Adding Machine Tape Demonstration

on September 29, 2010 in Leadership, recruitement

Thursday evening the pack (and troop) are holding a Night To Join Scouting at the local elementary school. The pack currently only has three members so this will be a critical meeting for the future of the pack. Our district commissioner has been to the schools to talk to the boys, and we have placed an ad about the meeting in the newspaper. A couple of the banks/credit unions are also promoting the meeting on their outdoor marquees.

I plan to attend the meeting in case any Boy Scout age boys show up. I also want to talk to the parents about accepting a leadership role in the pack. One of the favorite talks I have come across is the Adding Machine Tape Demonstration for adult recruiting. I plan to use it this year. Here is how it goes:

You need an 8-10 foot long piece of adding machine or calculator tape. Mark off the tape in ten year increments with 0 at the left end and 100 at the right. Use large numbers so parents can see from the audience. Roll the tape back up, so that the 100 is in the center of the roll. For the presentation you will need two helpers to hold the tape in front of you so you can point at various points on the tape.

Start out saying:
With the current advances in medical technology it’s very likely that your son will live about 100 years.
(Have your helpers unroll the tape in front of you, so the whole time line is visible.) “Here’s a time line of his life.”

If you’re 35 now, statistically, you’ll likely live until you’re 75 or so, when your son will be about 50.(Rip the tape off at the 1/2 way point and hand the end to your helper. Let the other half fall to the floor — very important dramatic effect). “This represents the years you and your son will have together in his lifetime.”

“And he’s probably about 8 or 9 now.” (Rip of the tape slightly below 10 and let that piece fall to the floor. Hand the end to your helper). So here’s the time you have left together.

How old do you suppose your son will be when he goes away to college (or you decide its time for him to be out on his own)? 18 – 20? (Rip off the tape someplace in this vicinity. Let that chunk fall to the floor. Hand the end to your helper). This is the amount of time you have left with him at home.

When he’s about 13 – middle school age – his friends start to become a much bigger, maybe the major, influence in his life.” (If you can – assuming you have teenager – make a comment about how you know this from experience.) (Rip off the tape someplace in this vicinity. Let that chunk fall to the floor. Hand the end to your helper).

(Take the very short piece of tape from your helpers and hold in it front of you, and thank your helpers.)

“This is the time you have left to be the major shaping force in your son’s life. You can show him how important he is to you by becoming involved in Scouting with him. Scouting is a remarkable opportunity for you and your son to share a great variety of fun, exciting and positive experiences.
Experiences that give you that opportunity to help him grow into an adult that you’ll be proud to point to and say: ‘That’s my son – he’s a good person.’”

(Go on to talk about volunteer opportunities in your unit and how parents can participate in them.)

So, what do you think about this presentation?

Thanks for Sharing!

    3 Responses to “Adding Machine Tape Demonstration”

    1. [...] to see how well it worked to get the parents to think about their time with their boys. Click HERE if you would like to read the presentation. As today’s post to the Melrose Scout Production [...]

    2. [...] to see how well it worked to get the parents to think about their time with their boys. Click HERE if you would like to read the [...]

    3. Brian says:

      Brilliant! Just came across this today from another link. Fantastic idea – I’ll be using it at upcoming parent meetings I help lead. Thanks again.

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