- Composite Camps
- Registration Renewal , Leader Continuity
- Training - Solving the Leadership Puzzle , GTR Training Calendar , How to Talk So Kids Will Listen , Area News
Composite Camps -
by Mark McDermid
What's in it for me?
Scouters, for the most part, are very unselfish, giving people, otherwise they would not give the time, energy and talents they do. Advertisers know that in order to sell their product they must target inner personal needs and wants, the "What do I get?" factor. Does such exist in Scouters? Let's see!
Greater Toronto Region operates five composite camp programs each summer: Adventureland,
Adventureland Goes North, Adventureland White Tail (new this year), Kennebic, and Kennebic High
Adventure. All programs are great fun for youth ages 7-17, but "what's in it for you, the adult
There are a number of easily identifiable advantages to composite Scout camps for Leaders:
Well, have we done it?
- The Brotherhood of Scouting - members of various Packs and Troops come together to form a
Pack or Troop for the duration of the camp, thereby youth have the opportunity to meet and develop friendships, some which last a lifetime, with young people from other Packs or Troops which they would not otherwise meet. Since this is one of the stated goals of Scouting, composite camps enable you, the Leader, to accomplish it.
- Time with family - we all know that one of the biggest challenges to doing all that you want in Scouting is your own personal family obligation. Composite camps ensure that the members of your Group have the opportunity to enjoy an essential part of Scouting, long term summer camping, while you have the opportunity to fulfill your all essential and important time with your family.
- Continuity of programming - it's over the summer that unfortunately Groups tend to lose members, not through any fault of yours, but because Scouting is forgotten during the summer months. Composite camps keep the Scouting spirit and enjoyment alive throughout July & August.
- New ideas - ever hear your members say "that again?" Experience has shown that youth who attend composite camps often return to their Packs or Troops and say "why don't we try this?" and a whole new tradition is fostered.
- Cost effective - many Groups do struggle with the financial aspects of operating their own summer camp programs. Even though the cost of utilizing a facility such as Haliburton Scout Reserve, with all the programs it has to offer is an extremely good value, some Groups find the extra cost a challenge (equipment, transportation, etc). Composite camps offer your members the same programs at extremely reasonable rates.
- Additional Badge Work - often there is not the time, resources or expertise to work on all the badge requirements that you or your youth may want to during the regular Scouting year. Composite camps can often provide that time and expertise so that youth can progress in their achievements.
- Additional Program Resources - not every Group can provide mountain biking, trampoline, woodworking, wavepools, rock climbing, laserquest, & wilderness canoe trips during a single week at camp, whereas composite programming offers it all and more according to youth age and ability.
- Viable Numbers - let's face it, sometimes it's difficult to recruit enough campers with vacations, family schedules, etc., to merit running a week-long summer Group camp. Once again, composite camps offer strength in numbers. This guarantees the camp will happen.
- Helps maintain minimal camp fees - the income generated by our composite camps enables us
to offer camping facilities at reasonable rates during the regular Scouting year.
Have we succeeded in answermg that all important question that consumers love to ask and should ask - What's in it for me? If so, we simply ask one thing of you in return - promote the program. Let your White Tail Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Venturers and their parents know that you endorse their attending composite camp this summer. There are a number of ways you can do that and we at the Regional Camping Dept. are willing to help out:
Yes, there is something in it for you, the Leader, but what's really exciting is what's in it for your youth!
- Hold a Camp Information Night - arrangements can be made through the Camping Dept. to have a presenter attend. We'll give you a copy of our Adventureland video and our newly produced Haliburton video to keep and show your Group as often as you like.
- Ensure that your youth received our Composite mailing - we mail a brochure and application to every registered white tail Beaver, Cub, Scout, & Venturer in the Region. If they have not received it, please let us know.
- Encourage them to register - they trust you, your endorsement will help them to make the final decision.
- Be aware of what composite camp opportunities are available:
- Adventureland for youth ages 7-11
- Monday to Friday residential camp held at Woodland Trails in July.
- Adventureland White Tail for 7 year olds
- a Cub introductory camp at Woodlands, in conjunction with Adventureland, July 20-23.
- Adventureland Goes North for ages 10 & 11
- a Scout introductory camp for senior Cubs which begins at Woodlands and then moves to Haliburton, Aug. 1-7.
(You may be interested in knowing that all Adventureland programming depends on volunteer Leadership. If you are interested & available to help out, contact the Camping Dept.)
- Kennebic for ages 11-15
- Troop camp (campers form a regular Troop) at Haliburton Scout Reserve.
- Kennebic High Adventure
- a five day canoe trip for Venturers (ages 14-17) on the Gull River near Haliburton Scout Reserve.
For further information on all or any of these camp programs or to volunteer as a Leader at Adventureland, contact the Camping Dept. at (416) 490-6364 or check out our web site at www.scoutgtr.org.
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Change our Group registration process? Only if we can make it better for everyone. That was the
common message that came back when Area Commissioners, Area Chairs, Area Youth representatives and the rest of the Region's volunteer members of the Executive Committee discussed the idea of improving our registration process.
A number of factors made the registration process for the 1998/1999 Scouting year difficult.
Full GTR-wide implementation of our National Screening Process - although agreed upon by all as
important and necessary to the safety and security of our youth - has presented challenges to our
Groups as they endeavour to register their Leaders. So much so, that well into the first months of 1999 a number of adults remain unregistered.
Looking for a better approach to registration, one that better serves the needs of our members, we gathered samples of registration packages from several other Scouting Regions across the country.
- Group Registrars
- Area Registration Nights
- Regional Registration Nights
- Simplify the Fee Structure
- Focus on the Fall
There are a number of important steps in making this new process work. Some items require action from the Region, others from your Area teams and still other items require action from your Group and even you the Group Scouter.
Group & Area Registrars
First, each Group needs to recruit a Registrar as a member of the Group Committee. Many Groups have already done this in the past and found it to be very successful. The person taking on this specialized role would gather the Group's registration and review the completed package with the
Area Registrar at the Area Registration Night. To assist, special training and a better and more complete guide to completing registration will be developed.
Essentially, the sole role of this person would be to ensure that the Group is correctly registered by the October 31 registration deadline (there was a fantastic response to this past year's deadline). More than 97% of all Scouting Groups in GTR had their initial registration in by October 31, 1998, and nearly 100% by October 33 (the Monday following the 31st).
Naturally, many Groups receive new members, both youth and adult, after October 31. As in the past, these additional registrations need to be passed along in a timely manner. Youth registrations should be passed along to the Scout office by the new member's third or forth meeting. Adult memberships, too, should be passed along quickly in keeping with our Screening Procedures. But, the bulk of the Group Registrar's duties should be completed by the end of October. This should make it easier to recruit a volunteer for this role.
Through the Area Chair, each Area will recruit an Area Registrar to collect and check all Group
registration packages before submitting them to the Region.
Group/Area/Regional Registration Nights
It is being suggested that each Group conduct a Group Registration Night (or possibly series of
nights for each Section) to collect all Youth and Adult Registration Forms. This would also be a
venue to recruit new volunteers. The Group Registrar would then have most of the pieces necessary to compile the registration package for delivery to the Area Registration Night.
Each Area will have an Area Registration Night (or Nights) where each Group Registrar will deliver the Group;'s completed Group Registration. The Area Service Team, after getting full orientation and training, will assist in checking Groups registration packages. Your Area will let you know when and where your Area Registration Night will be held.
Although the Area Registration Nights will likely be more convenient for your Group, arrangements are being made for Regional Registration Nights at Scout House. These will likely occur on a series of Thursday evenings in the Fall leading up to the October 31 deadline.
Groups will be able to take advantage of the full range of available services at Scout House - the Scout Shop for uniforms, camping needs and other items, booking a camp through the Camping Department, getting registered for a training course, or getting more information on such things as the Fall Popcorn campaign. We'll likely organize these evenings with slots for individual appointments to ensure that your kit will be reviewed in a timely fashion.
The fee for individual membership registration, as well as the fee for registering your Group Committee and Sections, has remained steady with last year. This, despite a $1 per member fee increase passed along through the National and Provincial Councils that would have made the youth fee $51 for the 1999/2000 Scouting year. Two important decisions from the Executive Committee prevented this.
First, they voted to apply the entire amount of any registration discount to our youth, reducing the fee to $48 for all member registrations received by October 15. Second, lead by a motion introduced by the Regional Youth Committee, the $1 fee increase was rolled back for registrations received after October 15 and continuing for the rest of the year.
This will mean that a greater number of members will benefit from this discount. Best of all, the
entire discount is directed to assist our youth members.
Your Registration kits should be available from the Scout office by May 1. Most Groups will likely receive them through their May Area Forum meetings.
No May Pre-registration
Starting this September, we will focus our efforts on getting as much of our registration done as early as possible in the Scouting year. Area Registration Nights should help everyone to do this. Clearly, it would be too much to ask everyone to try and gather for both a May 31 Area Registration Night and another one before October 31.
The experiment of Pre-registration has certainly been less than successful. The number of Groups participating in Pre-registration has decreased for each of the last three years and correspondingly, the number of members that benefit from discounts has also decreased.
Although a Group may choose to get registration forms back from its members before the summer, they will not miss out on discounts if they fail to register by May 31. Instead, October 15 will be the date to aim for to receive the maximum discount.
Our Mission - Better Scouting
By focusing our registration efforts and completing as much as possible in September and October, registration can become a more simple, efficient task. We will allow everyone involved to concentrate on the real purpose of Scouting - instilling the Scouting Principles in our youth members as defined in our Mission Statement through delivery of fun and exciting programs.
Toss Out those Old Youth and Adult Forms
If you haven't already done so, toss out those old youth and adult registration forms.
Use these forms and these forms only!
Youth Members - Application for Membership (form #91-168, March, 1998 [08/98]). Have your parents/guardians complete and sign this form for each of your youth members.
For Adult Membership - Application for the Appointment of an Adult (form #91-114, March, 1998 [08/98]). These forms have been revised as per the Volunteer Screening policy of Scouts Canada. These are to be completed by ALL adults (both renewal of existing members and new adults). For all new adult applicants, remember to complete the Interview and Reference Check portions of the form on the back of the white copy of the form.
No other (older) forms can be accepted.
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