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mrkstvns

Scouting's most useless district or council level position

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When I first heard about units appointing a "New Member Coordinator", I thought it would be a good idea for a lot of units --- especially packs.  It would give units an opportunity to organize their thoughts and offerings and present a coherent message to families who were coming into scouting brand new.  Obviously, this would be a job that would be most important in Cub Scout packs.

Now I'm hearing that there is a District-level and a Council-level New Member Coordinator, and I just want to yell out, "WHY???"

Does anybody REALLY think that District or Council staff should be the welcoming face to a new family?  REALLY?!?!

Cub Scouts join packs.  It's the packs that are located in local schools in local neighborhoods. It's where kids go because their friends are in the pack.  Having a welcoming committee in the local community (i.e., in the pack) makes sense. But having a stranger at Council HQ be your "friendly welcome to scouting" makes NO sense to me.  Maybe some of y'all can explain to me why this is a good thing.

There's already commissioners to help units. There's already membership committees at district and council...

 Is there REALLY any benefit to having a District-level or Council-level New Member Coordinator?

Sign me, 
I just don't get it

From Patriots Path Council (a useful job description):
https://ppcbsa.org/wp-content/uploads/New-Member-Coordinator-Q-A.pdf 

From Scoutingwire (a confusing and useless job description):
https://scoutingwire.org/marketing-and-membership-hub/councils/new-member-coordinator/

From Scouting magazine (yet more uselessness):
https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/09/25/new-member-coordinator/

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The NMC position for units is trying to address thr issues of retention and adult involvement.  By having someone focus of new families, it is likly those families will stay engaged.

A similar district or council position would probably be more about coordinating, encouraging, and training their unit counterparts.  I.e. let's increase the success of the program by having a volunteer who focuses on the success of the program at a local level.  

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6 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

The NMC position for units is trying to address thr issues of retention and adult involvement.  By having someone focus of new families, it is likly those families will stay engaged.

Got it!   Great idea....especially for packs!

 

7 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

A similar district or council position would probably be more about coordinating, encouraging, and training their unit counterparts.  I.e. let's increase the success of the program by having a volunteer who focuses on the success of the program at a local level.  

Soooo....all the people at Council who were already promoting membership or handling training are getting replaced by someone with a new job title?  If not, I still fail to see what value a "New Member Coordinator" brings TO DISTRICT OR COUNCIL.

I still see no point in having this job title outside of a unit.

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No doubt signing on to scouting has become a logistical nightmare. Someone skilled at easing thousands of new members through that gauntlet would be worth their weight in scout executives! However, the title is wrong. It should be Membership Concierge.

But, IMHO that's not what discourages new members. What discourages them is this delusion that the best scouts are the ones who make the highest rank. Don't get me wrong, the cubs who achieve the rank for their grade or the scouts who make 1st Class Rank and beyond are awesome fellows. But the truly best scouts are the ones who get out and scout for other youth to join their ranks. So, if it's numbers one cares about, then promoting the recruiter strip above all other achievements in scouting is the way to go!

Down with NESA! Up with NSRA (national scout recruiter association)!

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2 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

Soooo....all the people at Council who were already promoting membership or handling training are getting replaced by someone with a new job title?  If not, I still fail to see what value a "New Member Coordinator" brings TO DISTRICT OR COUNCIL.

I still see no point in having this job title outside of a unit.

Think of them as a specialist - we have them all over in my professional world.  The district person would be the wizard at getting new families integrated into pack or troop life.  They would know the tricks and tips.  They would then have a network where they co-ordinate with the unit level NMC for the purpose of making their unit counterparts even more successful.  I'd expect them to be a member of the district membership team.  So, while others on the team are focused on recruiting, AOL to Scout transition, etc.  This person would be the one focused on making the NMC successful.

The council version is working among the district NMC so that they in turn know the best practices for being a district NMC.  

Do we need a new title for this - no, our course not.  I'm sure that someone at national has this as a pet project and so is trying some different things to make the program successful.  Again - my company does stuff like this to get desired results from a certain segment of the staff.  I imagine there's a Harvard Business Review article somewhere that suggests this is a good thing.

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14 hours ago, ParkMan said:

Think of them as a specialist - we have them all over in my professional world.  The district person would be the wizard at getting new families integrated into pack or troop life.  They would know the tricks and tips.  They would then have a network where they co-ordinate with the unit level NMC for the purpose of making their unit counterparts even more successful.  I'd expect them to be a member of the district membership team.  So, while others on the team are focused on recruiting, AOL to Scout transition, etc.  This person would be the one focused on making the NMC successful.

The council version is working among the district NMC so that they in turn know the best practices for being a district NMC.  

Hmmm.  I see your point.

Having such specialists is a GREAT idea!  In fact, it is just the BEGINNING of what is possible...

I just sent an email to National suggesting that the following positions be created to further "specialize" skills.  We need...

* New Member Welcoming Smile Chairman - studies and recommends the best strategies for smiling so that it is welcoming and not perceived as a smirk or worse, a gratuitous mask

* New Member Welcoming Hearty Handshake Executive Chairman - evangelizes the hearty handshake --- not so tight as to squeeze, but not so weak as to appear timid or effeminate (except female scouters can be effeminate, if there are 2 or more present for each handshake)

* New Member High Five Grand Poobah - goes around recommending that units welcome new families with a hand raised up high and a very loud, enthusiastic, "Up High!  Down Low!  Whoa! Too Slow!"

* New Member Good Natured Laugh Executive - stands around to provide laughter and good natured merriment as the new family is welcomed to scouting. Preaches the important distinctions between a chortle, a chuckle, and a guffaw (and provides advice on when to use each)

Naturally, these positions need to be duplicated at the District, Council, Regional, National, and International levels because you can never have too many layers of bureaucracy.

If any of the volunteers in these positions feel under-utilized, they can follow scouts around town and practice their smiles, handshakes, and high fives whenever somebody buys an overpriced bag of Trails End popcorn. 

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A little sarcasm here I see...

I've seen enough new Scouts join packs & troops to know that getting them engaged is a good thing.  I've seen enough new parents with questions to know that having a defined person to answer them is a useful idea.  I've been around adult recruiting long enough to know that engaging with parents is the first step in getting them to volunteer.

Yes - you could do all of these things with a position called Committee Member and the New Member Coordinator title isn't necessary at all.  I know it's sport to poke fun at national.  But so what if they decided to try something different in an attempt to encourage activities that benefit membership?

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4 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

A little sarcasm here I see...

I've seen enough new Scouts join packs & troops to know that getting them engaged is a good thing.  I've seen enough new parents with questions to know that having a defined person to answer them is a useful idea.  I've been around adult recruiting long enough to know that engaging with parents is the first step in getting them to volunteer.

Yes - you could do all of these things with a position called Committee Member and the New Member Coordinator title isn't necessary at all.  I know it's sport to poke fun at national.  But so what if they decided to try something different in an attempt to encourage activities that benefit membership?

I always try to remember, "never let an adult do what a scout can do."

In our troop, the SCOUTS are the welcoming committee....and they are much more effective than anybody the committee might throw at the non-problem.  

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28 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

I always try to remember, "never let an adult do what a scout can do."

In our troop, the SCOUTS are the welcoming committee....and they are much more effective than anybody the committee might throw at the non-problem.  

Note to Self: Talk to the new SPL and ASPL on how important it is that they introduce themselves to parents when Webelos visit.

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We've had a role like this in our adult team at the troop level.  In our version, the role is not just about being a welcoming committee when a visitor stops by.  In fact, one of the things our NMC did was to talk with the Scouts about being a welcoming committee when visitors do attend.

For example - we see that parents of newly joined Scouts often have lots of questions.  Yes, we have a new parent packet.  Yes, we have a new parent orientation.  But, there are also lots of stream of consciousness questions.  i.e., the Scout comes home from the Troop meeting, mentions summer camp, and the parent says - how do I pay for that.  So, the parent stops by the troop meeting and asks when payment is due.  I suppose we could have a Scout field all those kind of questions - but we don't.  So, we have a person who is known to that new parent as a "go-to" for questions like that.

Similarly, when we have scouts cross over - there's a certain amount of logistics that occur: the crossover ceremony, when new scouts should start, welcome message to Scouts & families, new parent orientation, etc.  Someone needs to organize all of that.  We could have the scouts do it - but we've chosen to have adults take care of that stuff.  

Like with anything in Scouting, it's all a question of how much effort you want to put into something.  We could let much of this happen naturally or we could be more planned about it.  We're a 75+ scout troop, so it benefits us to be more prepared in how we work with new families.  We had a role like this well before there was the NMC position.  So, creating the role wasn't a big deal to us.  One of our leaders just said - "hey, I get a new title."

Edited by ParkMan
grammer

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