Click a link below to jump to a section on this page:
- Six Steps to Successful Recruiting
- Spring Into Scouting – Recruiting Really is A Year-Round Effort
- Be a Pack with a Strong Program Plan
- Recruit Families, not Just Kids
- Welcome Some New Member Coordinators to Your Pack
- Guides and Other Downloads
Recruiting Best Practices Video
See this Video for Recruiting Best Practices: Using the Six Steps to Successful and Sustainable Recruiting for your Unit. Other tools that can help include:
- Drill down deeper into those Six Steps to Successful Recruiting in the Recruiting Resources pages listed to the right side of this page
Successful and sustainable recruiting is more than having a School Sign Up Night. The Guide to Cub Scout Family Recruiting attached in the resources on the side of the page describes these six steps for successful and sustainable recruiting:
- Make a Calendar of Fun Activities that families like – your Pack’s program. The big fun activities that current and future families will want to join.
- Let People Know – Promote Your Program! Families join Packs that do things and go places ... 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: not just School Sign-Up Nights, but Fun Den and Pack Welcoming Events Too!
- More Fun Events. Keep expanding and extending your Calendar of Fun Events … you can grow after School Sign-Up Night and attract more Scouts and more Leaders!
All of these steps help your success at School Sign-Up Nights and at your own Pack Sign-Up Events. All of these steps can be done by your Pack at any time – Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter.
Recruiting Is Really A Year-Round Effort
We used to call Cub Scout recruiting “Fall Recruiting” because of the heavy attention to School Sign-Up Nights at the end of summer. But recruiting can happen at any time your Unit wants to welcome new families.
- Spring and Summer recruiting allows you to bring in new families and connect them with fun, simple, easy activities that your current families and leaders will enjoy – and that new families can jump right into – like end of the year picnics and cookouts and bike rides and fishing and hiking, maybe kites, rockets or STEM activities, plus Day and Twilight Camp.
- We want Packs and Dens to Spring Into Scouting in the Spring and Summer – it’s not only fun, but you can use this for easy recruiting where families take a “test drive” of your Den or Pack.
- Do some Fun, Simple, Easy Activities that your den’s families can enjoy together. Maybe not even a “uniform” event. Maybe just … fun? Simple. Easy.
- No complicated meeting plans, just relaxing fun for kids – and families. Food is good. Make it a chance for parents to get to know each other better.
- P.S.: not only can you relax at a fun event and just get to know other parents better, but in doing that you can recruit those parents to step up to be leaders and helpers with you. If they show up, they must like Cub Scouts and should be able to see a way to help you.
- For more testimonials about the power of spring and summer recruiting, see this On Scouting blog post titled “All the Advantages of Recruiting New Cub Scouts in the Spring” – among the observations is that spring and summer recruiting “could actually ease some of the headaches commonly encountered when starting new dens from scratch in the fall”.
Scouts BSA Troops should also have a heavy spring recruiting emphasis focused on taking in both 5th Grade Cub Scouts and their 10 year old classmates who may have passed on Cub Scouting – because any 10 year old 5th Grader can join a Troop after March 1.
The best way to make Cub Scouting appealing to new families is to make it Fun, and show how it can be simple for new families to enjoy.
In Cub Scouting, we often say “Keep It Simple, Make It Fun”, so let’s do that!
Cub Scouting should be Fun, Families and Friends – this is the essence of Cub Scouting, doing fun things with family and friends. (Yes, with the ideals of the Scout Oath and Law.)
- Cub Scouting is supporting more Fun, Simple, Easy activities.
- Many dens and packs Get Out and Cub Scout at so many places and events around Northwest Ohio.
- Cub Scout recruiting is as simple as just inviting families and friends to join in your fun Den and Pack activities.
- Any Fun Den or Pack activity can be a Welcoming and Joining Event for new families.
Be a Pack with a Strong Program Plan
Think about families wondering whether to join Cub Scouts – which Pack sounds better?
- A Pack that says: “Welcome to our Pack, we’ll have a meeting to talk about what we might do!”
- Or one that says: “Welcome to our Pack, look at our calendar of fun family activities!”
The question for most families is “what do you do in Cub Scouts?” Not “when do you meet?”
- Our “Get Out and Cub Scout” recruiting messages track that, because a recent Voice of the Scout survey showed that the Number One driver of satisfaction was “we have great outdoor activities”.
- A Pack with an active outdoor program is offering the best Cub Scouting opportunity to all families. Those Packs and Dens can say "Welcome to our Pack, look at our program of fun activities we can all do! Join Us!"
Getting fun activity ideas into your Program Plan is what makes Units successful and attractive.
- After all, if you can’t tell families what you plan to do, why would they join you?
- So, the first step in recruiting is Plan a Calendar of Fun Activities.
- And the second step is Promote Your Pack Program so families learn what you do and want to join you.
If you do activities families like, they will join you! That is what recruiting is all about. And if it’s fun for kids, fun for families, and safe -- it’s Cub Scouting!
Recruit Families, not just Kids!
Cub Scouting is a family program, so 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!
- In successful Dens and Packs, every parent helps.
- That starts with leading their own Scout in activities and advancement adventures.
- It extends to joining a team of parents helping lead program and activities.
- 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
If your Pack has only a few active engaged leaders, recruit very carefully:
- either be sure you’re lining up more active, engaged leaders to handle an influx of new youth, using the ideas in our third step of recruiting – recruiting leaders,
- or only bring on the number of youth your current leaders can handle.
- (Then don’t be surprised if another Pack also serves your school so that all youth can be in Scouting.)
As you get the attention of current and prospective families with your calendar of activities – and find parents who are excited or interested in them – turn parents into helpers, and turn helpers into leaders. Pack and Den leaders should find ways to "lead the parents to lead their Scouts" by providing them program ideas so that parents can lead their own Scouts and help lead the Den and the Pack.
Build a welcome team from your parent ranks – it’s an easy way to get parents involved. Officially called “New Member Coordinators” by the Boy Scouts of America, the idea to is have a team of parents for “peer to peer” welcoming of families into your unit. Any responsible adult who can say “hello” and “welcome” and is willing to "chat up" your Pack or Den to their friends or others in their community can be on your Welcome Team.
- Welcome Team members don’t need to know everything about Scouting.
- They just need to know enough about your unit to be welcoming (or as the Scout Law says: helpful, friendly, courteous, kind).
- They don’t need to wear the khaki uniform – probably better that they don’t, to make it more evident that the Den and Pack need help from parents who look like regular folks.
- A “Welcome Team” of New Member Coordinators is excellent in “sharing the load” of recruiting, communicating and welcoming – so your Cubmaster and Den Leader don’t have to do it all.
- 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 full 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.
- Be sure to equip your Welcome Team so that they can Welcome! at any time and any place.
And know this:
- No recruiting method works every time for everyone.
- Every recruiting method works some of the time for someone.
Click to jump to other Recruiting Resource pages: Recruiting Resources (Home), Step One: Make a Calendar of Fun Activities, Step Two: Promote your Unit! (and BeAScout / Online Apps), Step Three: Recruiting Leaders, Step Four: School and Community Presence, Step Five: Sign-Up Events, Parent Orientation, and Scouts BSA Troop Recruiting
New members are integral to what we do in Scouting. Without new Scouts joining every year, our units would not survive. Here are some great resources to help you during your recruitment. Thank you for all that you do for the Scouting Program.
Don't forget to update your unit's BeAScout Pin! You can find directions under recruitment resources on this page. BeAScout is how many families will try to find a Scouting unit.
A great video for new families.