Frequently Asked Questions

When is registration, is there an early registration in summer, what about fall, and / or late registration at Christmas or March break?
We have three official registration sessions every year.  Our early registration is in June and everyone is welcome.  Our regular registration is usually the second week of September after the youth have returned to school, and our “Bring-a-Friend” registration in the March time frame as organized by Scouts Canada. We continue to accept registration forms throughout the year, and at the cost determined by the group (16th West Vancouver) at that given time in the registration cycle.

How long does the program run?
Youth meetings typically commence in mid-to-late September depending upon leader availability, and finish mid-June. Youth meetings are not held on dates that the school facilities are not available such as Christmas Break, March Break, Thanksgiving, Easter Monday, Victoria Day. Beaver meetings are one hour in duration, Cub meetings are apprx. 1.5  hours in length and Scouts meetings are apprx. 1.5 hours in length.

How much does the program cost?
The registration fee for the 2014/15 scouting session is $200 per youth.  Of this fee, $175 is remitted to Scouts Canada directly, and the remaining is retained by our group.  This difference of $25 is used by the group to cover the cost of programs, training, fees for use of school facilities, camp equipment, storage and other expenses related to helping our units run a successful program.

Are there other costs?
Typically camps and other activities/outings are an additional cost. Any fundraising the individual section has conducted will be applied to help reduce the fees for outings.  The Bowen Scouts do not charge any extra for badges, weekly meeting dues and also cover the ferry costs and camp fees for necessary volunteers required to maintain leader/child ratios.  New registrants are also required to purchase the necessary uniform/necker and slide and handbook.  For a comprehensive explanation of fees for your child, contact us.

Why don’t all groups charge the same registration fee?
All groups must pay the same $175 per member to Scouts Canada, however the individual budgets of each group dictate how much money they require to pay for their program.  For example, some groups use schools that charge for use of the gymnasiums, others may have facilities that are available free of charge.  Please note that Girl Guides of Canada is a completely separate organization and we do not know how they set their fees.

What if we change our mind – can we get a refund?
If your child has participated in four (4) weeks or less of programming, you may obtain a full refund less an administrative fee of $50 to cover the costs of registration and refund processing performed by Scouts Canada.  There is NO refund after receiving four (4) weeks of programming.  Scouts Canada policy states that an individual who has spent more than 4 weeks in program has begun to receive a reasonable portion of the Scouting program and has been fully registered.  You are permitted to appeal this to Scouts Canada who will review these cases on an individual case basis. 

Is Scouting an activity that qualifies toward the Child Fitness Tax Credit?
Yes and no.  Registration fees will have receipts issued that are to be specifically used toward the Child Fitness Tax Credit.  Unfortunately dues, field trip and camp expenses are not included in this amount.  The tax receipts are typically issued in March.

Is Scouting a co-ed program?
Yes, the Scouting program is available to boys and girls, men and women.

What about youth with disabilities?
Scouting is an all inclusive program, and includes children with disabilities when possible.  Naturally, depending on the degree of ability, an attendant may or may not be required.  Safety of both the youth with the disability, and our general membership is paramount, and is part of the decision of whether or not a child can be accommodated. 

Do parents have to join?
Scouting is a very family oriented program, and parent participation and support is critical to its success.  We are always in need of leaders, as parents who volunteer as leaders tend to move up within the program with their children.  Volunteers are needed as well to fill positions on the Group Committee Executive in roles such as Group Commissioner, treasurer, secretary, events co-ordinator to name a few positions.  These positions are ideal for those who want to get involved in the program but do not think that becoming a leader is a good fit for them.  Other roles for parents would involve assisting with fundraising activities, sewing necker scarves, assisting at youth meetings and camps and supporting your youth at activities such as campfire nights and outings. 

How do I become a leader?
Adults who wish to join the program must fill out a Scouts Canada Adult Member Application form, and obtain a Police Reference Check (forms will be provided to interested adults to facilitate this process).  Scouts Canada has a mandatory training curriculum for our volunteer leaders which is imperative to provide you with both the tools to do the job and assist with risk management within the activities of the Scouting program.  It is typically a 1.5 day course called Woodbadge I and held on a weekend, and many sessions are available during the program year. An online version is also available for those who have limited time or a combination of in class and online is also available. 

What is the adult to youth ratio?
It is one adult for every five youth. If there are not sufficient leaders available, meetings can be cancelled as it is against Scouts Canada’s policies with regard to risk management to hold meetings without sufficient leaders.

Are uniforms required?
All youth members and adult leaders must have uniforms, which are available for purchase at the Scout Shop.  It is also possible to find used uniforms.  An on-line version of the Scout Shop catalogue can be found HERE.  At the beginning of each Scouting season, the group will place a large order for all necessary uniforms.  Individual orders can be placed at a later time.

Fundraising…do we have to do it?
Fundraising activities are conducted a few times during the program year as the bulk of the income brought in from registration goes directly to Scouts Canada, and not retained locally by our group.  We currently participate in three fundraising activities:  Apple Day, Christmas Tree Sales in West Vancouver and the Bowen Christmas Craft Fair at BICS.  The Christmas Tree Sales in West Vancouver is mandatory yet if possible all youth members are expected to participate in all of the fundraisers to help fund their programs, which in turn keeps camps and other activities as low-cost to parents as possible.

Do parents have to go camping?
Parents must attend camps at the Beaver level of the program.  At the Cub and Scout levels of the program parental participation is not mandatory at camps, however parents are welcome to attend, this is particularly true if their child has special needs or health issues that would benefit from parental attention.  Going to camp with your child will provide many great memories for years to come. Do I have to buy a tent and camping equipment for my son/daughter to camp? Our group currently does not have an inventory of camping equipment.  Leaders will provide an equipment list for packing purposes prior to holding a camp.

How often do they camp?
At the Beaver level this depends upon the leadership team, but definitely once at the end of the program year.  At the Cub level of program, there are usually 2-3 camps per year.  Scouts usually camp 4-5 times per year.

For more information about the Scouting program, please see the Scouts Canada website at

it starts with scouts

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