School and Community Events -- Be Seen, and Show your School and Community the Fun of Cub Scouting!

Recruiting is a Process ... the Pack Leader's Guide to Recruiting describes these six steps:  

  1. Make a Calendar of Fun Activities that families like
  2. Recruit More Leaders and Helpers - one by one, find folks who can help your unit out
  3. Let People Know! Let Families and Organizations Know your Pack Fun Event Plan. (Families join Packs that do things ... Boys join Troops that Go Places ... let them know what you're doing ... there are many ways)
  4. School and Community Events -- Show your School and Community the Fun of Cub Scouting ... see the ideas on this page
  5. Once you've laid that foundation, have Sign Up Events: School Sign Up Night and Fun Events Too!
  6. More Fun Events.  Keep expanding and extending your Calendar of Fun Events … that’s what makes families join!

Let's focus on why a Strong School and Community Presence will help -- year round.  Pack Sign Up for Scouting Nights at Schools can be great -- but it cannot be the only tool you use!  Use these too, starting in the spring:

  • Have one or more "end of School Year" pack fun events like a Pack Party to welcome new Tigers and classmates and friends and "graduate" your Scouts into the their next rank level.  
    • Promote easy summer events like Twilight Camp and Cub Scout Summer Camp even if you can't attend. Others might.  
    • Those are super easy for "first time" parents to attend with their sons.
    • Invite friends and families to fun events like Pack Pinewood Derbies, Raingutter Regattas, Pack Parties ... 
  • For any fun events where you invite families ... check with your Schools about what you can do:
  • "Pack promotion" options include: 
    • yard signs (to promote your Pack Fun Events), 
    • posters around the school (Promote Pack Fun Events and Twilight Camp and Summer Camp and Contact Info), 
    • flyers for handout and website posting and email and facebook (Promote Pack Fun Events etc like those found on our Media and Flyers page), 
    • Peer to Peer Invite Cards,
    • School Website and Bulletins and eBlasts and Facebook and Twitter ... 
    • Can You Hand Out Flyers at Car Pool? (Check with Your School), when you have School Events ...
    • and more. 
  • Can You Hand Out Flyers at Car Pool? (Check with Your School).
  • When you have School Events Can You Have Hands On Displays at Car Pool or Schoolyard? (like a tent or games or derby track, check with Your School)
  • Be There Strong at PTA Events (Check Your School Calendar and find out what you can do).
    • Have Scouts do opening ceremonies ... get them recognition for their School Service Projects.
    • You never know what will make a family say "we want to do that too" ...
  • When you recruit families to attend Twilight Camp or Cub Scout Summer Camp, those families will have a good time, be "sold" on Scouting, and may be new leaders or assistants.  
    • Get them, and all returning Pack families, to spend time at "Back to School" Open House / Meet and Greet Days.  
    • Using them for one by one recruiting is the strongest tool.  

Open House -- Meet the Teacher -- Meet and Greet -- Registration Day ... be there at these events, because they are great for one on one family recruiting.

  • Those casual, friendly, one on one -- parent to parent and kid to kid -- contacts can be a much more effective sales tool than any speech in a gym.
  • A strong presence at a School Open House / Meet and Greet Day can turn a Pack with one active leader and a handful of kids into a Pack of 40 or 50 or 60 families who are attracted to your Wild Activities. 
  • Some Packs do most of their recruiting at these events ... one on one attention gets better results. 

All of this helps your success at Sign Up Nights at Schools -- see Our Ideas here about Signup Nights and Signup Events and these ideas about recruiting more leaders (and turning parents into helpers and leaders).

Want More School Cooperation?  Working through principals, teachers, other staff, PTA, parents . . . all are essential and can help support you and recruit more leaders.  A recent program that can help is the BSA Adopt-a-School Program which is billed as "an exciting and comprehensive undertaking that will connect Scout packs, troops and crews across the country with schools in their communities. Participating Scouts then work, within clearly defined guidelines, to partner with school administrations and offer the volunteer services that most efficiently meet their school’s needs. With each unit offering their school a minimum one-year commitment, meaningful community relationships are built and significant changes will happen in the schools".  See this 2014 BSA Report on School Access Challenges and ideas to address those.

Recruiting Needs to be Much More than School Sign Up Nights and Buzz Ups:  Start Way Before School Starts -- There are Many Better Ways to Get Recruits (especially new leaders).