We have all heard the slogan, “Outing is half of Scouting”. It is very true, of course. Most boys are in Scouting for the outings. Now, let’s take the last half of Scoutng and apply it to a different word that is equally important – promoting. I think Boy Scouting could use a lot more promoting. Think about it. Membership is down nationally. Councils have a hard time meeting their goals. Many troops are having a hard time recruiting members.
Promotion is essential for success in today’s world. A business advertises to bring customers through its doors. A new video game is promoted and sells millions of copies. Promotion is done nationally, locally, and even through word of mouth.
But when do we see Boy Scouting being promoted? Almost never, at least around these parts of the country. However, I see plenty of negative news about the BSA in the newspapers, on the internet, and on the national news. What kind of opinion does the pubic form about Scouting when that is all they see or hear?
And where is the National BSA during all of this? They seem to be comfortable sitting silently behind their desks in Texas, making the occasional public statement. They need to get out of those padded office chairs and start talking to people working with the boys more often.
Those of us invovled with the Scouting program know it is one of the best programs available for a young man to belong to. But with all the negative news and stories over the last few years there are now many boys and parents who may have the impression that Scouting is a thing of the past.
Hogwash! I say. Boy Scouting and its ideals are more important now then ever. But we need to get the word out about it, and what the program offers boys and their families.
So, who’s job is it to promote Scouting? Most troops and packs do not have the money, people, or skills to do it. I would think it is the council’s responsibility to do local promotions. But it must be the regions and national offices responability to promote Scouting on a larger scale. If they don’t, then who will? The national office needs to promote Boy Scouting in addition to Cub Scouting! I am so sick of seeing so much effort going to the Cubs, and almost nothing going toward the older boy programs. (Unfortunately, if a boy quits during Cub Scouting it is very difficult to get him involved with Boy Scouting.)
Okay, that is enough of my ranting and raving for now. I welcome welcome your comments and opinions. Do not be afraid to leave a comment.