Recruiting Resources

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Six Steps to Successful Recruiting

Successful and sustainable recruiting is more than having a School Sign Up Night. The Guide to Cub Scout Family Recruiting attached below describes these six steps for successful and sustainable recruiting:

  1. Make a Calendar of Fun Activities that families like – your Pack’s program.  The big fun activities that current and future families will want to join.
  2. Let People Know – Promote Your Program!  Families join Packs that do things and go places ... let them know what you're doing.  And update your BeAScout Pin and Online Registration Tools.
  3. Recruit More Leaders and Helpers - one by one, find folks who can help your unit out (do this throughout your recruiting process).
  4. School and Community Presence – “Adopt a School” and show your School and Community the Fun of Cub Scouting, and you’ll get more School and Community support.
  5. Once you've laid that foundation, have Sign-Up Events: not just School Sign-Up Nights, but Fun Den and Pack Welcoming Events Too!
  6. More Fun Events.  Keep expanding and extending your Calendar of Fun Events … you can grow after School Sign-Up Night and attract more Scouts and more Leaders!

On the right-hand Menu, see the pages with more detail on key steps like Creating a Calendar of Fun Activities, Promote your Pack Program – Flyers and Media and More, Recruiting Leaders (Turning Parents into Helpers, and Helpers into Leaders), School and Community Presence, Sign-Up Events, and Troop RecruitingAll of these steps help your success at School Sign-Up Events.

As testimony to how these steps work, see this March 19, 2021 Bryan On Scouting Blog about a Pack growing during this pandemic year -- and keep track of how many of the Recruiting Steps they use to be successful.  Also check out this November 2021 Blog post about just having fun activities and inviting other families to join you for the fun -- that ties into our advice that any den or pack activity that's fun for families and kids can be a welcoming and joining event for new families, and fun for current families.

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Recruiting Is Now A Year-Round Effort

We used to call Cub Scout recruiting “Fall Recruiting” because of the heavy attention to School Sign-Up Nights at the end of summer.  But recruiting can happen at any time your Unit wants to welcome new families.  Spring and Summer recruiting allows you to bring in new families and connect them with fun, simple, easy activities that your current families and leaders will enjoy – and that new families can jump right into – like end of the year picnics and cookouts and bike rides and fishing and hiking, maybe kites, rockets or STEM activities, plus Day and Twilight Camps and Summer Camp.

For more testimonials about the power of spring and summer recruiting, see this Bryan on Scouting blog post titled “All the Advantages of Recruiting New Cub Scouts in the Spring” – among the observations is that spring and summer recruiting “could actually ease some of the headaches commonly encountered when starting new dens from scratch in the fall”.

We want Packs and Dens to Spring Into Scouting in the Spring and Summer – Troops too, especially taking in 5th Grade Scouts and their 11 year old classmates who may have passed on the Arrow of Light year in Cub Scouting due to COVID.  A Spring Into Scouting effort can be very successful, because many Packs and Dens and their families and leaders are rebooting Scouting activity after a more remote – even dormant – period.  Packs and Dens that want to do in person group activities safely are doing more of those activities, and planning more now that Spring and Summer are coming into focus.

As Dens and Packs and leaders and families come out more in the Spring and Summer, the Six Steps for Successful and Sustainable Recruiting still apply just as much as preparing for School Sign-Up Nights.  You’ll (1) Create a Calendar of Fun Activities for Spring and Summer, (2) Share those Fun Events with Pack Promotion – Flyers and Media and More, and along the way you’ll (3) Recruit Leaders who appear engaged at your events, plus (4) by sharing what you do, you’ll expand your School and Community Presence and reach more families.

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Fun, Family and Friends!

This is the essence of Cub Scouting, doing fun things with family and friends.  (Yes, with the Scout Oath and Law and ideals.)


Be a Pack with a Strong Program Plan

Think about this big picture for families considering Cub Scouting and wondering whether to join – which Pack sounds better?

A Pack that says:

“Welcome to our Pack, we’ll have a meeting to talk about what we might do!”

or a Pack that says:

Welcome to our Pack, look at our calendar of fun group and family activities! Join Us!

The question for many families may not be “when do you meet to do Cub Scouts?” but “how do you do Cub Scouts?” Our “Get Out and Cub Scout” recruiting messages track that, because the 2021 Voice of the Scout survey results showed that the Number One driver of satisfaction was “we have great outdoor activities in our Scout Unit”. In a pandemic or post-pandemic world, families place a higher priority on safety and being outdoors than they did before. A Pack with an active outdoor program is offering the best Cub Scouting opportunity to all families. Those Packs and Dens can say "Welcome to our Pack, look at our program of fun activities we can all do! Join Us!"

Getting fun activity ideas into your Program Plan is what makes Units successful and attractive.

  • After all, if you can’t tell families what you plan to do, why would they join you?
  • The first step in recruiting is Plan a Calendar of Fun Activities, including how you “do” Cub Scouting safely in pandemic times.
    • Set up activities even if you don’t know exactly who will lead each Activity yet.
      • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
    • For families not yet feeling safe in large groups indoors, you can also share a Program of Family-Led Activities, maybe as a “hybrid” program with family-led activities alongside a Program of in-person group activities.
      • Families who remain physically distant will still need to raise their kids, and they need Scouting more than ever.
    • For a deeper dive, especially for Packs and Dens that did not meet much in 2020-2021, take a look at "What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?". The key concept is that Packs and Dens may need to be ready to deliver a program safely that families will want to join – with in person activities and “at home” resources.

Bottom Line: successful unit recruiting needs a Pack Activities Plan. And that parents want to be a part of. “Be the Pack You Want to Join”.

If you do activities families like – and see as safe – they will join you, and that is what recruiting is all about. And if it’s fun for kids, fun for families, and safe -- it’s Cub Scouting!

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Recruit Families, not just Kids!

Cub Scouting is a family program, so the goal is NOT to just sign up new youth. The goal is to sign up new families! We can build stronger families through Scouting!

  • The Cub Scout program is a family program – every parent helps out, starting with leading their own Scout in activities and advancement adventures and extending to helping the Den and Pack with their program and activities.
  • This message shouldn’t be a “turn off” for parents and guardians – the Scouting program is designed to make stronger connections between kids and adults, which will make parenting easier!
  • Without parental involvement – adult leaders – there can’t be a Scouting program

If your Pack has only a few active engaged leaders, recruit carefully: either be sure you’re lining up more active, engaged leaders to handle an influx of new youth, or only bring on numbers of youth your current leaders can handle. As you get the attention of current and prospective families with your calendar of activities – and find parents who are excited or interested in them –, turn parents into helpers, and turn helpers into leaders. Pack and Den leaders should find ways to "lead the parents to lead their Scouts" by providing them program ideas so that parents can lead their own Scouts and help lead the Den and the Pack.

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Welcome Some New Member Coordinators to Your Pack

 

To help you do successful and sustainable recruiting, build a “New Member Coordinator” team. The Boy Scouts of America promotes the idea of getting a team of parents to be New Member Coordinators, acting as a team for “peer to peer” welcoming of families into your unit. Any responsible adult who can say “hello” and “welcome” and is willing to "chat up" your Pack or Den to their friends or others in their community can be a New Member Coordinator.

  • New Member Coordinator volunteers don’t need to know everything about Scouting and they don’t need to do all that unit leaders do.
    • They just need to know enough about your unit to be welcoming (or as the Scout Law says: helpful, friendly, courteous, kind).
    • They can take on many parts of these recruiting steps.
    • New Member Coordinators don’t need to wear the khaki uniform – probably better that they don’t, to make it more evident that the Den and Pack need help from parents who look like you and me – that can make them more approachable and welcoming.
  • The New Member Coordinator idea is excellent in “sharing the load” of new member recruiting, communicating and welcoming
    • There are training modules for New Member Coordinators at my.scouting.org
    • To find the modules, when you enter the Learn Center, click on “Position” Training or “Non-Unit Specific Training”
  • Keep this in mind about the official resources for New Member Coordinators:
    • The Training assumes that your Unit has a fully developed calendar and a fully recruited and engaged and trained team of leaders sufficient for your Unit
    • In many packs, new families need a “welcome” that includes a request to step up, help out and lead
    • That’s why we put so much emphasis on building your Unit by recruiting leaders.
  • Be sure to equip your New Member Coordinators so that they can Welcome! at any time.
    • Stock them with information like your “Pack packet”.
    • A “Pack packet” might be a full envelope of information: calendar, contact lists (leaders and families), FAQs about dues, fundraisers, uniforms, advancement and activities and more.
    • Or it may just be a one page (two sided) flyer with pictures, some key contact information and a QR code to link to your Pack Website with more information.

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2021 Recruiting Training Video and More

  • Our updated 2021 version of the Guide to Cub Scout Family Recruiting is among the items attached below.
  • There are More Recruiting Resources too. See the Marketing and Membership hub for more ideas and the other pages on the menu at the right.
  • Last, know this:
    • No recruiting method works every time for everyone.
    • Every recruiting method works some of the time for someone.

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Watch the 2021 Fall Recruiting Kick Off Presentation

Hosted by Bert Bender and George Snipes, this presentation lays out strategies for developing and sustaining an optimized fall recruiting campaign.

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File Name Description
2022 District Recruiting Kickoff Presentation Download
2022 Guide to Cub Scout Family Recruiting Download
AAC Commissioners Helping Scouting Units | PPT Presentation Download
Recruiting Resources Request | Fillable Form Download