Frequently Asked QuestionsGeneral Questions FAQ Where do my registration fees go? Registration fees support the cost of delivering a quality Scouting program in communities across Canada, including: Developing dynamic Scouting programs for youth, Providing over 20,000 Volunteers with up-to-date training, Maintaining high-quality camp facilities in each province, and, Supporting Scouts Canada’s No One Left Behind program which reduces financial barriers for families in need. The true cost to support a robust Scouting program is significantly higher than the registration fee that we charge. This is where Scout Popcorn fundraising, retail sales through our Scout Shops, donations and sponsorships contribute towards keeping Scouting affordable. Scouting parents consistently give our programs high scores for value, and Scouting costs significantly less than many other youth activities. Add the fact that many Scouting Groups and camps are active year-round and the result is even greater value for dollar. Visit our Online Support Centre to learn more about how registration fees are utilized. Does Scouts Canada admit both boys and girls? Yes, Rover Scouts became co-ed in 1993, with all remaining Sections following in 1998. Do you have to believe in God to join Scouts Canada? No, but you must have a basic spiritual belief. Spirituality has been one of the three main principles of Scouting around the world since its inception more than 100 years ago. Scouts Canada is proud of its commitment to diversity and welcomes members of many different faiths and denominations. You need not belong to an organized religion, but all members must take the Scout Promise in good faith and Scouters may include some form of spirituality in their program for the youth. “God” represents spirituality and for some may represent an actual deity, but it may also mean an expression of your personal spirituality. Are members of the LGBTQ community allowed to join Scouts Canada? Yes, Scouts Canada does not discriminate for reasons of gender, culture, religious belief or sexual orientation. Safety FAQ What Safety precautions does Scouts Canada have in place? Scouts Canada places great importance on creating a fun and safe environment for our members, especially children and youth. How do we create this environment? It’s a reflection of the culture of safety that extends throughout the organization. As Canada’s largest youth organization, we are deeply committed to showing leadership in the area of child and youth safety. We truly believe we have a responsibility to help make Canada safer for our children and youth. If you have questions about Scouts Canada’s safety policies, or have a particular safety issue that you would like to bring to our attention, please contact our Safe Scouting team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-339-6643. For more information about our safety our policies and procedures, screening and training of volunteers and tips and tools to help you and your child get the most out of their Scouting experience visit the Scouting Safety Section. How are prospective Scouters screened, and what safety measures does Scouts Canada practice? Prospective Scouters must undergo a stringent screening process. This includes a Police Records Check, a Screening Interview plus three personal references. Until the screening procedure is fully complete and signed off, individuals may not participate with children. Our thorough Risk Management policies include a “Two Scouter Rule”. The Two Scouter Rule is the requirement for two registered Scouters to be with youth at all times. Notwithstanding Section ratios, two Scouters must always be within the field of view and within earshot of one another when with youth. The Two Scouter rule is an integral part of the Code of Conduct that applies to all Scouts Canada Volunteers and staff. What is Scouts Canada’s policy on resource people recruited to help at Scouting activities? Successful leaders know that bringing in resource people to help with activities is a good idea. Whether it’s the fire department, someone from the orienteering club or any other resource person, people who participate in day events need to be advised exactly the same way as a parent. Are resource people also screened if they stay overnight at a Scouting activity? Yes, if resource people are participating in an overnight activity they must: Complete the parent/daytime resource person screening, Provide a current police record check clear of criminal conviction, verified by the Group Commissioner, and Have three personal references checked. Do other resource people need to sign an Individual Release and Hold Harmless Agreement? No, not if they have been properly screened. What is Scouts Canada’s policy on Parents/Guardians participating in Scouting activities? We encourage parents to get involved in their child’s Scouting activities. In fact, the majority of our volunteers are parents. This can mean assisting at an event or becoming a Scouter. However, Scouts Canada believes that it is important for all individuals working with our youth to have proper training and screening to ensure the safest experience for our members. Parents FAQ Why Scouts? Scouting makes a difference in the lives of children, youth and young adults. Providing opportunities for youth to grow, achieve new “firsts” and develop into citizens of the world. Scouts are more likely to demonstrate greater self-confidence and optimism about what the future holds. They express a strong sense of civic responsibility and have a desire to “pay back” the community. They become more physically fit, energetic, outgoing, conscientious and compassionate. And they have a lot of fun! Scouts is the start of something great. It starts with Scouts. How do I sign up for Scouts? Registering for Scouts is easy! Register online or call toll-free 1-888-855-3336 to be directed to the office closest to you. Visit the online support centre for instructions on how to register your child online. How do I purchase a uniform, and what will my child need? You can purchase a uniform and many other Scouting supplies online at Scoutshop.ca. Or, visit your local Scout Shop. What are the costs to join? Costs vary from Group to Group so your local contact is the best one to advise you. In most cases there will be a registration fee to join the Group and you will have to pay for your uniform. As the year progresses there may be extra costs associated with camping and special events. Is there financial aid for families of limited means to assist with the costs of joining Scouts? Financial aid is available for families of limited means. Local councils can assist or you can submit an application to the Scouts Canada Foundation’s No One Left Behind program. More Information What will my Child gain from Scouts Canada programming? Scouting uses non-formal educational methods to engage youth in the process of their own development, giving them program activities, guidance and tools to help them become self-reliant, confident, caring, responsible and committed to the world around them. For information on Scouts Canada programs visit the Programs page. What Section should my child enroll in? Beavers (Ages 5 -7) Fun and friendship are the cornerstones of the Beaver Scouts program. Beaver Scouts Cub Scouts (Ages 8 – 10) Challenging hikes, weekend camps, and an introduction to water activities like canoeing or kayaking are just a few of the fun outdoor Adventures that Cub Scouts enjoy. Cub Scouts Scouts (Ages 11 – 14) Scouts is about having fun while gaining valuable leadership skills and self-confidence. Scouts Venturer Scouts (Ages 15-17) The Venturer Scout program offers exciting, real life, hands-on experiences for youth. Venturer Scouts Rover Scouts (Ages 18 – 26) Rover Scout programs provide opportunities to practice new skills like mountain climbing or whitewater rafting. Rover Scouts What is a Parent’s/Guardian’s role at a Scouting activity? The primary responsibility of Parents/Guardians lies with their own child. Parents/Guardians are often asked to help as a program resource person (sharing a skill or hobby) or bringing snacks for Beaver Scouts or Cub Scouts outings. Parents are required to complete screening (as per the Non Scouts Canada Member screening chart) and are always under the supervision of at least two registered Scouters. Parents are permitted to participate in 3-5 Scouting activities per year before the must become a Scouts Canada member. What can parents expect if they need screening to participate in a day time activity? There are three simple steps to screening parents – it won’t take more than 10 minutes. Scouters will discuss what is expected of parents at the activity. Parents will need to read, understand and sign our Code of Conduct annually. They will introduce the parents to the rest of the youth and explain their role at the activity. What screening is required for parents/guardians to attend an activity overnight? Requirements are the same as if attending a day time activity with one addition. Scouters will discuss what is expected of parents at the activity. Parents will need to read, understand and sign our Code of Conduct annually. Scouters will introduce the parents to the rest of the youth and explain their role at the activity. Parents will need to take the Safe Scouting for Parents course. Do parents need to sign an Individual Release and Hold Harmless Agreement? No, not if they have been screened. What should we do about siblings who aren’t members of Scouts Canada? Sometimes parents have to bring younger siblings with them to Scouting events. They are not program participants. They are observers and parents are responsible for supervising them. Parents must sign an Individual Release and Hold-Harmless Agreement for these youth. Volunteering FAQ Why is Scouting a great volunteer experience? Many people are looking for ways to develop skills that help them achieve personal and professional goals. Scouting has a long tradition of providing such opportunities. A fully trained leader completes thorough online and experiential learning in understanding youth, program planning, leadership and risk management. Scouting offers many opportunities to develop marketing, communication, financial management and fundraising skills. Scouts Canada also offers excellent volunteer development courses. Learn More How do I volunteer with Scouts Canada? Becoming a volunteer with Scouts Canada is a multi-step process and we are here to help you every step of the way. The process includes a personal interview, the provision of three personal references, and a Police Record Check. With one-on-one help from an experienced coach, you’ll participate in a three-month orientation and probation period where you’ll learn all the basics to help you provide great programs for youth. Once you become a Scouter, you’re provided with further training, tools and support to help you on your way. You’ll attend courses and workshops, and have access to online support resources. If you can commit 12 – 14 hours per month, you can make a difference in the lives of many kids, and help shape a better world for tomorrow. Get the process started by downloading your application form and phoning 1-888-855-3336 , emailing email@example.com or contacting the local Scouting council office in your area. Find your local council. I want to volunteer, will Scouts Canada accommodate my disability? Yes, Scouts Canada encourages applications from all qualified candidates. Scouts Canada has a great record of accommodating persons with disabilities. Contact The Help Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-888-855-3336 if you need accommodation at any stage of the application process or want more information on our accommodation policies.