FAQ – Volunteering for Parents

This Frequently Asked Questions list is for parent volunteers.

What do volunteers do at meetings?

Volunteers help with supervision, safety, crafts and activities. They help with preparing supplies, set up and clean up. Our group asks all parents to volunteer at least 1 meeting a year.

Volunteers in red shirts are called Scouters.  They are either full-time or part-time registered volunteers who have taken training and watch over the safety of the group, lead activities and plan special events.

Can I help out the group without taking training?

Of course you can help out! You can help out in regular meetings 5 times before Scouts Canada requires you to register.  If you register as a volunteer and take the basic training, your attendance at a meeting can help our group stay compliant with the 1:6 Registered Volunteer:Beaver Scout safety ratio policy. This can prevent a meeting from being cancelled if a registered volunteer is unable to attend. It can also help us bring youth off the waiting list and into the group.

Before helping, speak to a Scouter. The Scouter will tell you what you need to know.

Can I come along on overnight trips?

We usually have a couple spots available for parent volunteer helpers. If your child has a medical or behavioural concern that requires your attendance at overnights please advise the Scouters about the issue and we will make arrangements for you. All parents who stay on overnights have to take Scouting Safety for Parents. This is an online course.

I’d like to volunteer but I don’t know anything about Scouting or the outdoors. Can I still volunteer?

Of course you can! We’re all learning together and trying new things! If you sign up as a weekly volunteer, the training will teach you the basics about Scouting, and volunteering is a great way to learn some new skills in a safe and friendly environment.

Can I help out behind the scenes instead?

Of course you can! There are lots of roles available. Our group committee appreciates help with administrative paperwork, our fundraising events require coordination and assistance, and our annual Baden-Powell Banquet needs event planning help.

At our regular meetings, some volunteers might not feel ready to lead meetings and that’s just fine – helping out with crafts and supplies is just as helpful!

I am a parent and I would never hurt a child. Why do I have to be screened and take child safety training?

We’re pretty sure you were comforted to know that the Scouters working with your child all have the same standard knowledge about making sure everyone is safe and running  quality program. Safety training ensures all weekly scouting volunteers understand their duty of care. Screening is a basic step all youth organizations require.

OK, I’m ready to sign up as a weekly volunteer! Will training take a lot of my time?

The online training modules are divided into small lessons that are usually about 30-60 minutes each, so you can fit them in with your schedule. Learning online is self-paced and goes surprisingly quickly. You can go as fast or as slow as you need to, though once you have signed up as a Scouter, you must finish your training within 90 days. When each module is complete, take a screen shot or other copy of the completion confirmation and retain for your records.

If you prefer in-person training, Scouts offers a one or two day session for Wood Badge 1 periodically on weekends.

Is training difficult to complete?

No, training is designed to be easy. It is a combination of common sense and helpful tips. There is a simple multiple choice test at the end of each module.

How much time is expected from a registered volunteer (Scouter)?

Being a Scouter is a lot of fun! You get to experience the wonder of Scouting alongside the youth, learning new skills and having new adventures along the way! As a result, some Scouters choose to put in extra time to research and prepare awesome activities for the kids to do. They do it because they get inspired by the youth and want to contribute. And when you are having fun, you find you stop counting hours and start counting smiles.

When you start out:

  • Part-Time Scouters are expected to come to 2 regular meetings a month. (2 hours a month)
  • Full-Time Scouters come to all weekly meetings.  (4-5 hours a month)
  • Everyone is asked to come to monthly Group Commitee meetings (1 hour a month)
  • Two Colony planning meetings a year (2 hours per meeting)

There are four fundraising activities and various weekend out-trips throughout the year. Our Colony Scouters discuss their availability for each activity and work with each others’ schedules.

What is the schedule for becoming a registered volunteer?

To get started, submit the required paperwork package: Online Registration through myscouts, Criminal Record Check (completed online with reference code – see this information sheet) and signed Code of Conduct. Make sure your references know they will receive a reference check email, and/or a phone call from our team. This will get you in the myscouts system and give you access to the online David Huestis Learning Centre.

During your first three weeks of volunteering or as soon as you are registered in myscouts, enter the David Huestis Learning Centre and commence Wood Badge 1. Once you receive a payment code from the Group Commissioner, commence Respect in Sport training.

Each module is between 30 and 75 minutes in length. Our group recommends that you target the first four weeks of the Beaver Scout year to complete the modules.

Training is really helpful! What other training is available?

With support from your Group Committee, there is lots of other training through Scouts. Training opportunities may include Food Safe, First Aid , Scouting and Outdoor Skills, and the in-person Wood Badge 2 Camp.

My child is moving up to another section. What are my choices?

You are welcome to travel up through the sections with your child. Just advise the registrar and the Section Scouter of your intention. The training you have taken already may apply to the new section.

Some Scouters find an age group they enjoy working with and choose to stay with the section they know while their child moves up. You are 100% welcome to stay with our section – the program quality -and volunteer enjoyment-  improves with experience and stability of leadership!