Click a link below to jump to that section:
- Overview of Recruiting Resources
- Spring Into Scouting – Recruiting Is Now A Year-Round Effort
- Be a Pack with a Strong Program Plan (even during pandemic)
- Recruit Families, not Just Kids
- Welcome Some New Member Coordinators to Your Pack
- New Member Recruiting in New Times Training Video and More
- Watch the 2021 Fall Recruiting Kick Off Presentation
Overview of Recruiting Resources
Successful and sustainable recruiting is more than having a School Sign Up Night – and that was true even when most every school permitted after school gatherings like Sign Up Nights. The Guide to Cub Scout Family Recruiting attached below describes these six steps for successful and sustainable recruiting:
- Make a Calendar of Fun Activities that families like – your Pack’s program, including how you “do” Cub Scouting safely in pandemic times!
- Let People Know – Promote Your Program! Let Families and Organizations Know What your Pack Will Do – Families join Packs that do things ... Kids join Units that Go Places and Do Things ... let them know what you're doing. And update your BeAScout Pin and Online Registration Tools.
- Recruit More Leaders and Helpers - one by one, find folks who can help your unit out (do this throughout your recruiting process).
- 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.
- Once you've laid that foundation, have Sign-Up Events: Pack Sign-Up Events (hopefully, School Sign-Up Nights) and Fun Den and Pack Welcoming Events Too!
- More Fun Events. Keep expanding and extending your Calendar of Fun Events … you can grow after Sign-Up Events, both 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 Recruiting. All 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.
Recruiting Is Now A Year-Round Effort
We used to call Cub Scout recruiting “Fall Recruiting”, even though it was busiest in August and often mostly done by the autumnal equinox (September 22). But because recruiting can happen at any time, we also shared ideas like recruiting in the Spring. Spring recruiting allows you to bring in new families and connect them with easy, fun activities like end of the year picnics and bike rodeos and fishing and hiking, maybe rockets or STEM activities, plus Day and Twilight Camps and Summer Camp.
We admit that we didn’t really push the idea of Spring Recruiting in 2020, for reasons we all recognize (Covid anyone?).
But this year we mean it! We want Packs and Dens to Spring Into Scouting – Troops too, including efforts like “Find Your Troop”. And this year, Spring Into Scouting can be a very successful effort, because many Packs and Dens and their families and leaders are rebooting Scouting activity after a more remote – even dormant – period last year and extending into Winter 2020-21. 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. Families and leaders that want to continue full physical distancing in their own safe “pods” are getting used to how to “do” Scouting without classroom meetings, both through 2020 Atlanta Area Council resources like our Cub Adventure resources and Scouting on Demand, and through virtual gatherings.
As Dens and Packs and leaders and families come out more, the Six Steps for successful and sustainable recruiting still apply:
- Make a Spring and Summer Calendar of Fun Activities that families like – as you Spring Into Scouting!
- Let People Know – Promote Your Program! Families are getting more used to how to do things safely – especially outside – and the outdoors is our space, so let’s own it. Families want to get back at it – so let them know … and let them help plan what to do safely, because …
- … if you welcome parents to share ideas about what to do/where to go/how to Scout safely, you can Recruit More Leaders and Helpers – those parents who step up can be groomed for leader roles.
- As you plan to get back outside, expand your School and Community Presence by letting them know what you’re doing and what you did!
- With that Spring Into Scouting foundation, have Sign-Up Events: probably not School Sign-Up Nights in most areas, but Packs and Dens can do their own Sign-Up events at any Fun Den and Pack Welcoming Events – spring, summer or fall.
- Then, with that momentum, plan More Fun Events – add more to your Spring and Summer calendar and expand and extend your fun events into the 2021-2022 school year to keep families focused on year-round Scouting!
More about Spring Into Scouting reboot is found in our What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?
Be a Pack with a Strong Program Plan (even during pandemic)
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!”
Right: activities are more attractive than meetings. The question for many families may not be “when do you meet to do Cub Scouts?” but “how do you do Cub Scouts?” when it may not be seen as safe to meet. In a pandemic or post-pandemic world, families place a higher priority on safety than they did before. A Pack that supports not only in-person, safe Den and Pack activities, but also a Program of Family-Led Activities, is offering the better 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 – in safe small groups and/or from your own home on your own schedule! 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?
- With COVID-19 concerns, that includes telling families how we’ll do Cub Scouting safely.
- 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
- It is prudent to prepare 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.
- Set up activities even if you don’t know exactly who will lead each Activity yet.
For a deeper dive, especially for Packs and Dens that did not meet much in 2020, take a look at "What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?". In this time of Covid-19 concerns, how to “do” Cub Scouting has changed, and that means how we recruit into Cub Scouting needs to reflect those change. The key concept is that Packs and Dens may need to be ready to deliver a program safely that families will want to join – Pack Program Plans can vary across this spectrum:
- At one end of the spectrum … In-Person Den and Pack Activities and Meetings – like before, or “how we’ve always done Cub Scouts”. Den and Pack Leaders lead the Scouts. But meetings and activities must be done safely with Covid-19 protocols.
- At the other end of the spectrum … Family-Led Activities from Home. Parents or other adults lead their Scouts from home – Den and Pack Leaders lead the Parents by giving them resources and guidance about how to lead. Families share pix and video with each other.
- Most Packs and Dens will be somewhere in the middle … A “hybrid” program of smaller In Person Group Activities plus Family-Led Activities alongside those group activities for families not comfortable being in groups yet.
- Likely more small den-sized activities and fewer large pack-sized activities – or staging of pack events like derbies to keep numbers down.
The Key Idea: successful unit recruiting needs a Unit Activities Plan that can Succeed. 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!
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.
- 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
- Even in these times of physical distancing and COVID-19 considerations, kids are still growing up, and parents will still want – and need – a program like Cub Scouting. Cub Scouting will need to have more of a parent-led element to it, certainly if parents lead Family-Led Activities from Home, but also to help keep In-Person Group Activities safe.
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, turn parents into helpers, and helpers into leaders. There is an opportunity or advantage in these current times of physical distancing when Packs and Dens still may not have enough leaders, because if the Pack leaders advertise a Program of Family-Led Activities, that program will have to be delivered by parents and other caring adults – Pack and Den leaders will "lead the parents" by providing them program ideas so that parents can lead their own Scouts.
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 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.
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 http://scoutingwire.org 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.
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.
|2021 Fall Recruiting Kick Off | PPT Presentation | Part 01||Download|
|2021 Fall Recruiting Kick Off | PPT Presentation | Part 02||Download|
|2021 Guide to Cub Scout Family Recruiting||Download|
|AAC Commissioners Helping Scouting Units | PPT Presentation||Download|
|AAC Editable Sign Up Event Flyer | PDF||Download|
|Recruiting Resources Request | Fillable Form||Download|
|Spring Into Scouting Recruiting Training | PPT Presentation||Download|