Recruiting Resources (Home)
Recruiting Ideas – Help Your Unit Attract More Youth and Leaders
You can apply these with the Pack Leader’s Guide to Recruiting attached below on the right-hand Menu, see the pages with more detail on topics like Creating a Calendar of Fun Activities, Recruiting Leaders, Flyers and Media, School and Community Presence, Sign-Up Events, and Troop Recruiting.
2020 Update: As a First Step, let's take a look at "What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?", because in this time of Covid-19 concerns, a lot has changed -- Cub Scouting has changed, and how we recruit into Cub Scouting will need to change.
- For an outline, see "What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?".
- The key concept is that Packs and Dens will need to be ready for several types of programs:
- Plan "A" will be In-Person Group Activities, like historic Cub Scouting, but with some Covid-19 considerations.
- Plan "B" is Family-Led Activities, where Parents or other adults lead their Scouts from home, and Den and Pack Leaders lead the Parents by giving them resources and guidance about how to lead.
- Some Packs and Dens might have a Plan "A/B" program, with both In Person Group Activities and Family-Led Activities alongside those group activities for families not comfortable with group activities.
- These Recruiting Tools pages will note ideas about recruiting in both those environments because both of those environments will continue to exist in the 2020-21 program year.
The Key Idea: successful unit recruiting needs a Unit Activities Plan. Or, in Cub Scouting, “Be the Pack You Want to Join”.
Think about this: Which Pack sounds more fun?
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 activities! Join Us!”
2020 Update: A Pack with a Plan "B" Program of Family-Led Activities can still offer opportunity, as the Pack and Dens can say "Welcome to our Pack, look at our program of fun activities we can all do! Join Us!"
Right: activities are more attractive. Getting fun activity ideas into your Program Plan is what makes Units successful and attractive.
- 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?
- Even if you don’t know exactly who will lead each Activity yet.
- If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
- 2020 Update: It will be prudent to prepare a Plan "B" Program of Family-Led Activities, maybe as a Plan "A/B" program with family-led activities alongside a Plan "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.
- Even if you don’t know exactly who will lead each Activity yet.
If you do activities families like, 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!
So Step One in Successful and Sustainable Recruiting is Make a Calendar of Fun Activities that families like. Because Successful and Sustainable Recruiting Needs to be Much More than School Sign-Up Nights and Buzz Ups. The Pack Leader’s Guide to Recruiting describes these six steps:
- Make a Calendar of Fun Activities that families like
- Let People Know – Promote Your Fun Events! 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: School Sign-Up Night and Fun Events Too!
- More Fun Events. Keep expanding and extending your Calendar of Fun Events … you can grow after School Sign-Up Night, both more Scouts and more Leaders!
All of these steps help your success at School Sign-Up Nights.
Welcome New Member Coordinators
To help you do successful and sustainable recruiting, build a “New Member Coordinator” team. The Boy Scouts of America is promoting 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
- They can take on many parts of these recruiting steps
- 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
Recruit Families, not just Kids!
Cub Scouting is a family program, 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
- 2020 Update: In times of physical distancing, 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, described as Plan "B" on this "What Does Cub Scouting Look Like Now?" page.
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 2020 Update: 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 Plan "B" Program of Family-Led Activities, that program will have to be delivered by parents and other caring adults -- Pack leaders will "lead the parents" by providing them program ideas so that parents can lead their own Scouts.