Recruitment

Recruitment of youth into our BSA programs should be ongoing throughout the year. Back to School recruitment, Fall recruitment, Spring recruitment, Summertime recruitment…all important times to invite others to join our Scouting family!

Youth and families are usually pretty excited about getting back to school, seeing friends and participating in extracurricular activities.  Religious Education classes, various sports teams, band, chess and other clubs start up again and this is prime time for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to begin meeting as well.

The emphasis is usually on Cub Scout recruitment since Cub Scouts are the life blood of a troop; troops rely on Scouts from nearby packs to crossover in the spring and create their new scout patrols.  Without this influx of youth into the troop, troops will struggle and eventually die.  Let’s avoid that! If we build up our packs and provide quality programming with trained leaders, Cub Scouts will look forward to Boy Scouts and continue to be active.

Promotional Materials

  • Create flyers promoting your event and get permission to post them, place them, distribute them in the venues mentioned above. Council will print flyers for you if you provide the wording or you can pick up blank forms from Council and do your own printing.  Contact Earl in the Print Shop at Earl.Runyan@scouting.org.
  • Create flyers that are grade/level specific that can be distributed to teachers for distribution. Sample forms that can be edited for your unit will available on this page soon.

  • Yard signs can be picked up at Council or check with Isaac at the next Roundtable.  These durable plastic signs come with a wire framework that can be placed directly into the grass/soft ground.  The sign also has the BeAScout.org information so an interested party can access that site and find out more about Cub Scouts.

  • Create a brochure about your unit and ask to place it in the office of your house of worship, school office, community centers etc.  Have them available at the Orientation, Open House or Back to School event etc.  These can be for long-term promotion as well. A sample Unit brochure template will be available on this page soon.

  • Publish an announcement of the event in school newsletters and in the bulletin or newsletter of your house of worship.

  • Ask clergy to make an announcement during your worship service inviting youth to join Scouting. Encouragement and support from a faith leader can go a long way.

 

Year-Round Recruitment

  • For year-round recruitment, try to have the contact information of your unit leaders on the website of your house of worship and area schools.

  • If your house of worship has a newsletter or bulletin, try to have contact information for unit leaders as a standard box with a BSA logo in the publication to attract attention.

  • When a unit has a success story…could be participation in a Veteran’s Day parade, providing service to others, presenting awards at a pack meeting or troop Court of Honor, completing an Eagle project or announcing a new Eagle etc…send an article or story to the newsletter or bulletin as mentioned and/or send it to the local community newspaper with a picture and contact info for a Key 3 leader!

  • They say a picture is “worth a thousand words”.  Create posters with pictures of your unit activities which show Scouts enjoying Scouting.

  • Place your unit brochures at your chartering organization; give them to families to share with friends.

  • Reach out to youth ministers at your house of worship to embrace Scouting as youth ministry and encourage them to promote Scouting.  There are religious emblems available for youth of most faiths.

Recruiter Patch

One of the most effective ways to gain membership in a unit is to have a Scout personally invite friends to join in the program.  A youth will feel better about trying something new when they already know somebody…and ultimately, they make lifelong friends in the process.   Celebrating an Eagle Court of Honor for youth who have been together since Tigers (now it could be Lions!) is always an extra special event.

Many Scouts are motivated by achievement and by earning patches so make sure they know about this patch. Invite a friend and if the friend joins Scouting, you have earned it!  This patch is worn under the right pocket of the field uniform.  Congratulations Recruiter!!!

 

Back to School Recruitment

Here are some OUTREACH ACTIVITIES for your unit leaders and Scouts to do for Back to School Recruitment:

  • Set a date for an Orientation, Open House or Back to Scouting event hosted through your chartered organization and advertise it through your chartered partner, faith-based schools, the neighborhood schools, your houses of worship, community centers etc. Invite potential families and current Scouting families to come.

  • Be organized. Plan fun activities and have an Ice Cream Social, Popsicles or some other cool treat!  Be sure to have youth and adult BSA applications on hand.  Contact Isaac if you need application forms.

  • Be sure you provide information about all the fun activities and emphasize that Scouts learn while having fun! 

  • Mention opportunities to do their Duty to God… which is in all ranks and is a tenet upon which BSA was founded.

  • Keep the “outing” in Scouting…promote family camping opportunities, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

  • Service projects can be unit or family opportunities and are great team building activities.  Check out Feed My Starving Children, St. Vincent de Paul, UMOM or a variety of other opportunities.  Scouting for Food is in February.

  • Be upfront about all of the potential costs of Scouting:
    Disclose all fees to the best of your ability including National Fees, Council fees, and Unit fees. Offering a payment plan is a great option too!
  • Promote fundraising opportunities available for the Scout families.

  • Check with the public, charter and private schools in your area and make arrangements to have a table at their Orientation/Open House.  Bring your unit brochures, event flyers, a signup sheet to gain contact information, application forms, a poster with pictures of your Scouts in action, Pinewood Derby cars on display, Scout or unit t-shirt etc. If possible, bring Scouts in uniform!

  • If you have space, provide a small craft or an activity…make your own bookmark, neckerchief slide, a wooden catapult, frost a sugar cookie OR play a game of some kind. Make the display interesting, informative and fun!! 

  • Same goes for older Scouts except activities should reflect more difficult Scout skills and some that are more “hands-on” which could include weaving a length of rope, practicing lashing, creating a tripod, and attempting a knot tying challenge.  Endless ideas.

  • Host a unit activity at a bowling alley, pizza parlor, park or other venue and invite youth and their families to join in the fun.  Bring your “tools of the trade” and have fun!

Fall Recruitment

  • The big push is always when school starts and that is when a majority of families join Cub Scouts and things get rolling, but some families are overwhelmed at the beginning of the school year and after things settle down are more interested in exploring new activities for their children.  There have been reports of great success recruiting in December including a pack that gained 10 youth.
  • Reach out in much the same way as described for Back to School recruitment.  Ask Scouts in the unit to invite school or neighborhood friends to come to a unit meeting or event.

  • Themed pack or troop meetings in the fall can be great fun with Halloween, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving and various religious holidays on the calendar.

  • Invite friends and families to participate in a parade with your unit either as one marching along or cheering from
    the sidelines.

  • Troops can focus on teaching outdoor skills that fulfill rank and/or merit badge requirements related to camping,
    hiking and backpacking and Scouts can invite friends to come and enjoy the fun.   Lashing is always a GREAT activity because Scouts enjoy seeing something useful constructed out of rope and sticks…even something as simple as a tripod for a pot, hand washing station, flagpole or the infamous weather rock. Then for summer camp, they can build an even greater structure for the entrance to their campsite!

  • Invite friends and families to join the unit, den or patrol on a day hike exploring local State parks and other interesting areas.

  • Does your chartering organization have a fall fiesta or festival?  Find out if your unit can set up
    a display for recruitment.  If needed, volunteer to help during the event as well and wear your
    field or activity uniform so that everyone can see that the volunteers are proud to be Scouts.

Spring Recruitment

Spring is a great time for Scouts and families to invite friends to come for a visit…most packs have their Pinewood

Derby and their Blue and Gold Banquet in February or March.  You could invite guests to participate in a special race at the Derby—either by making their own cars or asking Scouts to bring some of their previous year’s models for their friends to race.

Scout Sunday is always the first Sunday before February 8.  If your unit is chartered by a faith-based organization, speak with the priest, pastor, rabbi, imam or other clergy and try to arrange something special at your worship services during that weekend or at another event near that time frame.  This is also an excellent time to attend worship services in Scout uniform and to offer help where needed.  Show your duty to God.  Be cheerful.  Be helpful and friendly, courteous and reverent.  Show your pride in being a member of the Boy Scouts of America.

 

Second year Webelos generally cross over to Boy Scouts in the spring of 5th grade.  Troops should establish a relationship during the year with Webelos dens at local packs. Take some Scouts and go visit the den! Share information and stories about some of the awesome activities for older Scouts. Help the leaders plan the crossover ceremony by sharing or establishing Troop traditions for these ceremonies.   Invite the Webelos and their parents to a District Camporee or troop outing. Include them in a flag ceremony at a troop Court of Honor.  Include both 4th and 5th grade Webelos so they start to see and learn what Boy Scouting is all about and will look forward to joining Boy Scouts!

Den Chiefs are a great way to motivate Cub Scouts through the years and it is a source of pride when “their” den crosses over into their troop.  Den Chief is a position of responsibility that an older Scout can have for rank advancement and it is a great way for the Scout to learn to work with adults and younger Scouts and set a good example.

Summer Time Recruitment

The purpose of the National Summertime Award is to encourage packs to provide a year-round program by continuing to meet during the time periods when school is out of session for several weeks or months. If a pack is in a “year-round school” (or is part of a home-school association), the pack could earn the Summertime Pack Award by having a special pack activity during those breaks.

Plan a couple of events each month and encourage families and dens to participate. Invite friends and families to join in the fun!  This is a GREAT way to introduce families to the pack and Cub Scouts.  Then follow up and invite them to your Back to Scouting event or the first Pack Meeting. If you have a small pack or are worried about a low turnout, buddy up with another pack and get to know some other families in Scouting!

Cub Scouts can participate in Day Camp at Heard Scout Pueblo in Phoenix and Family Camp at R-C near Payson with their families.  Tell your friends and their families about these awesome experiences.  Show photos.  Have the Scout tell about what they thought was most fun…was it sleeping in a tent, looking at the stars, shooting BB guns, handling a bow and arrow,  horseback riding, campfire programs, toasting marshmallows?   Encourage the family to join Cub Scouts so they can enjoy their own great time next summer.

Boy Scouts and Venturers can enjoy myriad outdoor and high adventure activities.
Same story—Tell a friend, show pictures, invite them to join so they won’t miss out on some wonderful, and perhaps challenging, adventures!