Latest Version of the New Top Rover Award – Your Thoughts

All right folks, it’s time to step up to the mic, and have your voices heard. The team has been hard at work designing the new top Rover Award, and we need your input.

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Questions, comments, wording issues, complete disagreement with sections or requirements, requirements being not hard enough or too easy, something we missed all together; you name it, we want to hear it.

The award is broken down into six sections, which we are recommending are made into separate badges a Rover is required to earn before receiving the final Award. One option on the table is to combine sections into larger badges (Service & Leadership, Physical & Personal Development) so that there are four sub-badges before earning the top award.

Have at it! This is your award!

General:

  • All projects must approved by the individual’s crew (or appropriate body) prior to commencement.
  • Upon completion, each individual requirement will be evaluated and approved by the crew (or appropriate body).
  • All requirements must have proof of involvement. Trip logs, reports, photographs (with captions), newspaper articles, thank-you letters, and play programs are some examples of appropriate proof.
  • The major projects should not be used for more than one requirement.
  • Two (2) reports on projects of your choice must be shared with a different Rover crew or scouting group, in addition to your own crew.
  • After the crew has approved the completion of all the award requirements, the Rover Award shall be reviewed by a higher body. Each Council should develop a youth adjudication procedure for the final award that fits their situation. If possible, the award should be reviewed by a sub-committee of a council or area Rover Roundtable, consisting of past award recipients – from various crews – and an Advisor.


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Service:

  1. A minimum of one year of substantial service to a not-for-profit organization, preferably youth-oriented. For example: being a leader for a younger scouting section, 4H club, church youth group, area or council service team.
  2. Identify and research a significant social issue affecting your community, and present your findings to your crew, outlining the problem and proposing two projects to help with this issue. Plan and execute these projects individually or in a group of your peers, using the Scout Promise as a guideline. Example topics include poverty, public health, homelessness, unemployment, drug abuse and inequality.
    1. One project should have a five to seven day time frame. This could be something done in one or two crew meetings, for example: work in a homeless shelter for a few days, organize a food drive to contribute to your local food bank…
    2. The second should take 4-6 months. This requires in-depth planning and organization. For example: plan and execute a large-scale fundraising drive for a homeless shelter, organize a long-term community food garden…

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Leadership:

  1. Complete Woodbadge I for at least one section.
  2. Take on a significant leadership position in a group of your peers (not just a title), for which your services are not paid, for a total of one year. Start by developing a management plan, outlining goals and steps needed to meet your responsibilities. Afterward, report on your responsibilities, successes or failures, and how you have grown as a leader, based on feedback from your peers. While in this position you must initiate and complete at least one project requiring leadership of your peers. You may switch leadership positions no more than twice, but you must complete the management plan and review for each.
    An acceptable position would be on your crew executive, group committee, a project manager, Area/Council executive, camp chief for a large camp, coach for a sports team, etc.
  3. Mentor another individual for a minimum of one year, focusing on their personal development and leadership skills. For example: mentoring a Venturer executive, a younger Rover, being a Big Brother or Big Sister or someone in a position of responsibility that you have held.

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Outdoors:

  1. Complete a challenging journey or expedition not less than 4 nights, which must involve multiple campsites, proper planning, preparation, and training. Physical endurance and self-reliance should be challenged.
    • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of survival, navigation and outdoor skills appropriate to the location and time of year.
    • Carry out two shorter trips in preparation of at least two nights.
    • Spend an average of at least eight hours per day on planned activities.
    • Leave No Trace principles should be practices throughout this journey.
    • Make a report of your expeditions and share your report with your crew and a younger section.
  2. Complete four (4) of the following outdoor skill categories, by demonstrating an advanced understanding of the listed number of skills per category. You must additionally teach three (3) of the individual skills to your peers. To achieve each skill, you must advance to a level of understanding and proficiency beyond your current capabilities.
    • Navigation (3 of 4)
      1. Orienteering
      2. Celestial navigation
      3. Mapping
      4. GPS navigation
    • Naturalist (3 of 4)
      1. Local flora/fauna identification
      2. Edible plants
      3. Meteorology
      4. Animal tracking
    • Campcraft (4 of 5)
      1. Pioneering
      2. Fire lighting (no matches)
      3. Usage and maintenance of camp equipment
      4. Cooking
      5. Site selection
    • Survival (2 of 3)
      1. Temporary shelters (winter and summer)
      2. Search and rescue or avalanche rescue
      3. Winter camping/survival
    • Camping styles (2 of 2)
      1. Leave No Trace camping
      2. Light-weight backpacking
    • Adventure (2 of 3)
      1. Canoeing or kayaking
      2. Mountaineering
      3. Archery
      4. Surfing / wind surfing
  3. Complete Level 2 of the Survivorman Challenge.
  4. Complete the Rover Level of the World Scout Environment Award.
  5. Hold a current first aid qualification beyond standard first aid with CPR.
  6. Spend at least 50 nights camping outdoors over the course of the time Rovers. You may count time spent as a leader with younger sections.

Physical Activity:

  1. Engage in a regular physically demanding activity for not less than 8 months with the aim of achieving a measurable fitness or physical activity goal. Keep a log of your activity and progression towards your goal.
    Examples of activities with goals include:
    • biking to and from work with the goal of beating your personal best
    • swimming weekly at a local pool with the goal of winning a tournament
    • training for a sprint triathlon with the goal of completing the event
    • weekly rock climbing at a gym with the goal of reaching a higher level of routes

Personal Development:

  1. Complete the Purple level Religion in Life Award in the faith of your choice (one of those options being the Spirituality Award).
  2. Pursue further education or training for no less than 4 months (not necessarily consecutive) with the aim of facilitating the growth of career/employment skills and demonstrate improvement in these areas.
  3. Carry out a challenging project lasting at least four months with the aim of developing skills in an area of your choice, culminating in a presentation of the chosen skill showing significant improvement. The project should not be in chosen field of study or your form of lively hood. You are encouraged to learn a new a skill, ability, or hobby, but may choose to gain mastery of an existing skill, ability or hobby by reaching a considerable higher level of achievement.
  4. Develop a Personal Development Plan (PDP) with a peer mentor to improve important aspects of your life, and work on that plan for at least a year. One should take a holistic view when approaching this.  Personal goals, commitments, priorities, areas of responsibility, projects, and potential skills to learn should be looked at during this process.  A helpful hint would to include planning for different requirements for this award.  You can complete goals and set new ones throughout the year, but you must stick with the process for a year. You must have a minimum of three 1-on-1 sessions throughout the year to do a complete review of the plan.  Regular checkup (what have you done, what is coming up) should be done more often, at the pairs discretion.

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Community and Cultural:

  1. Select a relevant political issue at the municipal, provincial, or federal level. Examine how this issue affects your life, your community, and specifically Rover-aged youth. Discuss your findings within your crew.
  2. Attend a Jamboree or Moot at the local, Provincial, National or World Level. Note: A Moot is defined for this award as a gathering of at least four Rovers Crews for the purpose of participating in Rover themed activates.
  3. Research the history of of some aspect of Scouting and give a presentation to your crew, and another Scouting entity. Examples include: the life of Baden-Powell, history of Rovers, the King’s Scout Award, local Scouting traditions/history, etc.
  4. Complete either option A OR option B.
    1. Attend six cultural events of different types or genres. Discuss and compare the events with your crew. Examples include: plays, concerts, art shows, community day celebrations, festivals, cultural days and fan conventions.
    2. OR

    3. Actively participate in an existing cultural event or organize another cultural event (see examples from A). Demonstrate an improvement in your cultural understanding or skills. This could be an existing event, or one championed by Rovers. You do not need to be in a public role to qualify. Stage manager, music/script/play writer, director, video editor, publicist, producer are all perfect examples of appropriate roles for a Rover. Creative roles are encouraged.
  5. Complete the Gifts for Peace award. (http://www.scouts.ca/media/documents/GiftsForPeace.pdf)

5 Responses to Latest Version of the New Top Rover Award – Your Thoughts

  1. I’m getting a feeling the award development team likes going to extremes. I feel like what I heard of the first draft was too easy, but the current draft is amazingly difficult. I’m wondering what the expected/intended rate of completion is for the award. I’m also wondering if the time commitment (using averages if necessary) has been calculated and taken into account. Some sections seem to require A TON of work, and while I’m not opposed to that, I feel that it might actually scare people off of trying to begin with. I like the fact that each part requires multiple components, but I’d like to see some more choice in what gets done, along the lines of “complete this particular task and then one item from each list” kind of thing. Just looking at it, if even just the specific-length parts are completed consecutively (not concurrently) then the whole award will take nearly 5 years. I think this is probably longer than the average rover is willing to commit. (Yeah, I could be wrong) Mostly, I think that this is an amazing improvement on the nothing that currently exists, but I think it also needs to be more accessible to the rover community. While high standards are great, set them too high and nobody will want to try. Achieving awards in rovering should be a complement to the program and your life, not take it over.

  2. I like this award. AND I DO THINK that the standards should be high standards. The DoE Award is nit easy and many do it. A committed Rover would have no problem with these high standards. That is what makes the Award worth winning. A sort of Silver Wolf for Rovers…well done Committee, now you have to design the Badges for the different sections of the Award 😀

  3. I have to chuckle at the “well done committee bit”, Errol. Much of the beefing up the award was done unofficially by a small group of rovers over Skype and we probably spent more time on it then the official committee. But they did lay a groundwork and a good starting block.

    Kit, I think we need to be shooting at a 20% completion rate. The award will be difficult to get and neither me or you are going to be able to earn it with the time we have left. I think it’s a like 30 percent completion rate or thereabouts for the QVA and correct me if i’m wrong, but that’s been fairly standard for a long time.

    Things like going to theatre shows are things you can do fairly easy and if crews work together they can be weekly events.

    Specifically, after seeing the original draft it was significantly easier then the QVA as in me and you would already be eligible for it, based off what we’ve done in Rovers. But this is still a draft and I do feel there are specific bits that are nigh impossible, or I feel would be very close to impossible if i was trying to get the award as a rover.

  4. I think 20-30% completion is a good target. I have no delusions about being able to achieve the award in the time I have left in Rovers. But I don’t think the award process should involve 4+ years of work. Three, yes. That’s manageable. Some of the time commitments just feel… extreme. A rover should not have to commit his or her whole life to achieving this award. It’s too much to ask. It shouldn’t come easy, for sure, but it also shouldn’t be this hard. Rovers are only human, and many of them are students too, and we’ve all been there. I’m pretty sure burnout is not the intended result?

  5. The Rover program (as it currently exists) is 8 years long. Assuming each requirement is done consequtively, that still leaves a couple of years “buffer zone”. For the few (any?) Rovers that do not join fron Venturers, many of these requirements can easily be completed concurrently.

    Rovers are no longer youth (in life, if not in BP&P). Post-secondary education is a minimum 4 year commitment. 3 years is not sufficient commitment for this award. Welcome to life, where commitments take dedication.

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