As Jameson76 said, it’s all about the program, that’s what they come for, and your existing scouts are the best way to do that. Word of mouth is powerful tool!
What you can do to support them in that is give them some tools. If the troop doesn’t have it already give it an internet presence. That doesn’t have to be an all singing all dancing website, it can be as simple as Flickr photo stream or a Facebook page. Make sure that on it are two things
1. Photos of the scouts doing fun stuff. Canoeing, hiking etc. Don’t worry about uniforms or courts of honour, that doesn’t sell. Show off the fun.
2. Include clear and simple contact details.
Your existing scouts can then put that under the nose of their friends and say “look what we did at the weekend”
On the one hand, that was the campiest little number I've watched in months.
Yet on the other hand ...
It is charming (I vaguely remember slideshows from when I was only about knee-high to a grasshopper; they were already considered obsolete by the time I was in elementary school), but I gotta say - I agree wholeheartedly with most everything it teaches. As primitive as the presentation is, I find that it successfully conveys the entire point of the patrol method in a clear, easy-to-understand and mildly (MILDLY) amusing context. The quotes are right on, it addresses a scenario that is all but ubiquitous in the Scouting world, and it's simple. Honestly, I think it's wonderful. I would GLADLY show this to any Scouter, whether old and seasoned or fresh and new.
When I was 15 we drove 2 1/2 hours up to Big Bear up in the San Bernadino Mountains during the brief time of year when they have a modicum of snow so that we could experience the "thrills" of winter camping. There was almost no snow on the ground to speak of, but to a kid like me who had never seen snow before it might as well have been the North Pole. There was only enough in a few melted-out patches to make four or five muddy 'snowballs,' and by the time we woke up it was all gone.
Of course, when I say "woke up," I wrongly suggest that I actually slept. Not a one of us had proper clothing, sleeping gear nor even the most basic preparation for the cold we struggled through that night. It was, without question, the second-worst camping experience I ever had to endure, and I would never dream of willingly camping outdoors in a place that had winter again!
That said - I hope your boys have better experiences than I had camping in the winter time! Of course, I imagine you people have winter time in the first place, something that fortunately we lack entirely here.
We camped last weekend,Nov 9-11, in WI on our troop's camp property .It was 10 degrees with 2-3 inches of snow on Friday night. We got another inch or so on Saturday night. The scouts really liked hanging out in the falling snow around a roaring fire. All the scouts were outside in tents. The Webelos slept in a storage building with a wood stove.
Our December campout is always a joint campout with 3-4 other troops at another troop's cabin. All our scouts will camp out side and there should be sledding and the creek will be frozen and maybe the river.
January is uncertain. Our camp has unmaintained sand and grass roads. If we can get in, in cars, we will camp there, otherwise we'll camp at a council camp.
We do Eagle Cave every other year, so no February campout for us this year.
March isn't planned yet. Last year we camped at a council camp and the scouts and webelos camped in the snow.
The past 2-3 winters have been frustrating for us. We have older scouts who want to do hard core winter camping, quinzees and such, but the weather is fickle. It will be too warm or 0 degrees without much snow on our scheduled weekends and then later dump a foot of snow when we can't use it. *I* would love to send a couple of scout(er)s to CWLT at Northern Tier and then do a regular January trip to the North Shore or Boundary Waters, but thats a long term plan.
In terms of planning, we don't do much. Scouts know how to layer already. The 2 main things we do are 1) unlike warmer campouts where scouts use their own tents, in the winter all the younger scouts have to tent together, having 2 or 3 scouts in a tent keeps every one warmer and provides a safety margin if anyone gets too cold 2) we make sure folks have an extra sleeping bag, most of our scouts have 20/30 degree bags but we have extra huge uncompressable 80's era sleeping bags that scouts can use a a quilt or as a ground cloth or as an over bag; Its big and bulky and heavy but warm and cheap. If we ever move to more extreme back country camping we'll have to up our game but it works for now.