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Group and Program Support (update) for a stronger Council

(July 15, 2019)

Fellow White Pine Council Scouters,

I want to take this opportunity and give you all an update to the overall Group Support transition plan of the Council.  My intent has been to be as transparent as possible during this process.  Since the initial communication in early June explaining, in broad strokes, an upcoming National shift to merging all existing Area program support networks into one team and increasing the level of support to the groups, many questions have been raised.

A complete list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) will be forthcoming and posted on the White Pine website.  Suffice to say the primary concerns which keep arising are as follows:

NOTE: These answers are designed for questions asked specifically about White Pine Council

Q) What happens to our camps / properties?

A) In short, nothing.  camps will continue to operate as they have.  We have appointed a property liaison which will work directly with our Operations Manager in coordination with the Council.  This will allow for a more direct line of communication.

Q) What about Area funds?

A) The Area funds that are held at COSC (Central Ontario Service Centre) are by earmarked for membership development in areas.  This is not changing.

Q) Are we losing our identity as Areas?

A) Not at all.  Feel free to retain the geographical boundaries and cresting.  Moving forward, the same boundaries will be kept in mind when deploying our GSS (Group Support Scouters)

Q) Why are you dissolving the Area teams?

A) The Area teams are not dissolving, if anything they are joining a larger network to provide better program support with additional resources.

Q) What is happening to the Area Commissioners (AC’s) and current service teams?

A) In large part, the current Area Commissioners and Service Team members have volunteered to take on the new role of Group Support Scouter.

As mentioned prior, the two divisions we will see form over the next little while are Group Support and Program Support.

Group Support: The GSS role has been created to focus on supporting Group Commissioners and their groups impact the five priorities.  The administrative component of previous support roles have been moved to the program support networks.  Each GSS volunteer, will support no more than four (4) groups which will increase the amount of interactions.  The hope is to augment the relationships and focus on key deliverables as it pertains to the five priorities.  Our timeline has begun and we have initiated the search for volunteers. We will be conducting a few vocational workshops prior to releasing a GSS directory with brief biographies.  This directory should be completed by mid-August.

Program Support: The program support networks are essentially, volunteer based teams that will focus on such program elements as event proposals and funding requests, adult development workshops, outreach, and so much more.  With the help of the White Pine Leadership Team (which includes Area representatives), we are in process of mapping out what this new structure will look like.  With this in mind, we would like to take our time in moving these networks and responsibilities so that we do not overlook any aspects important to our goal of providing youth with adventures. For this reason, we are not placing a hard deadline on this process.  As I have mentioned, this is our Council, and our responsibility is to ensure it is operating in a manner that works for White Pine! 

I welcome, any Scouter who would like to join the a transition team - please let us know.  As we continue our work in the two focus groups, with an amazing group of volunteers, we are also sharing our progress with others.  I am pleased to say that once more, White Pine is leading the way in identifying and clarifying structural challenges while providing simple solutions to ease into the two important changes.

These are exciting times to look forward to. As we improve upon our commitment to ensure every Group in White Pine has an assigned Group Support Scouter, they will easily get the support and information they require through a singular synergistic point of contact.

Enjoy your summer, and much deserved relaxation time.


Yours in Scouting,

Jeff W. Sauve, csp

Interim White Pine Council Commissioner



Translation Note: The Canadian English version of this content is being displayed because the French translation is unavailable.


Scouts Canada, l’organisation jeunesse la plus importante au pays, offre des programmes stimulants pour les garçons et les filles âgés de 5 à 26 ans dans des milliers de groupes répartis dans la plupart des villes du Canada.

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