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.