Why good Commendations are important

Good Commendations are key to recognizing our Volunteers and Youth!

As much as we love to get Commendations thanking Rusty for taking a Youth camping, it’s hard to tell how big a deal this is with just that one line. Commendations through the Thanks system are also used to flag Volunteers and Youth for other higher-level awards. It’s important we have enough details to tell us how the person being thanked are helping our Youth thrive in their programs.

What makes a good Commendation?

Think of the five W’s.

Who?

Who attended the event or activity? Numbers help give a sense of how big this is – was it 7 Beavers, 3 sections, 150 Cubs and Scouters at the Area Kub Kar Rally or 500 Youth at a Tri-Area Camp?

What?

What are they being thanked for, and what impact did that have on the Youth? Did they take their Section to an activity as participants, did they help run an event, or did they take on a leadership or mentoring role?

When?

When did the activity take place and how long did it run? A couple of hours, a weekend, a week-long trip or something that lasted every week for 5 months?

Where?

Where did this take place? At a park down the road, or did they need to travel a considerable distance to get there?

Why and How?

Why did what they do help Scouts Canada Youth have great adventures, help them grow and have fun?

It may seem like a lot, but you can touch upon these points in 3 or 4 sentences. Remember that the person reviewing these commendations may not be local to you, and they may not know about the event or know the person being commended. The highest Scouts Canada awards (Silver Acorn, Bar to the Silver Acorn, Silver Wolf) are adjudicated at the National level.

Check out some sample commendations:

Ulla was an invaluable assistant in the Kitchen and Serving Hall (Keke) at Blue Springs Scout Reserve this weekend. From early Friday evening to Sunday afternoon she worked tirelessly to help cook, clean and serve meals to over 140 Beavers, Parents and Scouters. The Winter Beaveree would not have been successful without her support in keeping the participants fed with healthy and timely meals.   Hip Hip Hooray for Ulla.

Amanda led 4th Georgetown’s first Beaver Winter Skills day, focusing on the Canadian Path’s OAS Winter Skills objectives. The day was well run, and the youth were thoroughly engaged. Thank you for running such a great event!

Shelley helped and was on site for the 2017 Spring Things and Flap Jacks at Blue Springs Scout Reserve. The event attracted over 100 youth. There were many activities including a hayride, environmental projects, crafts, first aid lessons and pancake lunch. Thanks, Shelley for making this event a success!

Kristian took time to plan an amazing troop adventure to the Haliburton Scout Reserve. This trip requires Scouters to take a week of their personal vacation time as well as hours of planning. The Scouts had an amazing week full of personal growth and will take home memories to last a lifetime. This wouldn’t be possible without Kristian donating his time.

Meredith successfully fulfilled the role of Camp Chief for our All Section “Pirate” Camp at BSSR. She put in many hours of planning, sending emails, making phone calls and following up on details to ensure a safe, fun adventure for our youth and adults. Through the “Pirate” activities, the youth completed a variety of skills credited toward some of their OAS badges. Thank you, Meredith, for your vision, commitment and many hours to make this camp a memorable one!

Thanks so much for all your help at the Annual Scout Truck, Kub Kar and Beaver Buggy races. The team worked well this year and contributed to over 150 vehicle entries. The comments I received from parents and grandparents were that they were excited to see their youth having so much fun. Thanks so much for launching the Scout Trucks, refereeing the Kub Kars and for helping out as much as you did.