Scouts BSA Troop Recruiting
Scouts BSA Troops Should Recruit Too
See these Troop Recruiting Ideas (“Year-Round Guide to Scout Recruiting”), with ideas about how to Graduate Webelos Scouts Into a Troop, conducting a Troop Open House, and encouraging Youth to Youth Recruiting. Another resource from a longtime volunteer is this outline for a school presentation focused on Camping. Share pictures and videos of what your Scouts do – see our Media and Marketing page for ideas (while the content is more focused on Packs, the tools apply to Scouts BSA Troops too). Or see the Troop flyer examples attached below, that you can copy and edit with your pictures of your Scouts at your events – update them, keep them on hand with parents and leaders because you never know when you’ll run into somebody who wants to know what your Scouts BSA Troop does.
Key Concept for Scouts BSA Troops
It’s a Youth run program. That includes recruiting. Troops recruit most successfully when youth ask their peers to join, or their peers see what the Scouts are doing and say “we want to do that too”.
- What does your Patrol Leaders Council plan that is exciting and appealing for their peers to do?
- Let the Scouts come up with their activity plan.
- That’s the one they will most like to share with friends who might join the Troop.
- Face it:
- While parents might want their child to join a Scouts BSA Troop, that doesn’t mean the youth wants to join.
- If the youth’s friends want their friends to join, then you have a better chance to get them to join.
- Let your current Scouts pitch their Troop
- Empower your youth to recruit their peers.
- That includes letting them do that with the social media tools they already use
- Teach them responsible smartphone use, so that they can both be safe online and use their social media to show what they’re doing – and maybe attract some friends to join?
Yes, that doesn’t mean you don’t also reach out to families, but you want to get the Scouts involved too so that they “seal the deal”.
Open House Events
While Troop Recruiting is much more youth-targeted than Cub Scouts, the youth will decide whether they really want to join, your Scouts BSA Troop can have “Open House” or other “Welcome” joining events. Use your resources and ideas to sell what your Troop does and who you are, and let your Patrol Leaders Council decide what will attract others – it might be a Troop Meeting with activities for visitors, but it could be something completely different, like an event at a climbing gym, bowling, a pizza party, or whatever your Scouts want to do that sells your Troop.
Media Release Resources
To help your youth, an example of a Media Release is attached that could be used by your Scouts BSA Troop Historian/Publicist as part of how your Troop gets the word out to local media, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to local papers and online media. See more about How do you let others know what you do? (the media ideas there apply as well to Scouts BSA Troops). The Media Release example is about a Scout earning the Eagle Rank, but there are so many other stories to tell, from hikes and campouts to High Adventure to Service Projects to anything else you do – like your Open House event.
Six Ideas from a Successful New Troop. Check them out here: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2020/03/27/six-recruiting-secrets/
Cub Scout Contacts
Are you reaching out to Cub Scout Packs to let them know what you do? Do they know that your Troop is the Troop they should want to join?
- What does your Patrol Leaders Council plan that is exciting and appealing for younger youth to do?
- Do you plan events to do with Dens of Webelos Scouts? They would want that, both for Cub Scout Advancement, and to see if they want to join your Troop.
- It doesn’t have to be a “dumbed down” event that makes your Troop Scouts think “ugh, do we have to babysit the young ones?”
- Some destinations and activities can be scaled to be challenging for both. One Troop we know uses a “winter camp” on a mountain campground where there’s a large cabin for warmth should anyone need it.
- Others have used camping/backpacking events, where all camp to get to know each other on Friday, then some older Troop Scouts backpack off Saturday to return on Sunday (one year, none of the Webelos Scouts would allow their parents to drive them home until the backpackers were back -- they had to hear about it from the backpackers).
Since 2015, the Cub Scout Program is aligned with what the older Scouts do in Troops. There’s more hiking, camping, outdoors, active Adventure in Cub Scouting. Cub Scout Packs would love it if your Troop helped them put on Cub Scout Adventures that relate to hiking and camping and other Scout skills.
Need ideas about Places to Go Camping? Some ideas are also in the Program Planning Guide for the Atlanta Area Council posted here. More ideas are at this local District Activity Ideas page, including A Giant List of Places to Go and Things to Do Around Atlanta posted at the bottom of that page.