SITs or LITs or as Leaders.

While I have no problem with recognition - and think the Milestone Recognition Program is a positive step towards retention of new Leaders, I don't think it should be used to recognize Rover Scout Participants.

Is it a waste of resources? Having seen some of the items, I can assure you that SC hasn't broken the bank on recognition material. But when you add the number of Rovers on the rolls to the number of Leaders, it does add up.

I sent this information in to the Help Desk to see what kind of a response I'll get from there.
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by alexkillby » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:08 pm

Hey Everyone,

Hopefully I can provide some insight on this - you're certainly correct in noticing that Rovers (as a result of technically being registered as volunteers) now appear in the report which identifies members eligible to receive Milestone Recognition Program gifts. The observation that Rovers do not necessarily serve as volunteers in addition to their "participant" role is also bang on.
This being said, I'd like to explain this from a data perspective on myscouts.ca. When producing this report, we're looking at the member type, which in the case of Rovers is volunteer. The reason we haven't gone through hoops and extra length to remove them from this list (or filter it further) is because we recognize the reality that many (but not all) Rovers serve other types of volunteer roles within the organization. These roles are sometimes formal (when it comes to participating in a section leadership team), but often times these roles are informal and occasional -- this might be assisting the running of a Venturee, helping supervise an Apple Day fundraiser, providing support to a youth forum, providing support to a ScoutsAbout programme, etc. Because of the dual nature that Rovers often take, we felt it was more important to include them (at least initially) in the list so that we avoided missing any deserving volunteers. In other words, we'd rather risk recognizing a few Rovers that provide no service outside their own section than risk missing volunteers that take extra time!
That being said, as part of the review process, Group Commissioners are more than welcome to identify Rovers that don't necessarily fit the intention behind the MRP programme, and we can certainly remove them from the list.

Mike made a good observation earlier that I'd like to expand upon. The Help Centre is always available to answer any question related to Scouting (yes, I mean ANY question). If we don't personally know the answer, we'll tell you and we'll track down the person that can! We're ALWAYS happy to field your questions there, and to get to the bottom of them for you, or provide more transparency/insight into how things work / are decided.
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Robert D White » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:39 pm

I finally received the official answer yesterday:
Currently, we do not differentiate in our reporting a Rover Scout Participant from a Rover aged member who also serves as a volunteer. Now that we've made a shift organizationally to expect all members aged 18 and over (regardless of involvement) to be screened and trained equally, we are also including them in the milestone recognition. While some Rovers may choose to remain strictly participants during their Rover aged years, we have truly made all individuals age 18+ volunteers in terms of member type. Sorting our lists and separating out these members from the recognition program is not something that I believe the organization is looking at.

Since the Motto of the Rover section is Service, I think that while many Rovers may not choose to be registered in a formalized volunteer role that they execute volunteer service in may other ways.

The overall goal of the milestone recognition program is to try to ensure volunteers with 1-5 years of service (where there is greater amount of turn-over) to begin to receive recognition as early on in Scouting tenure as possible, and hopefully this will also see some Rover Scouts who have traditionally chosen to remain as participants make the choice to remain with the organization when they 'age out' of the program.
1) With all of the great and wonderful things myscouts.ca is supposed to do, it can't differentiate between a Rover Scout Participant and a Rover Scout who is a Volunteer leader? Perhaps someone with a greater knowledge of this program can explain why not.

2) One of the issues I have with recognizing every Rover Scout, Volunteer Leader or not, is that it ultimately devalues the awards for those who deserve them. If everyone is getting recognition, then the recognition is less significant for all.

3) Has not Scout Canada been preaching fiscal restraint in the past few years? Even though, I suspect, the cost for the MRP gifts isn't huge, shouldn't they be practicing what they preach?
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by norma » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:16 pm

Robert D White wrote:I finally received the official answer yesterday:
Currently, we do not differentiate in our reporting a Rover Scout Participant from a Rover aged member who also serves as a volunteer. Now that we've made a shift organizationally to expect all members aged 18 and over (regardless of involvement) to be screened and trained equally, we are also including them in the milestone recognition. While some Rovers may choose to remain strictly participants during their Rover aged years, we have truly made all individuals age 18+ volunteers in terms of member type. Sorting our lists and separating out these members from the recognition program is not something that I believe the organization is looking at.

Since the Motto of the Rover section is Service, I think that while many Rovers may not choose to be registered in a formalized volunteer role that they execute volunteer service in may other ways.

The overall goal of the milestone recognition program is to try to ensure volunteers with 1-5 years of service (where there is greater amount of turn-over) to begin to receive recognition as early on in Scouting tenure as possible, and hopefully this will also see some Rover Scouts who have traditionally chosen to remain as participants make the choice to remain with the organization when they 'age out' of the program.
1) With all of the great and wonderful things myscouts.ca is supposed to do, it can't differentiate between a Rover Scout Participant and a Rover Scout who is a Volunteer leader? Perhaps someone with a greater knowledge of this program can explain why not.

2) One of the issues I have with recognizing every Rover Scout, Volunteer Leader or not, is that it ultimately devalues the awards for those who deserve them. If everyone is getting recognition, then the recognition is less significant for all.

3) Has not Scout Canada been preaching fiscal restraint in the past few years? Even though, I suspect, the cost for the MRP gifts isn't huge, shouldn't they be practicing what they preach?
Their reasoning does not make sense.
If you are a Rover Scout Participant and a Beaver Leader, you would be listed as a "Rover Scout Participant" AND a "Beaver Leader". If you were "just" a participant you would be listed as a "Rover Scout Participant". The new system was supposed to make it "easier" to distinguish those Rovers that are participants and not volunteers and those Rovers that are both. All they need to do is not look for "Rover Scout Participant" in the list of people to "choose" and they should only find those that are volunteers also.

Their last point about Rovers staying when they "age out", wouldn't the "new volunteer" then feel "left out" that they are not receiving a gift when all the other new volunteers are receiving a gift?

They also said they could not afford to give all the leaders a gift at the start of the program in order that everyone got "something" as a thank you, but they can afford to give to the Rovers every year for 5 years, even when they are not volunteering. A "one time" expenditure cannot be made, but an "ongoing" expenditure is ok.

alexkillby wrote: but often times these roles are informal and occasional -- this might be assisting the running of a Venturee, helping supervise an Apple Day fundraiser, providing support to a youth forum, providing support to a ScoutsAbout programme, etc.
Does this mean you are giving the MRP gifts to all the Venturers and Scouts and Cubs? They could easily be in this type of "informal and occasional" volunteer capacity.
I would say the answer is "no" (as you don't hear about thousands of Venturers, Scouts and Cubs receiving the email to choose their gifts) and the justification would be that it is part of their programme as a participant. The same with the Rovers that are acting in the informal or occasional volunteer capacity. They are acting as a "Rover participant" not a "Scouts Canada Volunteer".

From reading these forums, the feeling was that Rovers were being "forced" into the volunteer role (assumption that all they were were extra Beaver/etc Leaders) and not allowed to be a participant in their own programme. This decision to include them in the Volunteer recognition program seems that Scouts Canada is saying that Rovers are really volunteers first and their programme is secondary. So you cannot be "just" a Rover Scout Participant you "have to" be a "Volunteer" firstly and then you can "play" at being a Rover if you happen to still be in the age range.

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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Errol Feldman » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:37 am

IF, and I emphasise IF, the application form for the 10 Service Medal is properly filled out it will not happen that 10 year service and 10 year membership will be confused.
For the record, the 10 Year Service Medal is to recognize 10 years service as a Scouter (as are the Pins).
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by norma » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:07 pm

Errol Feldman wrote:IF, and I emphasise IF, the application form for the 10 Service Medal is properly filled out it will not happen that 10 year service and 10 year membership will be confused.
For the record, the 10 Year Service Medal is to recognize 10 years service as a Scouter (as are the Pins).
According to some (forget the name, but it was someone on National similar to Alex who posted here), the 10 year Service Medal is part of the "milestone" program now. And should be automatically set the same as the Milestone Recognition Program gifts. Thus after a Rover has been around for 10 years (which could be 9 years as a Rover (18-26) and 1 year as a Scouter) they would qualify for the 10 year service medal. As according to Alex, Rovers are volunteers and often do informal and occasional leadership.

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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Errol Feldman » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:21 pm

norma wrote:
Errol Feldman wrote: For the record, the 10 Year Service Medal is to recognize 10 years service as a Scouter (as are the Pins).
According to some (forget the name, but it was someone on National similar to Alex who posted here), the 10 year Service Medal is part of the "milestone" program now. And should be automatically set the same as the Milestone Recognition Program gifts. Thus after a Rover has been around for 10 years (which could be 9 years as a Rover (18-26) and 1 year as a Scouter) they would qualify for the 10 year service medal. As according to Alex, Rovers are volunteers and often do informal and occasional leadership.
I have a feeling that somebody, and I hope it is not Alex, is confusing the 10 Year Service Medal with gold and silver bars that indicate membership years. With respect Norma, this is how rumors :? and misunderstandings :? occur; so maybe Alex will come on and clarify this point. If not I will try and get Sandi Burns NRA to come on and clarify, or ask her myself and report back. ;)

For instance I wear Gold and Silver Bars for a total 67 years, but I( only recently received my 55-Year Service Pin. AND that is as it should be...
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by Robert D White » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:37 pm

Errol,

The Milestone Recognition Program was created as part of the Scouts Canada Volunteer Recognition and Development (VRAD) program before it was changed into the OSAs. The intent was to recognize Scouting Leaders every year for their first five years, after which they should have accomplished enough to warrant a Certificate of Commendation and then, having stayed on for another five years, received the 10-year Service Medal. The idea was to have a continual sense of recognition be given Leaders up to their 10th year, after which, again, they should be involved enough to warrant further recognition.

But now that Rover Scouts are considered Volunteers, it does throw a kink into the works with the MRP. E.g., my son, as a Rover, was a Pack Scouter for two years and received MRP awards for those two years and has completed two years towards his 10-year Service Medal. He took the last two years off because he was at post-secondary school but was, this year, again given an MRP award because of his standing as a Volunteer - Rover Participant.

I'm not sure if all of the ramifications of recognizing Rover Particpants as MRP recipients has been totally worked through, as this discussion is proving.
Robert White
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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by norma » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:43 pm

Errol Feldman wrote:
I have a feeling that somebody, and I hope it is not Alex, is confusing the 10 Year Service Medal with gold and silver bars that indicate membership years. With respect Norma, this is how rumors :? and misunderstandings :? occur; so maybe Alex will come on and clarify this point. If not I will try and get Sandi Burns NRA to come on and clarify, or ask her myself and report back. ;)

For instance I wear Gold and Silver Bars for a total 67 years, but I( only recently received my 55-Year Service Pin. AND that is as it should be...
That is who it was. Sandi Burns. I had mentioned that it took me over 12 years to get recognized for my 10 years, and had to go to a Commissioner from another Area in order to get it. The people from my Area kept telling me it was coming "later", that I had to "wait".

Sandi Burns said that the intention was that the Milestone program that these Awards that are "automatic" based on "time served" should be given at the "right" time and not late. I know another leader that got their 20 year before their 10 year. (They were given their 20 year, and then the presenter looked through the awards they had and "oh we have your 10 year medal too")

Silver and Gold bars are membership years. So include the time from youth membership, and membership with Girl Guiding. And the handing out of these seem to be up to the Group. (I know my Group doesn't want to bother as it is "too hard" to sew them on, so they don't give them to any of the youth. Another Group waited until Cubs before giving them, and refused to give them to Beavers because "Beavers didn't get badges") I had to go to Scout Shop and buy them myself in order to have them to wear.

The "Milestone Program" is to make sure that Scouters are receiving the recognition for the milestones in their service as a Scouter. For the first 4 years they are given a gift. Their 5th year they are given a gift and the 5 year pin (could be an "or" based on the message sent to some Scouters and how you read the information sent, but as they brought this out after I had already passed this milestone I do not know for sure). Then at 10 years and every 5 years after you are to get recognized for your service. 10 year being a significant one in that you earn the Long Service Medal.

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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by makr » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:43 pm

Rovers helping at a Venturee or NiteHike or a Jamboree, or some other event where they are in a temporary leadership role(ie- not a weekly section leader) is part of the Rover program. This lumps Rovers- those who help out at various events with Rovers who are section leads and straight up leaders and service scouters.

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Re: Rovers to get Milestone Recognition Program awards

Post by sburns » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:28 am

Robert, when you received the list pulled from the MyScouts database, did you contact Jeff Schaffhausser or myself with your concern? The Group Commissioners are a vital link in determining the Rovers status. The list you refered to was sent out twice to ensure that those listed are correct.

As Alex Kilby pointed out, MyScouts does not differenciate between a Rover participant or a Rover Volunteer. Your example, of your son, indicates one of the reasons we have concerns.
The Rover volunteers, then goes to school or work away from home, and is not volunteering throughout the Scouting year. But may return during semester breaks or holidays to help with an Area or Council event. Most of the Rovers I am familiary with do volunteer in addition to their participation. The current screening practices have all Rovers as Volunteers for the times they fulfill that role.

The 10 year award is part of the Milestone Recogntion program. It is for years of service not youth participation. It should be presented promptly after the 10th year of service has been completed. The current recognition programs require fewer and fewer written applications. MyScouts now provides a report on Recogntion, this allows the Area Honours and Awards to follow a volunteer and once they reach the 5 year point, many Areas present a certificate and pin. As many of our volunteers (75%) have fewer than 7 years of service to Scouts Canada, it is clear we cannot wait until their 5th year to recognize them. As a Group Commissioner I wrote a personal note and provided a badge, ornament and pin three times over the course of the scouting year. Yes a personal handwritten note took quite a bit of time, but I felt then and still do, that saying Thank you to our volunteers is one of the most important jobs Group Commissioners do. This assists us in not having to recruite new leaders each year. My 20 leaders have indicated they appreciated the thought, and many still have the notes and gifts.

Finally, a Warrant of Appointment is provided at the discretion of the council. Each council has different criteria for the WoA. This is often one of the first certificates a leader receives, and should be included as a form of recogntion.

Hopefully this information provides some clarification on the MRP and recogntion process. We will take your concerns into consideration as we continue to improve on saying Thank You to our volunteers.

Yours in Scouting
Sandi Burns
National Recogntion Advisor

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