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Join Scouting Night In A Middle School

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Has anyone tried a Join Scouting Night presentation in a Middle School?  What kind of turn out did you have?  Was it successful?  What worked?  What didn't work?


Does not work in our area. Cousin lives in Dallas and he reports it not being worth their time either. It was hard to staff...it was as if the guys did not want to be seen in their uniforms in school. They have no problem doing it out of school, but seems the stigma of being a "scout nerd" was too much to get them to staff it.


The guys that did go were trying to act more cool than trying to recruit. These are our same guys who can recruit the heck out of any situation. In school it was as if passing through those doors was like that episode in Star Trek where Kirk found himself in the parallel universe with Evil Spock -- they became two different set of people.



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Yes, I have done Scout presentations in middle school. 


Before I switched over to Catholic schools, I was a Health and Science teacher at a public middle school.  I used merit badge books in the classroom.  I wore my uniform to class on meeting days.  Everyone knew I was a Scoutmaster.


My principal had no problem with it.  He felt in fit in with the whole Science-guy thing.  I think it actually enhanced my reputation as a good teacher.

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I have a few suggestions about Scout presentations at middle school.


First of all,  do wear your uniform, but don't wear any unnecessary decorations on your uniform.  Keep it simple.  Don't look like a Latin American dictator on parade.


Second, do a demonstration of a Scouting skill or two.  Show them, don't tell them.


Third, don't do a sales pitch.  Let the activity sell itself.


Last, and most importantly, never invite a DE to your Scout presentation.  They will mess it up every time.

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Last, and most importantly, never invite a DE to your Scout presentation.  They will mess it up every time.


Bravo, well said!!!




Edited by Bad Wolf
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Most definitely go to Kudu's encyclopedic site if you want a perfect example of what not to do at a Scout presentation.


Keep it simple.  No pine smoke.  No high-adventure stuff.  No images of Scouts climbing cliffs, hang gliding, deep-sea diving, etc..  BSA has used this strategy for over a decade now, and it doesn't work.


Do not call it a "Recruitment Night" or a "Join Scouting Night."  This works for Cub Scouts, it doesn't work in a middle school.  Simply call it a Scout presentation.


An effective Scout presentation should look a lot like a middle school Science Fair.  It should demonstrate the skills and display the activities that a new Scout can actually  accomplish. 


Parents and boys should be able to wander around and enjoy the presentation.  No sales pitch.  No push to sign them up that night.  Let them just enjoy the presentation.


Remember that the most important thing on display at a Scout presentation is not the rope bridge, or the canoes, or the tents, or the campfire.  The most important thing on display is you!


Parents and boys coming to your Scout presentation are mostly interested in seeing you and how you interact with your boys.  This will make or break your presentation.

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