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1. Have a pack program in place which will be fun and attractive to boys, parents and siblings
2. Have a pack program (and communicate this) which is sensitive to potential conflicts with other activities (soccer, baseball).
3. Follow through is so important--get new boys registered and involved as soon as possible
4. Have people involved in recruiting who are passionate about the program and your pack
5. Have standing posters/informational fliers prominently displayed at all of the schools where you recruit
6. Use a combination of Scout recruiting events and fliers sent directly to students to make the initial recruiting contacts
7. Don’t forget to plan recruiting events at the den level
8. Bring a friend den recruiting works well at the den level
9. Make sure that your pack has the right level of visibility in the community
10. Go out of your way to make recruits visiting your pack meetings feel special and be sure to involve them in the activities with the other Scouts.
Cub Scout Recruiting occurs in the Fall and Spring of each year. The Cascade Pacific Council staff with help you select dates that will maximize your recruiting efforts.
Why is Cub Scout recruitment essential?
The Boy Scout program depends on the foundation of Cub Scouts. Recruiting is also essential to the long term success of Cub Scouting. Cub Scouts, like Boy Scouts, offers an outdoor and educational program that allows boys to socialize, work in teams, broaden their educational experience, and understand the value of physical fitness and responsibility. This is the type of quality program that parents want their sons to join.
Here’s how we can share the wealth of Cub Scouting.Pack Activities
1. School Open House in September
o Talk with principal about display posters, display case, and yard sign
o Complete Use of Facilities form to have access to school on designated night
o Distribute flyers at school, Welcome Packets, and school newsletters promoting join night plans
o Prepare a brief program, stand up displays, or computer-based PowerPoint presentation that runs itself
o Create a brief Pack Information sheet with activities, community service, and educational opportunities with Belt Loops, Activity Pins, etc.
o Complete youth and adult applications and return them to the council office promptly. A Scout is only a Scout when registered.
2. Tiger Fun Day – invite friends to join your Tigers Pack Activities
o Boys ask a neighbor or friend to a den meeting – friends like to do things with their friends
o Use an event such as Rain Gutter Regatta to have guests
o Or if doing a December crafts / gift night and invite guests
o Invite boys and their parents to a monthly meeting and acknowledge them
o Invite friends and neighbors to Pack’s Blue and Gold Event
o Give any boy who brings a friend and joins a reward – gift card for pizza, Wal-Mart, movie passes, etc. and award him the RECRUITER patch
o Do a Popcorn “Show and Sell” and pass out business cards with Pack info
o Get a Den Chief from neighboring troops for each den
Other Recruitment Opportunities – Create Visibility
1. Recruit from chartered organization, particularly if religious affiliation
o Work with your organization to have a bulletin board or display case
o Appoint someone in the Pack to maintain displays with monthly Core Value and camp out pictures – keep it fresh and new!
2. Talk with religious education director to distribute flyers and bulletin announcements
o Connect with the local churches in the area
o Set-up table to talk with parents and boys after church services and bring dessert items
o Get bulletin board space for Pack activity pictures and listing of pack meetings
o Have older Cubs / Webelos distribute church bulletins
o Have parents provide after service refreshments and Cubs assist serving
o Cubs / Webelos in uniform while performing service hours
3. Create an activity that the community or parents of scouts can attend such as a bike rodeo, Cub Olympics, or bike ride.
4. School activities-Promote your Pack
o Back to School night – table to pass out information on your Join Night
o Back to School picnic or ice cream social – talk one-on-one with parents and sign-up boys and have boys in uniform
o Pass out literature at the School Open House
o If there is a new school welcome packet see if Cub Scout information can be included
o Have Cubs perform morning flag raising and announcements during Scout founding month of February – one week around February 7
o Send a recruiting notice through school and PTO monthly emails
o Use Cub Scout Posters around the school cafeteria
o If you son has a “Show and Tell” assignment maybe he can talk his Cub Scout Pack or den activities
5. Submit articles and photos to local newspapers
o Announce Arrow of Light Awards
o Announce Blue and Gold Dinner and invite the public
o Put Pack meetings in calendar of events or articles after big events listing boys’ name for awards received, etc.
o Articles on community service performed
o Get parents permission to include their son in submitted photos
o Put your meeting times in the Calendar of Events
6. Utilize school newsletters, display areas and local businesses
o Learn who your PTA or PTO president and newsletter editor is to work with them to submit an article on recruitment and who’s who in the Pack
o Submit articles for the school or PTA or PTO newsletter after talking with school principal for permission to submit
o Help out at school function or PTA or PTO function with Cubs and leaders in uniform
o Work with principal to display photos of scouting events – get parental permission to show and display photos of their children
o Work with a local merchant to display your Pack recruitment information and invite that merchant to your Blue and Gold or reward them with popcorn
7. Recruit from sport leagues
o Talk with other parents about Cub Scouts during recreation sport activities
o Pass out School Open House night information
o Pass out invitations to join a den meeting or Pack meeting such as Rain Gutter Regatta or Pinewood Derby
o Pass out your Pack Information sheet and flyers
8. Do a Springtime recruitment
o May 1 all Cub Scouts and Webelos advance to the next level
o Participate in the district’s bring a friend events
o Promote your Pack’s summer program
Summertime Recruiting Activities
Summer is a fabulous time to kick off your Pack’s recruitment. Here are a few ideas to get your Pack off and running ready for the Fall.
Create a business card with information about your Pack and distribute to:
• Friends at the pool
• Vacation Bible School
• Friends at summer camp
• Friends at soccer camp or baseball camp
Invite your son’s friends to Summer Pack Events
Publicize Your Pack
Get your Pack’s Publicity Chair to take photos and submit those to the Advocate or Eagle – get permission slips to release photos with names
Visit with Your School’s Leadership
• Make an appointment to introduce yourself
• Offer to do a summer service project like weeding gardens
• Offer to run a station at Back to School night or other school function
• Can your Scouts help on the first day of school – maybe help new students, etc.
• Find out who your PTA or PTO president is and link to their website or that of the school
Preparing for a Scouting Open House - Information
• New Cubmaster or Pack Committee Chair – NEW APPLICATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED even if they are an existing registered leader
• If we have wrong names, then the recruitment flyers will have the wrong names!
Pack Recruiting Activities Do Not Replace a Join Night!
Join nights are critical to the sustainability of your pack and Scouting. Every pack needs a steady flow of new leaders and boys to fill existing dens and to create new dens.
RECRUITING IDEAS AND TIPS
Research shows that most boys do not join Scouting because they previously aware of the program. Boys join scouting because they are asked. Unless you ask, you’ll never know if a boy is interested in joining scouting.
1. Cub Scouts and Leaders "sport" your uniform often. Wearing the uniform is like a walking billboard, and can grab the attention of youth and adults. The uniform also serves as a conversation piece. Scouts and leaders should wear their uniforms to school, church, the grocery store, library, sporting events, any place you can think of! The uniform is a great way to show the presence of Cub Scouts in your community and spread the excitement. Be sure that every member of your pack wears their uniform to school on the day of your recruitment night and to school the days of your pack meetings and den meetings. Remember that the uniform is not complete without the person inside. Be knowledgeable about what all of the patches mean and share the excitement of Scouting.
2. Encourage Cub Scouts and Adult Scouters to talk about Scouting with their friends. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful and lasting forms of advertising. Kids talking to others about the fun they have is a great way to spread excitement among youth. Use the recruiter patch or another incentive program that rewards your Scouts if they bring a friend to join Cub Scouting. Cub Scout families consistently see the value of Scouting in their own lives and by this they are our best salespeople. Share Scouting's benefits and excitement with other parents. Most families are looking for programs filled with excitement and opportunities for leadership development and positive values. Most families are involved in lots of activities including sports and church. Use these forums to interact with parents and share Cub Scout stories.
3. "Show and Tell". Encourage youth to use Cub Scouting as a part of their Show and Tell opportunities in school. Peer to peer recruitment is very successful and this is a great forum for Scouts to share their stories and the excitement of Cub Scouting. Be sure that they are prepared with a story or exciting information. If possible provide stickers or other handouts for the Scouts to distribute at the conclusion of the presentation.
4. Develop a Pack Information Sheet. This is your chance to brag about your pack. Include items such as time, date, an d location of pack meetings, list of upcoming events, Den Leader and Committee Member names and phone numbers, and other exciting details about why you are involved, including pictures. Provide your sponsoring organization a copy of the sheet so that they can answer any questions they might receive regarding your pack. Make sure that your pack committee and parents have copies of the sheet to distribute as well. Give a copy to your local District Executive.
5. Recruitment Night Information Flyer. Work with your District Executive to order Council provided flyers, or create your own. Be sure to include the date, time, and location of your meeting and contact name and phone number. Plan your recruiting night within the first two weeks of the school year. Meet with your facility contact early to get your meeting booked. Order your flyers through your District Executive at your District's recruitment briefing or earlier. Before your recruitment night, deliver flyers to the school or schools and any other outlets including churches and neighboring schools that do not host packs, seven to ten days prior to the meeting. A second flyer should be distributed the day of your event, just as a friendly reminder! (The second flyer should be a different color and design, so teachers and administrators do not think it is a duplication of the first flyer.) If you are delivering the flyers to schools, offer to pre-stack groups of flyers for the individual teacher's boxes. This will save time for the office staff and help to ensure their delivery.
6. Display Cases and Bulletin Boards. Promotion of Cub Scouting at the beginning of the school year is very important. This is the time of year when most families decide to join new activities. If possible the display should be maintained year around and changed monthly. Seek permission from the school, church, recreation center, or other organization to use the display case. Have a person from your pack responsible for setting up the display and changing it once a month during the year. Each month should have a monthly theme with catch phrases to attract attention. The display items should go along with the monthly theme. The display should be fun and informative and create a sense of excitement about the Scouting program. If access to the display case all year around is not possible, using it in the beginning of the school year would be the best time.
7. School, Church, Community, or Business Newsletters and Websites. This may be a great way to get information or announcements out regarding your Cub Scout Pack. Speak with the person in charge of the newsletter to find out how and when to submit an article or announcement. If your school hosts their own website, post information there as well. Be sure to begin promoting your recruitment night two weeks prior to the date. Include information that will attract the reader's attention while also sharing logistical information regarding your pack. Continue providing information and announcements throughout the year.
8. School, Church, and Civic Functions. Set-up display at all school open houses, Back-To-School nights, curriculum nights, carnivals, Parent/Teacher conferences, and other church or civic events. Secure permission form the school principal or church pastor prior to the event. Call early to secure the best, most visible location. Set-up display 45 minutes to one hour prior to the event to ensure completion before arrival of prospective families . Uniformed leaders and Scouts should staff displays. Leaders should be informed of pack operations to be able to answer que stions. Leaders should introduce themselves to prospective families as they arrive and should invite the families to join at that time, or sign-in to receive more information. Make follow-up calls with those families that signed in to personally invite them to your recruitment night or upcoming pack meeting. These events are great public exposure for your pack program.
9. Business Window/Counter Displays. This could be a year around project. Ask local merchants to support your recruiting efforts in your area by placing a poster in their windows or placing brochures in their organizations. Work with them closely on how long they will allow the items to be placed and any other requirements they might have. (Be sure to thank them with a can of Trail's End Popcorn.)
10. News Releases to Local Newspapers and Community Cable Stations. The key thing to remember is that timing is everything! It is essential to find out when the paper you are working with is printed and what the deadlines are. An article too soon will be forgotten and an article too late will not be published. The first line of the release needs to be a catchy, clear statement. The information needs to be clear and concise. The article should have all pertinent information such as pack number, meeting location, directions if needed, time and contact name and number (with their permission). Make the release one page. A call to follow-up is always a good idea. The release can be used to promote your recruitment night or to feature a community service project, awards, blue and gold, pinewood derby, etc.
11. Church, School, or Business Marquee. Identify a marquee in high traffic areas, schools or other organizations. Speak with the person in charge of the marquee or sign to post your message. Be sure to be clear on the duration of your use and any other requirements. Due to limited space, message can be as simple as "Join Cub Scouts Here Sept. 15, 7 PM" will catch people's attention. If a school has a scrolling sign in the lunchroom, messages may also be posted there. Post notices inside school busses, if possible. This could be a year around project, pick a different area of your community at different times of the year.
12. Pack Website. Build a pack or den website including pertinent information regarding your Cub Scout Pack including photographs, program calendar, how to join, and the benefits and excitement of Cub Scouting. Be sure to be aware of and follow your Council's Unit Website Policies. Ask school, church and other community organizations (Chamber, Welcome Wagon, Social Services, United Way, etc.) to provide a link to your site and to publicize your address.
13. Announcement in church, neighborhood, subdivision, company, city, school district, and recreation center newsletters. Ask the appropriate person how to get pertinent i nformation regarding your Cub Scout Pack in each publication. Determine when the deadline for each publication is. Create something that is interesting to read! Make people want to join Scouting! Be sure to thank the organization for its support.
14. Special Events. Plan a special event that you can invite families to attend. Start to plan for your event well before the chosen date so that you have plenty of time to ensure its success. Secure a location and date for your event. Make sure you have a dynamic agenda and activities. In inviting families to join, create and distribute the invitations. One idea might be to host a pinewood derby at the shopping mall and invite families from your school and neighborhood to participate using "experienced" derby cars. Other ideas include hosting a booth or activity at community fairs, festivals or other events.
15. District Sponsored Events. The Sunset Trail District sponsors one or more recruiting events each year. The Hooked on Scouting Program is a popular event centered on peer to peer recruiting. More information can be found online or through the district newsletter, the Hot Sheet.
16. Yard Signs. Be sure to be aware of any regulations regarding yard signs. Identify a person in your pack that lives close to your school or in a high traffic area. Post as many signs as possible at strategic locations within the community including intersections and yards. If a school, church, recreation center, or other organization will allow it, post signs there too. Your yard signs should include a phone number, Cub Scout logo, maybe the date of your recruitment night, and location.
17. Prospecting for Scouts. The best recruiters we have are the current Cub Scouts and their families. Interview each family to determine which families in the neighborhood are not currently members of a Cub Scout Pack. Interview each current Cub Scout to determine which classmates are not current members of a pack. Write down as much information as you can about those non-member families and classmates. Develop a list of prospect families, names, addresses, phone, etc., and then visit with those families. Be sure to have this list with your pack's information flyer along with any other items that you feel will help in selling Scouting to your prospects. Wear your uniform.
18. Be a Scout program. Many people today like to receive instant gratification. The Be a Scout program allows users to complete an online form and send it to the leaders of the nearest pack. Pack leaders should check annually to ensure the correct contacts are used. Council employees will also follow-up on these requests. However, pack leaders have the responsibility for contacting perspective scout families. Check out the Be a Scout program at www.beascout.org.
19. Personalized. Boys love to receive their own mail. Personalize a letter or card including a description of Cub Scouting, date, time, and location of your recruitment night, and contact name and information. If addresses are unavailable, or postage is too costly, seek permission to deliver the personalized invitation to the classroom. Make sure that cards or letters are individually addressed to each boy. If you have access to e-mail addresses e-mail the invitation. Secure your list of names and addresses, work with your chartered organization, PTA's, schools if allowed, sport teams, recreation department, and church directories.
20. Telephone call to families. A telephone call to the parents of a potential Cub Scout is a very effective way to recruit new families. This personal contact works every well. Be prepared to answer questions they might have and share the specific benefits of Cub Scouting. Names and numbers may be obtained by using school, church, or other organization directories, telephone book white pages, or the Internet. Be sure to be courteous and identity yourself and what association you might have with them. For example, "our sons are in the same class at school". Due to the high number of phone calls, be sure to split up the list among the leaders in your pack. Develop a "Telephone Script" that tells the same story about your pack. You might include: "Cub Scouting is a family program", "Cub Scouts reinforces the values of 'doing your best'", "Educators call Cub Scouting the #1 extracurricular program in America today", "The program guides reinforce the class curriculum", "Cub Scouting is fun"!