Friends Talking to Friends
The best method of recruitment is friends talking to friends. It's not really a hard sell for one friend to ask another if they would be interested in being part of the most exciting youth program around. Click on this link to see a video geared toward training friends to talk to friends about Scouting.
This is a survey taken in the school system with the cooperation of the principals, teachers, and the superintendent of schools. Completed survey forms, No. 3712, will indicate the interests of Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Varsity Scout age boys. Survey cards are available through the local council service center.
Surveys may also be conducted in schools (private and public) by the district executive or volunteers among boys eligible to join now and also during the ensuing year. Facts can be used for the new-unit campaign in March as well as for the recruit-of-the-month plan in operation.
Contacts should be made with the chartered organization's leaders for briefing and to suggest that they seek the whole Scouting family (a Cub Scout pack, a Boy Scout troop, a Varsity Scout team, and a Venturing crew). An internal boy-fact survey is made by the organization itself.
Recruit of the Month
This is a council-organized plan that encourages every unit to recruit and register at least one new member each month. Recognition is given those units and leaders that achieve minimum standards, such as recruiting a member in each of at least seven months of a year. Scouting Anniversary Week is a good time to start this plan. Scouting Anniversary Week events are used to encourage potential members to participate and to join an existing unit.
Set up recruiting stations at council shows and expositions, malls and shopping centers, county fairs, etc., to promote the following:
- Bring-a-Friend Night for troop and den meetings is a good event to build up your recruit-of-the-month plan.
- Use Operation Eagle Search, advertised in local media and given emphasis, to recruit adults.
The Together Plan (formerly "New-Unit Campaign").
This is a method of organizing units on a more-than-one basis. The membership/relationships committee should spearhead the program. One of two approaches is used. The traditional campaign is one in which various community organizations are urged to attend a special kickoff dinner where the Scouting program and its benefits to the chartered organizations are explained. Representatives from each interested community group are present and decide if they can adopt Scouting as their youth program, and commit to a schedule.
The other approach is similar, except only organizations with similar interests and functions are invited. For example, if all United Methodist churches in the district come together at one time to discuss organizing Scouting units, this, too, is a together plan, but with a more specific approach. The program here can be focused on the needs of a particular type of community organization.
The together plan should be kicked off in February or the early part of March so that appropriate followup can be made to ensure the completed organization of at least 70 percent of the district's new-unit objective prior to May 15.
Career Interest Survey
Conducted through the school system, this survey addresses the career and recreational interests of young adults. The survey results give the district the facts needed to make approaches to potential participating organizations. Surveys should be conducted in local high schools to determine needs of potential Venturers.
Patrol and Den Contests
The district may help the unit set up these contests that would assign points for attendance, uniforming, dues payments, participation, Boy Scout advancement and new boy recruitment. The winning patrol or den gets an extra trip or treat. Patrol and den contests may run one to two months, climaxing in an outdoor adventure.
At a local playground, have a fun-filled demonstration of Scouting skills and other activities. At the end of the program, invite the participating Cub Scout-age boys to join. Use the den and patrol contest winners or neighborhood displays and demonstrations.
Recruitment Toward Cub Scout and Boy Scout Camp
These special emphases are aimed specifically at nonmember youth who are graduating from the first and the fifth grades. Spring recruiting efforts should be conducted to enable new members to participate in summer activities, such as Cub Scout day camp and resident camp, high-adventure bases, and camporees.
Tiger Cub Graduation
Hold a graduation of Tiger Cubs and adults into the Cub Scout pack.
Invite prospective Boy Scouts (especially boys who will complete the fifth grade) to attend the district camporee. Sign them up.
The Impact Luncheon.
If the career and hobby interest survey indicates that a large number of young people are interested in certain areas, an Impact luncheon may be held with community organizations that could organize Venturing crews in these areas. Heads of the various businesses, industries, and community organizations are invited to hear the story of Venturing. Afterward, they are encouraged to organize Venturing crews.
Cooperate with the commissioner staff to help every Cub Scout pack successfully graduate each Webelos Scout into an active Boy Scout troop. Seek the cooperation of those responsible for the program function in the district. Continue this year-round program to make sure former Webelos Scouts attend summer camp. Invite prospective Cub Scouts to visit Cub Scout day camp and resident camp. Take a carload of Webelos Scouts and prospective Boy Scouts to summer camp for a look around at activities. Click here for more information.
The semiannual roundup program focuses the attention of the community on filling up the existing packs, troops, teams, and crews. Special incentives are offered to boys and leaders for recruiting new members during the roundup periods, which are in the spring (to recruit in time to participate in summer activities) and the fall. Conduct a community organization survey—list all the potential chartered organizations in the district, their leaders, their facilities, their leadership potential, and their apparent interest in young people and community-based activities. Use Community Organization Survey Worksheet.
Joining Night for Cub Scouting is a concerted effort, usually led by the membership/relationships committee in late September or early October each fall in the school systems—private, parochial, or public—or other local organization. An evening is designated for parents to gather at the school or other local meeting place to register themselves and their boys with the Boy Scouts of America through an existing or new pack. A few Boy Scouts may be picked up at Joining Night, but it is primarily for Cub Scouts. Information about the Joining Night program, as well as suggested roundup programs, is available from the national office.
Troop Open House.
A troop open house can be an effective way to recruit new Scouts into a troop, especially in the spring when outdoor activities are on the horizon. Select a date, and set up a rally and troop camping display on the school grounds. Make a presentation to the fifth- and sixth-grade boys to spark their interest, and allow them to participate hands-on as much as possible. Give them an invitation to attend a troop open house with their parents, and have each boy fill out a "high-adventure survey." Prior to the open house, make a follow-up phone call to the parent of each boy.
The open house should be a short, lively program with an explanation of troop activities and a calendar of future troop events. Invite the parents, as well as the new Scout, to become a part of the troop. For more details on how to conduct a troop open house, click here.
Venturing Open House.
This is a meeting of parents and Venturing-age youth with all members and leaders of the crew. The open house is planned to boldly invite new youth to join, as well as make existing members feel good about what they do in the crew as they start a new program year. The meeting emphasizes the crew's program and specialty through visuals and hands-on activities.
Team Open House.
Teams can also conduct open houses to recruit new members, similar to a troop open house (see description above).
In some areas, it will be possible to organize this on a like-organization basis; i.e., just for Methodist churches, Rotary clubs, PTAs, or businesses. In other areas, it will be used to organize a small number of units (five-eight) with a variety of chartered organizations.
Hold a relationships conference at least annually with the heads of the chartered organizations and their chartered organization representatives. The agenda for this meeting should include an explanation of council services and help available to the chartered organization to accommodate its needs. Also include the role of the chartered organization representative and the relationships of chartered organizations to the Boy Scouts of America. For details on running a relationships conference, see Foundations for Growth.
Hold a district relationships conference to continue the cultivation of present chartered organizations. Other community organizations can be invited to participate also. Discuss membership, leadership, religious emblems programs, and support available from the district.
Conduct a telephone survey to every unit to reveal unregistered youth. This may be an important November/December task.
School Classroom/Get-Acquainted-with-Scouting Meeting.
Visit school classrooms to interest youth in Scouting. Follow up in the next night or two with a "get-acquainted-with-Scouting meeting" for a new unit.
In each classroom, give children a colorful flier promoting the meeting and indicating that their "ticket of admission" is an adult. Tell each class that no child will be admitted without at least one adult (parent, neighbor, older brother or sister, godparent, foster parent, other relative, or adult friend). Children influence adults to attend. You will have a group of people to work with at the get-acquainted meeting.