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Snowball

Recruitment ideas for girl BSA Scouts

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1 hour ago, Snowball said:

When I googled what are employers looking for this is what I found.

What are employers looking for

  • Communication skills
  • Honesty
  • Loyalty
  • Dependability
  • Teamwork
  • Flexibility
  • Self-reliance
  • Eagerness to learn
  • Confidence
  • Work ethic
  • Determination
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Positivity
  • Ambition

This sure sounds like what a youth gets out of Scouts to me.    These days many kids have low self esteem so my thought is to use the tag line, "What makes you stand out?" Getting them to think standing out is not being the star athlete, first in your class academically, etc. but it can be helpful, loyal, flexible, dependable etc.   

"This sure sounds like what a youth gets out of Scouts to me."

It does, but it also sounds like 4-H, FFA, organized sports, Boys and Girls Club, Band, Drama Club, etc.

I'd start by figuring out who you are competing against for these girls time, what differentiates you from the options available to them, then sell the differentiation.  If you try to sell the stuff on your list you are no different than all the other options, at which point you have to compete on price and convenience.  You'll lose that fight more than you win it.

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The girls that join ScoutsBSA do so because 1) GSUSA do not provide what they want. 2) Their friends (already in ScoutsBSA )  invite them, they give the newbies the "example" to look at. 3) their parents suggest/insist/lead them to  ScoutsBSA as the parents are already in/have been Scouts before.  4)  they have a sibling/cousin that is in ScoutsBSA and the prospective newbie looks and thinks "that's what I'd like to do and be.... OUTDOORS, getting dirty, learning about ropes and tents and poison ivy and boating and....    THEREFORE:

** What is YOUR  ScoutsBSA program?   Do you do tea party/fashionista/cookie selling ? Or do you go out and "get dirty"  hiking, canoeing,  camping,  rock climbing?   Sure, GSUSA promotes leadership etc.  and if they have the right female (!) leaders, the girls might get outside more  (it is a difference in philosophy, ultimately), but THIS is what the ScoutsBSA is about, always was should always be.  THAT is what your adult leadership should promote and offer.  And then step back and let the girls respond like I heard in a newly minted  PLC one time : " You mean I can make that decision ?"   Well, yes, YOU can.   

Recruitment ideas ?  there they are . . .   And like my previous Scouter noted, the parent and the kid often see Scouting in two ways...    fun, adventure,  accomplishment,  self confidence, skill  ////   Leadership,  citizenship, career application checkbox,  responsibility learned,  ....

Scout Promise, Scout Law is taught , often unconsciously along the way.   All the better.   

See you and yours on the trail.   

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Forget BSA marketing, which in my mind totally misses the point. In very simple terms, scouts learn to forestall death:

 

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... and we're happy ...

 

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17 hours ago, Snowball said:

I have gone to the people in the know and all I get referred to is nice photos of girls having fun as Scouts.   That is great, but I’m looking for the why.   By that I mean why should a girl or boy for that matter join Scouts BSA.  There are so many activities for kids these days and for so many Scouts seems old fashion what will put Scouts ahead of other activities. 

Since you are new to the forum, I should tell you that I am not in favor of admitting girls to Boy Scouts.  I do have a few suggestions though.

Don't copy the Girl Scout activities.  No smores.  No journeys.  Don't focus on all the self-esteem and girl empowerment stuff.  That's Girl Scouts.  
If they want Girl Scouts, they would join Girl Scouts.

Boy Scouting seems old fashioned because it is old fashioned.  Don't knock it.  Embrace it.  Girl Scouts changes its program every 10 minutes.  Try to avoid that.  

Try not to think of scouting as being in competition with other activities like sports and music.  Scouting encourages kids to be active in other worthwhile activities.  We are not a cult.  We don't try to isolate our scouts from their communities.  

We have Chartered Organizations.  The CO can be very helpful to your unit.  Work on building a good relationship with your CO.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, David CO said:

Since you are new to the forum, I should tell you that I am not in favor of admitting girls to Boy Scouts.  I do have a few suggestions though.

Don't copy the Girl Scout activities.  No smores.  No journeys.  Don't focus on all the self-esteem and girl empowerment stuff.  That's Girl Scouts.  
If they want Girl Scouts, they would join Girl Scouts.

Boy Scouting seems old fashioned because it is old fashioned.  Don't knock it.  Embrace it.  Girl Scouts changes its program every 10 minutes.  Try to avoid that.  

Try not to think of scouting as being in competition with other activities like sports and music.  Scouting encourages kids to be active in other worthwhile activities.  We are not a cult.  We don't try to isolate our scouts from their communities.  

We have Chartered Organizations.  The CO can be very helpful to your unit.  Work on building a good relationship with your CO.

Good advice, with the exception of no smores!

That combination of puffed sugar, melted onto a chunk of sugar, and sandwiched between two wafers of sugar is every Scoutmaster's favorite thing for his/her scouts to consume just before bedtime! 😂

Edited by MikeS72
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How about less focus one recruiting one gender over another and getting all genders to join Scouts BSA. Our council allows all girl troops to exist with 5 members but if a all boy troop drops below 8 they suggest merging With another nearby.   We get it. Girls can join and work toward Eagle tank - now lets work on getting more 11-18 year olds into the the program regardless of gender. 

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, Momleader said:

How about less focus one recruiting one gender over another and getting all genders to join Scouts BSA. Our council allows all girl troops to exist with 5 members but if a all boy troop drops below 8 they suggest merging With another nearby.   We get it. Girls can join and work toward Eagle tank - now lets work on getting more 11-18 year olds into the the program regardless of gender. 

@Momleader, I agree in principle. But, that presumes that we are starting at zero for both groups. For some CO's that's true. But for many the boys' program is a juggernaut that may require a tweak or two, while the girls' program has no traction. We might have two leaders willing to give it a try, and maybe the boys' committee will lend a hand, but what seems to be zero interest from girls.

If the girls seem largely contented with GS/USA, as they seem to be in my area thanks to some excellent moms, stop there. But, how do we promote so as to find out if there are a few girls who would do well in the troop?

I think it's our bottom line. I for example, admire cheerleaders. (I think I shocked my kids when I wouldn't allow them to say derogatory things toward them.) But cheerleaders aren't, like a former venturer of mine, trained to pull over at the sight of an accident, safely cross a four lane highway, assess a victim, stabilize a neck, and in a pandemic-be-damned kind of way command by-standers to call emergency services. They certainly can be trained to do that, but it's not part of the curriculum. It is part of ours.

Full disclosure: it's also part of GS/USA's curriculum. We just practice in the dead of winter with dogsleds (or whatever outdoor substitute the Sun-Belt folks jury rig).

Edited by qwazse

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So in my experience with a small sample size.  The girls in our Ship are much more goal orientated than the boys and really want to get all the awards and ranks.  That includes them joining a Troop to get Eagle.  They are much more focused on advancement than the boys.  They also seem to have parents that are very focused on their daughters getting to Eagle as fast as possible.  

 

That is a small sample size.  YMMV.  I am sure it will be different for each girl.

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"gettting to Eagle as fast as possible"...I find that sad.  Scouting is about the journey, not having something to prove.  Advancement is a by-product of the journey, not the purpose of it.

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1 hour ago, mashmaster said:

So in my experience with a small sample size.  The girls in our Ship are much more goal orientated than the boys and really want to get all the awards and ranks.  That includes them joining a Troop to get Eagle.  They are much more focused on advancement than the boys.  They also seem to have parents that are very focused on their daughters getting to Eagle as fast as possible.  

 

That is a small sample size.  YMMV.  I am sure it will be different for each girl.

To some degree, I believe that is instinctive. And, mothers were typically the harder drivers for advancement than the dads.

I've said several times here that I don't believe Boys and Girls are a good mix in a patrol (at least until puberty) because girls are naturally organized while boys are naturally adventure driven. The patrol method forces boys to learn group management skills. I believe girls will do that for them. The natural instinct to learn by watching is greatly reduced at puberty, so mixing the genders together isn't a big deal to me then. At least not in the learning and growing aspect of scouting. 

Barry

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1 hour ago, scoutldr said:

"gettting to Eagle as fast as possible"...I find that sad.  Scouting is about the journey, not having something to prove.  Advancement is a by-product of the journey, not the purpose of it.

I agree, just stating how I have seen it happen in my small sample size.  I do know many boys are equally focused but they are the minority in the boys I have worked with.

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I tried for a year to start a new Troop for girls.  There is no support in the marketing from National.  People in the District thought it was great but the DE told me the best recruiting was word of mouth.  Which is useless info when you are starting from scratch.  I needed the DE to get us in the schools to talk and get some interest going.  What I was able to do via FB in town (less than 10,000) people generated no interest.  Just before the Covid thing I threw in the towel and gave up on the endeavor.

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Which should come first, the chicken or the egg?  When I started my troop 40 years ago, we already had the kids.  The unit was chartered for the kids.  We didn't decide that we wanted to form a troop, and then went looking for kids to fill it.  

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, David CO said:

When I started my troop 40 years ago, we already had the kids

To get our troop for girls started,  first we looked for the kids.   If there weren't enough interested girls, then there would really not have been much point in pressing on.

Actually,  first,  my family talked to the several Boy Scout troops in our town,  inquiring about whether a girls troop was forming up - and there was not at that point.  Another family talked to a Boy Scout troop in a neighboring town.  The Boy Scout troops put the two famiilies in contact, and both families started recruiting girls.   The want-to-be-scouts talked to their friends.  The parents talked to their friends who had girls in the 4th-8th grade age range. . . .  The boy scout troops helped (at our request) by letting all their families know that a few folk wanted to get a girls' troop started - in case any scouts' sisters wanted to joing scouting.

Only once it looked like there was going to be critical mass of girls, did things really start moving forward . . .

But @5thGenTexan,  we are in a school district about three times the size of your town, so that helped.

Edited by Treflienne
clarity

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