The National Capital Area Council, BSA, recently posted a new promotional video to YouTube. I thought you might enjoy watching it.
Archive for the ‘Promotion’ Category
I learned early on that promoting Scouting seems to fall into the hands of the local troops and packs. During my 33 years of being involved with the Boy Scout program I have very rarely seen the national office or the local council do much to promote the Scouting program outside of the Scouting program. In fact, even with the all negativity thrown during the past dozen years at Scouting I have seen little positive promotion done by the national office. Take away any news of the 100th anniversary or the National Jamboree and what are you left with?
Are those crickets I hear?
Anyway, my issue with the national office and the local councils can wait for another article. Let’s get back to what this article is about, and that is local promotion of the Scout program, that which is done by local packs and troops. Namely my troop, Melrose Troop 68.
Shorty after becoming an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 68, like within a month, I began writing articles about troop activities for the local newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, and called it the Scout’s Review. For awhile, I wrote the article with Sharon, the oldest sister of one of the Boy Scouts and a cousin of mine. The first article was published on July 23, 1980. It covered the first troop camping trip held at a local lake in June. It also covered a second outing, a father and son camping trip, and the troop elections. It covered a lot of stuff for a short article. (Click on the picture for a larger version to read the article.)
The purpose of the articles was to get the word out within town that the Boy Scout program was back and going strong. The previous troop had disbanded four or five years earlier. It was time to start anew. Time to get your son involved in this worthwhile program.
I believed it helped. Articles and pictures appeared in the paper regularly, usually at least once a month, sometimes two times a month. Boys not involved in Scouting were able to see what the Scouts were doing and the fun they were having. Even the Cub Scout Pack would submit articles which I am sure helped the pack to grow strong. When the troop went to Philmont the story of the trip filled half of a page of the newspaper. Stories of Eagle Scouts began to appear, and people enjoyed reading about them. When our community had its own public television station we put that to work to add to the troop’s public image.
For three decades I wrote articles about Scouting and submitted them to the paper. I had a great relationship with the newspaper. But three decades is a long time to write articles. I started to burn out. I received very little help from the parents. It finally got to the point were I really did not care to write and submit any articles anymore. The Scout’s Review began to appear less regular. Sometime months would go by without an article. I was also burning out as the scoutmaster. I know that did not help my mood for writing articles.
I am not the scoutmaster anymore. I stepped down nearly two years ago. But somehow, this year has been turning out to be a great year for getting the Boy Scouts back in the press locally. One reason is because I still submit pictures to the newspaper, along with a short description of the activity. I may not write a full story along with the photo, but at least we get something in the paper.
The second reason is because the editor of the paper, Carol, has covered the troop during a few of its activities. She was there to take pictures at the last troop meeting of the year at the Jaycee park. She came to our waffle breakfast fundraiser and took a couple pictures. She wrote an article about the troop’s decades of use and meetings at the Jaycee Park, which the city council decided to sell to the hospital this year for a new expansion project. In other words, she sees stories about Scouting that she thinks should be shared with the community. It has been great.
I have four three ring binders that contain the articles printed in the Melrose Beacon over the past 33 years. I think I have every article, but I may be missing one or two. Those four binders contain quite a history of the troop, beginning with that first camping trip at Uhlenkolts Lake, to the Scouting For Food Drive held this month. They contain articles about trips to Philmont, and BWCA, and the mountains of Virginia. There are also articles of most of the eighteen Boy Scouts who have earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Like I said, quite a history in those binders.
How does your troop get the word out about Scouting in your community? Does your troop or pack have a person appointed to submit articles and pictures to your local newspaper?
You see these “Keep Calm and …” signs all over the internet. Most of the time they are okay. Sometimes they are annoying. But this one I thought was just right for this blog, especially since many councils, packs, and troops are in the midst of their recruitment drives.
So yeah, “Keep Calm and Join Scouting!”
I was contacted tonight on Facebook by a fellow Scouter from Illinois. Kevin Miller was wondering what is going on with PTC Media these days. For those of you new to this blog, PTC Media was a website featuring a collection of Scouting related podcasts, featuring shows about Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting. At its peak the site featured six podcasts, with another one or two short lived shows. I created two podcasts, the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast (MSPP), which was a video show, and Around The Scouting Campfire, an audio program hosted by myself and Buttons, the radical Boy Scout. I also co-hosted the Leaders Campfire with Cubmaster Chris. The site can be found at http://www.ptcmedia.net/ .
Unfortunately, the answer to Kevin’s question was that not much is happening these days at the website. Many of the podcast hosts have moved on to other things, and some are not involved with the Scouting program any longer. Fortunately, Cubmaster Chris, the caretaker of the PTC Media, has decided to keep the site up and running so people can still listen to or watch the many podcast episodes created during the last eight years. Many of them hold information that is still relevant to today’s Scouting program. I still post a new video to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast occasionally.
Kevin really liked the podcasts and PTC Media. He liked them so well that he made one of the points of his Wood Badge ticket to hold a Podcast Awareness Day featuring the shows found at PTC Media. And boy, did he go all out. In 2010 he created audio cd’s of the shows, over a 100 for each of the main shows, and had a banner created for his booth. (See in the picture above.) He also created business cards, srtickers, half sheets, and full sheets to promote the shows. I am sure his efforts gave a nice boost to our downloads, and it was great to see someone who really appreciated our time and effort into creating the shows.
After a short online chat with Kevin this evening it almost made me feel guilty about not creating more podcast episodes on a regular schedule. I do still have a few videos to finish editing and post to MSPP. I have even thought about doing another episode or two for Around The Scouting Campfire. My idea was to actually record a couple stories as I tell them to the Boy Scouts around a campfire some night. (I should have recorded last Saturday’s Purple Gorilla story.) I just don’t know if people would like to download them and listen to them, if it would be worth my time and effort.
Kevin has given me permission to use his photos for this blog post. What do you think about his podcast promotion? I think it is awesome.
Our local newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, showed their support of the Scouting program last month by printing a full page ad to celebrate the Boy Scouts of America’s anniversary. The ad featured photos of Cub Scout Pack 68 and Boy Scout Troop 68. It also featured the Boy Scout Oath and a short description of the goals of the program. (Click on the picture for a larger view.) The newspaper has done a full page Scouting ad for anniversary week for a number of years now.
The Melrose Beacon has been a supporter of Scouting since the troop began in late 1979 when it published a note about organizing a Boy Scout troop in town. I became involved with the troop in May 1980 and soon began writing stories about troop events and submitting pictures from troop activities to the Beacon. The newspaper has always been great about printing these stories. In fact, I must have done a pretty good job of writing them because only once do I remember them editing a story.
The pack and troop would like to thank the following businesses and organizations for picking up the cost of this year’s ad: VFW post 7050 (the troop’s charter sponsor). Coborn’s Grocery Store, Spaeth Sodding and Landscaping, Heartland Security, Freeport State Bank, Kraemer Lumber Company, Melrose Dental Office, and Hennen Lumber Company. This ad would not have been possible without their financial support.
Does your local newspaper support your local Scouting program? Do they print articles and photos of your troop activities?
The Central Minnesota Council, B.S.A. is taking Scouting to new heights this summer when they sponsor the St. Cloud Air Show on July 20-21, 2013. The weekend promises to be a blast and will feature special events for local Boy Scout troops and venture crews. Here is some show information from the website:
The St. Cloud Air Show, presented by The Central Minnesota Council Boy Scouts of America, will be held at the St. Cloud Regional Airport on July 20th & 21st, 2013. Each day this show will feature the world-famous US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, The Blue Angels as well as two days of performances by the world’s best military and civilian pilots. It will showcase world-class aerobatics champions, military jet demonstrations and entertainment for the whole family.
Show highlights include:
Two days of great In-The-Air Acts plus each day featuring The Blue Angels.
Unique ground displays, historic aircraft, supersonic fighters and interactive activities.
A family inflatables play area, climbing wall and bungee jumping.
Viewing chalets with VIP seating, parking and food and beverages.
Tickets are now on sale! Entertainment for your whole family and a chance to make memories you’ll never forget.
Check out the website at http://www.stcloudairshow.com/
Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts of the Central Minnesota Council can participant in a weekend lock-in at the airport. They will camp at the site, participate in special events, and may even meet some of the pilots. It sounds like a great opportunity for the local Scouts, and a great way to promote the Scout program in our area.
Has your council ever done something like this?
I have been podcasting for over five and a half years. I have co-hosted one podcast (The Leaders Campfire), produced an audio podcast (Around The Scouting Campfire), and continue to post videos to the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast. All three podcasts have had Scouting related themes. I have had fun podcasting and hope that those of you who have watched or listened to them have found them fun and informative.
This afternoon I did something I have not done for awhile. I went on iTunes and did a search for Scouting themed podcasts. There used to be several out there, mostly audio versions. I was a little surprised by what I found. I did a search for “cub scout” and 15 podcasts were found, but only three actually dealt with Cub Scouting: An Hour A Week (audio), Autism and Scouting Radio (audio), and my own Melrose Scout Productions (video). When I changed the search to “cub scouting” only two showed up: Autism and Scouting Radio and the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast (MSPP).
Next I tried a search for “boy scout”. Sixty one podcasts came up, but only five of these actually dealt with the Scouting program. One was produced by the Boy Scouts of America, and another was produced by Boy’s Life magazine. Both appeared to be dead podcasts with no episodes produced for quite awhile. Of course, MSPP was listed. When I changed the search to “boy scouting” I discovered that MSPP was the only Boy Scouting related podcast listed.
Now I know there have been other Scouting podcasts produced during the last few years, such as The Scoutmaster Minute and the Boy Scout Hour. I know the Scoutmastercg podcast is going strong and has a strong listenership. But these podcasts did not show up in the searches. Even my old Around The Scouting Campfire did not show up. Why? The only thing I can think of is that we all may need to check our podcast tags.
Then I started thinking. Are podcasts even relevant to Scouting anymore? Are adults leader searching them out and listening to or watching them? Do current leaders even know they exist? Do we need to do a better job and promoting them? If we do, what is a good way to promote them? The BSA does not seem to be podcasting any longer so maybe they do not feel there is a need for this medium.
I know the viewership of MSPP has gone down over the last year. I receive very few comments about the videos. If you look at the iTunes listing for MSPP you will notice that there has not been a comment left for nearly two and a half years. Comments and emails are the only way we podcasters really have of knowing how people feel about what we are producing.
I have begun to wonder if it is time to retire the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast. I have already stopped producing Around The Scouting Campfire. Is it worthwhile putting forth the time and effort?
Here are my questions to you.
Do you listen to or watch Scouting related podcasts?
Do you subscribe to any?
Which ones do you subscribe to? How should we promote them?
Or have Scouting podcasts lost their importance, if they ever had any that is?
I look forward to reading your comments.
I saw this new (?) poster online today to promote Cub Scouting. I thought it was fantastic! With all the hype this past year about the Dark Knight (Batman) and the Avengers, and the new Superman movie due out soon, I think it would work well with today’s youth.
From the look of the writing on the bottom it looks like it is a B.S.A. poster, but I could not find it on the Scouting.org website. Has anyone used this poster this fall? How has the response been?
This image came from http://davehepp.com/ .