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Changes to Scouting in the East End

Over the last 12+ months we have been working to re-energize the Scouting Experience in our Groups, Council, and across Canada. With a renewed focus on our Mission and Vision, we believe that Scouts Canada can once again become a strong, youth-led movement, making a huge difference in Canada and the World.
 
 
As part of our strategic plan for increasing membership and program quality in our Council, some difficult decisions have been made and we are ready to move forward with the changes we feel are necessary to offer the best program we can for our youth.
 
The first of these changes to roll out will be the amalgamation of all groups in the East End of St. John's to form one large group operating under a solid administrative body. We are excited to introduce to you, the 1st St. John's East Group.
 
This new group will include all sections from:
 
  • 1st Roncalli
  • 1st MacDonald Drive
  • 1st Mary Queen of Peace
  • plus an additional Colony at East Point Elementary
 
The East End currently has a youth population similar to that of Mount Pearl or Paradise, however despite efforts to increase membership and retention, East End groups have been unable to reach the same share of the potential market. Some key observations have been made and have helped us make our decision to amalgamate these groups:
 
  1. Our current groups are competing for the same volunteers and fund-raised dollars to support their programs.
  2. There is very little communication and collaboration between groups and sections.
  3. Pooling resources will allow all groups in the area to more easily access great, safe, scouting adventures.
  4. One large Group Committee will be able to manage all sections in the area more easily and provided significantly better support to Scouters as they guide youth through the program.
  5. There is currently only one fully operational Group Committee (MQP) while the other groups struggle to fully administer their groups.
  6. Groups with school names have a hard time recruiting youth from other schools in the neighbourhood. We have received many requests from parents looking a group in their school because they think that their child has to attend MQP or MacDonald Drive to register with their respective groups. This seems to be an uphill battle and is evident in other organizations as well (ie. 2415 Gonzaga Army Cadets face issues recruiting youth from other schools for the same reason).
  7. When youth have several options within the same group, finding a section that fits their schedule is much easier. Retaining youth from group-to-group is more difficult.
  8. Other groups have amalgamated quite successfully in the past to ensure a strong program continued for the youth involved (ie. Mount Pearl, Grand Falls, Gander, plus many others across the country).
 
To be clear:
 
  • we have had discussions with group leadership and have their full support -- they will remain in place through the transition hand assist in forming a new committee;
 
  • we are not taking your neckers or badges -- the new group will have the opportunity to decide on a new crest and necker when they are ready;
 
  • we are not taking your money and equipment...resources from all groups will be pooled and become the property of 1st St. John's East Group;
 
  • meeting space and school/venue relationships will be maintained...nothing here needs to change;
 
  • there will be a $5 group fee charged to all registrations, falling in line with MQP's current group fee.
  
While we know this change will be happening, we haven't set out all the details as to how it will happen. To ensure our volunteers and participants have the opportunity to be fully engaged in this process, we are hosting a Scouter & Parent Meeting. This will be an opportunity to offer your ideas, goals, and concerns to help us create a smooth transition and continue supporting the mission. Please see meeting details below.
 
We look forward to your support as we implement this change. If you have any questions or concerns, please forward them to Stephen Loney at stephen.loney@scouts.ca and the CK3 will review and reply as necessary.

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