Group Rover Crews
A Group Crew is attached to an existing group that has either a Scout Troop or Cub Pack or both. The Crew, under the Crew's Constitution, can elect to take members exclusively from their own Group or they can accept members from other Groups, although when coming from other Groups, the new members will have to change their scarf. A Group Crew is a Unit within the Group structure and regardless of its membership is accountable to the SGL.
The Crew may still choose its own name, for example, Stingray Rover Crew, despite its attachment to a Group that may have a different name. Someone (usually the Rover Scouter or the Chairperson) should attend all Group Committee meetings and take an active role in the affairs of the Group Committee. Additionally, Crew members should attend Group functions (Group fundraisers, Christmas parties, etc) in the same way as it would be expected of the other Units of the Group to attend and support these functions.
Advantages and Challenges experienced by Group Crews
Group Crews have a well-defined place in the Scout hierarchy as part of the Group. This has quite a few advantages - including having a ready-made support base of equipment, buildings and people. A Group Crew may encounter the following:
Sharing Group resources:
In addition to the benefit of resources, membership in a Group offers an in place structure to manage and maintain the hall and Group equipment. While the Crew may well be required to do service and/or pay Group fees, members are unlikely to have the stress of having to find a home, set up a Crew and be their own "Group" in the SSA structure. The Crew must be careful not to let the Scout Group Leader think of it as their own personal work party, to be contacted only when Group events are on, although doing service activities with other Units of the Group can be a great way to get to know and recruit the senior Scouts.
If a Group Crew draws members from a number of Groups, the issue of Group loyalty can be significant if prospective members have very close ties with their own Group. This may discourage members from wanting to join Rovers at all if they do not have their own Group Crew. Many of these members may make an effective Independent Crew where they retain their own Group loyalties but form a functioning Crew.
In either case, there is an opportunity and a need to develop Crew loyalty above and beyond existing Group loyalties. Making sure everyone feels a part of the Crew and that strong relationships are formed between the Crew members helps develop loyalty. If it continues to be an ongoing problem, the Crew should consider adopting another name for their Crew, whilst remaining a Unit within the Group.