Posts Tagged ‘recruitment’

cublogoAs the annual School Night To Join Scouting approached I told the current Cub Scouts that we should try to double the size of our pack, which is currently at 17 members. I explained that they are our best recruiters and that they should talk to their friends and bring them to the event. The boys were excited and thought we could do that. In fact, one Webelos Scout said that we could triple our size. I told them to go for it. Meanwhile, our new district executive was doing his part by talking to boys in the local elementary schools and passing out flyers.

Unfortunately, within our community we really did not do much more to promote School Night other than having a table set up at the school open houses, and placing a couple signs around town. Looking back on things, we should have had something in the local newspaper and contacted the banks and credit union to post the event on their exterior marquees. It is too late to try to promote it any more. The meeting was last night, Thursday, September 22.

I arrived at the school about twenty minutes early. We were supposed to have our meeting in the high school cafeteria. As we walked in we noticed the cafeteria was already being used. A sports team was having a meal/meeting. This was not going to work for us. Matt, one of our committee members, quickly found a custodian and asked if we could used the high school library. They said yes, so we moved into a new room and posted people by the school entrance to let them know about the room change. Not off to a good start for the evening.

Several committee members members, parents, and Cub Scouts were on hand to set things up. Future Cub Scouts and their parents began arriving 15 minutes early. And kept arriving. They were still coming in at 7:00, the start time of the meeting. And they keep coming. Soon, the tables were filled and there was standing room only. The committee members and I were shocked. We never expected a crowd like this. I had been hoping that we could maybe get 12 more boys to join Scouting. As I looked around the room I counted over 30 boys and their parents waiting to hear about the Cub Scout program.

I began the meeting a few minutes late as people got settled and moved things along quite rapidly. The pack leadership introduced themselves and then I hit the main points: meeting times, parent commitments, uniforms, awards, and so forth. Committee members jumped in when they had something to add, and our popcorn chairpersons talked quickly about the annual fundraiser. We did not waste much time, which I think made the parents happy.

As the meeting came to a close we had 25 new Cub Scout registrations. We went from a pack of 17 members to a pack with 42 members. We exceeded our goal! And it sounds like there may be a few more registration forms coming in at next week’s pack meeting.

I drove down to St. Cloud that evening to turn in the applications. As I sat in the Scout Office waiting to give them to our district executive, I counted how many boys we would be adding to each den: 2 new Lion Cubs, 8 new Tiger Cubs, 9 new Wolf Scouts, 5 new Bear Scouts, and 1 new Webelos Scout. This is going to be an interesting first pack meeting on Tuesday.

I think the pack committee is in shock, and maybe a bit concerned. Can we handle this many boys? Where will we get the funds for all the awards and activity costs? Will we find enough leadership as we move forward? What are we going to do with a pack this large?

As cubmaster, I am not too worried. I think enough parents will step forward to fill the leadership roles needed. We already have a great committee. The new Scouts can still get in on the popcorn sales so I am hoping for a nice boost for the treasury from that. As for the program? We already had a schedule made out for the year. All we have to do is follow it with maybe a few adaptions needed. I think we will be alright. My main concern is to make sure we offer the boys the fun and excitement that Scouting has to offer. It may be a bit of a challenge though to try to keep 42 elementary aged boys attention long enough for a pack meeting. I will take that challenge.

As we were getting ready to leave the library after the event, one of the committee members came up to me and commented that with all the new Cub Scouts, the pack may need me to stick around for another year. You see, I have stated that this is to be my third and final program year as the cubmaster. I plan to hand over the pack to a new cubmaster next summer. For some reason I have a feeling the committee is going to try to change my mind as  go through the 2016-2017 program year.

IMG_0638School Night To Join Scouting will be held throughout Minnesota on Thursday, September 22nd. This year’s theme is “Heroes Start Here”, which nicely fits in with the current wave of superhero movies and television shows. I have to say, I like this theme better the the Rocket Into Scouting used over the last few years.

As the recruitment event approaches there are a few other things we can do as a pack and troop to prepare for the big evening. One of these to to have a table set up at the local schools’ open houses coming up next week. The idea is to get Scouting out in front of the boys and parents early so they can begin to think about everything this program can offer their families.

Of course, if we are going to have a table at a school’s open house we will need someone to sit at that table and hand out materials, and answer any questions. We have three elementary schools in our area at we would like to have a table set up. St. Mary’s Catholic School has their open house on Tuesday, August 23rd. The Melrose Public Elementary School has theirs on Wednesday, the 24th. Sacred Heart Catholic School in Freeport has theirs on Thursday, the 25th. I believe each school is holding the event from 4:00 to 7:00 in the evening.

I have been preparing a few items to place on the table to try to catch the attention of the boys and, more importantly, their parents. The picture shows a few items I have thought about having on display. A Pack committee member, who attended this month’s kickoff at a district meeting earlier this month, also has a few items from the council to add to the display, including flyers about School Night To Join Scouting.

We will need people to sit at the tables. Jesse, our new assistant cubmaster, has agreed to sit at the Sacred Heart School open house. I may be able to attend the Wednesday night one, but I have a Boy Scout event I wish to attend on Tuesday. Hopefully some parents will come through and volunteer a bit of their time to get out the word about Scouting.

Does your troop or pack set up a table during your school’s open house? What do you set out on the table. Leave a comment and let us know. Thanks.

ButtonsDisplay1It has been awhile since Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, has shown up for anything. He has been laying low and taking it easy. Even his Facebook page and Twitter accounts were not seeing much action. But this month, things changed a bit and he was active once again. He has been busy assisting with display for the local School Night To Join Scouting, or as the councils in the state of Minnesota called it, Rocket Into Scouting! Here are a few pictures of Buttons hard at work putting that display together. He was also in attendance during the evening with his display, greeting the boys into the grand world of Cub Scouting.







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 website. Has anyone used this poster this fall? How has the response been?

This image came from .

I found this promotional video on Youtube. It is time to “Be A Scout”. Be a Cub Scout. Be a Boy Scout. Be a Venturer. Serve your community. Learn new things. And just have fun. This video was posted to Youtube by BSA100Years in July 2011.

I am beginning to panic. Just a little. Boy Scout Troop 68, along with Cub Scout Pack 68 of Melrose, are planning to hold a Scouting Open House on Monday, April 18th. That is only a little over a week away! And hardly anything has been done yet. We are running out of time to promote this event.

The council has printed flyers to hand out to the public elementary school students and those at St. Mary’s elementary school. Our committee chairperson picked those up today and I have already delivered them to our committee member who teaches at St. Mary’s School. She will also get the flyers to the public school.

We have ten 16″ x 20″ posters from the council to place around town. (See the picture.) One will be going to each elementary school. Our chairperson has taken a few to bring to Burger King, Dairy Queen, and the two convenience stores in town. That leaves four posters to try to place in windows of Main Street businesses. Hopefully, we will find good spots for them.

The banks and credit union will allow us to place table displays in their lobbies. The problem is finding time and people to set them up. I do not know if anyone has asked them yet to post a notice on their electronic marquees. We did not plan very well at the last committee committee meeting to decide who would be in charge of doing the things that need to be done.

Our local newspaper, the Melrose Beacon, is being very supportive. In next week’s edition they will be printing an article about the 100th anniversary of the first Boy Scout Troops formed in Melrose. I have proofread a rough draft of the article and I like it. They have contacted some of the former committee members and a couple troop alumni about their Scouting experiences. The writer, Herman, asked a few of us to meet him at the local historical museum for some pictures next to the Scouting display. He also asked for current pictures of the Cub Scout Pack and the Boy Scout Troop. He was at Dakota’s Eagle court of honor last Saturday so I wonder if that article will also be in this next edition.

We want to get yard signs set up around town. I have kept the signs from several years ago. There are two kinds from two different years. It would be great to find ten good yards in town, preferably on Main Street and a couple other well traveling streets.

On the day of the event, the troop and pack will each have a table of information. The pack will have one activity for Cub Scout age boys. The troop is planning four activities for possible new Boy Scouts, but the activities will also be Cub Scout friendly. Those activities will be knot tying (square knot, two half hitches, taut line hitch), frisbee golf, flag and Pledge knowledge, and the human knot untying. We are hoping to be able to tell any Boy Scout age boys that they will already have a few requirements done for awards if they complete these stations.

What have you done for your open house? What was successful, or not successful? This is new to us so we could use your ideas.

100 Days of Scouting: Day 59.

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.

MEL2Back in 1986, some folks in Melrose decided to start using the television access channel given to the city by the cable company. They formed the first board of directors for what became known as Mel-TV 3.

It started as a primitive operation by today’s standards. (I currently have much more editing power in my computer at home then the station did back then.) No one on the board had any television or editing experience. It was a “learn as you go” type of training employed. The station was run completely by volunteers. Programs had to be loaded manually into tape decks at the time the program would be aired. Nothing was automated.

I was the scoutmaster of the Boy Scout troop at the time. (And still am the scoutmaster.) I had played around with a video camera and thought this new Mel-TV 3 station would be a great way to get some free PR for the Boy Scouts and let the public see what the Scouts have been up to. The people at Mel-TV 3 were happy to air any programming I gave them. They needed anything they could get at the time. A local business sponsored the programming.

We began by taping our courts of honor. The only editing required was to add some titles at the beginning and the end of the program. I took on the editing responsibilities and discovered I liked doing it. I had found a new hobby.

I began bringing a camcorder along on camping trips and to summer camp. I edited pictures from our Philmont trips into slide-shows with the boys doing the narration. The Scouts and I even did some original programming. The troop became a regular source of material for the television station.

Well, here it is, twenty years later. The troop still provides programming for Mel-TV 3. In fact, we provide from five to ten shows per year for them. Things have changed a bit though through those years. VHS is out, digital is in. I do the editing on my home computer instead of going to the station’s studio. And much of the programming from the last couple of year’s is burned to dvd format.

I have never had a parent complain about the Scout programming. The Scouts and their parents enjoy watching the shows. They really like the dvd’s produced throughout the year. The tapes and dvd’s have made great keepsakes.

Yeah, it is work to film the events and edit the programs. But I think it is worth it to keep Scouting visible in the community. I would suggest that you look into doing the same in your community.