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On 8/6/2022 at 1:03 PM, 5thGenTexan said:

I HAVE to find a way to recruit.  Our GT has 11 girls at the moment, and I can't rely on Cub crossovers.  I posted a flyer in the middle school newsletter as well as on FB, but that doesnt seem to really reap any results.  


Create a FB page--It's free. The girls won't share this, but their parents will, which means other girl's parents will see it, too.

Have the girls make short videos they can post on Tic Tok, Insta, and reels. Don't do the stupid "Please join" video either. Have them show something cool like ziplining, with captions like "look what we did last weekend!" When word gets out that the girls are doing cool things, you'll have recruits.

Set up a webpage--It's easy to do and will cost $5/month. In today's world, if you don't have a webpage, you don't exist.

My experience with marketing is with writing groups, not scouts, but the same principals apply--most groups don't do any kind of marketing. By just publicly posting our weekly meeting times on Meet-up, we grew for 11 people to 50 people in just one year. By upping the game and creating a webpage (www.palousewritersguild.org), the group now has over 300 members and is able to host writers festival every summer. As you can see it's a pretty simple page, but it lets people know what we're doing and where we meet. It also provides a way for people to contact us with questions. You really don't need much more than that.

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There was a post in a BSA subreddit recently where some girls in a troop shared photos of them having fun on recent outings, including goofy faces and sticking out tongues. The photos were criticized

Great insight.  Reflect on the scout law and the values we want to teach.  We don't want to teach our scouts to look down on others.  Why would we want our marketing to lift scouting up by looking dow

We've had that discussion as well.  A constructive discussion needs both good ideas and also the hard realities. The latter is brutal. My council doesn’t have the faintest idea how to market what

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On 8/6/2022 at 3:03 PM, 5thGenTexan said:

I HAVE to find a way to recruit.  Our GT has 11 girls at the moment, and I can't rely on Cub crossovers.  I posted a flyer in the middle school newsletter as well as on FB, but that doesnt seem to really reap any results.  

A group of 11 Scouts is not too bad.  My troop had like 7 kids in '90.  It was great.  We were small enough that everyone fit in a Ram 3500 van with our gear in an open cargo trailer for summer camp.  We could transport the whole troop on outings.  We had a blast.  When the Scouts have a blast every time, they tell other kids.  My buddy and I went back to our old grade school and recruited after high school.  Only 5 kids in the 5th grade class - 3 joined us and we took them to summer camp, showed them the ropes, etc.  They stayed and perpetuated the cycle.  

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I also had a small troop growing up of about 15 and loved it.  Does not have to be 100 scouts to be a great troop.

But, in Scouts BSA in general I don't see the same kind of council-sponsored in-school recruiting in middle and high school that they do for Cubs.  Without that, it does unfortunately leave actual recruiting up to the unit and their ambitions with as you are pointing out are subject to the energies and resources of the unit and its leaders and scouts.

First class requirement 10a is designed to get the recruitment discussion going I think.  I try to make it part of any scoutmaster conference I do, just a quick "Hey, do you have any friends who might enjoy scouting?  Have you thought about inviting them to a meeting?"  It's not producing droves of recruits, but reminding the scouts "You can invite your buddies to join us" now and then is good practice.

But yeah... we need to get out there and do some recruiting this year too.  Does not seem like there's a formal process in Scouts BSA so we're planning on just getting out there a couple places this year and seeing what happens.  Relying on larger events who will let us pop a spot for free or little cost just to have a presence in a crowd where youth might already be in attendance.  We also have a camping event sponsored by our town where they allow camping downtown once a year.  It is well attended and "target rich" so we're trying to see if we can set up a model campsite or recruiting table there this year.  That kind of stuff. 

I think this is where having some background committee people can also be a huge benefit.  Recruitment chair has a nice ring to it ;) Time to voluntell a background parent about their promotion?  :)

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On 8/7/2022 at 3:24 PM, 5thGenTexan said:

I don't have $5 a month to setup a webpage unfortunately.  

If you don't have the ubiquitous "for the price of a single cup of coffee per month" for your unit, why are you asking about marketing? 

Everything has a cost, be it fliers, radio spots, or FB ads. At $5/month, a webpage is likely the cheapest opportunity you will find. Our local newspaper charges $12 per column inch of black and white text, which few people will see. Our meet-up page cost $180/year. The cheapest radio spot in my area is $22 for 30 seconds. Want to hand out bookmarks at events like the county fair? That's $50 for the vendor permit, $135 for bookmark printing, and probably $250 for the graphics, though you can use the design for years. Heck, at Staples, 100 black and white fliers will still cost $19. There are no magic marketing bullets and certainty not for less than $5/month.

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2 hours ago, Khaliela said:

If you don't have the ubiquitous "for the price of a single cup of coffee per month" for your unit, why are you asking about marketing? 

 

Personally. I didn't buy my half gallon of chocolate milk this week because I am trying to cut costs.  I didn't get the haircut I needed last week because I am trying to cut costs.  And I don't drink overpriced fru fru coffee.  So no, I do not have the $5 a month to support a website for something outside my household.

The Troop is just a year old and we have ZERO dollars to do anything.  The equipment we have is parent provided or stuff we had donated.

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10 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Personally. I didn't buy my half gallon of chocolate milk this week because I am trying to cut costs.  I didn't get the haircut I needed last week because I am trying to cut costs.  And I don't drink overpriced fru fru coffee.  So no, I do not have the $5 a month to support a website for something outside my household.

The Troop is just a year old and we have ZERO dollars to do anything.  The equipment we have is parent provided or stuff we had donated.

Just a suggestion, but what might help more is finding someone that understands websites. Maybe someone at roundtable. Maybe your CO. Maybe your council will let you put a couple of pages under their website. Someone in your town knows how to setup a website and host it. Bring them a box of pictures of your scouts doing fun things, pull on their heart, and ask for a donation of their time to help you out.

The website itself might be free. A domain name costs money but, for the size of a website you need, it costs nothing to run. You just need someone to help set it up.

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1 hour ago, MattR said:

The website itself might be free. A domain name costs money but, for the size of a website you need, it costs nothing to run. You just need someone to help set it up.

The trick is to find a domain name that's cheap. Ex. from my business Hart and Hind Publishing Company: 
hartandhind.com cost $1200 (yearly), BUT hartandhindpc.com cost $15 (yearly).

There are lots of Wordpress meet-up groups and they're generally happy to have new members.  Also, Wordpress is easy to learn and use. It's easy to update and maintain a website yourself, so you just need to pay for the domain name and hosting.

Honestly, I'm surprised there isn't a web development merit badge--most teens are tech savvy enough to create a webpage themselves. Maybe this could be a project they turn over to the kids.
 

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Though on this side of the pond we likely missed the Aug 1 date,  IMHO this is a thrifty opportunity for marketing the Scouting Brand (from World Scouting Foundation) - Scout Scarf (Neckerchief) Day was Aug 1.

The idea of "Scout Scarf Day" on August 1 is that all active and former scouts are requested to wear their scout scarfs in public to make the "Spirit of Scouting" visible: Once a Scout - Always a Scout! 

The date of the event commemorates the very first Scout Camp on Brownsea Island in 1907.

Of course, the scarf is only a symbol but a strong symbol for the scout promise and for our mission to leave the world as a bit better a place than we had found it.


 

image.png.8a72ff4d1006e5935f3f44367a1e1916.png

 

http://www.scoutscarfday.com/?locale=en

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