Go For the Gold
Burlington County Council, Boy Scouts of America
Membership Impact Committee’s
"Go For the Gold"
Membership Recruitment 2012
Below is a comprehensive guide that will help your Pack, Troop or Crew have a successful fall recruiting campaign. If you haven’t noticed, the Fall 2012 recruiting campaign has a theme: GO FOR THE GOLD. Why? Because you can “go for the gold” using this plan to bring a healthy number of new youth into your unit that will in turn, help you run an outstanding scouting program for your youth.
So why is it important for your Pack, Troop or Crew to bring in more members? First of all, units run the best program possible when they have well-rounded dens, patrols and crews. Additionally, the future of your unit depends on incoming youth as naturally each year current youth age out of the program, move out of the area and so forth. Finally, we like to think that scouting is the premier program for character education, and it is part of the Boy Scouts of America’s mission to make sure we are sharing our program with as many youth as possible.
Start with planning; this guide and your district’s recruitment kickoff are meant to be a springboard for your unit leadership to plan your fall recruitments. As a unit, you should set a goal of how many youth you would like to bring into your program.
For a Cub Scout Pack, start with creating a Tiger Den to replace those Webelos II that crossed over into Boy Scouting last Spring. Also look into filling the spaces in your current dens so every boy is getting the experience of interacting with a complete den. If there is a need in your community, it will be appropriate to have more than one of each den.
For a Boy Scout Troop, examine where your Troop membership has been in the past. Scouting is designed to work on the patrol method, with several patrols of 6-10 boys in each Troop. Again, look at the need in the community and see how your troop can expand to give every boy a chance in scouting.
For Venturing Crews, look at the ages of your current Venturers. Chances are that in a few years many members of your Crew will graduate high school and will become less active in the Crew. It is extremely important that your Crew continually invite and engage new, particularly younger, members so that your Crew will be there for many years.
One of the concerns that you might have is the number of adult leaders you have compared to the potential size of you unit. Always remember that with each new youth that joins your unit, there are one to two adults that should be considered potential leaders.
Any Team must have an end goal, as previously mentioned, but it should also have a plan and a timeline. The professionals and volunteers with your District and Burlington County Council are committed to helping you achieve your goals and bring home the “gold”. We’ve setup the following timeline to help you “do your best” in your recruiting efforts.
September – School & Community Activities Recruiting through your schools, particularly for Cub Scout Packs, is the best way to introduce scouting to new faces. As schools start their year, Back to School Nights and similar events are a great opportunity to set up tables or booths to sign youth up for scouting. Flyers can be distributed to the schools prior to Back to School Night to promote your presence at the event. Make sure that you are ready to have parents completely fill out applications that night. If your town or community has a local celebration or fair, the same opportunities exist for your unit.
October – Bring A Friend A person often gets involved in something new because a friend personally invited him or her to do so and scouting is very much the same. In October, all Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers are encouraged to bring a friend to a meeting or event to see what scouting is about. One of the best ways that a Pack, Troop or Crew can encourage this is by designating an existing event or creating an event specifically intended for scouts and their friends. Halloween parties make an excellent occasion for this type of event.
November – One Night Recruitment On November 1st, the Burlington County Council will once again host a One Night Sign-up Night at locations in each community in the county. The advantages of this include being able to direct all interested families to a place in their community on a particular date. A list of locations will be provided to you so that you can let us know that you will be present in your local community that evening.
December – Bring A Friend Part II If the friends that visited your unit in October still haven’t made the decision to join, it’s time to invite them back for another look. However, don’t limit yourself to friends who have been there before, encourage your scouts to bring additional friends for a look at what scouting really is. Again, designate or create an event that your scouts are encouraged to bring a friend to. Your unit’s holiday party would be a great time to do so.
September – December, Win an Ice Cream Party! Recruit the most new youth in your District and win an Ice Cream Party for your Unit! Each month September through December a Unit in Quakesen and a Unit in Mahalala will win an Ice Cream Party for the most recruited youth in that month.
There are many resources available from your district and Burlington County Council to help you reach success with your recruitment activities. Primarily, you have a full-time District Executive that you can reach out to with questions and issues that he will help you solve. The same is true of your district’s Commissioner Staff.
Flyers Flyers are currently the best way to reach kids in your community. Traditionally, flyers are sent to schools in September with local unit information and a notice of the next event or events where parents can sign their children up for scouting. Flyers in the schools work best for grades 1-5 who are being invited to join Cub Scouts. However, use of flyers in other ways in encouraged for Boy Scout Troops and Venturing Crews. For example, the Council will be able to provide flyers for a unit to take to a pizza shop that has agreed to pass out flyers with their orders.
Ordering Flyers At the end of this page you will find an order form for flyers for your recruiting events. Please use this form when requesting flyers so we can distribute them in a timely manner without typos. We ask that you do your best to give us two weeks before the distribution deadline so we can handle the volume of flyer requests. All requests for flyers should be sent to your District Executive via email or delivered to the Rowan Scout Resource Center.
Yard Signs & Posters Yard Signs and Posters are available at the recruitment kickoff and anytime at the Rowan Scout Resource Center. There is no official limit to most of these items, we just kindly ask that if you take the items you use them for recruiting and either re-use them at a later date or return to the Scout Center so they will be available to other units.
BeAScout The BeAScout.org site is a national recruiting website for local units. Unit Leaders (Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, Crew Advisors, Committee Chairmen and Charter Organization Representatives) can logon to their units’ BeAScout profiles at www.myscouting.org. Those leaders can then customize their unit’s profiles so that families interested in scouting can contact unit leaders directly. All our yard signs, posters and flyers encourage families to visit BeAScout.org so it is very beneficial that every unit make sure their profile is up to date.
Bring A Friend A collection of materials are available at the end of this page for your unit to duplicate, replicate and customize. These materials are intended to encourage your scouts to Bring A Friend to an event or meeting that has been designated as such.
Boy Talks While flyers, posters and signs have their place, they work much better when accompanied by personal communication. One method of achieving this is by arranging Boy Talks in local schools during the school day. You can contact your local principal directly to setup a Boy Talk or you can work with your District Executive. These events are most impactful when a local leader is available to be part of the Boy Talk as he or she can give more detailed information on the local scouting unit and its program. Boy Talks are most successful when recruiting Cub Scouts (1-5th grades) however with a few adjustments they can also work well to share information on Venturing (high school).
Equipment Many other items are available to units for recruiting purposes at the Rowan Scout Resource Center. These include the Marketing Trailer, which can be stocked with tables and chairs if requested; the Pop-ups for events where shelter, shade or attention are needed; the Raingutter Regatta Track for units to engage potential scouts with; and Recruitment Signs to attract attention to a recruitment booth. All these items have been provided for recruiting purposes with funds from Friends of Scouting and other sources. They are available without charge to units on a first come, first served basis. To reserve any of these items contact the office staff at the Rowan Scout Resource Center at 609-261-5850.
Other Resources We have a variety of nationally produced resources that may also help you in your recruiting efforts such as various tri-fold brochures. Talk to your District Executive to see what else is available or if you have a special request and we will work with you to get you the materials you need.
General Recruiting Tips
Here are few tips and suggestions that will help make your recruiting efforts easy and more successful.
- Be Creative. While a table with information and application on it may have a chance of brining new scouts to your unit, it can be much more successful by adding an activity such as a Raingutter Regatta Track, Pinewood Derby Track, Model Camp Site, or Campfire (as location allows).
- Respect Parents Time. Parents who are interested in signing their children up for scouting don’t always have to be sold on scouting. Make sure they receive an application the first time you engage them and make every effort to collect the application from them at the same event. If the application is completed, signed and paid for as soon as possible, then their son can jump immediately into your program and you won’t waste your time or the parents’ time tracking down applications and money.
- Use the Uniform. Scouting has a great tool in the uniform as it is widely recognized among the public. Having leaders and scouts in their Field Uniform will make it clear what you are representing at recruiting events. Always consider having your scouts wear their uniform the day of a Boy Talk or recruiting event to raise awareness and attention.
- Alternate Communication. Each community has its own unique ways of promoting community events. Make sure that your recruiting and other scouting events are in your town’s community bulletins, websites or other channels that are available.
Bonus for Recruiters
Any Council Board Member, Council Level Volunteer, Scout Leader, Scout, or Crew Member can earn our newly designed Burlington County Council Recruiter CSP by fully recruiting a new youth member into a Pack, Troop or Crew. The coupon below MUST be attached to the new members youth application when it is brought to the service center to receive a CSP
|Recruiter CSP Coupon (4 to a sheet)||154.64 KB|
|2012 Flyer Order Form||1.23 MB|
|Go For the Gold Membership Recruitment 2012 Booklet.pdf||851.33 KB|