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Scout Signup night

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I'm holding my first Scout Signup night and I wanted to see what others are doing for this. Here are my plans:


Room will be setup with table to display pinewood derby cars, regattas and trophies, popcorn, brag vest

There will be 2 display boards with pictures from things we do such as derbys, campouts, advancements, fundraisers, etc.

Leaders and their boys as door greeters

Table with parents to get contact information and hand out welcome kits

Have popcorn in bucket to dish out


Agenda for the meeting:


Opening flag ceremony

Quick discussion with parents and kids showing them scout sign, etc.

Introcudction of Leaders and Committee

Leaders and boys will go outside to do paper rockets while I talk to the parents inside about scouting as a whole including expectations, parent involvement, meeting times, fundraisers, etc.

Break out into dens once everyone comes back in after about 15-20 min.

Answer final questions

Show slide show of what we did last year.



Does anyone do anthing similar to this or do you just try to get them in and out as quickly as possible?




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Instead of setting up an event to invite people to, I'm trying to be at the events that parents are already planning to attend, like Meet-the-teacher night. I got permission from the principal to set up a table, and I plan to pass out pamphlets with contact information.

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Skip the formal agenda....


People will wonder in during the entire sign up period then ya have to start over...Our runs from 6 till 8 on a thursday night.


The disply boards and stuff is great and we do the same thing.


We have a leader take a group of 3 or so familys and take them all the way thru the process. filing out the app, payin, scout accounts, calendar, how cub scouts works.... usually half an hour per group. We have the pack boys entertain the new scouts and sibs... Afterwards they are introduced to their den leader for the year and they give them their talk..


We have about 10 pack leaders ready to go as folks filter in. lots of tables and chairs...




We do the school open house as well, just did two....Looks like I got 6 new boy scouts, paid and apps compelte, and cubs lots of interest...we will see thursday when we have sign up night at the church.



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We do almost exactly what Fauxc is doing.


We have a start time, flag ceremony, introduce scouting. Then we send the kids to the gym to play with at least 2 adult leaders while the adults get more information. Then we go ahead and form dens or get them into existing dens and collect paperwork/fees.


We do have pictures, but we dont have any kinds of derby cars etc in the room (remember that parents will be trying to listen and 3 year old brothers might be running lose until you put the children out to play).


Its definitely important that you have your leaders at the door to greet people coming in. Make them all feel special/welcome, especially remember to address the kids specifically.



At the open houses/meet and greet we advertise our Roundup night only.

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Next Thursday will be the third year of our group conducting a recruiting night with a formal agenda along the lines of what fauxc and jc2008 describe. The couple years before that were "learning opportunities" for our leadership, where the event was very chaotic.


Our signup night is scheduled for about two weeks after the school open houses. We arranged to set up a table at the open houses in order to promote the program, with a posterboard display, cars and boats, and a digital photo fram running a slideshow. We passed out flyers promoting the signup night, and had a contact form for parents who were interested in a reminder email/phone call closer to the signup date (we got about 20 names).


At the signup night we generally put up the same display from our open house, as a sort of gathering activity. We hold our event at a pavilion at our city park, which is very near by a nice playground. The playground makes for a great gathering activity for the boys. During the program we do a break-out where the boys launch alka-seltzer rockets.


We are different with regards to den breakout, in that we don't set aside time to do that. We group the tables by grade/rank, and have a Pack leader/volunteer stationed at each table to answer specific questions for the parents.


Basementdweller - I really like your group's approach, also. A bit more low-key and intimate. We only advertise the start time for our signup, and it seems that most people arrive at that time. The ones who show up later can get caught up by asking questions to our helpers, I guess. In this way the signup is handled like the other Pack events; we really try to start each event on time so we can end it on time. Parents learn to be on time if they don't want to miss the start.


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I do an event like stomp bottle rockets, a simplified Raingutter Regatta, an egg packaging/egg drop or similar activity for two reasons:


1) If you offer boys the opportunity to make a launch ROCKETS! or whatever, you really have them motivated and the turnout will be a lot better.


2) I don't spend much time TALKING about Scouting being a family activity, because parents have just spent quality time with their boy making and launching rockets or whatever. They have EXPERIENCED Cub Scouts as a family activity.


To enhance the experience, I have a "Rocket Pilot License" that is issued to each boy when they REGISTER for the activity, leaving us contact information for follow up. Each time a boy's rocket goes the farthest during the rocket launch, they get a sticker for their rocket pilot license.


Boys love competition and they want to win something. This allows boys to win multiple times since they can launch their rockets many times.


The rocket launch is the best draw for a recruiting night I have ever seen.

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"Scout signup night" and "recruiting" events are, for us, two separate activities.


Scout are "recruited" all year long. We invite interested families to our Pack meetings, and various events during the year. The current Pack families talk to their friends, and their sons talk to their friends. We have information tables, with displays, at school registration day, and other school/parish events during the year.


For the families that don't join up during the year, or like to join at the beginning of the school year, we do a Scout Signup night after school starts. These families (99% of them) already know they want to join Cub Scouts, they just need more specific info, to fill the forms, and to pay. As we have families coming in at different times during our allocated time frame, our signup night is run very similar to Basement's. We have leaders ready to talk to groups of families, usually by grade. They are given calendars, newsletters, fliers, etc, and then sent on to the registration table where they do the forms/payments.


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  • 3 weeks later...

We did our stomp bottle rocket launch recruiting night exactly as described in my earlier post.


We probably had seventy people out in the church parking lot watching as our six rocket launchers launched volleys of rocket attacks on the far end of the parking lot.


About a half dozen Boy Scouts from the neighboring Troop were kind enough to show up and run most of the rocket launch competition.


The principal of the elementary school where I will be repeating this event Tuesday drove by and spotted me among the crowd. She was very interested to know when her school would have this featured event for her students.


We had eleven applications completed, eight of which are paid. That's the best result ever for this struggling pack.


It's getting VERY busy! I spent a good deal of today working on getting those new applications processed, then visited the school open house where we'll be doing the rocket launch Tuesday.


Monday and Tuesday I'll be doing school visits at lunch. Monday are den meetings for the pack and Tuesday the second rocket launch.

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Two of the Packs I have as a Unit Commissioner have a follow up fun event after the open house:


Ice cream social at a local park. Flyers go out at school. Leaders and boys already in the pack go to the park for an afternoon of fun and invite new guys to play along while leaders talk to the parents. I go to help with paperwork so leaders can spend time talking .


Pack 2 does essentially the same thing but at a bowling alley with pizza and pop for a treat.


They both do this in addition to having tables at the school open house, and the flyer for the fun event is front and center on the table.



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We do the low-key event without a formal agenda. No need for more when a great signup night is 6 families! I use similar props as everyone else, we have a display board, derby cars, boat, handbooks, etc. Our most popular handout is a pack calendar, it makes us look organized. ;)

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Hello fauxc,



So how is the recruiting night plan going?



One key thing you didn't mention in your opening post was how you plan to promote your recruiting night.


The most effective means by far that I use is visiting schools, usually during lunch. I invite Cub Scout age boys, especially those in the 1st-3rd grades to attend our sign up night.


I appear in uniform, wearing a backpack and with a "Join Cub Scouts" flag on a stick.


I talk to each group of boys while they are seated for lunch.


My usualy spiel is "Do you like to go HIKING and CAMPING"?!


"Would you like to shoot BB GUNS and BOWS AND ARROWS?"


"Would you like to make a model rocket and shoot it to see whose ROCKET will go the FARTHEST?"



When I'm doing the rocket launch, I carry a small rocket launcher and a rocket to show the boys what they will be able to make if they attend the rocket launch.


Half the value of the rocket launch as a recruiting tool is to be able to show boys an activity that is intrinsically VERY attractive that they can do if they attend the sign up night.


I give any interested boy a sticker that they can put on their shirt with the Time, place and location of the sign up night. These tend to survive and get home for parents to see.


And example of the stomp bottle rocket launch can be seen at:



In our rocket launch, the boys make their own rocket from a sheet of paper, which works quite well enough to be exciting. I have six launchers and it's a lot of fun to see six launches at once!


I'm thinking about adding some additional elements, such as shooting at a target rather than just going for distance.

(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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first year as Cubmaster I did very similiar to you. I've sent out flyers with info and an advertised tiger roundup on a Sunday late afternoon, it happens to the be the Sunday after back to school night. I also have scouts all wear their class B uniform shirt to school on the same day. At back to school night I man a table with pictures of what we do and info and I talk to people. At the roundup myself and a few other leaders we gather up the boys, have an opening ceremony with the older scouts doing the ceremony themselves. Then we gather the boys to do an activity, this year was to draw a picture of something they may keep in their pocket, then they round up on the lawn with a leader and share with everyone what they drew and why and also learn about the cubscout sign and promise. Then I bring them back and show them picture of events along with some of the other scouts pinewood derby cars, rockets, projects they've built, etc...Then we have a game, then the boys all go off on a hike while I talk to the parents about the adult stuff, fees, info, volunteering, uniform, meetings, etc...Then when the boys are back, we feed them hotdogs and chips. It worked well because we run our roundup at 5pm on a Sunday as to not interfere with other things going on. Picked up 13 tigers and 4 wolf scouts (we only had 1 tiger last year) and an excited wolf den leader. So now we can form a real Wolf Den. After the first pack meeting and registrations are handed in, I work more on a tiger den leader and then will mentor them along their first couple meetings

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