Dear Three Rivers Area Scouters,
As you may or may not already know, our area has been presented an exciting opportunity with regards to piloting how our Venturer and Rover Programs are set up.
At the beginning of the year, Caitlyn Piton (our Council Youth Commissioner for the Fraser Valley Council) participated in a National Leadership Team Conference in Ontario. One of the workshops was focused on the Venturer and Rover programs currently offered across the country and how it can be improved and bring it in line with the Canadian Path to offer our youth more program opportunities, more leadership opportunities, more “their” path as they become young adults. Sparked from this was the opportunity to pilot these ideas in the Three Rivers Area.
We have all been working towards the Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts and Scouts moving their program onto the Canadian Path with the focus of youth Leadership, the time has come to now look at the Venturers and Rovers. I’ve attached the preliminary information from National for your review. In a quick summary, from polling the youth, the idea of the Canadian Path for the older sections is to create larger Companies and Crews, more opportunities for different adventures or “expeditions”. This starts by creating Companies and Crew that have a critical mass (or 10-12 or more youth).
Our first step was to ask the youth what they felt about this. We invited youth and advisors up to Whonnock Lodge last Thursday and presented the information provided to us from National. After the information was presented, Advisors joined me outside on the deck and the youth remained inside the hall with Cailtyn and Thomas (our Area Youth Commissioner). Each group were given the opportunity to speak openly about concerns or fear and ask questions about the presentation. Once all the questions were answered, the youth were given a chance to vote on how we, as an area, should proceed. Each Venturer was given one voting token and were asked to place it in a jar representing their vote to the following questions:
- Combine the Area Venturers into one Company. This company would have one “Business Meeting” a month. From this meeting, Venturers would choose different “expeditions” that they would like to partake in… options being but not limited to service projects, camping, hiking, social camps etc. Where each expedition would have a youth “leader” in place to take care of the organizing of the event.
- Creating an “East” and “West” Company which would see the area divided in half. These Companies would operate same as above, but with fewer members.
- Option three was to leave the larger Companies as they are; to then take the companies that were less than 10 and combine them together. This would have resulted in approximately 4-5 Companies across the Three Rivers Area.
- The youth were given the opportunity to say “NO” to this pilot project. To keep the Companies as they are now until directions come down from National, that changes would have to be made.
To be fair, the voting was held in two rounds. Votes counted after the first round removed the least voted for two options. With only two votes in each, Option 3 and Option 4 were removed from the voting table and we proceeded to another round of voting.
Second round of voting had all but one participate as one Venturer chose to abstain from voting. This resulted in a tie for both one area Company and the option to have an East and West Company. Rovers then also voted (with Caitlyn abstaining because she is the one who presented the information) who unanimously voted to create one group per section.
This meeting and this vote was a means to get the discussion started. As with the other scouting sections, we will be using the “Plan-Do-Review” method. We are now entering the planning stages to see how we can get the one area Company and one area Crew to work. We sent the youth and Advisors home to think about this as a Plan-Do-Review project and welcome any feedback, questions and constructive criticism.
We all know that change can be scary, especially to our youth. But this is our opportunity to be part of the change instead of being told how to change. If you are an advisor that missed the meeting on Thursday or if after talking with your Venturers, feel that more information is needed, please contact either Caitlyn, Thomas or myself. We are more than willing to come to your next meeting to sit down and talk a little more to your Company in a smaller setting.
The next step is that we will be calling another “all Venturer” meeting in September where the youth will be asked to vote again as to how they want to proceed.
I thank you all for your input into this and like I said, all comments, suggestions and constructive criticism with suggestions to improve are welcome.
-Christi Goncalves, Area Commissioner