Not Just School Sign-Up Night, but also Fun Family Events
Remember: for Cub Scout Packs: the goal is not just to sign up new youth. The goal is to sign up new Families!
- The Cub Scout program is a family program:
- That 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.
- 2020 Update: Parental involvement will be more important this year since Packs and Dens need to be ready to have a Plan "B" Program of Family-Led Activities -- most will plan for that from the start. For more, see "What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?".
- That shouldn’t be a “turn off” for parents and guardians
If you and your current leaders recruit just new youth, you may fail if you don’t already have more parent involvement than you need for existing Scouts. If your Pack has a shortage of actively engaged leaders, recruit carefully: either be sure you’re lining up more active, engaged leaders, or only bring on the youth your leaders can handle.
When your recruiting gets to School Sign-Up Night and your Fun Joining Events, you should be well along in the recruiting process. The Pack Leader’s Guide to Recruiting describes these steps to lead up to your sign-up events:
- Make a Calendar of Fun Activities and Pack Program 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!
School Sign-Up Night
Your District Professional will schedule a “School Sign-Up Night” to give a brief introduction to Cub Scouting and your Pack, and to collect applications and registration fees for the remainder of the calendar year. Be sure that your Pack Leaders and New Member Coordinators work together with your District Professional so that the pitch they make is about how your Pack does Scouting.
- You might have fun added to this night – if it works with the District Professional plan to get Applications and Registration fees.
- Your fun could be games outside, maybe a Pinewood Derby Track, a tent campsite, a portable campfire outside for s’mores, balsa wood or paper airplanes, stomp rockets and water rockets, a rain gutter regatta
- Because the goal of Sign-Up Night is to gather Applications and Registration fees (Youth and Adult), your fun added might be a “taste of what’s to come” at future Fun Joining Events
- Invite returning families and Scouts to the School Sign-Up Night, because they can help with “peer to peer” recruiting
- Some Packs will have a stash of “Recruiter” patches to award Scouts who recruit a friend.
- If you enlist families to help welcome, they can also help spot potential leaders you might approach at or after School Sign-Up Night.
- 2020 Update: Because of the Covid-19 concerns described our page entitled "What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?", it is possible that your School may not be comfortable with a large in-person Sign-Up Night.
- In that case, you might do a Sign-Up Night over Zoom or other connectivity that the school community is used to using (check to see what they used for remote learning in the spring of 2020).
- The fundamentals of delivery of a School Sign-Up Night pitch and program don't really change if you go "virtual": you have to have a team to make presentations and share information.
- There are some possible advantages to a "virtual" School Sign-Up Night too (so you might do this as well as an in-person night):
- Running a photo montage or video of your Pack in action in past years while your speakers present can be a "plus", and it simplifies running a Pack information PowerPoint.
- With a "pre-registration" application like Zoom, your host will have already collected data for anyone coming into the Zoom Sign Up.
- So you'll have a good start on a contact list for when you get up and running, and for follow up.
- And that information can be used to generate "Invitations" to join your Pack, using "Invitation Manager" in My.Scouting.org by a Key 3 Leader or a Key 3 Delegate, and then receive online Applications. See this "Update BeAScout" page for how to get your online Application process streamlined.
- You can pre-record some of the messages that Pack and Den Leaders might present, to be sure that the messages are tight and brief enough for a first encounter.
- So long as you don't have youth participants on the Zoom (not speaking, no names on any photo/video, keep your view at "speaker" view), you can record your Sign-Up Night for the benefit of those who want to watch it later.
To work with District Professionals about your Pack’s message to families, see the attached plan and script for a Sign-Up Event. The goal is to be brief while your District Professionals and you and your other leaders describe what your Pack will do. A full “parent orientation” briefing can be at the next Pack event.
Fun Family Joining Events
Shortly after that School Sign-Up Night, host a family fun event, both to show old and new families the fun of Cub Scouting and to give new families who couldn’t make School Sign-Up Night with another chance to join. Your Pack will run your Fun Family Joining Events, so the program and schedule are up to you. You can do more than one Fun Event – and especially if your School Sign-Up night is after mid-August, you might do one before School Sign-Up Night as a “Welcome Back to the Pack” party or picnic for both returning families and new families.
- Many Packs do a pool party at a lifeguarded community pool, a Bike Rodeo, Fishing Derby, Picnic with Field Sports, Creepy Crawly Critter Event.
- Some set up a Pinewood Derby Track and cars and run for fun, or fly kites, or play Chess, or cook hot dogs and S’ Mores.
- Some go somewhere like Six Flags or a neighborhood pool or White Water or Rock Climbing Gym or Zip Lines or Miniature Golf or Bowling.
- Do what your families like to do.
- 2020 Update: But do what's safe. As we describe on our page titled "What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?" a big in-person event may not be something you should do or something your families want to do.
- So, if you have a series of smaller events or virtual events, be sure you collect great photos and videos to share with everyone about how much fun Cub Scouting is in your Pack and Den.
- Don't forget to share the best bits with your school and Chartered Organization -- community groups might want to know as well -- if families see and hear that you're Scouting On, they may want to come and join you.
Parent Orientation at Fun Family Joining Events
When you have a Fun Event planned, you can do some serious Cub Scouting stuff too – do what is best for your Pack and your needs. You can still use the plan and script for a Sign-Up Event as a starter for how you introduce the Pack to new families. Your Pack Fun Family Joining Event can be a time for Parents to break out for an orientation about how Cub Scouting works in your Pack – it is best to have helpers lead the kids in the fun events so Parents can participate fully in a parent breakout.
- This can be your time for adult discussion about Cub Scouting, how your Pack operates, the need to lead, the necessary pitch for volunteers, and other matters that your team of leaders and parents should consider
- This can be the time to have the “We Need a Den Leader Talk" with parents about Dens, Den Leaders and how your Scouts need more Den Leaders. A sample script is attached below.
- For other resources, you might adapt, see the Nuts and Bolts of Leader Recruiting and Organizing page.
- To help let families get a sense of Cub Scouting and how they really can be leaders, maybe let families can break out into Den Groups to work on the Bobcat rank.
- To make this happen, see and share the Adventure Plan attached on this page
- More “getting started” resources developed here in Atlanta are found at this First Meeting Plans Page.
Pack Audiovisuals and PowerPoint
A PowerPoint Display might be a good tool for School Sign-Up Nights and any Parent Orientation at a Fun Family Event. For a School Sign-Up Night, the best tool is to scroll photos and videos of your Scouts and Families doing Scouting – kids will love to see themselves and point themselves out to their friends. For a Parent Orientation, the below Pack Parent Orientation for Sign-Up Night is updated based on the new advancement program, and designed to “keep it simple” as much as possible. You can download this and revise to describe your Pack’s big weekend activities, when and where you meet, and what you charge for Dues, and use this for your Parent Orientation if you like it.
|2019 Pack Parent Orientation Sign Up Night Presentation pptx||Download|
|2020 Pack Family Sign-Up Event Script for Cub Scout Recruiting||Download|
|Both Bobcat Adventure Plan for Parents in Cub Scouts||Download|
|Cheers and Walk Ons and Knock Knock Jokes Cub||Download|
|First Bobcat Adventure Plan for Parents in Cub Scouts.pdf||Download|
|The Den Leader Recruiting Discussion Scripts||Download|