In my last blog entry I asked the question, “Who’s job is it to promote Scouting?” I believe that the regional and national offices should be doing a better job of promoting Scouting within our states and on a national scale.
However, I will admit that troops and packs need to do some promotion within their own neighborhoods, and even in their cities. Here are a few ways we promote Scouting within our community of 3200 people.
The schools are always a good place to start, if the school district will allow you into the schools. The very loud and vocal minority of Scout haters has been trying to close down this option across our nation. This year we hung posters in both elementary schools. We also had a booth during the district’s open house held before school began.
Two local weekly newspapers have been very willing to print articles I write for them, along with one or two pictures per article. The articles usually pertain to a court of honor, or review what the Scouts did doing an activity or camping trip.
Our community access television station has been very supportive about playing shows we provide them with about our courts of honor and activities. Of course, I am usually the one filming, editing, and producing the videos. A local business sponsors the programs so there is not any airing cost to the troop.
The web is another way to promote Scouting locally. It is a great place to place pictures and keep the community informed. Of course, you need to get the word about your site out to your community. And you need someone to take care of it and keep it updated. Our troop has had a site for several years and has gotten to be quite large.
Last, but not least, there is old fashioned word of mouth. Scouts need to enthusiastically talk about Scouting to their friends and piers, and not hide the fact that they are a Scout as if it is something to be ashamed of being. The same applies to adults and parents. After all, if we are afraid to promote Scouting within our own community, what kind of message are we really conveying to others?