Scouting, at group level, is a wholly volunteer organisation. In effect this means that parents need to prepare, manage or assist in virtually all roles and responsibilities associated with the pack that their child attends. This page outlines the nature of the commitment that comes with being the parent of a Joey, Cub or Scout.
Overall commitment from parents
It is an expectation that each family plays an active role in Scouting. Most children will be involved in Scouts for several years, some for a decade, and a few for their lifetime. As a guide, each family should plan to be actively involved for at least two years. For example this might consist of one year on the Group Committee, and one year as an assistant leader. Alternately, a family might take an active leadership role in one of the annual fund-raising activities.
The 1st North Sydney Scout Group has a management committee with a number of volunteer roles that need to be filled. The key roles are as follows:
- Group Chair
- Vice President
- Hall Trustee/ booking and maintenance
- Fund-raising committee member
- Grant committee member
- Membership committee member
- Equipment committee member
The committee meets monthly for approximately 1 ½ hours on a Wednesday night. A list of current committee members is available online here.
A more detailed summary of the committee roles is available online here.
By comparison with many other local scout groups, the 1st North Sydney Group is relatively new. Over the past four years since the group was formed we have acquired a reasonable quantity of tents, canoes and other equipment but the group still has a long wish-list of expensive equipment items and capital repairs to the hall. Proposed items over the next 5 years or more include:
- Remove the asbestos from throughout the hall (estimated cost $7,000), this requires the upstairs bathroom to be replaced as well (estimated cost $8,000)
- Steps at the front of the hall (estimated cost $1,000)
- 4 x tents for the Scouts and 4 x tents for the leaders (estimated cost $3,000)
- Replace the existing floor-boards in the hall (estimated cost $30,000)
- A number of miscellaneous camping items (estimated cost $2,000)
- Fire upgrade so that the hall can be used for sleeping (estimated cost $15,000)
- A number of miscellaneous hall items (heaters etc estimated cost $5,000)
- General improvements are also planned for the car-park (estimated cost $15,000)
- The downstairs bathrooms also needs renovation (estimated cost $10,000)
- Climbing, abseiling gear, helmets, ropes etc (estimated cost $4,000)
There are three main sources of fund-raising as outlined follows:
- Selling Christmas trees (the major activity which can raise $5-10,000)
- Selling First Aid kits (ongoing)
- Wine tasting evenings / small fund-raising events (which may raise $500-1,000 per function)
Selling Christmas trees is the major, once a year, fund-raiser and it is an expectation that each family plays a role. The committee has drafted a comprehensive plan (available online here) for this annual fund-raising activity. Sales occur over two weekends in December. The Group plans on selling First Aid Kits to local Schools (for School camps), at Christmas and also to parents prior to camps, Cuboree and Jamboree. The kits can also be sold through this website. Additionally, the Group also has a couple of wine tasting or wine sales fund-raising events planned for each year. These are a great way for parents to get together and get to know each other.
The Group has had some success in recent years with obtaining grants for capital items. There is a dedicated Grants Manager on the committee who continues to put considerable effort into various grant applications.
Some parents may be fortunate enough to work for companies that will sponsor volunteer organisations supported by their employees. Please contact us if your company provides sponsorship or grants of this nature.
The Joey, Cub and Scout leaders will also periodically issue a parent roster. This is required in order to ensure that there is a proper ratio of adults to children, particularly for excursions and other activities that occur outside the Scout Hall. Parents with skills such as first aid are, of course, highly sought after.
Finally, our experience has been that the majority of new Scouts are referred to us by friends and family. We always encourage parents to refer new children to us. Our recruitment policy gives preference to those children that join Joeys and then progress through Cubs and Scouts as they get older.
This page provides a summary only of some of the ways in which families can contribute. Please refer to some of the other more detailed documents which have been prepared which provides more detail about the committee and the various roles for parents.