Griffin and Nova Scarborough stand in the front row holding the family's Group of the Year award. In the back row, from left to right are Councillor Glen Gower, Chad Scarborough, Jennifer Rowland and Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe.
Griffin and Nova Scarborough stand in the front row holding the family’s Group of the Year award. In the back row, from left to right are Councillor Glen Gower, Chad Scarborough, Jennifer Rowland and Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe.

A family of dedicated Museum volunteers was named “Group of the Year” at last night’s Stittsville Volunteer Awards ceremony hosted by Councillor Glen Gower.

For the Scarboroughs, volunteering is a family affair. Jennifer Rowland, her husband Chad Scarborough and their children Nova (10) and Griffin (8) have been fixtures at the Goulbourn Museum for years. 

Jen and Nova’s first time through the Museum’s doors was when they attended a Family Craft Day together. They soon became regulars and when Griffin was old enough, he and Chad joined in the fun too. What began as crafting and playing dress up in the Museum’s Village Store quickly evolved into the four of them volunteering to help with site cleanup. It didn’t matter that the rakes were twice their size, the children were eager to lend a hand. Wanting to become more involved, Jen joined the Museum’s board of directors where she is currently Vice-Chairperson. She also volunteers on the Collections Working Group to review artefact donations and guide community history preservation.

A crafting whiz, Nova was eager to emulate her parents and transition from Family Craft Day participant to volunteer. With mom Jen at her side, she can now be found at the Museum each month helping young(er) kids connect with their creative side. The two of them even donned heritage costumes and volunteered for the entire weekend of the Museum’s Old-Fashioned Christmas event in November. Meanwhile, Chad and Griffin braved the elements and assisted outdoors as needed throughout the event.

As a registered charity with a staff of just four full-time employees, Goulbourn Museum relies heavily on volunteers to help with all aspects of its operation. This is instinctive for the Scarborough family and they have come to our rescue many times. When enthusiastic little hands caused the Village Store’s old-timey cash register to jam, Chad took it home where he and Griffin tinkered with it until it started working again. Chad also helped source items for a new exhibit.

In addition to all the time they dedicate to Goulbourn Museum, the family still finds time to volunteer elsewhere throughout the community. Jen (Guider Star) is a leader of #12 Girl Guides and Chad (Scouter Tic Tac) can be found leading the Maple Colony Beaver group every Monday night in Stittsville. Jen, Nova and Griffin also volunteer at the Stittsville Public Library helping to change the displays. 

Their commitment to volunteerism even extends beyond Stittsville. Chad turned his passion for ham radio into a volunteer gig working with the radios at the Diefenbunker Museum in Carp. He also dedicates a lot of time to Radio Amateurs of Canada and teaches morse code (Nova is an expert herself!). 

Leading by example, the Scarborough family encourages others in the community to get involved. Their commitment to bettering Stittsville is evident not only in their actions but also in the way they act as champions for their community. They spread the word about the places and activities close to their hearts in Stittsville and, in turn, encourage their neighbours to take adventures and explore the opportunities available in their own backyards.

One of six award categories, Group of the Year is awarded annually to a group of citizens who are actively working together to make a difference in the Stittsville community.