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NLC Membership Survey and Action Plan

February 20, 2018


Membership Survey Report

In late April of 2017, a survey was sent to 998 Members of Northern Lights Council. The survey was designed to solicit honest responses from members about how Northern Lights Council is working/functioning and to obtain feedback on what members require from Council to meet Scouts Canada’s Five Key Priorities: Membership Growth; Safety Leadership; Program Quality; Volunteer Support; and Group Capacity.


What respondents told us is that we have been only moderately successful in meeting the needs of our membership and in fully embracing the Five Key Priorities.

Respondents who indicated that their needs were not being met indicated that they:

  • Do not feel very supported in their scouting roles;
  • The transition to the Canadian Path has been difficult;
  • Need more and specific training than is currently available;
  • Communication both within groups and between Council and groups is not effective; and
  • Volunteers feel overworked and under-appreciated.

These findings were also expressed by Scouters in the Scouts Canada Volunteer Satisfaction Survey this summer.

In that survey three key areas were identified as requiring improvement:

  • Building a stronger and more positive relationship with/amongst Scouters
  • Ensuring that training meets the needs of new Scouters
  • Increasing developmental support and constructive feedback for Scouters


Council has already starting working to address your concerns:

Area: Support

  1. Council Key 3 will visit every area once per year and will host one online call per year. These forums will be open to all scout members and will be publicized through direct marketing.
  2. A complete introduction set of who's who on council/area will be sent out to all members including photos, bios and current responsibilities. Contact details will be included as well.
  3. Facilitate ease of documentation requirements by building standardized templates (i.e. Risk Assessment, OAS, etc.) for Scouters to use.
  4. Clarify goals, roles, and job descriptions

Area: Volunteering

  1. Specific and targeted marketing such as advertising campaigns utilizing different media types and styles.
  2. Research volunteer recruitment techniques and recruitment best practices of other nonprofit volunteer based organizations.
  3. Communicate the steps that are being taken by Council and National to "catch up" on recognition.
  4. Communicate the plan to address volunteer recognition moving forward.
  5. Communicate the benefits of standardized training our volunteers. Provide examples of training requirements/training processes from other non-profit volunteer based organizations as a comparison and outlining the pros of Scouts Canada volunteer training requirements.

Youth Engagement and Retention

  1. Creating more interaction and networking opportunities for older youth.
  2. Facilitate and assist youth in planning events and activities by creating a support team of youth passionate about planning linking camps and events.
  3. Encouraging and organizing events to be run throughout the summer months.


  1. Clarify Training requirements. Acronyms need definitions
  2. Identify resources available
  3. Offer more in-person training in every area
  4. Develop a train the trainer initiative
  5. Work with National to resolve on-line training program issues (freezing)