School either has started or is starting soon for most kids in the Mid-America Council. When school starts, so does a whole new season of Scouting – and recruiting. As kids grow older they move up in ranks and out of Cub Scouts and in to Boy Scouts. It’s very important to recruit new boys each year. Here are some tips. Please post ideas that have worked for your pack or troop here too!
Every Pack has its own special challenges and opportunities. For maximum effectiveness, a recruitment plan must address unique circumstances.
School Rally: While an effective recruitment method, the school rally is becoming much less common due to school policies restricting or prohibiting such activities. Packs should continue to conduct rallies whenever possible. A school principal meeting may be an opportunity to discuss this recruiting method. The school rally is a proven technique for recruiting new Cub Scouts. It is an energetic presentation in the classroom or other school location during the school day to all Cub Scout aged boys about Scouting.
Uniform: This is a simple way to market Cub Scouting. The uniform is a walking advertisement. Packs should coordinate special school days to wear the uniform. Uniform days should be on the day of an evening Pack meeting. The September and October Pack meetings are excellent times for uniforms to be worn in school. At the Pack meeting, recognition can be provided for every boy who wore his uniform to school that day.
School Service Projects: Maintaining an excellent relationship with sponsoring elementary schools is a high priority. All Packs should constantly strive to demonstrate that they are important, valued members of the school community. School service projects help illustrate this to parents, teachers and school administrators.
Pack Information Flyer: Packs use an attractive “sales flyer” with up-to-date, basic Pack information to distribute to prospective families. This Pack information flyer should include information such as mission, important activities and service projects over the past year, meeting time and place, leaders with contact information, Mid-America Council district executive with contact information, number of boys, dens, etc. The flyer should be attractive and professional in appearance.
School Activities Night Program/Exhibit: Packs can make a positive impression on parents and kids at the school activities night in the fall. This event takes place during the critical recruiting season and is an excellent opportunity to showcase the local Scouting program.
Packs should plan to make a strong showing at the school activities night. Pack leaders and some boys should be in uniform. A table or booth with illustrations of Scouting activities could be part of the exhibit. A tent or other interactive exhibit could be set up in the school lobby. Pack information brochures and joining night fliers should be available.
School Fair Demonstration/Exhibit: Packs should strive to make a positive impression on parents and students at the fall school fair. This event usually takes place during the critical Cub Scout recruiting season and is an excellent opportunity to showcase the Pack’s Scouting program. Packs should plan to make a strong showing at the fall school fair. Pack leaders and some boys should be in uniform. A booth or exhibit should be set-up with interesting activities illustrated. A tent, game, or other interactive exhibit could be set-up in the gym or outside.
Press Releases Featuring Pack: News articles with photos of Cub Scouts having fun, learning, or contributing to their community are highly beneficial. Packs and Scouts will be excited to see their photo or activity in the newspaper. Prospects are attracted to an organization that is getting headlines doing fun or good things. For people who don’t know about Cub Scouting in their community, they immediately become aware in a positive, memorable way.
Newsletter Inserts: Newsletter inserts in school, church or neighborhood newsletters are highly visible to many families in the community. The inserts can be timed to gain attention during the critical fall recruiting season. Inserts can communicate the activities and basics of Cub Scouting and how to get more information about joining a Pack. Newsletter inserts will make families aware of Cub Scouting in their community. The benefits and activities of Scouting should be highlighted along with the basic structure and schedule of a Cub Scout program.
Pack Party Announcement: Word must get out to prospective families about Pack Parties. Elementary schools offer a critical communication channel. Packs should distribute Pack Party announcement flyers to all Cub Scout-aged boys in the school when possible. These flyers should be distributed a few days before each of the parties. The flyers should have basic Pack information and details about the party. Also, leverage other school communication vehicles, such an e-newsletters and website. If the school/PTO will allow the pack to send an email to parents using the school/PTO email list, this opportunity should be pursued.