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Sounds like you are on the right path. Getting experienced Venturing speakers, especially youth speakers will keep the teens engaged in the meeting. Since this is a new crew take qwaszes advice and get your council's VOA involved. They will be a big help to you with preparation for the big night and as speakers, in addition they can help you with displays of Venturing activities for the event. Good Luck and much success, and stay positive.

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I would like to offer this link to the open house / recruiting resource from my Council:





My daughter who is a VP for the Council VOA recently reported to the Council Committee on ways to improve recruiting, that a key (number one as tabulated by the VOA) influence in recruiting youth is to offer food.




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  • 3 weeks later...

We had our sign-up and information night and despite the myriad of tools we employed, our results were very disappointing; we had 2 young men show up and sign-up. The good new, we got 100% of those that showed up, to sign-up. The bad news, we are still 3 short of officially chartering the crew. However, we did learn a few things.


First, our greatest weakness is that we had no contacts on the ground with the youth we were targeting (the 8th graders at my daughter's middle school...my daughter is in 7th grade and continues to get girls in her grade excited about joining next year as they become old enough) so there were no energized and charged 8th graders getting more 8th graders excited and brining them along. The two young men we got were in 9th and 10th grade. They now understand that we need 3 more to start and are talking it up with friends.


I would continue to do all of the things we did (listed above in this discussion) just to heighten awareness. If the kids at the middle school get used to seeing the term "Venturing" and begin to know what it is and associate it with high-speed, fun activities like white water rafting, rock climbing, zip lining, etc., that is, in my opinion worth a lot. The biggest lesson learned was that the two young men that showed up, were the two that I called and spoke with personally. Flyers to 240 8th graders at school and posters in the hallways, do not motivate people to action, direct contact does. Now I am going to go back to the list I got from council, with youth who left scouting and call those boys who might be enticed to join by the prospect of getting back on the trail to Eagle.


The other big lesson learned is to hold the sign-up/information/first activity night, two-MONTHS before 8th grade graduation instead of 2-WEEKS. I have made a contact with a Girl Scout Troop that has a few girls interested but they are so busy with end of the year and graduation activities that Venturing has been pushed to the back-burner for now. While Ive heard people say that Spring is a terrible time to recruit, it is the best time to recruit 8th graders into Venturing because a huge chunk of them are just becoming eligible to join because they are just graduating. Grabbing these kids a month or two before they are eligible is the way to go.


Back to work finding 3 more Venturers. : )


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When I was in high school, a few of us founded a high adventure explorer post. What has really evolved into the venturing program. We camped almost every month and had a good time. Three of us became Philmont staff and the other founder got a degree in outdoor education.


Now, with that said, we were only moderately successful as a scout unit. It was truly youth led, heck it was youth founded, but that meant when when the founders went to college it collapsed. We likely had members who werent registered and never did anything for council or district type events. We just went camping and invited our friends. We used scout camps and the core were former boy scouts and sisters of boy scouts.


So, if I were to take something away now as an adult, its this. Let it be low key and youth led. Provide the adults to have leadership for the campouts because camping is why they join. At the same time, make sure that younger siblings and their friends are invited to keep it alive.


I was also an advisor for an Explorer post in college. (OU) Similar story, very co-ed, very low key, lots of camping. They also had parties, which functioned as join nights. Invite some friends to hang out and talk about next months camping. Then they want to come, then they go on a campouts, then they commit.


Just don't talk about popcorn. The adults job is to keep the boring stuff out of sight from the youth. They just want to hang out with other kids.

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