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Scouts Canada
Thunder Bay Area

Forming Partnerships for Youth

Guidelines for the
sponsor/partner and its group/section committee

A Partnership is formed
An institution or group of citizens who wish to use Scouting's programs to assist in guiding youth
Scouts Canada
Who agree to provide
reddot  Youth interested in Scouting
reddot  Emphasis on physical, mental, spiritual
      and social development
reddot  Administration of the programs
reddot   Selection of leaders; a committee
      and section Scouters
reddot  Training of leaders in the ideals of
      the sponsor
reddot  Facilities for meeting
reddot  Recognition
reddot  Promises and Laws
reddot  Programs
reddot  Program support/supervision
reddot  Assistance for recruiting leaders
reddot  Training of leaders
reddot  Literature, uniform and equipment
reddot  Camping facilities
reddot  Recognition
A charter certifying the existence of the partnership is issued by Scouts Canada. It is subject to annual renewal.

NOTE: The word Scout printed in italics refers to Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Sea Scouts, Venturers, Sea Venturers and Rovers.

Sponsoring and Administering Scouting

Scouts Canada as a member of the World Scouting Movement adopts as its Mission, Principles, Practices and Methods the Fundamental Principles of the World Body, as summarized below:


Scouting is based on three broad principles which represent its fundamental beliefs.
  • Duty to God: This is defined as: "adherence to spiritual principles, loyalty to thereligion that expresses them and acceptance of the duties resulting therefrom."

  • Duty to Others: This is defined as loyalty to one's country in harmony with the promotion of local, national, and international peace, understanding and cooperation", and "Participation in the development of society, with recognition and respect for the dignity of one's fellow being and for the integrity of the natural world."

  • Duty to Self:This is defined as: "Responsibility for the development of oneself." This is in harmony with the educational purpose of the Scout movement whose aim is to assist young people in the full development of their potentials.


To contribute to the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities through the application of our Principles and Practices.

Program Goals

Each program section sets forth goals for meeting the Mission and Principles at a level appropriate to the age range and capabilities of the members in that section. Together, the programs for all sections combine towards the development of the whole person and an in-depth appreciation and commitment to the Mission and Principles of Scouting.


Scouting Practices are defined as a system of progressive self-education including:
reddot  A promise and law,
reddot  Learning by doing,
reddot  Membership in small groups,
reddot  Progressive and stimulating programs,
reddot  Commitment to the values of doing one's best, contributing to the community, respecting
      and caring for others, contributing as a family member,
reddot  Use of outdoor activities as a key learning resource.

Program Sections

The five programs of Scouts Canada are designed to fit the needs and abilities of specific age groups. Scouts Canada is a co-ed organization.

Beavers (5-7 years) emphasizes having fun in a cooperative learning environment.

Wolf Cubs (8-10 years) emphasizes doing one's best, working towards goals individually and in small groups.

Scouts (11-14 years age 15-16 option) emphasizes preparing for adulthood through personal development, self-reliance, teamwork and leadership skills.

Venturers (14-17 years) emphasizes challenge for personal development and achievement through increased responsibility for the program.

Rovers (18-26 years) challenges young adults to be active in their communities as they develop their abilities in communication skills, life skills, outdoor activities, leadership skills, spiritual development, social issue awareness, and personal interests.

Operating Policies

All program sections follow these common operating policies:
  1. Membership is voluntary and open to all children, youth and adults who will endeavour to live by the promise and law of their section. Since November 1998, Scouts is co-educational in all of the program sections.

  2. Membership involves participation in small groups which, with adult help and guidance, operate so as to achieve maximum self-management and shared responsibility.

  3. Program Goals are common to all programs but the level of achievement varies according to the age and capabilities of the members of each section.

  4. The primary method for development is learning-by-doing in an encouraging environment.

  5. The program content of each section is to be adapted to meet the specific needs and interests of any particular group.

  6. All Program members wear a uniform.

  7. Programs are made available through the operation of program sections which may be sponsored by institutions or groups of citizens.

  8. The Corporation works cooperatively with other organizations in serving the community.

What is a Sponsor/Partner?

Most Scout groups are sponsored. Working in partnerships, Scouts Canada provides programs for community based groups to use in their work with youth.

These community groups include religious institutions, service, fraternal and civic clubs (Canadian Legion, Knights of Columbus, Elks, Kinsmen, Kiwanis, etc). professional, business and occupational associations, military bases, public and private schools and Home & School associations and groups of citizens/parents.

The sponsor/partner is free to choose and use any or all of the programs and to receive services from Scout councils provided they accept the mission and principles and follow the policy of Scouting as set out in By-law, Policies & Procedures.

Responsibilities for Sponsors/Partners

reddot  To apply annually for renewal of the Group/Section Charter.

reddot  To ensure good relationships and information flow between sponsor and group and group and sponsor.

reddot  To appoint or provide annually for the election of a group or section committee.

reddot  To receive annually through the group committee, the report of the group's activities, including audited financial statements.

reddot  To assist in providing resources to enable the group to promote the goals and ideals of the sponsor/partner and training for leaders in the goals and ideals of the sponsor/partner, in keeping with the mission, principles, program goals and operating policies of Scouts Canada.

reddot  To set the policy in relation to membership in the group, i.e. closed or open group?

If a religious partner, to establish the policy for the group with respect to religious exercises and/or instruction as a program element in the group. To ensure that this policy is made known to applicants and/or their parents or guardians as well as making provisions to excuse members on parental or guardians request if membership is open to youth of faiths other than the denomination of the faith concerned.

reddot  To advise with the group committee and, when necessary, rule on fund-raising methods if these come into conflict with the goals, ideals or policies of the sponsor/partner or with Scouts Canada.

reddot  To assist in providing resources, both personnel and other, for the encouragement of the Religion in Life Emblem program and provide for appropriate recognition of recipients of the emblem.

reddot  To ensure adequate meeting facilities are provided for the group/section.

reddot  To establish any additional criteria unique to the sponsor/partner's requirements regarding the recruitment and appointment of Scouters, Scouters-in-Training and Activity Leaders.

The representative, or appointee, is the head of the institution or body of citizens, who signs the Application for or Renewal of Group/Section Charter each year. At that time, it is recommended procedure to review the role and responsibilities of Scouting and each sponsor/partner as outlined on the chart at the start of this document.

What is a Group and Section?

Each Beaver colony, Cub pack, Scout troop, Venturer company and Rover crew are individual sections. Groups are the combination of sections that are associated with a sponsor/partner.

Depending on the number and ages of youth interested, leadership and meeting facilities available, a sponsor/partner may run one or more sections. Additional sections can be formed under separate leadership.

Groups are identified by a number assigned by the Scout council where they operate and also may carry identification with their sponsor/partner i.e. the 1st Englehart (Kinsmen) Group.

How to Organize

Sponsors/Partners may organize work in one of three ways: a) Group Committee method, b) Section Committee method, or c) use of an existing body or committee such as a Religious Education Committee or Youth Committee from the Partner.

Depending on your wishes and unique local circumstances, organization is carried out in the mannerbest suited to meet local needs.

a) Group Committee method
The sponsor/partner annually appoints or provides for the election of a group committee from members of the body, parents and other interested adults in the community. The group committee is responsible for the group and works with the Scouters in the operation of each section. The Scouter in charge of each section or in the case of a colony, a leader designated by the leadership team, automatically becomes a member of the group committee

The committee(s) administers the business of the group/section(s) on behalf of the sponsor/partner to which the group/section(s) belong.

b) Section Committee method
The sponsor/partner appoints or provides for the election of a committee for each program section sponsored. Its members are drawn from members of the sponsoring body, parents and other interested adults in the community. The Scouter in charge of the section or in the case of a colony, the designated leader, automatically becomes a member of the section committee.

These section committees are known as: colony committee, pack committee, troop committee, company committee, crew committee. Where a sponsor/partner has more than one section serving the same age range-e.g. two Wolf Cub packs, it may elect to have one section committee serve both or have separate committees.

Where a sponsor/partner has two or more section committees, a group coordinator or coordinating Committee may be appointed by the sponsor/partner to ensure adequate liaison and cooperation between program sections, section committees and the sponsor/partner.

c) Youth Committee method
Where a sponsor/partner already has an organizational committee set up to administer its youth work, this committee may take over the administration of the Scout group.

Committee Functions

The committee is responsible for ensuring that programs are operated to achieve maximum benefit for the youth and support to the leaders.

Committee functions fall into two major categories--program and administration.

a) Program
  1. To provide for the operation of the programs in accordance with the mission, principles, program goals, operating policies and in keeping with the goals and ideals of the sponsor/partner.

  2. To ensure that due emphasis is given to the religious aspects of Scouting in the conduct and life of the group/section.

  3. To secure and appoint Scouters who are acceptable to Scouts Canada and the Partner/Sponsor.

  4. To encourage Scouters in their personal development by making opportunities for training available to them.

  5. To maintain a program of growth for the group/section.

  6. To ensure that the program resources and personnel, as required are available.

    Examples of this are: instructors, resource persons, examiners and facilities; equipment and transport for camps and other events.

  7. To assist Scouters in preparation of camps and other special events and to approve arrangements and budgets.

  8. When necessary, to assume direction of the section.

b) Administration
  1. To establish and provide for the continuous operation of the group/section.

  2. To register the group/section annually.

  3. To secure adequate facilities such as a meeting place for the group/section.

  4. To audit annually the accounts of the group/section.

  5. .To prepare and submit to the supervising Scout council, and the sponsor, an annual report covering the activities of the group/section. This report shall include a schedule of real property and audited financial statements.

  6. To promote harmonious relationships within the group/section and any institutions or organizations in contact with or affecting the group/section.

  7. To assume responsibility for all property and equipment, including insurance matters.

  8. To raise funds as required in accordance with the policy on finance of Scouts Canada and policies of the sponsor/partner.

  9. To provide for an annual review of the group/section Scouters and to ensure that the appropriate recognition for service is provided.

  10. If, in the opinion of the group or section committee, a Scouter should be suspended for cause this action should be taken jointly with the council and the next senior council commissioner.

Committee Operations

Committee members are usually elected or appointed by the sponsor each year. To help recruit members, aids are available from the Scout council office. To provide continuity, bring in a few members each year while retaining some who have experience. Recruit for a specific term--say two years--as a person usually responds better to a request to serve for a specified period of time.

The number of members needed for the administration committee is the minimum required to do an effective job. Generally speaking, a group committee can be effective with five members and a section committee with three members. The institution's Youth Committee may be self-sufficient with one or two extra members recruited to work on Scouting.

Operate in a business like manner, appointing officers such as chair, secretary and treasurer.

Keep minutes covering decisions made. Since the committee is dealing with public money, financial records must be kept independent of sponsor/partner records and audited each year. A local banker or accountant might be asked to audit the books.

Experience indicates most committees can operate effectively with persons performing the following suggested tasks. Some committees may not have a need for all these "jobs" and may combine them, or delegate one person as a coordinator.

Details for these following positions will be found in the Group Committee Handbook available from your local council office.

Camping and Outdoor Activities Resource/Training

Other Areas of Special Concern

1. Leaders--Appointment and Selection

Section Scouters are appointed on behalf of the sponsor/partner by the group/section committee and registered through the local council. They must be and must remain acceptable to Scouts Canada and the Partner/Sponsor. In the case of Venturer companies and Rover crews, the youth members should be involved in leadership selection. See Section V of B. P. and P.

2. Helping Leaders
Members of the committee should prepare themselves to act in place of a Scouter who is unable to attend a meeting or series of meetings. The committee should recruit sufficient leaders to cope with such emergencies.

Scouters need help in special programs or in preparation for camp, so they can spend more time on the program. Committees should encourage Scouters to develop their understanding of youth and their skills through taking the training opportunities provided by the local Scout council and other groups and should, where practicable, underwrite expenses.

3. Program Resources
To meet the needs of youth, a wide variety of options are available in Scouting's programs. For example, some badges are based on requirements of other agencies--e.g.--Royal Life Saving Society of Canada;--Red Cross;--St. John Ambulance Association.

Committees should cooperate with Scouters and help in locating resources in terms of people, places and things. Examiners and instructors can be recruited from parents, see Application for Membership form, local agencies and community services.

Community facilities such as pools and rinks can be located and contacts made for visits, trips and tours.

Depending on their program, a section might need games equipment, tentage or canoes.

Consider renting the more expensive items for the limited period they may be required.

4. Training
Check with your local Scout council office. From time to time they run training courses specifically aimed at group/section committee personnel.

Also your Scout council will have a program of training courses for leaders and assistants working with all sections of your group. Find out when and where they will be held and encourage all your leaders to take training to help them become more effective leaders. Also, in consultation with the Partner/Sponsor, encourage leaders to take applicable courses provided by the Partner/Sponsor's organization.

5. Meeting Facilities
The facilities required by sections vary but each should meet on a regular day at a regular time.

If another organization wishes to use the hall on a regular meeting night, arrangements can usually be made for an outing - provided sufficient time has been allowed for the Scouters to make the necessary arrangements.

Beavers and Cubs require, on a weekly basis, a hall that is large enough for games and large, sometimes noisy, group activities.

Scouts need access to a large hall and the use of small rooms for patrol meetings. The troop Scouter will advise the committee of the troop's requirements.

Venturers and Rovers require a room with chairs and a table for most meetings - provided access is available to a large hall for some activities depending on their program.

All accommodation should be well heated, well lighted and easily ventilated. Ensure that, if necessary, the hall is cleaned, tidied and ready for the next user. The group/section should pay for any damage resulting from Scout activities. Goodwill of the caretaker is essential and work on behalf of the group should be periodically recognized.

6. Finances
Each section requires money for its operation. Annual registration fees are paid by the member and this money is forwarded to the Scout council with the registration form. The money is used to help finance, local, provincial, national and international services, and for insurance.

Most sections collect weekly dues which help pay for purchase of badges, program aids and for special activities. This money is handled by the section concerned either through the Scouters or in the case of Venturers and Rovers, by the company or crew. For their protection, records should be audited annually. For major purchases of equipment, Scouters' training course fees and special events, the group/section shall establish a budget and determine what money they need and how to raise it.

There are many ways of raising money, but the methods chosen must be acceptable to the sponsor/partner.

Groups/sections should consult with their local council for ideas. Fundraising should follow By-Law, Policies & Procedures (Section IV) and should not put the group/section in direct competition with local merchants.

7. Religious Policy
Section programs should provide opportunities and encouragement for youth to participate in religious observations. Opening and closing ceremonies, grace at meals, church parades and worship services (Scouts' Own) can provide opportunities for participation. See By-Law, Policies and Procedures (Section IV) and Let's Celebrate.

It is, however, the duty of the Scouter to encourage each member to participate actively in the life of a religious community and to assume appropriate responsibilities to aid in carrying out the promise to "love and serve God". Scouters must accept the mission and principles of Scouts Canada and must provide leadership to youth by participating actively in the pursuit of their faith.

All Scouts should be encouraged by Scouters to participate in the Religion in Life program.

8. Registration
a) Charter
An Application for or Renewal of Group/Section Charter should be used to apply for a Scout Group/Section Charter or its renewal. This application must be submitted to the governing body of the Partner/Sponsor for its approval and action.

b) Adults
The committee must complete the Application for Membership and Appointment of Adults on behalf of each Scouter of the group/section. The chair should ensure that the applicant understands the Applicant's Agreement printed on the form before the committee chair signs the forms.

On occasion, a committee may wish to approach a prospective Scouter who has apparently served as leader in another district or province. Before any commitment is made, the committee should, through the local Scout council, obtain information from the provincial council regarding the Scouter's record of service.

c) Youth
An Application for Registered Membership form is used to register members annually.

When the forms are complete, they are submitted to the local Scout council in accordance with instructions issued by that office.

d) Additional Members
New members should be registered immediately to ensure protection through the national insurance scheme. Registration for additional members is made on an Application for Registered Membership, available from the Scout office.

9. Transfers
a) Scouters
When a Scouter or committee member leaves a group, the committee should advise the local council.

This will ensure that their records are up to date. If they move to another district, this information is made available to the new Scout council.

b) Youth Members
When a member leaves a group, he/she should be provided with a Transfer Certificate available through Scout Shops or Scout Offices. It should be completed by the Scouter, and cover the member's complete record. The form is given to the member to give to his/her new Scouter.

It is the responsibility of the section to which the member transfers to accept him/her and provide recognition for what he/she has already achieved.

10. Maintain Good Relationships
a) With the Sponsor/Partner

The group/section is a branch of the sponsor/partner's work in the institution or community. Therefore, the committee should keep the sponsor/partner informed by means of minutes of meetings, newspaper articles, bulletin board announcements and regular reports, good turns, etc.

Officers and members of the sponsor/partner should be invited to attend Scouting activities. Plans and policies of the sponsor/partner should be taken into consideration when the group/section is preparing activities such as fundraising, weekend camps, banquets and "open house" nights.

b) With the Scouters

The committee and its section Scouters should work together in an atmosphere of trust, enthusiasm and cooperation. The Scouters should know what they can expect from the committee in the way of assistance; the committee should provide the assistance when and where it is required.

The committee should relieve the Scouters, as much as possible, of the administrative detail arising from the activities and business of the group/section.

c) With the Service Team/Commissioner's Staff

Groups and sections are serviced by groups of experienced Scouters known as Service Teams/Commissioner's staff. They are responsible for the overall servicing of the Scouts programs in their district. The servicing approach varies to meet local needs.

They work primarily with section Scouters and when they consult with administrative committees they do so as coworkers.

The administration committee should consult them in connection with current section program operations and problems, if any, and with the organization of new sections or the revival of lapsed ones.

d) With the Scout Council

Scout groups operate within the local Scout council which exists to encourage and promote the Movement within its area.

As members of the council, Scout groups have certain obligations to the council as councils have obligations to the Scout groups.

Scout groups are entitled under by-laws to representation on the council. Such contacts help coordinate Scouting within the council; allow for sharing of experiences and problems; help in shaping council policy and plans and allow full time use of the council resources and expertise.

e) With the Scouting Auxiliaries

Organizations of parents of section members and other adults constituted under the authority of the group/section committee for the purpose of assisting groups are designated as Scouting auxiliaries, and their members are entitled to wear the Scouting auxiliary badge. These organizations are purely auxiliary and in no way exercise the functions assigned to the group/section committee or section Scouters.

11. Resources
The following resources are available to help you.

reddot  Volunteer Recruitment and Development booklet
reddot  Scouting for Youth with Disabilities
reddot  Religion in Life Program pamphlets
reddot  Seven Keys to the Care and Maintenance of Volunteers
reddot  National Indemnity Insurance
reddot  National Liability Insurance
reddot  Application for Membership
reddot  Home and School, Optimists, Lions, Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis and Elk Clubs
      provide pamphlets on Scouting. Check with your local council.

Handbooks for youth and resource books for leaders are available at
Scout Shops or council offices.

Available from Scout Shops, Scout Dealers, some council offices,
or by mail order from the Scout Shop.

Available from Scout shops and some council offices or badge secretaries.

Scouts Canada publishes a catalogue each year.
Available from council offices or Supply Services' dealers.
"Scouting Life", the official magazine for Scouting leaders.
The contact leader for each section receives the magazine directly.

"Mission Video"
"Introduction to Scouting"
"Roles and Responsibilities of Sponsors and Group Committees"
"The Service Scouter"
"The Outdoors--It's a Wonderful Life"
"Partners--A Winning Combination"
"The Grizzly Creek Solution - A Recruitment Video for Volunteers"

12. Basic Books
New leaders must have available to them the following resource books:

a) Beaver Leaders
reddot  Friends of the Forest
reddot  Beaver Leaders' Handbook
reddot  JUMPSTART program packages and video
reddot  Fun at the Pond Resource Book
reddot  Colony Annual Records

b) Cub Leaders
reddot  Wolf Cub Leader's Handbook
reddot  Wolf Cub Handbook
reddot  JUMPSTART program packages and video
reddot  Pack Annual Records

c) Scout Leaders
reddot  The Scout Leader's Handbook
reddot  Scout Handbook

d) Venturer Leaders
reddot  Venturer Advisor's Handbook

e) Rover Leaders
reddot  Rover Handbook

f) All Leaders
reddot  Field Book
reddot  Financial Record Book
reddot  Camp Fire Book
reddot  Song Book
reddot  Group Committee Handbook

This material is reproduced from the booklet (revised December 1995) produced by Scouts Canada, National Council, Program and Volunteer Services.
Catalogue No. 94-315
September 1996,
November 1998,
September 2001

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