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mrkstvns

Does your pack WELCOME newcomers?

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There are 3 elements to recruiting in any organization:  attraction, conversion, and retention.

Attraction is the realm of marketing: get the word out and pull people in.  Retention is about delivering on your promise and giving value to the members.

But conversion....that's where things get interesting because it's all about the vibe in the unit and showing people your energy and passion so they want to be part of the fun.

Make newcomers feel welcome and show them the value that can be theirs to share, and you'll have 'em hooked!

That's why I was so impressed by Bryan on Scouting's story of a Michigan pack that created "welcome bags".  Great way to involve the cubs in their pack's recruitment campaign!
Story:  https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/10/23/the-ingenious-way-this-cub-scout-pack-welcomes-new-members/ 

 

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I don't know about my pack, but in my Webelos Den, I would always make personal visits with my assistant and Den Chief to new Scouts' homes when possible to welcome new boys into our Webelos group. I'd bring a Family Talent Survey for the parents to complete during our visit along with the standard official BSA Webelos welcome materials, and for the boy I would bring our den patch (as chosen during the Scouting Adventure adventure), Webelos neckerchief, and whatever other uniform items I had on hand from my uniform closet to help him transition as much as possible to the tan & olive uniform. Almost always I was at least able to get them a hat, shirt (with blue loops!), and bottoms of some kind, leaving only the smaller things like socks and slides to the family. Ideally they would already have the belt and handbook. 

I also asked our new Webelos Scout which elective adventure appealed to him, and made sure to introduce activities from that award into our schedule within his first month or two. And I taught him our den yell and showed him our flag while I discussed upcoming volunteer opportunities with his parents. I made sure they understood our regular den meeting time and location, and when our pack meetings generally transpired and how our planning sessions operated. I also made sure they got the current Monthly Den Newsletter & Calendar so they had a head's up on upcoming activities, and invited them to our monthly committee meetings if they weren't attending already. When visiting the family at their home proved impossible, I invited them to my own, or met with them after the boy's first den meeting - but I never let more than two weeks pass from the boy's first day with us before making sure this meeting took place. Parents always seemed to be extremely appreciative of these visits, so I can only assume I was doing something right when I started doing them. :p

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I have to admit, I would feel uncomfortable with a scout leader who wanted to meet me in my home shortly after meeting him.   The above wouldn't be welcoming in my book, but nosy.  

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I can see how that might be an issue if I had never met the family before, and I appreciate the point you make. Admittedly, my pack operates out of our local church congregation (which I grew up in), and most of the families have been in our pack since Wolves at least. So there haven't been many brand-new families whom I haven't met already at some point before, although those that have been new have been very grateful for the time we took to get to know them. Nonetheless I am grateful for your comments and will certainly take that potential perspective into account in the future.

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I always do my welcoming at Parent Orientations.  If a parent is serious and they sign their child up most of the time I can sniff them out, this past year i had 3 come up to me before I even ask and said they wanted to help.  I have been very fortunate the past 2 years in the pack. 

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