Over fifty projects, six presidents, and 180 members – wow, what a ride it’s been!  Since our inception in 2007, the 180th Pacific Coast Scout Group has experienced tremendous growth and has inspired many young adults.  Who says Rovering is fading away?  We are a living example that Rovering is alive and well!

Rediscovering the purpose of Rovering

Our Scout Group started because our Council asked the question, where did all our young people go? Why do they leave after Scouts or even Cub Scouts?  It was frustrating to see youth leave just before they had the chance to fully develop their leadership potential.

We returned to the basics to understand what Baden Powell had intended for Rover Scouts. In his book Rovering to Success, he wrote that Rovering is the beginning of a young person’s journey into the world. It is the time for the Rover to “paddle his or her own canoe.” Rovering is not only about doing service, but is more importantly about preparing young adults to successfully navigate the rapids that they will encounter in life.

This is our foundation. Our Scout Group helps Rover Scouts develop leadership and management skills through real-world projects. The work we do benefits Groups, Areas, Councils, and ultimately Scouts Canada.

Rover Scouts support Scouting

Quite often, young adults are perceived as not yet ready or qualified to take on real leadership roles.  If young adults are never given a chance, how will they ever learn?

Our answer was to give Rover Scouts meaningful roles and projects that progressively become more challenging.  Rover Scouts are paired with coaches (senior Rover Scouts) and supported by advisors (seasoned Scouters). This enables each individual to learn in a safe environment until he or she is confident ‘navigating unfamiliar waters’ by themselves. Our Scout Group has already seen many of our once tender-footed Rover Scouts become fine role models and are now serving as leaders of the Council.

Emphasis on learning

Simply ‘doing and more doing’ is not the premise of Rover Scout development.  We began having our Rover Scouts do S.M.A.R.T. objective setting with their peer mentors, which quickly evolved into Personal Development Plans (PDPs).   Now every Rover Scout does annual goal planning and frequent check-ins with a mentor.  The goals that the team strives for combine both the needs of Scouting with those of the individual. We have workshops on topics such as project management, program quality, life balance, resume building, note-taking, and time management.  Rover Scouts appreciate that Scouting continues to help them even at this stage in life.

Real Results!

In the past seven years, our Rover Crew has successfully completed over 80 projects, including:

  • Three projects within the national Scouting Now! Action Plan (Items 5.1 Creation of an Outreach Team, 5.3 Extension Scouts, and 5.5 Investigation of New Group Model).
  • Four international projects (China/Japan 2008, Philippines 2010China 2012 and Mexico 2014)
  • Summiting Mt. Fuji and Mt. Baker in 2008, Washington in 2011, Mt. Hua in 2012, and summiting Mt. Baker again in 2013
  • Managing the registration booth at the 2007 Centennial Scouters Conference, as the welcoming face to over 600 participants from seven countries.
  • Recruiting over 75 leaders and Rover Scouts into the movement, in part by running countless recruitment booths at universities, colleges, and community events.
  • Planning and executing two Troop competition camps for over 200 Scouts and leaders.
  • Organizing our Council’s annual leader recognition dinner for three consecutive years.
  • Acting as discussion facilitators at the Council’s annual leaders’ conference in 2011.
  • Assisting with Scouting projects in the Fraser Valley, Manitoba and New Brunswick Councils.
  • Securing a grant from Coast Capital Savings, which recognizes the value of our work in community youth leadership development.
  • Taking responsibility in the successful operation of 3 home groups: 23rd Elsie Roy Scout Group, 28th Terra Nova Scout Group and 138th East Vancouver Scout Group
  • Continually securing the spot of being the largest Rover Crew in Scouts Canada with over 180 members by producing and executing a solid program

How do we know that our program is working?  The results speak for themselves.  Currently, our Scout group has over 180 members. Many of the Rover Scouts have jobs with top Canadian employers. The majority of our Rovers and Advisors are also grassroots leaders, including  four of them being Group Commissioners. In addition, we have over five members serving in Area or National teams. Undoubtedly, the learning experiences our Scout Group offers have contributed significantly to the success of our Rover Scouts and of Scouting.