For many Groups, growth can be a challenge difficult to overcome due to demographic location. Growing your Group in more remote communities can often mean working harder to gather enough youth to fill Colonies, Packs or Troops. For the 1st Sun Peaks Scout Group, living in a resort town of approximately 500 individuals hasn’t stopped them; this past year they grew by almost 110%! Group Commissioner, Linda Scarfo, sat down with ScoutScene to let us in on their Group Growth secrets.
Sun Peaks resort is the second most popular ski hill after Whistler, but during the off season, the 1st Sun Peaks Scout Group is limited to the children of families who live on the mountain. Upon talking to Scouter Linda, it is evident they have learned to adapt and alter their program to suit their seasonal village. “We have a very different program because of being on the ski hill,” she said. “There are only a few children who live here year-round!” Luckily for this Scout Group, the school age population increased by over 30 individuals; giving the Group an opportunity to grow. Area Support Manager, Timothy Pugh, also took this opportunity to speak to the local school’s parent advisory board. This increased the towns awareness of all the great Scouting adventures the youth could have as a member of Scouts Canada.
“We try to get the youth to participate in a number of activities each season,” said Linda. “Throughout the winter we bring the youth snowshoeing, skating and even cross country skiing. They love it because we bring them out when it’s dark in the evening with head lamps on.” Here at ScoutScene, we can only imagine how beautiful that must be.
It doesn’t stop there though. Linda was kind enough to share stories of overnight camping trips in the fall and spring time, where she painting us a picture of youth enjoying themselves roasting marshmallows on the campfire and sipping hot cocoa.
While the Group does believe word of mouth helps them increase their membership, it is not the only reason they have grown. The 1st Sun Peaks Scout Group is aware of the importance of being active in the community and giving back to those in need. Each year around the holidays they organize a bake sale to raise donations for the Salvation Army. Getting out in their community has undoubtedly helped to increase their visibility and in turn their membership.
Looking to grow your membership? Read other Group Growth stories to learn a few more tips and tricks in the ScoutScene Archives.