3. What direction would you like to take the PCC Rover Crew during your term?
I have been a full supporter in the direction the crew has taken over the past three years, having been a part of the crew since day one and having been influential in that direction in my own way. In so, the direction the crew would take under my presidency would not be a major departure, but more of a readjustment of priorities.
The two key changes can be summed up as creating more community capital for Scouts Canada and the Council Rover Crew, and Talking-the-Talk.
Currently Scouts Canada is far too insular. Activities are done in secret, and only for our own members. We barely interact with the community and society at large. There are a few counter examples (Remembrance Day, a select few community days) but few and far between. A community that does not know about your organization cannot place any value in it. So the first step is to make the community know about us.
Increasing Scouts Canada’s Visibility:
- Illuminares Latern Festival
- Dragon Boat Festival
- Car free days
- New Community Gardens
- Massive City wide games – Use technology to allow everyone to participate
- Pecha Chucka and other social presentations
- Critical mass
- University and College events
- Movie Premieres
- Children’s Festival
What it boils down to is this: If there is a community event that has some sort of demographic we want, we should be there. We can cover the spectrum of participation, from organizers, participants or just attendees. The community has to see us involved in a positive way.
Another aspects is partnering up with organizations. At my work (a major downtown hotel), the Lung Association of BC had a major fundraiser that got me thinking. Participants would raise funds before arriving for the chance to run up 48 flights of stairs from the basement to the top of the building. Firefighters from across the region (and beyond) also ran up in full gear. That part wasn’t the part that got the brain thinking. Early in the morning the staff of the BC lung Association showed up with vivid purple shirts with STAFF across the back. Perhaps an hour later some more people showed up that received similar shirts, except it had VOLUNTEER across the back. They were taught about and then tasked with taking registration, answering questions and corralling the lines. Hmm. What would happen if the Association was offered experienced registrars and crowd control with the condition that we wore our uniforms. We provide enough volunteers that they don’t have to worry about that aspect of an event. Win- Win. Also doesn’t hurt that a local breakfast television show was broadcasting from there. Complete a few of those style events (Cancer Society, Lung Association, Heart and Stroke, Lukemia, etc) and we start to creep into the mindset of society. Beauty is you have a one day commitment, and new partners knocking down our doors.
In addition to tagging up with existing events, we should be putting on our own community events. Art competitions, film festivals, skill lessons, and gear swaps. All of these could be themed to live inside the Scouting beliefs, such as green initiatives, sustainability, healthy active living or anything to liven up this city. We live in a city that’s very open to our ‘Hippy’ ideals, and if done right would welcome our additions.
Increasing the Rover Crews Visibility:
This segment of my direction works in tandem with the next one (will make sense shortly). We spoke about partnering up within scouting itself in the past, but nothing really came of it. I want to partner the crew with as many as the successful events we as Council put on so that the crew’s members can receive mentorship that’s appropriate for them.
An incomplete list of examples could be Nite Hike, West Van Christmas Tree sales, Rovent, Pacific Jamboree, Byng Breakfast, Competition Camp, or Science World sleep overs.
By getting the crew members in early, and at the top, we can give them true experience of planning and running an event with the event’s current team there to support them. In no way should the entire project be handed over to the crew or the Rover, but they should gain the experience of the obstacles and how the team handles them. This will accelerate our Rovers to be able to handle events and learn to network with the Scouting community
The Rover crew does excellent work. We already Walk-the-Walk. However, only those inside the crew truly understand what we accomplish. This segment aims to change that.
Our vast knowledge of practices and how to overcome common obstacles would be invaluable to other Crews, Scout Groups and even organizations. The Crew should be trying to share our knowledge at as many opportunities as possible.
All of our lessons learned from our recruitment drive should be documented and available for anyone who has an internet connection. Same goes with our international trip, presentations, events, and even our operational procedures. I want people to be able to learn from us, and come to us looking for more. That means a massive beefed up online presence. The Crew should be a well known think tank on best practices, almost academic like.
Beyond our online presence, we should move into physical learning environments. There are already local volunteer organization communities (Volunteer Richmond, Volunteer Vancouver, and Volunteer Burnaby for example) that offer their members exposure and training. We should be offering our knowledge as training to these and other community groups. How we recruit, how we fund raise, and how we manage our volunteers would all be topics well received from the largest youth organization in the country.
Our daily activities and accomplishments (not just the big ones) should be front and centre with our site. Pictures, videos, and short articles should be possible with a Crew of this size. If one person, me, can post twice a week, then 45 of us should be handle that easily. Just this past 2 weeks we could talk about Canada Day booths in both Richmond, and Sunshine Coast, New Leader training camp, PUG (ok, perhaps not that), PCC Gala, and Awards received at the PCC SAGM. (Half of those were 100% crew planned) Instead we have two articles since returning back from the Philippines. Not even a Photo of the week or something. With my direction, everyone will contribute something over the course of the year. Even with two per person, that’s almost two posts/photo galleries/videos per week. Now that’s exciting.
The Up shot
By sharing our knowledge and showcasing our abilities to the community, Scouting and the world,they will value us more. If we can prove to be valuable, interesting and cutting edge, people will start to pay attention and ask questions. I want people to be jealous of what we do and essentially ask the question, “How do I get involved with a group that offers up so much?”. The task is to prove that not being part of Scouting or the Crew is a ridiculous position to be in.
Time for some discussion. What does Scouting do that would make the general populous jealous? What could we do to entice the community’s imagination?
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