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School Night for Scouting ideas

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What are your tried and true fall recruitment or School Night for Scouting ideas for a Cub Scout Pack?


Ours is the second week of school. I read somewhere about putting up a tent and a fake fire to set the mood. Maybe even spray some outdoor smelling air freshener, like pine or something. Last year we showed the video made by National, but what do you do leading up to and during SNS with your Pack. What do you follow that up with?


Last year we had 14 new Tigers sign up, I hope to bear that this year. (Our Pack was only 35 members last year: 14 Tigers, 2 Wolves, 8 Bears, 4 Webelos I and 7 Webelos II)


As you can see, our biggest hole is the Wolves, which will be our Bears. If you have any ideas on how to get 3rd graders excited about Scouts I would love to hear that as well.

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If you have a DE who is a good talker, have the DE do "boy talks" at the school (hopefully the DE can get this set up with your principal/school district).


Send home a flyer advertising your registration night in the school note packet 2 weeks before, and again the week before.


The day of registration, have someone stationed at each door and put reminder stickers on each boy as he comes out of school at the end of the day.


For your new Bears, your best recruiting is with your 2 current Scouts. Have them talk up the fun they are having to their buddies in class. Have their parents talk up Scouts to the other parents in the class. Have the boys and their parents invite the buddies to a den meeting or two.

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That's how it works with our pack:


The DE sets up a date with the schools to have an afternoon assembly with the 1st - 5th grade boys.


The DE calls,and e-mails the pack to let theknow when so that we can plan our roundup night which usually happens about a week after the DE does the daytime assembly.


Hopefully, the boys will take home the flyers and give their dad more than 10 minutes notice before rounfd up night ( cough cough) :)


At roundup night ( at the schol) the DE stands up and introduces himself as well as the local packs to te parenst and trhe kids. Then at least 20 minutes of silliness ensues. Then the packs tell a bit about themselves and parenst decide which one seems best and the money flows and registrations get filled out.


A week later, our pack has it's first pack meeting of the season. Not sure when the others hold theirs.


Again, our CM and ACM start out singing and get the kids laughing. Then the DL's take all the new and current scouts outside for games while the CM and ACM give the parenst the talk!

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Our dates are set by the district, usually a choice of two. We usually only recruit at our CO, an elementary school.


We set up a booth at the Meet the Teacher Day, usually a few days before school starts - pictures, flyers, PWD cars, Pushmoblie, etc.


Flyers go out in all boys take home folders a week before and the day before our SNTJS.


The morning of SNTJS, we set up a campsite on the stage in the caferteria (tent, fake fire, flags, etc; looking for a sounds of nature cd to add to it this year and now gonna look for a smells of nature air freshener and auto spray, too - thanks!). We got the campsite idea from another Pack - this went over HUGE!!


On the day, Pack leaders (CM, CC, DLs) do Boy Talks in classrooms of all grade levels; it's great when we come across one of our Cub Scouts - they really help "sell" the Pack. And, we pass out another SNTJS flyer and a Cub Scout pencil or some type of some gift-type thing.


At SNTJS (in the school cafeteria), we have everyone sit at table by age, and for the Tigers, we have them sitting at three tables, with friends sitting with friends for the most part. We do a quick intro and then play a game where we quickly break everyone into teams (basically, the teams are already set - each table is a team) - the teams are given a bunch of newspapers and have to create sometype of costume for one of the kids on the team. Then, after 10 minutes or so, one of the adults tells about the costume. Good fun, but what's really going on is that our Pack Leaders are watching for the take-charge types of parents that usually present themselves in these types of situations. We later recruit them as new leaders.


We then break out the kids to the school library, where some leaders and the Webelos sing songs, play games, do skits, teach the Promise and the Law, and teach about the sgin and what "signs up" means etc; the parents stay in the caferteria.


The CM and CC and other leaders talk with the parents, starting with the Not Much Time rope presentation (I inherited this from a previous CM). We have a rope that's about 80 feet long, held on each end by volunteers. "This rope represents your son. We live about 80 years . . . " Then we cut pieces off: "he's about six or seven years old now, so those years are gone" (cut off six feet). We continue cutting the rope down ("parents pass away, son goes to college, kids don't really listen to parents when they're in high school, most teachers say that kids don't really listen in middle school"); we end up with a piece of rope about five feet long, saying "this is about the length of time you have left to positively influence your son - and, well, whaddya know . . . this is the same length of time as the Cub Scout program!" I've had mothers in tears by the end of this presentation . . . it REALLY moves people! (It is a lot more polished than this quick description.)


We continue on with talks about Scouts being fun, developing character, and all the stuff we do! We use the points of the Purpose of Cub Scouting here. We talk about costs, time, and even set up Dens and recruit leaders (because this is really already done from the newspaper game we played before). The parents fill out applications. The new leaders fill out applications and get directions on the fast start training and YPT online, and pinky-swear to complete those either that night or the next. We do a Pack Leader Meeting, with new leader orientation, a few nights later; by then the new leader apps should be good to go (now that YPT must happen before the apps can be submitted).


We bring the kids back from the library and the parents are amazed at how their loud and unruly boys go silent when the CM just holds up two fingers! I love that part!! The boys sing the song they learned and recite the Cub Scout Promise.


The parents turn-in completed applications with payments and the new Den Leaders receive packets of info. There's a district rep there to take new apps to council.


The boys are happy and excited, the parents are excited, the Pack has three new Tiger Dens, with six new Tiger Den Leaders, a healthy sprinkling of new Cubs of the other ranks, God is in his heaven, and for that brief moment . . . all is right with the world!!!

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Received several personal messages about the Not Much Time (rope demo) thing discussed above - so I figured that I'd just post it here. I've seen something like this using a yardstick. And as I said before, I inherited this basic idea from a previous Cubmaster, but I've added to it and tried to build up the drama - surely, this could win you an Oscar or at least a bunch of new Scouts!


Not Much Time



80 rope (we use a blue and gold nylon rope available at Home Depot or Lowes), pre-marked with marker at 6, 13, 21, 50 (cut rope is used in other Scouting projects, knot tying, etc.)

Scissors (large, make sure these can easily cut through your rope)

Three other people: Two parent Volunteers to hold ends of rope and a Pack Leader to collect and take away the cut pieces


Script (usually done by Cubmaster CM):

I need two volunteers to help me and I promise they wont have to dress up like little Bo Peep. [Have the two volunteers hold the rope about chest-high, stretched out full length, either across the stage or, even better, from the stage down the aisle through the audience to the back of the room I like this because it seems so far away!]


Again, I ask, When during their lifetime do we have an opportunity to influence our child?


This 80 foot rope represents life span of typical child, from the time that he was born, here near _____ [introduce volunteer], all the way back to _______ [introduce other volunteer, usually done by screaming], all the way back to ________ , when your son will rest in peace.


1. The average parent here is in their 30s or 40s. Lets assume youre about 36, on average. Your son is around 6, for 1st grade Tiger Cubs, so youre about 30 years older. So we can assume that we probably wont be around for the last 30 years of our kids lives. [CM holds rope and cuts off last 30 feet; another Pack Leader is there to take away cut rope; CM holds rope while the volunteer at the end comes up to hold the new end . . . this gets repeated for each cut.]

2. Like I said, your son is now around 6 years old, so we cant influence him anymore for those years, theyre already gone [Cut off first 6 feet].

3. About 15 or so years from now, your son will be grown up and gone off to college or a job, and wont be at home, so you wont have much influence then. [Cut off from 21 foot mark to end]

4. Were left with about a 15 section of our sons life, and heres where hes at today [point to front end]. However, if you talk to a typical Junior High School Teacher, they will tell you that by the time they are a teen, they are much more influenced by their peers than they are by their parents (this usually gets agreement from any teachers in the audience!). [Cut off from 13 to 21], so you really dont have those years either.


What we have left is this short period of time (Im usually holding the rope myself now, stretched out over my head Im tall!) . . . the time period from age 6 to 12, which is the age span served by Cub Scouts, Webelos, and the initial part of Boy Scouts.


I believe that Scouting is the type of program that you want your son (and you) to be a part of during these formative years.

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I read somewhere about putting up a tent and a fake fire to set the mood. Maybe even spray some outdoor smelling air freshener, like pine or something...


we set up a campsite on the stage in the cafeteria (tent, fake fire, flags, etc; looking for a sounds of nature cd to add to it this year and now gonna look for a smells of nature air freshener and auto spray, too - thanks!). We got the campsite idea from another Pack - this went over HUGE!!


The original presentation can be found at The Kudu Net:




It was designed for recruiting sixth-graders into Boy Scout Troops. I have found that if I use the presentation to promote Boy Scouting as a dangerous adventure, 70% of a sixth-grade audience will (in front of their peers) sign a sheet asking me to call their parents so they can join.


The idea, however, is that what they see on stage is what they get every month in the Boy Scout section. I wonder if they end up with typical indoor Cub Scout fare (songs, games, skits, Promise, Law, and macaroni crafts); will they will ever Cross-Over to Boy Scouts ("They fooled me once with that promise of outdoor adventure...").



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I wonder if they end up with typical indoor Cub Scout fare (songs, games, skits, Promise, Law, and macaroni crafts); will they will ever Cross-Over to Boy Scouts ("They fooled me once with that promise of outdoor adventure...").

To answer your question: YES they do!

Our Pack routinely crosses over nearly all of our Webelos into several area Troops. Our graduates come back to serve as Den Chiefs and they serve in various leadership positions in their respective Troops. Our graduates serve as volunteers in District events. Our graduates, even as older Boy Scouts, look back on their time in our Pack as some of their fondest Scouting memories. Our graduates strive towards Eagle and they "get it." They LIVE the entire Scouting experience! No macaroni crafts here, buddy! Our Cub Scouts camp twice a year, Webelos maybe three times . . . just enough to whet their appetites for monthly Boy Scout camping.

And, if the whole "setting up a tent inside for recruiting" was your idea or maybe you're responsible for sharing it with the masses, thank you very much! Great idea! Sorry if others have used it to ruin Scouts by luring them into macaroni crafts!(This message has been edited by Reaper)

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I see nothing wrong with having tents, simulated campfires or that nasty stinky pine tree air freshner being used.


The key is...if you explain stuff, there is no misleading of the scouts.


Our pack still camps, our pack goes outdoors, goes on hikes, fishing ,etc...


And sad to say, not every troop goes camping every month.


The props show scouting, not jusy CUB scouting. Scouting doesn't end at cubs, nor does it start at BOYS. It just transitions.


The props didn't mislead you.....the lack of insight or effort by that pack did.

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Ideas that have worked in units I served:


- Coordinate with the Principal. Do much of it on "WELCOME BACK NIGHT." That's usually the Friday before classes begin.


- In my neck of the woods, Princiapals like to have Ice Cream Socials on these nights. Volunteer the Pack, including the Cubs, to serve.




- Bring the Pinewood Derby track, and some older race cars. 8-10 year olds like, really like, pinewood derby.


- If your Pack has a signature dessert they do in a Dutch oven, get permission to have a D.O. area to make your signature dessert and serve it with the Ice Cream Social.


- Have a desk someplace where the CM, a DL or two, and some boys can share the Cub Scout story to parents.


- ASK THE AREA TROOPS FOR REACHBACK ASSISTANCE. Full court press with your Den Chiefs!


My thoughts. Good hunting.

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That was my biggest complaint with our DE doing the boy talks. He was selling BB guns, archery and camping.......Wait, most if not all of the Packs in our district DO NOT CAMP, Twice a year shooting BB guns at District or council events........Your lying to the boys.


The boys show up to the pack meetings expecting to be camping and trained in the outdoors.



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I didn't mean to imply that people don't mislead or lie to the boys...just saying that the tents alone do not tell the boys they will camp every month - that's the fault of whoever is selling the program.


Alot of the camping out hiking and saving lives stuff is a urban mislead. Cartoon show scouts camping, fishing, making traps , and just all round being Grizzly Adams or MacGyvers of the woods. You know what I mean?


Society's impression of scouts is leading old ladies across 12 lane super freeways and always toting a Swiss Army Knife that even James Bond would be jealous of.


Again, as long as you explain the program realistically...nobody will be mislead.

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