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How do you join Scouting?

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  • How do you join Scouting?

    I hope it will be apparent why I chose this forum.

    If someone who is computer savvy wants info on Scouting he/she goes to.... Google or Yahoo (or such). Hopefully, one is then given a choice of websites about Scouting.
    But... if one WANTS to join up, or wants to join up his/her son, is somewhat knowledgeable and goes to your local Council or Troop website, what do you find there? Is it easy to find out HOW to join? Is the web reader directed to another site/page? Is one directed to a phone number? A pdf application form? A DE? Another website?

    How do YOU find out how to join? Does it have to be 'mano a mano'? This always the best way, I guess, but if you don't immediately know a knowledgeable Scouter?

    I mention this because our local Council W/S has no easy way to find out that I can determine.
    When I google "How do I join Scouts" I find the #1 site is a Pacific Ocean neighbor (very well written, tho, but not local to me).
    Go to and "how to join" is not one of the FAQ. If You click "join now", you listen to some Scouts testify to the fun they have, and are asked to find your "local Scout Council", but as it happens, that function is presently nonfunctional.

    When I was a "PR" person for my Meeting, I pretended I was someone trying to FIND us. Looked in the phone book, went web surfing, looked in local guidebooks. And became very frustrated. Mispellings, multiple confusing listings, no mentions where I expected them to be. Worked to get them corrected.

    How can someone locate your Unit and find out how to join?

  • #2
    Is this a rhetorical question, or do you really want folks to answer HOW they bring folks in to their units?

    Our council web-site has a very prominent link from the main page on how to join. I believe it takes in some elementary quesitons (name, location /part of town, age of kid interested, e-mail and contact phone) and then forwards that to the correct DE based on zip code and phone number provided. The DE's then make contact and provide prospective scout's with names / numbers of units in their area to check out.

    Our District Web site has a similar function, but I think it just redirects to the council site.

    Our Pack Web site has contact info for myself (CM), and the CC. We've hd two scouts that I know of join in the past year by doing a google search for "cub scouts in ". Because our web site is linked via a yahoo group, the google search pushed them to our unit's site, they called up the CC, got invited to the next meeting and joined up.

    I've also made some simple (at home) business cards with our units info and contact names / numners on it. I keep a few with me and hand them out anytime I'm in public in a scouting role and talk with someone who might be interested.


    • #3
      It doesn't seem to be that tricky in my area for Girl Scouts. The number is in the phone book. A "Join Us" button is the top of the left nav bar on the GSUSA landing page, which is the top of the Google search list. From there an interested girl or adult enters their zip code which gives them the phone number of their council. At some point they do have to pick up the phone. At council they'll be transferred to the Field Director for their area who will try to find them a troop. This is actually where the problems will start. Many of the troops fill up as fast as they are created. Having enough leaders for interested girls is the biggest difficulty.


      • #4
        If you go to there is a link to find your local council. You can drill down through that and your local council site should have a troop/pack locator.

        of course the link is broken at this will get a be patient message.


        • #5
          How have I found units?

          When I joined a troop in Pine Burr Area Council, I saw a charter with the service organization I belonged to at the time. That had me asking questions and I got involved.

          When I joined a troop in Istrouma Area Council, I was passing by the scout hut, which is on a busy street, and saw the troop number and CO. I contacted the CO and joined that way.

          How have others done it. I knwo of several packs in my area have websites. When you google the city name and scout, they show up.


          • #6
            Could just be me. But if I was looking to join I would likely do what I do when looking for anything else, google: Boy Scout Troop MyTown, USA

            The troop locator at The Scout Zone is fairly useless. It wants a zip code and then lists all the units in the three digit prefix. All it gives is the unit number and charter org name. No address, no contact information. How to you contact the "Concerned Citizens of My Town" or "Friends of Troop 999"? Heck, other that the LDS units I'd be surprised if I were to call most of the list chartered orgs if they could even tell me when the troop meets or a contact number for someone who knows.


            • #7
              Jet526: That's the conversation I want. How does ANYONE find the local unit and HOW (what's the process) does a boy join?
              I was in Baltimore a while ago, and voila! Big sign on a Bus Stop Shelter about Scouts! Popcorn! Camping! Hiking! Canoeing! (not necessarily in that order). Phone number for Baltimore Council...


              • #8

                Good question. I tried the troop locater and it needs to improve its value.

                Google searches return those troops that have a web site. My troop which just uses Yahoo Group gets no visibility.

                I'm going to figure out how to get some web presence.


                • #9
                  Here we go, then...

                  Pretend you are ignorant of Scouting and want to find the closest Scout Unit ::: to join, to question, to ask for a "good turn", whatever...
                  What do you find?

                  ((yeah, I know,,,some folks on these forums might not be pretending. Humor me...))


                  • #10
                    Ok, for the totally inexperienced parent who wants to find a unit, you must first find your local council phone number. Use the Phone book or use this web page:

                    Call them and tell them:
                    1) You are new and want to find a troop for your boy.
                    2) Get the troop or pack number of 4 or 5 troops or packs in your area along with the units address and phone number of the contact number, either Scoutmaster, Cub master, or person in charge of recruiting.
                    3) Call these contacts and ask to attend a meeting. Get meeting times and locations. Ask if there are any special events for the local units coming up.
                    4) Visit. Take your kid. Take note of the size of the unit. Too big? Too small? just right? Are there lots of adult volunteers? Is everyone in uniform? Is there order to the proceeding? Do the boys seem to be having fun?

                    Ask scout troop leaders:
                    1) Do you go camping every month?
                    2) Do the scouts advance regularly and are there Eagle scouts in the troop.
                    3) What is the patrol method and how do you do it?
                    4) Do you go to summer camp every year?


                    • #11
                      It has to be a frustrating experience.

                      Call the council office
                      get directed to the DE's voice mail
                      leave a message and wait
                      and wait
                      and wait
                      Call again and get lucky
                      Hopefully you get lucky and the DE will give you the contact name for a couple of unit leaders. If you are not lucky they will take your number a tell you that they will pass it along to unit leaders.
                      Call the unit leader and leave a voice mail and wait
                      and wait
                      Finally give up and put your kid in soccer.

                      I'm amazed at the number of people that call or email me about joining a troop that have been waiting for someone else to contact them.


                      • #12
                        Scouts can be on Google Maps. I'm Group Leader (means "head honcho", or "the person they think will do everything") for a Scout Group in Australia. Can't remember how I did it, but if you go to Google Maps and type in "Mooroolbark Scout", it should show you where our Scout hall is, plus a contact phone number.

                        I think it works in Google Earth too, but I don't have that where I am right now.

                        So if you're nerdily inclined, put your Scouts on Google Maps!


                        • #13
                          You should make sure your unit is registered on your District Exec should be able to help you do this.