Your recruiting today determines the health of your unit tomorrow.
While recruiting should happen every day, your spring and fall recruiting events are vital for your unit. By joining in the spring, new Scouts will be able to go to Camp this year. Your summertime calendar is packed full with the trips, events, and camping they want. The spring roundup invariably is when you will also find some of your best new leaders.
Your fall recruiting event is just as important. This is when you get another chance to recruit the ones you missed in the spring.
Your program and your upcoming calendar will sell them on Scouting. Make sure that your calendar is planned months or a year in advance and stocked full of great events. Make sure to include all of the council and district events you can. Prepare a simplified, one-page calendar for recruiting. The most important sales flier you have is your busy calendar.
Your other tool will be a good recruiting flier. Your district executive can provide the recruitment fliers and posters.
Don't forget how flexible we are. If they miss a sports practice, they may not be able to play in the game. But in Scouts you can miss meetings or even a season and still be welcome.
The Six P's of Recruiting
Have a clear purpose:
- To ensure that every boy has a chance to be in Scouts
- To sign up Cub Scouts and Webelos into existing packs as well as Boy Scouts and Ventures
- To recruit parents to be unit leaders and committee members
- To organize new units in areas we are not currently serving.
Involve everyone in your plan:
- Ask every leader to attend. You will need their help plus the more people the new families know, the more likely they are to join.
- Ask your district for help with Informational fliers and posters.
- Ask other units to buddy up with you. Share recruiting, don't compete.
A new Scout will rarely find you. You have to be pro-active and invite them, often several times.
- Ask each Scout to invite two friends. Referrals are your best prospects. If his buddies join, your existing Scout is more likely to stay in too. Show them the Recruiter Strip they can earn.
- Ask your chartered organization to distribute your fliers. Go to their meeting and show them all you do.
- Ask your committee to take recruiting fliers to PTO, Religious Organizations, Sunday Schools, sports teams, clubs, etc.
- Ask your paper to run an article about a recent include details of you upcoming orientation at the end of the article.
- Ask radio & TV stations to run Public Service Announcements you can get from your district.
- Ask if you can do fliers, boy talks, and an open house in areas school. Your district executive should have contacts with school administrators.
- Ask your prospects past who have not signed up yet to come this time. You may need to invite them different several times.
Use all seven ways to promote your unit. Note that the key word is Ask. Use your resources. Brainstorm other ideas.
Hold the sign-up event at the location where the unit will meet or at their school. Make it a brief, upbeat, and well-planned rally. The group presentation should take no more than a few minutes. Don't talk about the past or use jargon like DE, FOS, OA, or SPL as this can scare off new families.
- As they come in, pass out applications, fliers, and your calendar. Ask everyone to fill out the forms. Have plenty of pens.
- Have them sign a sheet with Name & Phone information for everyone who attends.
- Don't be talking in a click among yourselves. Have a leader walk each prospect to a table and help them.
- Open the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and very BRIEF remarks.
- Introduce your leaders.
- Let the Scouts tell about what they have coming up on their calendars: trips, camping, Summer Camp, etc.
- End the group meeting in no more than a few minutes.
- Unit leaders now fan out to meet with families one-on-one to answer questions.
- Register new youth members. Explain what they need to know one-on-one. Don't overwhelm them. Ask, "Do you have any questions?"
- Have unit t-shirts available as a gift or at a small cost. If they leave in your t-shirt, they will come back.
- Provide light refreshments such as punch and granola bars.
- Announce the unit's next meeting date. Better still have an New Scout event already scheduled.
Scouts with involved parents stay in Scouts. Recruit adults to at least help if not the be leaders. These are great tools to help find out what parents can offer. Involve everyone. Scouts with "drive-by" parents won't last.
- Troop Resource Survey 34437
- Pack Family Talent Survey Sheet
- Become a Scout Volunteer! - is a good resource to show potential leaders
- Call everyone who signed up to again welcome them and confirm information. Do not rely just on email.
- Call everyone who didn't sign up in a few days and see if they have any questions. Can you call them again in a week?
- Call your prospects again in a week. People often need to be asked several times.
- Call your prospect again just before your next orientation. The ones you missed last time are some of the best prospects next time.
In the case of Venturing-age youth
- Have each youth complete the Venturing Activity Interest Survey.
- Brainstorm with youth their ideas that might not be on the survey.
- Review the potential for crew program based on the Program Capability Inventory and the chartered organization.
- Recruit Youth Members and Orient Parents
- Astronauts And The BSA
- Eagle Scouts
- The Case For School Access PowerPoint Presentation
- Schools And Scouting: Working Together For Youth (PowerPoint Presentation) -
- Billboards - an excellent way to increase the visibility and awareness of Scouting within your community.
- Print Ads - provides samples of print ads.
- Public Service Announcements - PSA's in a variety of formats.
- News Release Sample - annotated word file provides a model for news releases in the style used by the Associated Press (AP).
- PowerPoint Presentation Templates
- Sample Presentations PPT's that you can tailor
- Cub Scouting
Northern Star Council's Version of Cub Scout Round Up Campaign Guidebook #13-253.
- Organizing a new unit
- WD Boyce New Unit Organizer Award
- New Unit Resource Kits - Step-By-Step Instructions And Resource Materials For Organizing A New Unit With A Specific Organization.
- The New-Unit Organization Process - A Detailed Outline Of The 12-Step Process To Organizing A New Unit.
- Hispanic/Latino American Demographics In A Changing America
- Scouting Supports Home Schooling
- Help finding chartering organizations
- Be Prepared/I Am Prepared - information about each of the BSA's programs and their relationship to chartered organization.
- Letters Of Endorsement - Agreements Between Many National Organizations And The Boy Scouts Of America to have local units.
- Community Organizations And The Boy Scouts Of America
- Rotary International and Scouting
- 40 Developmental Assets [PowerPoint] - how the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs support the developmental assets.