This is our story. Our adventure. our journey to 100.

By: Eli Chan

180th Rover Crew Group Shot - Sept 22, 2013

What is it about the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group have that got us to achieve the unachievable – reaching 100 members within such a short period of time? How did we get to a 100 so quickly? And why are our members so willing to stay especially when it is common for a Scout group to decrease in membership?

When I first joined this Rover Crew 2 years ago, we had around 40 members. Here is my take on how we have become to be the largest Rover Crew in Canada:

  1. We encourage each other to grow. Although we are volunteering for a non-profit organization and contributing back to our community, we are also putting in a great effort into realizing each other’s individual potential. We continuously challenge ourselves to step away from our usual habits, and explore new ways of doing things. We even constantly remind each other to do so. We work in a friendly environment that says – Hey, it is okay to make mistakes here. That is why our members return every year. Not just our Rover Crew, but I would think any individual would want this type of environment. This is where I am free to practice project management through trying out new skills and new manners of performing tasks, even though I may end up making mistakes.  From a learning perspective, however, by making mistakes, that is how we will know what is right, and this is what makes us as a Rover Crew all stronger both individually and as a whole. Annually, we hold a retention rate of over 90% in the crew (this excludes those who have to leave to pursue job opportunities abroad or for school) and I am quite confident that this trend will carry on for years to come.
  2. Friendship. In this crew, we are all good friends with each other. When I initially joined the Scouting movement, I did not expect to find some of my best friends within this Crew. I can honestly say that I am comfortable with approaching them if I ever need an extra hand or if I just want to casually go out for a drink or for frozen yogurt. It is essentially this Support and Trust (the S and the T within our crew’s renowned set of values- PERSIST) that I have in this Rover Crew that gets me to return. We want every member in our Crew to make friends. We recognize that this is what really brings our members back – to laugh and to share our best and worst moments each other. Realistically, we want us to work well with each other in our projects and to have fun while doing so. That is why in our upcoming international project in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in May 2014, where we will be embarking this trip with 1st Riverton Rovers in Eastern Canada, we will have already written to each other back and forth as pen pals so that we can grow our friendships before we meet face-to-face for the first time next year.
  3. Scouts Canada. We all have this similar goal in mind for all the projects that we take on: To contribute back to the success of Scouts Canada. I would think volunteering as a Cubs Activity Leader in 33rd Richmond Scout Group is a great enhancement to my Scouting experience on a significant level. I help my peers to become better leaders, and at the same time, I can personally witness the growth and personal development in our youth over the years. It is empowering to know that I am making a positive difference in the lives of those younger than me who look up to me as a role model and leader on a weekly basis during our meetings. In our Rover Crew, we have a core team of members in a department named Scouts Group Support that is especially dedicated to supporting home groups in Metro Vancouver. Although not mandatory, we encourage each Crew member to be a Scouts leader.  We strive to revive Scouting and continue providing these home groups with resources, such as our leaders and the skills, to run a successful scouting program for the youths in their respective area.

From Left to Right: William Chan (Pacific Spirit Area Commissioner); Andrew Price (Chief Commissioner of Scouts Canada); Timothy Li (Deputy Commissioner for the Scout Association of Hong Kong); John Chow (Group Commissioner and Head Advisor of the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group); Doug Reid, (Deputy National Commissioner – Program); Darren Shum (180th Pacific Coast Scout Group President)

This past Sunday, in celebration of our achievements and our Journey to 100, we hosted a successful Gala Dinner with an attendance exceeding over 180 local and international Scouters, including the Scout Canada Chief Commissioner and other recognizable faces in the audience. Our maximum tickets were completely sold out!  We not only celebrated our 30% annual growth rate, but also got the message out that growth IS possible in other sections and groups right across Canada.

We retold our story that night: how our Crew grew from 3 Rovers in 2007 to an outstanding 100 Rovers by 2013. Collectively, we put our teamwork into the spotlight when a core planning team planned out each detail to each minute of the night, while the rest of the group put our best foot forward by welcoming and hosting our guests with bright smiles on our faces. We started the night with a video that we have put together to illustrate our growth, our challenges, and our Journey as a Rover Crew.  We heard from Ottawa that this video will be played to other Scout groups right across Canada! Finally, some of our talented Rovers completed the night with wonderful on-stage performances.  Look forward to our next post where we will tell you the journey we took to creating our Journey video!


From Left to Right: Sandrea Chan, Eli Chan, Hilary Cheng, Jeannie Chan, and Felipe Gasparino

By the end of the night, I felt even more proud to be part of this Crew. Really, I felt proud that we can demonstrate to other Scout groups that when a group of like-minded individuals work towards a common goal, the end result could be something beyond the norm. That is why I  am certain that the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group will continue achieving milestones and bringing the Scouting movement to new heights, to new people, and to new adventures for many years to come.

We would like to thank all of our special guests who attended our Gala Dinner and celebrated such a momentous occasion with us. As the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group embarks on new adventures, we look forward to seeing everyone again soon to celebrate our accomplishments and ensuing chapters in our crew’s exciting Journey, along with the future successes of Scouts Canada and the worldwide Scouting movement.


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