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Recruiting up or down this year ?

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  • Recruiting up or down this year ?

    We had our School Night to Join Scouting last night. It was a week latter than the other schools in the district due to a scheduling conflict. Last year we had 17 Tigers, this year 4 and 1 new Bear show up. The membership fee was certainly not a factor because increase was not well known. We sent two sets of flyers home, had yard signs and the DE did a lunch time rally same as last year. I have heard membership is down in my district but up in an adjoining one. How has everyone else faired ?

  • #2
    Here, our Schools and Packs kind of overlap with one another, so most packs recruit from multiple schools, and most schools send boys to various packs.

    Last year, the schools took out the ability for the DE to do boy talks to the classes during the day, and it dropped recruiting a lot. At least 50%, and in some schools up to 90% lower.

    This year, some of the schools have allowed us to do boy talks again, but not all. We had really low numbers for the first school we went to for roundups... But It's a small, low income school that traditionally has had really low participation in scouting anyway.

    6 more schools to go for us - probably another 18 in the district overall to go.

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    • #3
      up maybe 60% for my pack

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      • #4
        We're doing great so far... Recruiting up 200% from last year, doubling pack size, another recruiting event coming up. So far mostly via word of mouth and social media. We actually flubbed our normal recruiting channels and had a very uncooperative Jewish calendar. Membership changes may have helped... We're finding groups like the JCC and Conservative synagogues receptive to us for a change. Around the district, no clue, ill know more at October round table. I'm counting the people showing up... Need to get paperwork squared away with everyone.

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        • #5
          We are up from last year, but last year was down from previous year.

          It seems to all work out though. We were down last year in Tigers and this year we got an entire new den of Wolves (ie the Tigers who I guess didn't show up last year).

          If you are low this year in Tigers and you dont attempt a "second chance join night" to fix that, I would expect a higher than average turnout of new wolves next year.

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          • #6
            down, 50% this year

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            • #7
              Our pack was up, more than double from last year, and the best year ever in its history, despite declining school enrollment.

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              • dedkad
                dedkad commented
                Editing a comment
                Be careful, Brew. We had some growing pains when our pack tripled in size 2 years ago. Lots more new boys, but also too many new parents who weren't willing to fill in any leadership roles. We really struggled for a year. This last year was much better. The new parents felt more comfortable after observing what all was involved and stepped up to fill many volunteer roles. Took a huge burden off the old leaders who were filling multiple roles.

              • Brewmeister
                Brewmeister commented
                Editing a comment
                Every parent/guardian is given an Adult Leader application at the roundup and asked to fill it out. We explain to them why we are asking for it, which is after our pitch about how CS is a family oriented program. When they turn it in, we ask them if they want to be involved as a leader or behind the scenes. We don't actually put them on the roster off the bat, but we have the applications on hand for if we do. We make it a regular practice to assign and volunteer tasks at meetings so it's not just the "tan shirts" in front of the room. As the pack has grown we've had pretty good success with filling not only direct contact leader and generic committee roles, but also the more specialized roles like camping chair, etc.

                It is constant work to stay ahead of the game as you know. Also, growth in size to this point was not our goal, it just happened.

              • Brewmeister
                Brewmeister commented
                Editing a comment
                We had our first meeting for the new group of 21 Tigers (!) last night. By far our largest group ever. As part of the meeting we split them up into 3 dens. We had 6 leaders--3 DLs and 3 ADLs step up to lead the three dens. We've also filled more committee roles and added ADLs to the Wolf and Bear dens.

                This is MUCH better than things used to be back when I joined the Pack and it was a one-man show. I believe the reason for the growth in the number of boys is all the recruiters we have and the increased visibility of the program in the community, the latter of which accrues to the unit leaders. The reason for the increase in involved parents begins with the expectation that is set in the Tiger year as well as the visibility and enthusiasm of the parent volunteers at events, etc.

                It's never easy but momentum does build in a program, either positively or negatively.

            • #8
              lowest recruitment in 8 years

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              • #9
                Last year we had 4 Tigers sign up, this year 8. We lost a Wolf and 2 Bears that we had last year. My overall numbers are down because I'm really low on Webelos this year since we had boys bridge over.

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                • #10
                  My recruitment is up, it's been going up since last fall.

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                  • #11
                    Last year we had over 10 Tigers at our recruitment meeting and a den leader already lined up. This year only 2 Tigers showed up and no leader so far, so we are having the 2 Tiger parents reaching out to their sons' friends to try to build a Tiger den. Oddly, with very little recruitment in the upper grades, we ended up with 7 new Bears, so we are adding a new Bear den. Overall, though, we are probably going to just break even with our numbers because we had a den implode and are losing a bunch of boys.

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                    • #12
                      Second school roundup night for us so far.

                      6 packs showed up - 5 new families showed up.

                      In previous years, this school got 50+ Boys... and we were down to 5.

                      1-2 more years of this, and we will be shutting down many of the packs in the area.

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                      • #13
                        Up as well as the two neighboring Troops. 5-10%. One of those Troops got kicked out of their CO over the policy change and really didn't lose anyone.

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                        • #14
                          Down significantly. At least the school handed out our fliers this year.

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                          • #15
                            Just when I thought I had a handle on the recruitment, I keep getting more and more calls from parents with kids in different schools and different grades. Our dens meet right after school at the school, so these few stray boys from different schools are making it difficult. We are telling them that if they want to join our pack, they are going to have to recruit enough boys from their school to form their own den. All I really wanted was just one new Tiger den to make sure our pack stays alive, but we might end up with 2 new Tiger dens, and 2 new Bear dens. It's a little crazy, and not what we are used to because we used to be just a one school pack.

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