Schools and Community Presence
Recruiting is a Year-Round Process
Before you have any Sign-Up Event, starting with:
- Make a Calendar of Fun Activities that families like
- Let People Know – Promote Your Fun Events!
- Recruit More Leaders and Helpers
- Grow your School and Community Presence, leading to
- Sign-Up Events: School Sign-Up Night and Fun Joining Events Too!
How will a Strong School and Community Presence help – year-round?
Pack Sign-Up for Scouting Nights at Schools can be great – but you can use these tools too, starting in the spring:
- Spring Fun (Joining) Events. Have one or more “end of School Year” pack fun events like a Pack Party to welcome new Lions and Tigers and classmates and friends and “graduate” your Scouts into their next rank level – maybe awarding the new Handbook.
- Promote easy summer events like Day and Twilight Camp and Cub Scout Summer Camp even if you, as a leader, can’t attend. Others might.
- Those events are ideal for “first time” parents to attend with their children.
- Invite friends and families to fun events like Pack Pinewood Derbies, Raingutter Regattas, Pack Parties.
- Summer and Fall Fun (Joining) Events. And repeat the same idea over the summer, and back to school, and in the fall. Maybe a Bike Rodeo, Fishing Derby, Picnic with Field Sports, or go somewhere to swim, bowl, putt or have other family fun.
- 2020 Update: In-person joining events will be constrained by Covid-19 concerns for a while, based on the factors outlined in our page titled "What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?".
- As with all in-person group activities, doing these safely will be of the greatest importance.
- Scouting needs to be known as an organization focused on the safety of youth and families.
- 2020 emphasis is going to include virtual events, and when in-person events can happen, smaller events, maybe Den-sized.
School and Community Presence – How to Improve Pack Presence? For any fun events where you invite families or when you want to Promote your Pack Program, check with your Schools and Churches and Community Centers about what you can do:
- “Pack Fun Event promotion” options to increase your presence include all of the ideas in our Promote Your Pack Program page, like yard signs, posters, flyers, websites, bulletins, email, social media, Peer to Peer Invite Cards.
- Some schools use delivery systems like Peachjar, so ask, and be sure your flyer and other materials can be sent in that system (tips on that are here from BSA Marketing).
- Can You Hand Out Flyers at Car Pool? (Check with Your School about it).
- When you have School Events, Can You Have Hands-On Displays at Car Pool or Schoolyard? (like a tent or games or derby track - check with Your School)
- Be There Strong at PTA Events (Check Your School Calendar and find out what you can do).
- Have Scouts do opening ceremonies, and get them recognition for their School Service Projects.
- You never know what will make a family say “we want to do that too with you”.
What about Community Presence
How can we get “seen” at Churches and in the community? Use the same tools, and consider your local resources:
- Church and Community Website and Bulletins and eBlasts and Facebook and Twitter, plus local news outlets
- Yard signs and posters at Churches and Community Locations (to promote your Pack Program and share contact info)
- Flyers for handout and website posting and email and Facebook
- Get on the agenda: Scout Days at Church, recognition at civic groups for your service projects
Open House – Meet the Teacher – Meet and Greet – Registration Day: These events are great for one on one family recruiting. 2020 Update: Generally true every year, but really important this year -- if there is an in-person event like this, and you want to participate to talk to families one on one, be sure you have the School's approval and follow their rules! (It might help you get into the building if you help the school in some way, maybe volunteer to staff a "hand sanitizer" station at the entrance.)
- Those casual, friendly, one on one – parent to parent and kid to kid – contacts can be a much more effective sales tool than any speech in a gym. You can also set up a display of what your Pack does. See this Cub Scout Ideas page on Pack displays.
- A strong presence at a School Open House / Meet and Greet Day can turn a Pack with one active leader and a handful of kids into a Pack of 40 or 50 or 60 families who are attracted to your Pack program.
- Some Packs do significant youth and adult recruiting at these events because one on one attention gets better results, especially if you’re recruiting families, not just signing up the youth.
- When you recruit families to attend Day and Twilight Camp and Cub Scout Summer Camp or Fun Fall Events, those families will have a good time, be “sold” on Scouting, and maybe new leaders or assistants.
- Get them, and all returning Pack families, to spend time at “Back to School” Open House / Meet and Greet Days.
- 2020 Update: Be sure you stay within any School rules, as they may have limits on how many people can be in the School at one time.]
- These parents can be New Member Coordinators, to be a “peer to peer” welcome into your unit.
- Using them for one by one recruiting is the strongest tool.
Want More School Cooperation?
Working through principals, teachers, other staff, PTA and parents is essential and can help support you and recruit more leaders. A BSA program is the Adopt-a-School Program, billed as “an exciting and comprehensive undertaking that will connect Scout packs, troops, and crews across the country with schools in their communities”.
- An AAC Adopt Your School plan is attached below.
- The basic idea is: if Scouts help Schools, Schools can help Scouts. So, how can Scouts help Schools?
- Grounds beautification, clean up days, or tree planting and flower planting
- Teacher and staff appreciation events (lunches, snacks, ceremonies), thank you cards
- Raising/lowering school flags, flag ceremonies at School events
- Scout help at festivals, book drives, food drives (Scouting for Food), clothing drives, or another service
- Scout support for activities like tutoring/mentoring, schoolyard games, library cleanup, and more.
- Ask your school and find out what they want.
- Then, when you do help, don’t be shy: get the word out.
- This concept works for Churches and other community groups too, especially if you use their facilities, do this to “give back” to those that support you.
All of this helps your success at Sign-Up Nights at Schools.
|Adopt Your School Plan||Download|