Outstanding Service Awards
Outstanding Service Awards (OSA) recognize Scouting volunteers for effort beyond the norm. In 2012, Scouts Canada launched a new process that provides a simple equitable approach to these significant Awards for all Scouters. Any stakeholder to Scouting (volunteers, youth, parents, sponsors, etc.) can fill out a simple form to commend a Scouter for an outstanding act or service. Scouters will receive a certificate every time they are commended by a stakeholder and it will be presented within the Scouter’s section or group. As Scouters accumulate commendations, they will become eligible for Outstanding Service Awards and will be recognized with a medal and uniform insignia for each award.
Outstanding Service Awards range from a Certificate of Commendation to a Silver Wolf. They are awarded for service above the expected and typically relate to years of service and roles in the organization. These factors result in less than 3 per cent of our volunteers being formally recognized and the large majority of these recipients have over 10 years of service. National inconsistencies plus a complex nomination process compounded the issue. To open the award system to the full range of volunteers, a Scouter task force produced a recommendation for a new nomination process.
The Awards included in this process remain the same with two changes. A Bar to the Medal for Good Service has been added as an additional element to provide greater opportunity for the volunteers. The Silver Wolf is an exceptional award with a National impact and will be continue to be adjudicated by a National Committee.
Otherwise, the following awards are included in the OSA process:
- The Certificate of Commendation (the basic award)
- The Medal for Good Service and the Bar to the Medal for Good Service
- The Medal of Merit and the Bar to the Medal of Merit
- The Silver Acorn and the Bar to the Silver Acorn
The New Process
Anyone who has been affected by a volunteer’s outstanding contribution is welcome to nominate that individual for recognition. Nominators can include Sponsors, Youth, Parents and Scouters. When you want to say ‘Thanks’ to a volunteer for their outstanding contribution, simply go to the OSA webpage at scouts.ca/thanks. Clicking on the Thanks Button will direct you to a basic OSA commendation form to complete. It requires information about you and the volunteer, their affiliation with Scouting and the reason for your recommendation. When finished, simply press “Done”. That initiates a speedy process that will result in formal recognition for that person.
As an individual receives more commendations, they become eligible for the various Outstanding Service Awards.