This document seeks to answer frequently asked questions regarding Scouts Canada's switch to online registration for participants, starting in the 2017/2018 Scouting year.
Please note that a pdf. of this article is available for download at the bottom of the page
If you are looking for details on how to register online, please refer to one of these following articles:
*Does Scouts Canada offer a payment or installment plan for online registration?
While Scouts Canada does not offer a payment plan nationally, as of September 1, 2017, Groups that want to offer one will be able to apply to their Council office to obtain a Group Registration code. Parents will enter this code during the online registration process rather than paying the Scouts Canada fee or the Group fee.
The Group will be required to remit the Scouts Canada portion of the fee using the existing Group batch process and will track the parent’s installment payments offline. Establishing payment terms with the parent will be the Group’s responsibility.
Note that any Group with outstanding registration fees to Scouts Canada for the previous or current Scouting year will not be issued a registration code.
*How can parents receiving fee subsidies from a Group or third party register their child through the online system?
There are currently two ways to accommodate parents receiving financial assistance from the Group or a third-party (such as a Group sponsor or Canadian Tire Jumpstart):
- As per the process for a Group payment plan, the Group can request a code from their Council office that the parent can use when registering their child rather than making payment. The Group makes the payment and the parent reimburses the Group;
- At a Group meeting or Council office, the parent can log into myscouts.ca, complete their child’s registration and have a Scouter or Group Registrar make the payment for the parent. The Group can then reimburse the Scouter or Registrar.
In both cases, the Group will need to remit the full registration fee to Scouts Canada and track any payment by the parent to the Group offline.
*How can parents register their child through the online system when paying with cash?
Parents can purchase a pre-paid Visa card in cash and use the pre-paid card to complete their child’s online registration. Parents can also make cash transfers using PayPal.
Alternatively, the Group can pay the registration fee and the parent can reimburse the Group using the same method as when parents receive a fee subsidy from a Group.
*How will “closed Groups” be accommodated within online registration?
Starting in August 2017 every Group will be set to “open” and Groups will not be able to set themselves as “closed”. If membership in the Group is limited for reasons consistent with Policy 19014, the Council will be able to mark them as “closed” in myscouts.
*If a Section within a Group is at capacity, how can a Group register a child if the parent is willing to serve as a Volunteer?
If a group is at capacity but you have a youth who wants to join with a parent willing to volunteer, the registrar can add them manually to the system.
Alternatively, if the parent has offered to volunteer that may increase the capacity of a Section. The Group can then increase the Section capacity, which would enable the parent to register their child. While the myscouts system cannot support prioritization, Groups can certainly do so through communication with the Group Registrar.
*What How should a Group manage their membership waitlist?
If the parent has used the Find-a-Group feature on scouts.ca and tried to register in a section that is at capacity, they will receive an email advising them of this. Parents will be able to maintain contact with the Group through this email as they await openings.
If the Section is at capacity due to meeting space restrictions, parents should be advised that they can be put on a waitlist for that Group. They should also be informed that there are other Groups in the Area and that the local Area Support Manager (ASM) can help them find a Group with space. Take down the parents contact information and forward it to your ASM.
If the Section is at capacity due to lack of Volunteers, parents should be advised that the Section is full based upon the number of Volunteers, and that more parents are being sought to join the volunteer team and make Scouting available to more youth.
*What will happen if a Group does not enable online registration?
Starting September 1, 2017 if a Group is not setup for online registration it will automatically be enabled for that Group in myscouts.ca.
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Why online registration?
Online registration will significantly reduce the workload of Scouters across the country. By registering youth online, parents can quickly and easily register their children for great, safe Scouting adventures, without the hassle of chasing down paperwork! Parents can register their children, input the data and ensure a much faster and efficient process. It also allows the registration fee to be paid directly and ensures that all important information, like a youth member’s medical information, is compiled and correct.
We understand that some Groups may have challenges getting started with online registration, so we have compiled some frequently asked questions to address questions that parents, registrars or Scouters may have in regards to online registration.
We are encouraging groups to enable online registration for September 1, 2017 registration (Scouting year 2017-2018). Paper registration will no longer be supported as ofthe 2017-2018 Scouting year.
How do Parents get a tax receipt if they register online?
If you have registered online, then starting September 1st 2016, you will be able to self-select a tax receipt and print at your desired location. For the 2016 tax year, there may be a modification to the tax code where a printed receipt is not necessary.
How do parents register online if they do not have a credit card?
We also support Interac® transfer (please note CIBC does not permit this function), and PayPal™ will be introduced in the future. By having various forms of payment, parents have a variety of options to choose from that suit their needs.
How do parents register online if they do not have Internet access at home?
Certain homes may not have Internet access, but most businesses, community centers, libraries and restaurants do. If Internet is not available at a parent’s place of work, they can also ask a family member, friend or neighbour to borrow access to register. Groups can also hold parent registration evenings, and share a laptop among parents who do not have internet access. If Internet access is not available in the Group meeting location, then consider holding your registration night at a location with Wi Fi, such as a library or a community centre. This can be a great way to engage your parents by having a Parent Registration Night in the spring!
How do parents apply for No One Left Behind (NOLB) funding when registering online?
Parents who wish to apply for NOLB can go through a process that’s easier than ever. Parents should begin the NOLB application process prior to registering online. Once their application has been processed, they will be advised whether a NOLB subsidy has been approved and subsidy will be applied to their profile. When they register their child online in MyScouts, the discounted amount of the NOLB subsidy will be automatically deducted from their registration fee. The NOLB application process is detailed on scouts.ca here.
Does Scouts Canada offer a payment or installment plan for registration fees?
Scouts Canada does not offer a payment plan; however, with our continued commitment to the No One Left Behind Program, most cases of families needing financial assistance are addressed. Groups that offer a monthly or quarterly payment plan will need to pay Scouts Canada the full registration fee by the beginning of the new Scouting year (September 1st) and make payment arrangements between the Group and parents.
Some parents encounter login issues with MyScouts.
Enhancements are continually being made to MyScouts and the majority of these issues have been addressed. Currently, improvements in managing the parent-child relationship are one of our priorities. Enhancements will be implemented for September 2017 that clarify the parent/child relationship and make it easier for parents to identify all children that are registered. To review the latest updates, visit the Technical Updates page.
Parents are encouraged to ensure their email address is up-to-date and consistent with their child’s records. All fields should be filled out with correct information so that MyScouts’ performance is optimal.
It is recommended that Groups cleanup online profiles of members and parents to ensure that parents profiles have up-to-date information, including their date of birth, and that their profile links to their respective child or children.
Is there a discount for multiple youth in the same family?
With the increased funding of No One Left Behind, discounts for multiple children are no longer provided. Families who required financial assistance are asked to follow the NOLB process. Visit the No One Left Behind Guidelines here.
How does a parent submit a signature to make an online registration “official”.
If a parent completes their own online registration, when they submit their data it is considered an electronic signature, and a written signature is not required. If the registration is by paper form, the parent’s signature must be on the form and the form sent to the Council office for retention. As the paper form is phased out and the online registration becomes the norm, no paper form will be required for retention.
How are refunds processed and what are the refund terms?
There is a new streamlined membership process and the complete details are outlined on the Online Support Centre here. Please refer to that for complete details. To summarize:
- From May 1 to Sept 30, any refund request received is entitled to 100% refund;
- From September 30th to October 31st, refunds will be processed at 50% of payment received;
- After Nov 1st, no refunds will be issued except under extenuating circumstances;
If a child is registered outside of the above dates, the refund request must be received within 30 days of the date on which registration fee payment was made, and a full refund will be provided.
Can I use my phone or tablet to register online?
MyScouts is not yet optimized for mobile devices. Although MyScouts may work on certain tablet devices, we highly recommend that you use a computer when registering online.
How do I enable online registration for my Group?
To enable self-registration in the system you will need to:
- Set Group fees;
- File the Group’s bank information with Scouts Canada;
- Select ‘Yes’ to activate online registration in myscouts.ca;
- Set maximum capacities for sections in myscouts.ca; and
- Ensure sections appear in the Find a Group feature.
For more information go to the Online Support Centre here.
How are Group fees accommodated within online registration?
The Group needs to be set up for online registration in order to have the system collect the Group fee portion. Groups can also collect the Group fee directly from parents outside of the registration process. This also provides an opportunity to interact with parents, to present the upcoming year’s program, and to encourage their participation.
When and how will the Group receive the Group fee portion of online registration?
The Group fee portion of online registration will be deposited monthly into the group bank account that is provided when online registration is enabled.
How can I set up a different Group fee for different times of registration?
Group fees are the responsibility of the Groups and only one Group fee can be in effect at a given time. Should a Group wish to have a different Group fee for different registration periods, it is up to the Group Registrar to modify the fee in MyScouts.
By way of example, a Group could set the Group fee portion for returning members at a discounted rate for May 1 to 16 to stimulate early registration. A different rate can be set for May 16 onwards for those who did not take advantage of early registration.
How do I move youth up from one Section to the next?
MyScouts enables you to manage the promotion of Scouts from one section to the next and is also programmed to hold a spot during the two-week reserve advanced registration window for returning members. Youth will easily be able to “swim-up” to the next section with this awesome enhancement!
Will my Group bank information be safe?
Absolutely! All information registered in MyScouts is safe and secure. Note that you only need to provide Group bank information if you wish to charge Group fees through MyScouts or if you wish to process any refunds that may be due. If your Group does not charge fees, then direct parents to use online registration and any refunds will be paid directly to the parent.
Will my Group funds be safe?
The National Service Centre only has deposit access to Group bank accounts and this is only to deposit refunds and Group fees. National and Regional Service Centres are not able to withdraw any funds from Group bank accounts. This policy is implemented by all Canadian financial institutions.
What happens if our Group is full and a parent tries to register their child?
If the parent has used the Find-a-Group feature on scouts.ca, they will be provided with the Group contact information:
- If the Section is at capacity due to meeting space restrictions, parents should be advised that they can but put on a waitlist for that Group. They should also be informed that there are other Groups in the Area and that the local Area Support Manager (ASM) can help them find a Group with space. Take down the parents contact information and forward it to your ASM.
- If the Section is at capacity due to lack of Volunteers, parents should be advised that the Section is full based upon the number of Volunteers, and that more parents are being sought to join the volunteer team and make Scouting available to more youth.
Will medical information be safe in MyScouts?
How do we register Rovers and their role within a Section?
MyScouts is set up for online registration for Rovers and all Rovers should self-register online. Groups with Rovers should be set up for online registration. This will enable the Rover to register as a no fee participant and will not generate an incorrect invoice.
How can a Volunteer (Scouter) opt-out of membership?
With the recently introduced Evergreen membership, all Scouter roles are automatically renewed. During the renewal process, the individual has the opportunity to opt out and end their membership. The Group Registrar also has the ability to end a Volunteer’s membership. If neither action happens, the Scouter will remain in MyScouts until any of the conditions of membership have not been met by the prescribed deadline, at which time membership will expire.
How can Groups with Multiple Sections manage registering a Colony A member to Pack B?
Groups can transfer a youth to any section within their Group after the parent has registered their child. Example: If the parent registers their child in in Colony A, the Registrar can transfer the child to Pack B after the registration.
When registering new members, is it possible to give priority to a youth whose parent has agreed to volunteer?
If the parent has offered to volunteer then that may increase the capacity of a Section. The Group can then increase the Section capacity which would enable the parent to register their child. While the myscouts system cannot support prioritization, Groups can certainly do so through communication with the Group Registrar.
I’m from an LDS Group, can we use online registration?
In July of 2016, a new process will be introduced whereby parents will be able to enter a coupon code at the time of on-line registration. Your Council will generate the code and distribute them to the stake or Group. By entering the code, the parent does not pay at the time of registration and the fee will be billed to their LDS Stake.
What are the benefits of online registration?
Registering youth online has the potential to significantly reduce the number of hours that Volunteers spend inputting data. Parents can register their children, input the data and ensure a much faster and efficient process. It also allows the registration fee to be paid directly and increases the likelihood that all important information, such as a youth member’s medical information, is compiled and correct. Our environment footprint is also reduced by not using paper!
We do not have a parent registration night.
Then why not consider holding one for the coming year? Groups that have parent registration nights during spring registration find that it provides an ideal opportunity to make parents aware of the exciting adventures their Scouts have participated in throughout the year! Parents who are knowledgeable of their child’s personal progression in Scouts, are more likely to re-register their child the following Scouting year. Fall registration nights are an opportunity to make parents aware of what their child can look forward to throughout the coming year and reinforce the value of Scouting. At any time of year, registration nights are a great opportunity to recruit parent helpers and prospective Volunteers (Scouters).
Is online registration intended to eliminate Area collection nights?
Area collection nights can still be held and laptops and tablets can be enabled for each Group attending. With online registration, the end user enters their own information, which greatly increase the accuracy of the data entered while reducing the Registrar’s workload.
Why has registration increased to $215 for the 2017-2018 Scouting year?
While the National and Council Membership fee for 2017/18 has been set at $215, the cost to deliver a consistent, high quality Scouting program across Canada is $257 once the costs of managing, resourcing and supporting day-to-day operations and program delivery are factored in. We count on revenue from our Popcorn Fundraiser, retail sales and other fundraising activities to bridge the gap between true program cost and the membership fees charged. In past years, Scout Popcorn has contributed $1.4 million to our operating budget – or $23 per youth member. Popcorn has a significant impact on our ability to deliver a quality program and to remain cost-competitive.
Note that youth registered between May 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017 qualify for a spring registration discount rate of $185. This is unchanged from last year’s discount and represents a significant savings over the 2017-2018 regular fee.
From July 1 – December 31, a fee of $215 applies. For registrations after January 1, 2018, a fee of $165 applies.
Who do we contact if we have issues with MyScouts or with online registration?
The primary point of contact for MyScouts support is the Scouts Canada Help Centre who will respond to your request within 2 business days.
How do we collect and produce a report on parent skills?
This has been identified as an issue and will be addressed as soon as possible in the work plan for MyScouts enhancements. In the interim, a Parent Resource Survey template has been developed that can be used by Groups to collect parent skills and to identify where parents can be engaged throughout the year to support Group adventures.
Why were no paper forms included in this year’s Recruitment Toolkit?
Paper forms are being phased out and this is the last Scouting year that an electronic template will be available. Parents can print a paper form if desired and hand it in to their Group. The Group Registrar must enter all data into MyScouts and then submit the paper form to their Council Office for retention. Paper forms will be kept at Council offices and not at the National or Regional Service Centres.
Still need help? Please feel free to contact the Scouts Canada Help Centre:
Scouts Canada Help Centre