Bob, our Scenic District Executive, told me that he would be in town on Thursday for the school’s Health and Wellness Fair. He had reserved a table during the three hour event to promote Scouting, which was a good idea. Membership in the local program had been declining over the last few years so we could use a little extra promotion. Maybe this could stir up a little interest and bring some boys and their parents to school night to join Scouting on Monday.
The fair began at 5:00 pm and would run until 8:00. I went there straight from work and arrived about 5:20. It did not take long to find Bob’s table. There were only about a dozen groups set up in the school cafeteria. The Boy Scout table was right next to the Girl Scout’s table. I said hello to Bob and the representative from the Girl Scouts.Jason, one of the committee members from the Cub Scout Pack was also present.
As we were standing there talking about Scouting it did not take long to notice that most people walked right by the table without stopping to check out the display or talk to us. I was almost like they were avoiding us, like we had the flu or something. It was making it difficult to get the word out about the Scouting program and school night.
Something needed to be done. We needed something to draw the boys (and their parents) to our table. We talked about how it would have been nice to have a movie or slideshow playing, but none of us had brought anything like that to the event. I ran to my car to get my iPod which had photos of various Scout activities, but the screen was too small to be of any value. Behind the table I noticed a toy air rocket that Bob had brought to the fair. He did not have anything in mind to do with it, but I thought it might be just the thing to bring the kids (and their parents) to our table.
It worked like a charm. After I shot the rocket a couple of times, and discovered how far the thing could shot (which was pretty far), the kids started coming over to try it themselves. It gave Bob the chance to talk to the parents and I talked to the boys and girls. I usually asked the boys what grade they were in, and then told them which part of the Scouting program they could be join during the meeting on Monday. We were passing out a lot more flyers.
I think that Bob and I both learned that having an activity to engage the boys and girls will make a huge difference in the amount of people drawn to a table. Hopefully, this will pay off on Monday when we have school night and kick off the year for the Cub Scout Pack.
On a final note, a few boys were having so much fun playing with the rocket that I promised to bring it along to the meeting on Monday. Maybe I will use it as a door prize for the boys who sign up for Scouting.