Group Support Model:
Shining Waters Council's Next Step
Dear Scouters of Shining Waters Council,

We hope you had a great start to the 2019-20 Scouting Year.

At Scouts Canada, our mission is clear: to help develop well-rounded youth, better prepared for success in the world. A Scout Group is the implementation of our mission at the community level. The vast majority of Scouting programs, Volunteer activities, and community engagements happen through Local Groups. The experiences that parents and youth have with their Group, positive or negative, will often determine their overall opinion of the Scouting Movement.

For this reason, Councils now have a new mandate - Supporting Group Health. Long-term, sustainable Mission Impact and growth depends on having healthy Groups. We are investing time and resources into what matters most - our Groups, the engine of Scouts Canada.

As part of the new mandate, we launched the new Group Support Model on September 1 to enhance services to Groups. Key to this model include:
  • Dedicated Relationship Manager: Our Council assigned a dedicated Relationship Manager (RM) for each Group. The RM is a Scouting Relationship Manager (SRM) or a Volunteer Group Support Scouter (GSS). The RM formally acts as a mentor and coach that works directly with assigned GCs to enable them to deliver on Scouts Canada's strategic priorities at the Group and Section level. All groups are guaranteed person-to-person support as mandated by the Group Support Standard in BP&P (
  • Group Support Centre: An online resource and networking hub dedicated to Group Commissioners (
  • Group Commissioner Orientation Program: The program provides Group Commissioners (GCs) with the vision, knowledge, and attitude to be successful in their role. The centralized program takes place in Ottawa regularly. All new GCs will be invited to take part in the GC Orientation Program before they officially take on the role. We will also offer this opportunity to current GCs who expect to remain active in the position for a few more years.

New Working Relationships
We can have the best plan - but it will be useless without people's support. This Council belongs to all of us - together, we can make a more significant positive impact on the communities we serve. Here's how we can work together under the new Group Support Model:

For Section Scouters and Group Committee Scouters
  • You are the real hero to the Scouting Movement. Youths expect incredible, first-time experiences that will help them build self-confidence and forge life-long friendships. Parents hope to see their children develop skills such as leadership, teamwork, and social awareness that will help them succeed in all aspects of life. You are the real hero who makes our brand promise possible
  • Canadian Path Navigator: The navigator is a program quality self-assessment tool. The tool encourages both Scouters and Scouting youth to learn and practice some key behaviours when implementing the Canadian Path. Note there is nothing wrong with a section self-assessing Stage 1 for all items at the beginning. The key is continuous improvements in partnership between youth, Section Scouters, and the GC (
  • Section and Group Committee Scouters can count on getting support from their GC. The GC, in turn, can count on getting help from their RM.

For Group Commissioners
  • You are ultimately accountable for the success of the five priorities within your Group. The five priorities are Mission Impact (Membership Growth), Safety Leadership, Program Quality, Volunteer Support, and Group Capacity. As our front-line volunteer manager, you have a critical role in building a healthy and vibrant Scouting movement in Canada.
  • Our Vision for GCs:
  1. GCs are empowered to lead their Group to achieve the mission within their community
  2. GCs are set up for success in the role by being properly on-boarded and being given the tools they need
  3. GCs receive the support they need to be successful when they need it
  • Group Health Navigator: This navigator helps GCs develop an action plan that will contribute to long-term sustainable growth by measuring behaviour against the Five Priorities for Success. Similar to the Canadian Path Navigator, there is nothing wrong with a group self-assessing Stage 1 for all items at the beginning. The key is continuous improvements in partnership between the GC and RM (
  • GCs can count on getting support from their RM. The RM, in turn, can count on getting help from their Council Key 3, other Council Leadership Team Members, and Shared-Service Scouters.
Relationship Managers (RM - GSS/SRM)
  • The RM is the Group's principal point of contact with Scouts Canada and Shining Waters Council. They will be available to support the GC whenever it's required or requested.
  • Our Group Support Philosophy as follow:
  1. Groups must be the focal point of Scouts Canada, as it's within Groups that our mission is achieved. Everything we do needs to help strengthen, support and empower Groups and their Sections.
  2. GSS/SRM will be GC's Trusted Advisor - credible, reliable, positive, collaborative, and solution-focused
  3. Group Support will not be about managing, compliance, or policing. Support will be in the form of coaching, mentoring, developing, listening, facilitating, and presenting possible solutions
  4. Group Support will not be about taking over Section Scouters or GCs responsibilities (e.g., running a camp or becoming a treasurer). A perfect idiom is we will not feed people with fish - but instead teach people how to fish. We are in for long-term sustainable success rather than a short-term band-aid solution.
  5. We measure Relationship Managers' success by the success of the Groups that they support.
  • Relationship Managers will focus on providing direct person-to-person support to GCs. Our Shared-Service Scouters will support other tasks such as Area/Council events, Scouter Development, Popcorn, etc.
Shared-Service Scouters (DCC/DAC)
  • Shared-Service Model will cover Scouter Development, Program, Communication, Recognition, Popcorn, Safety, Field Operations, and Properties. The Shared Service Model is expected to be rolled out in phases throughout 2019-20.
  • You can expect communication directly from Scouts Canada when a Shared-Service function is ready. For example - everyone should have received an email titled "Communications Volunteers - Join our NEW team" on October 11.
  • Qualified and interested individuals 14 years old and above are invited to apply.
Council Leadership Team
  • The Council Leadership Team (CLT) now consists of the Council Key 3 (Council Commissioner, Council Youth Commissioner, and Council Relationship Manager), all Relationship Managers, all Deputy Council Commissioners, and the Council Secretary:
  • Council Key 3: Kit Cheng (CC), Jason Gingrich (CYC), and Nicole Donadio (CRM)
  • Relationship Managers: Daisy Gao (SRM), Kristy Carthew (SRM), Allan Chan (GSS), Chris Burke (GSS), Daniel Lei (GSS), Dena Rogers (GSS), Greg Peach (GSS), Jackson Kwok (GSS), Purvin Wai (GSS), Scott Gingrich (GSS), and Vic Metcalfe (GSS)
  • Deputy Council Commissioners: Elwick Tang (Learning & Development), Allan Bray (Program), Wayne Morrison (Operations), Peck Yap (Recognition), Rob Finlayson (Recognition), Suzanne St-Jean (Popcorn), and Hans Uhr (Safety)
  • Council Secretary: Bob Martinell
  • In particular, we welcome the following new members to our Council Leadership Team: Allan C, Dena, Greg, Jackson, Peck, Purvin, and Scott.
  • The following Relationship Managers from the Group Support Centre will also be supporting Groups in our Council: Mark Sokolowski (SRM), Marlene Harris (SRM), and Sherin Bamji (SRM)

Additional Info / Clarifications
You may find additional information about the Group Support Model from the following sources:
  • Initial Council Announcement: The email sent to all GCs in Shining Waters Council on July 30, 2019, 8:04 pm - Your GC can provide the details
  • Council Key 3 Visits: We now have a chance to visit all 6 Areas within our Council to present the new Group Support Model. Thank you for your support and dedication. It was great to hear first-hand insights and feedback from our people serving in Section, Group, and Area roles.
  1. Whispering Pines Area - August 20 in Gravenhurst
  2. Sunset Area - August 22 in Hanover
  3. York Headwaters Area - August 25 in Thornhill
  4. Simcoe Phoenix Area - September 5 in Barrie
  5. South Lake Simcoe Area - September 10 in Holland Landing
  6. Northern Lights Area - September 18 in Orangeville
  • Reporting Structure: The BP&P's Appointment of Scouters Standards defines the Appointment and Accountability structure (
  • Areas: Areas continue to exist in the geographic sense but not for administrative purposes. Area Events such as Scouter's Club, Red Arrows, Area-wide Camps & Events, Volunteer Support Events, etc. are strongly encouraged to continue and innovate as usual - and will have the full support from our Council. What we are changing is the supporting structure - from geography-based to needs-based
  • Group Support Model FAQ:

A big thanks to everyone - Scouting Movement is vibrant from Steeles Ave to French River, and from Lake Huron to Lake Simcoe to Algonquin Provincial Park. This success is made possible by the 5,500 dedicated and passionate members like you. Thank you!

Please feel free to reach out to your Group Commissioner if you have any questions or feedback. GCs, please feel free to reach out to your Relationship Manager for questions and feedback.

Yours in Scouting,

Jason, Nikki, and Kit
Shining Waters Council Key 3
Council Youth Commissioner
Council Relationship Manager
Council Commissioner
Shining Waters Council
Scouts Canada | Website