Group Support Model FAQ




  1. Group Support Model
  2. Area Transition
  3. Group Commissioner Orientation Program



Group Support Model



Why are we implementing a new model to support Groups?

Group Commissioners have been clear: enhanced support is key to building Groups that can deliver a quality Scouting program and a quality Scouting experience to both youth and Scouters. We have heard that every Group is different, facing different challenges and experiencing unique successes, requiring varying forms of services and resources. The Group Support Model has been designed with the flexibility to address these differences.



What is the Group Support Model?

The Group Support Model is a new structure that Councils across Canada are introducing to ensure Group Commissioners have the appropriate support to deliver a quality Scouting program. To ensure every Group receives quality support, we will implement a standardized support model that provides the tools, resources and people with the right skills to help Group Commissioners achieve success. In a nutshell, every Group Commissioner will be supported by a dedicated Relationship Manager who will connect them with the resources they need to be successful.


Group Support Model diagram PDF available for download at the end of the FAQ



Q: Who has been involved in developing this new structure?


A: The National Service Team—led by Council Commissioners, Council Youth Commissioners, Council Relationship Managers and the National Key 3—has been working since early April to develop the Group Support Model. Each Council Key 3 is engaging with the Scouters in its Council to develop and transition to the new structure. Local Scouters are working with your Council Key 3 and Council Leadership Team to create a support model that matches your Council’s needs.


How will this affect my Group?

 Every Group will receive support. In fact, Groups will see additional support because it will be more easily accessible, delivered by phone, online or in person. Through a shared model, the quality of support will be more consistent across Canada. Groups will be better able to share tools and resources that directly foster Group Health.



What support will my Group receive?

Every Group will be assigned a dedicated Relationship Manager who will offer support and guidance. Support will include at least one formal Group Health review each year and other opportunities for check-ins.

Initially, support will be focused on core areas themed around the Group Health Navigator. This will include: helping reach more youth in your community, fundraising for Group adventures, implementing Volunteer Screening and risk management, improving program quality, getting the best performance out of Scouters, recruiting Volunteers and succession planning, and Group operations.


Who will be supporting my Group?

 If the Relationship Manager supporting your Group is changing, you can expect your dedicated Relationship Manager to reach out this summer or fall and introduce themselves. Moving forward, any time there is a change in the support for your Group, there will be a handover meeting to ensure a smooth transition.


Will some Groups not receive any support?

 All Groups will receive support. In fact, many Groups will receive more support than ever before. Each Group will be assigned to a Relationship Manager. We are also introducing a new volunteer role – the Group Support Scouter, who will provide guidance to a number of Groups in much the same way as an Area team in the past. The Group Support Centre will serve as another contact point where Groups will have rapid access to advice, resources and tools.


Will this move simplify how my Group accesses information?

Yes. Under the Group Support Model framework, your Relationship Manager will have access to all the Program Support Networks and will be able to gather resources or connect with other Groups more effectively.


What is a Group Support Scouter?

A Group Support Scouter is a volunteer who provides guidance to a number of Groups. The Group Support Scouter is the point of contact for an assigned Group Commissioner (or any member of the Group Committee). The Group Support Scouter’s role is to provide answers and advice to positively impact Scouts Canada’s Mission, particularly by helping Groups to grow their membership.


 Who can become a Group Support Scouter? How does one apply for this role?

Group Support Scouters will mostly be made up of experienced Scouters. If you or someone you know is interested in this role, please contact your Relationship Manager for more information.  



Area Transition


Q: How will the Group Support Model impact Areas?


A: The concept of providing geographically segmented Group support has remained largely unchanged over the history of Scouting in Canada. The Group Support Model means taking a different approach. The nature of support that Groups receive will be determined by need rather than geography. Many Councils have already opted to move away from the Area Support Model (i.e. Group support provided through an Area Key 3) in favour of networks of Support Scouters. Beginning in the 2019-20 Scouting Year, the Area Support Model will be transitioned to the new Group Support Model. This transition will be managed Council by Council, so exact timelines and approaches will vary across the country.


Q: Other than the role of supporting Groups, how will this change affect Areas?

A: Generally, Areas will remain the same. The Group Support Model is the big change. Please see the table below for a detailed breakdown of what is changing and what is staying the same.


What is staying the same

What is changing

  • The People: The people who provide support to Groups currently will largely remain the same. Area Commissioners and Area Youth Commissioners and other Area Support Scouters who want to continue providing support to Groups may be invited to do so as Group Support Scouters.
  • The Events: Volunteers who coordinate Area events (such as Beaverees and Cuborees) can continue to do so.
  • The Camps: Area camp committees will continue to operate with the same volunteer teams.
  • The Badges: Area crests will continue to be a part of the formal uniform.
  • Sharing Circles, Scouter Clubs, etc.: Where they exist, these communities of practice can continue to operate as normal.
  • The Area Support Model: The geography-based model of supporting Groups though an Area Key 3 will be transitioned to the Group Support Model.
  • Area Key 3 Roles (but not the people): Relationship Managers (such as volunteers in the new Group Support Scouter role and current Scouting Relationship Managers) will replace Area Key 3s as the primary point of support for Groups.



Q: What is the Group Support Centre?

A: The Group Support Centre is a team of Scouting Relationship Managers dedicated to providing service to Group Commissioners. The Group Support Centre is shared across all Councils, and is also an online portal through which Group Commissioners can access the resources they need 24/7.


Q: How do I access its services?

A: The Group Support Centre can be accessed online. If you are a Group Commissioner, you will be provided with the information you need to access the Group Support Centre once it is live.


Q: Will the Group Support Centre be the same as the Help Centre?

A: No. The Group Support Centre will be dedicated to serving Group Commissioners. It will provide more comprehensive and proactive support than the Scouts Canada Help Centre. The Group Support Centre will include resources for Group Commissioners not found on the Scouts Canada Help Centre.



Group Commissioner Orientation Program

Q: Who is eligible for the Group Commissioner Orientation Program?

A: All new Group Commissioners will be invited to take part in the Group Commissioner Orientation Program before they officially take on the role. The opportunity will also be extended to current Group Commissioners who expect to remain active in the role for a few more years.


Q: What does the Group Commissioner Orientation Program cover?

A: The Group Commissioner Orientation Program gives Group Commissioners the knowledge, perspective and tools they need to be successful in their role. Q: Is the content of this course different from the newly launched WBI for Group Commissioners? A: Yes, the content for the Group Commissioner Orientation Program is completely different from the newly launched WBI for Group Commissioners. Group Commissioners are encouraged to complete both programs to be successful in their role.


Q: I am eligible for the Group Commissioner Orientation program; how do I sign up?

A: New Group Commissioners are automatically eligible for the program. Going forward, new Group Commissioners should receive an invitation to attend the program soon after they accept the role. Eligibility for returning Group Commissioners is based on Relationship Manager referral. If a Group Commissioner is interested in participating in the Group Commissioner Orientation program, they should contact their Relationship Manager.




Still need help? Please feel free to contact the Scouts Canada Help Centre:


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