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King Ding Dong

Recruiting up or down this year ?

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Our pack was up, more than double from last year, and the best year ever in its history, despite declining school enrollment.
Be careful, Brew. We had some growing pains when our pack tripled in size 2 years ago. Lots more new boys, but also too many new parents who weren't willing to fill in any leadership roles. We really struggled for a year. This last year was much better. The new parents felt more comfortable after observing what all was involved and stepped up to fill many volunteer roles. Took a huge burden off the old leaders who were filling multiple roles.

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Just when I thought I had a handle on the recruitment, I keep getting more and more calls from parents with kids in different schools and different grades. Our dens meet right after school at the school, so these few stray boys from different schools are making it difficult. We are telling them that if they want to join our pack, they are going to have to recruit enough boys from their school to form their own den. All I really wanted was just one new Tiger den to make sure our pack stays alive, but we might end up with 2 new Tiger dens, and 2 new Bear dens. It's a little crazy, and not what we are used to because we used to be just a one school pack.

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Our pack was up, more than double from last year, and the best year ever in its history, despite declining school enrollment.
Every parent/guardian is given an Adult Leader application at the roundup and asked to fill it out. We explain to them why we are asking for it, which is after our pitch about how CS is a family oriented program. When they turn it in, we ask them if they want to be involved as a leader or behind the scenes. We don't actually put them on the roster off the bat, but we have the applications on hand for if we do. We make it a regular practice to assign and volunteer tasks at meetings so it's not just the "tan shirts" in front of the room. As the pack has grown we've had pretty good success with filling not only direct contact leader and generic committee roles, but also the more specialized roles like camping chair, etc.

 

It is constant work to stay ahead of the game as you know. Also, growth in size to this point was not our goal, it just happened.

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Last Night, 5 packs at the school fighting for boys. We got 1.

 

Every pack I know is going to more schools than they have in the past, because numbers are way down.

 

I've already told my DE, that he needs to prepare for packs to be closing and/or consolidating over the next 2 years, if recruiting continues in the same direction.

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Final count is in for our fall recruitment, we have 3 times as many new boys as returning scouts this year and 4 times the usual number of new recruits. I wish I had a crystal ball to predict how many will actually stay, I need to decide if I want to split some of the dens or not. I'm very excited that some of the parents have already stepped up and volunteered!

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Very excited about our recruitment this year. We have 27 new scouts paid in full! Now its just a matter of getting them all into dens!
Great job, 92hatch! Whose job is it to get those dens organized and started? I think our pack needs to add some kind of new leader position to take care of this sort of thing because it has all fallen on me, and I am already overworked as CC and DL. What would a good job title and description be for that position?

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^^^ All of our leaders try and work together to find new leadership by gently twisting the arms of parents we think are already highly involved in the program. Usually out CC will take in the new applications and assign boy to dens or creat new Dens. We tend to not need a single position to take care of this, But we do have a "Pack Trainer" who is in charge of making sure we all are current with out trainings needed to comply with the rules. I suppose you could also use this pack trainer position to help recruit new leaders?

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We doubled our Pack size. We added nearly 40 boys.

Recruiting/Boy Talks work!

Now we must turn our focus to RETENTION!

 

Congrats, We do the boy talks and buddy cards.... but they don't work well for us. Our biggest problem is the sports programs in the area really recruits hard and here in Texas, parents seem to be sports crazy.

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21 new scouts, I just hope I can get them back for the second meeting. It'll take the sting off a bit when I drop the 15 I'm losing at recharter.

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Our pack has grown from 35 boys last year to 50 this year. We are still waiting to see what boys are going to stay with it, and which ones will drop as the year goes on. We gained most of our new boys in the Tiger and Wolf dens this year.

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Our pack is in an area that is extremely underserved for the number of available youth we have (but the District's inability to start new units is another topic altogether). Our pack has ranged between 80 and 100 Cubs for the last 5 years. We're at 89 right now with 21 Tigers. We have had one school night roundup (our DE claims he's having trouble getting into the elementary schools this year), and have otherwise been recruiting via word of mouth and our pack website shows up well in Google searches.

 

So far this year, we've recruited 21 Tigers, 3 Wolves, 2 Bears, 2 Webelos 1s, and 4 Webelos 2s. That's nearly a whole pack on its own. We definitely need more Packs in our town.

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Our pack was up, more than double from last year, and the best year ever in its history, despite declining school enrollment.
We had our first meeting for the new group of 21 Tigers (!) last night. By far our largest group ever. As part of the meeting we split them up into 3 dens. We had 6 leaders--3 DLs and 3 ADLs step up to lead the three dens. We've also filled more committee roles and added ADLs to the Wolf and Bear dens.

 

This is MUCH better than things used to be back when I joined the Pack and it was a one-man show. I believe the reason for the growth in the number of boys is all the recruiters we have and the increased visibility of the program in the community, the latter of which accrues to the unit leaders. The reason for the increase in involved parents begins with the expectation that is set in the Tiger year as well as the visibility and enthusiasm of the parent volunteers at events, etc.

 

It's never easy but momentum does build in a program, either positively or negatively.

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