A New Approach to Scouter Development

Scouts Canada’s Mission is to help develop well-rounded youth, better prepared for success in the world. We aim to achieve this by providing high quality Scouting programs and relying on dedicated Scouters to facilitate them. Ensuring that our Scouters are equipped with the knowledge and skills to be successful is critical. Our Scouter development program, Wood Badge, makes these skills more accessible through the Scout Method.

Unfortunately, consistent  feedback from our membership indicates that our current approach to Volunteer development does not always prepare Scouters for success. Worse, it seems our organization’s focus on having Scouters complete their Wood Badge training as quickly as possible can be actively disengaging.

A new approach, called the Scouter Development model, aligns Volunteer development with the Scout Method and the Four Elements of The Canadian Path. This blended learning model includes key features frequently requested by our membership:

  • Learning is fun! Volunteers are engaged as the drivers of their own development.
  • Individuals are given credit for skills acquired outside of Scouting.
  • Key elements of the Scout Method—such as peer mentoring, coaching and experiential learning—are used.
  • Skills-based workshops—such as Indabas, ScoutCons and ScoutingU—are recognized.

A key component of this new learning model is the Scouter Development Map, a competency framework that describes skills associated with each Scouting role. The Wood Badge I and Wood Badge II programs will be represented as subsets of skills on the Map and represent learning milestones for Scouters.

We want to ensure that Volunteers have plenty of time engage in Scouter Development while maintaining our commitment to safety and program quality. Effective September 1, 2019, all Volunteers who meet Scouts Canada’s membership conditions will count towards Scouter-Youth Ratio.

The intent behind this change is to do away with any perceived pressure for Scouters to complete the Wood Badge I program before they have fully grasped its content. Our focus to ensure that Scouters are well and truly prepared to facilitate great, safe Scouting adventures. They’ll feel more confident and they’ll have more fun—and the youth will, too!

Scouter Development Model  Scouter Development Map

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