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Group Capacity

We are committed to strong and healthy Groups that enable our Section Scouters to maintain focus on what matters most: our youth. To support healthy Groups, our aim is to ensure Group Committees have the capacity to fully support a high-quality program. There are many things that Group Committees can do to support Sections, but in general they should try to remove any barriers that Sections face in facilitating a great program.

  • Volunteer Recruitment
  • Volunteer Recruitment Guide


    Every Group needs to ensure that it has enough dedicated Volunteers to provide Scouting programs to the youth in its community. Most Groups don’t have prospective Volunteers knocking on their doors wanting to join, so having strategies for the recruitment of Volunteers is very important. Recruiting the right Volunteers is a critically important part of the process as well.

    Scouts Canada—Volunteer Recruitment Strategies

    The following Volunteer recruitment strategies can be used by Group Committees individually or in combination to recruit new Volunteers:

    1. Selective Recruitment Process

    Prospective Volunteers need to be introduced to Scouting in a very deliberate way so that they will enjoy Scouting and be successful as a Scouts Canada Volunteer. This process is called Selective Recruitment and it ensures that prospective Volunteers are a good fit with Scouts Canada’s mission and values.

    Selective recruitment is about finding the Right People, with the Right Skills for the Right Responsibilities:

    • Right Responsibilities—Responsibility implies that an individual has the autonomy to decide what actions are needed to accomplish an end goal and to ensure that those actions are carried out. Tasks are just actions people take to accomplish a goal.
    • Right Skills—Skills or competencies necessary for each Scouting role should directly correspond with the responsibilities belonging to that role. Narrow the list down to four or five essential skills. Consider which skills you need the individual to have right away and which skills he or she could learn on the job.
    • Right People—One of the biggest mistakes that recruiters make is posting a job ad somewhere and then passively waiting for people to respond. Active recruitment means searching out qualified prospects and engaging them so that they want to apply.

    Selective Recruitment can happen two different ways:

    • In passive recruitment, prospects approach your organization and you give them responsibilities that suit their skills. Your approach flows like this: People → Skills → Responsibilities
    • In active recruitment, you determine what responsibilities that you want to recruit for and approach prospects that have appropriate skills. Your approach flows like this: Responsibilities → Skills → People
    2. Engage prospective volunteers

    The Prospect Engagement Cycle—The prospect engagement cycle is a useful model for thinking about how to recruit new Volunteers. The Prospect Engagement Cycle has four steps:

    3. Use recruitment pools to find prospects

    Recruitment Pools—Searching out qualified individuals who would make good Scouters can be difficult if you aren’t looking in the right places. Making use of recruitment pools will increase your chances of finding prospects who would make a good fit. Recruitment pools are communities of prospects who have similar backgrounds or motivations. In Scouting, we typically recruit Volunteers from three pools: youth, parents and non-Scouting individuals.

    • Youth—Anyone 14 years of age or older may apply to be a Scouter. Senior youth participants can make excellent Scouters. They’re often motivated by their own personal progression within Scouting and a sense of wanting to give back to the organization. Suitability needs to be a strong consideration when recruiting youth.
    • Parents—It is no surprise that parents and guardians can make great Scouters.  In fact, this is where Scouts Canada draws the majority of its Volunteers from.  They’re often motivated by wanting their child to have a great Scouting experience, and are strongly connected to issues facing young people today and want to make a difference. Avoid “Volun-telling”. Parents that are guilted or coerced into volunteering typically don’t make effective Scouters.
    • Non-Scouting—This category refers to individuals who are aligned with Scouts Canada’s mission and values but who have no current connection to Scouting. Small recruitment pools within this category could be everything from “members of a church congregation” to “Scouter Joe’s outdoor enthusiast friends”. This pool may be motivated by things like past experiences with Scouting as a youth or Scouter, a passion for the outdoors, or a connection to issues facing young people today and a desire to make a difference.

    Group Committee’s Role

    The Group Committee can play an important part in the Volunteer recruitment process. Section Scouters often struggle to have meaningful conversations with parents about volunteering because they’re so busy with youth and their meeting. Having a Group Committee member present to engage with parents during drop-off and pick-up, allows the Group to develop its parent prospect pool. 

    Having the Group Committee involved in the recruitment process also helps ensure the integration of the Volunteer screening and onboarding processes, ensuring a great experience for new applicants.

  • Group Committee Operations
  • Sample Group Organization Structures

    Group Finances

    As members of Scouts Canada, we all need to be good financial stewards. We have a duty to ensure funds are used according to the wishes of our donors and supporters, in support of our Mission.


    Scouts Canada provides a valuable service to the community through its youth development programs. When we fundraise, our activities are aligned with our values. We ensure that our fundraising activities are carried out ethically, effectively and efficiently. We are accountable to our donors and the community.

    Scout Popcorn—Scouts Canada’s National Fundraiser

    Since 1989, Canadian Scouts from all across the country have sold over $100 million of Scout Popcorn. Scout Popcorn helps Groups nationally to plan even stronger programs full of adventure. Over half of funds raised have gone directly back to Scouting activities such as summer camps, jamborees and canoe trips. Funds raised also help subsidize registration fees and No One Left Behind. 

    Fundraising with Scout Popcorn is youth-led and helps youth be better prepared for success in the world. In addition to raising money, youth develop valuable business skills and learn about financial responsibility, marketing strategy development and time management while increasing their self-confidence in the process.

    Scout Popcorn Best Practices

    • Establish an annual plan and budget with input from your Scouts and parents. 
    • Put together an exciting incentive program for your Group:  
      • All youth who reach their sale goals get to throw pies in the Scouters’ faces. 
      • Have a small prize for all youth who fill up an order form. 
      • Have a pizza party for Section or Group that reaches its goal. 
    • Conduct a Group Popcorn Kickoff to communicate the program and per youth Scout Popcorn sales goal to the Scouts and parents. 
    • Utilize various sales methods to make sure your Group hits its sale goals: 
      • Take Order—Youth take orders either door-to-door or among friends in October which they delivery in November.
      • Show & Sell—Youth fundraise with the product in hand. Customers pay you and you give them the product they want.
  • Group Health Navigator
  •   1. Passive Management 2. Thoughtful Management 3. Proactive Management 4. Management Excellence
    Group Capacity Volunteers are recruited passively. Succession planning is limited. Active recruitment is attempted when convenient. There is a succession plan for the Group Commissioner role. Active recruitment is used to fill most roles. There are succession plans for key roles which include multiple candidates. Active recruitment and succession planning occur constantly with careful thought given to long-term needs.
    Administrative responsibilities are exclusively completed by Section Scouters; no dedicated Group Committee Scouters. The Group has a dedicated Commissioner and Administrator; Section Scouters continue to have some administrative responsibilities. The Group has a dedicated Committee including a Commissioner, Administrator, Treasurer, Fundraising Coordinator, etc. The Group Committee achieves operational excellence and includes many Scouters with dedicated and specialized roles.