The Group Support Committee (GSC) is a vital part of any successful Scout Group. Scouts Training describes the Committee thus, “The mission of the Support Committee is to remove all barriers to success and allow the trained Adult Leaders to focus on delivering Scouting without being distracted by housekeeping, fund raising, facilities management, and so on.”   It is important to note the word SUPPORT.

This committee is made up of ALL the Parents by default. Any Leaders who also happen to be Parents are also part of this Committee but must remember their Role changes when attending these meetings, from Leader to Parent.

The Group Support Committee Executive (GSCE) is part of the GSC and is made up of the Group Leader, Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. This is the core of the Committee and it is vital to have committed, strong and passionate people in these roles. The Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary are all to be signed up as Adult Members of Scouts Queensland, hold a valid Blue Card and complete the Mandatory E-Learning modules of Child Safe and Workplace OH&S. The Group Leader needs to complete the required Leader of Adult training and practical weekend courses.

The GSCE reports to the Group Leader and are there to support all the Leaders to deliver a great Scouting Program. There are further elective E-Learning modules for each Role available, which offer excellent insight into the Roles and the GSCE. All Members of Scouting have access to these E-Learning modules using their Membership Number and DOB in 6 digits.

The GSC should meet once per month, and this meeting should be at a set time and date. Making it the First Monday of the Month, for example, ensures everyone knows exactly when it will be and can plan their calendars to suit. Agenda Items should be sent to the Secretary before the meeting and a copy of the Agenda then sent to all GSCE members at least 2 days before, so they can come prepared to discuss. The GSC meetings should be quite formal with minutes taken, motions moved, seconded and voted on. The GSC should meet regardless of availability of members with reports from absent members emailed beforehand and discussed during.

A GSC meeting should follow a standard meeting format, with Minutes from previous meeting accepted and seconded, Business outstanding from previous meetings, Incoming mail, Outgoing mail, Workplace Health and Safety, Treasurers report, Group Leaders report, Fundraising Report and General Business. Always agree and set the next meeting place and time and ensure it is broadcast to the Group Families. Using a Group noticeboard within your Den is a great idea, as well as using a Group Newsletter. Broadcasting the Minutes of the GSC meetings is an excellent way of promoting to the families what is coming up and how much work is being done in the background to ensure the success of the Scout Group.

Some of the tasks of the GSC:

  • Purchase/attainment of required equipment for sections.
  • Maintenance and organisation of Group Equipment.
  • Administration of Group. E.g. Memberships, Renewals, Blue Cards etc.
  • Fundraising
  • Group Budget
  • Promotion of the Group activities
  • Payment of rates, electricity etc.
  • Housekeeping, Maintenance of the Group Buildings
  • Compliance Audits

A functioning, focused and committed Group Support Committee is a vital cog in any successful Scout Group. The members of the Executive have to believe in the Scouting method and be willing and driven to ensure the Leaders can deliver the Scouting program for the benefit of the Youth. Finding the right Team of people who can work well together to keep the Scout Group supplied with everything they need to be successful should be a primary focus of the Group Leader.

TIP! – Do NOT let the GSCE or GSC interfere or advise the Leaders on HOW to run sections!

Tony Langler
Region Development Support Officer