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Padilan

How to get more members?

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My troop has recently spirled down to the path of dwindling numbers. The troop is down to around 15 boys. Unfortunitly, around 4 boys are about to turn 18, and we just lost 3 boys to sports.

Our troop is a well run troop, but we (as a troop) believe we could do better.

 

Our troop has desided to try to recruit some more boys, but hasn't the slightest idea how. We realize troops could be pretty small, but we would perfer a larger cast of characters.

 

Know any ways to gain more scouts?

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The top way to recruit boys is to have your current scouts invite a friend. Number two is to actively recruit crossovers from cub scouts by providing help for the ceremonies and inviting them to meetings and outings it helps to have scouts from your troop serving as den chief's with several different packs.

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Our troop was in a similar situation when my son crossed over. We have turned it around, and did it by actively getting involved in three cub packs, not only at the web2 dens but with the web1 and younger scouts. Letting them know we exist, providing den chiefs, inviting them to camporees. Last year we got every cross over (24 scouts) and this year all but 2 (14 scouts). I think the key is being in their face, not assuming they know you exist and have a program for their boys.

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Scouting is a revolving door.... A boy should stay 7 years. If a troop takes on 3 boys every year they ought to maintain 21 members. However the problem is not so much getting boys, it's keeping them. We let boys leave more often than we keep them. Gee, we lost 3 boys to sports. Does that mean they are now playing year round sports? or did the boys have to choose between sports or scouts?

 

Recruiting is an everyday process. Recruit your new members and recruit your current members. Retention is the key to a sustained program. Your troop has to be appealing to the new boys, the middle aged boys and the older boys. We often do well with the new boys with all the newness and T-FC program running very well, but then we seem to drop the ball and by the time the boys are getting older, they have most likely found other interests. Boys vote on the program with their feet. Reevaluate your program. If there's a program that follows through from start to finish the boys will stay and your troop will grow both in numbers, but also in quality of program. If older boy program is something the boys look forward to, they'll stick around and check it out.

 

It's a lot easier to keep a scout than find one.

 

Stosh

 

 

 

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I used my recruiting presentation to register around 14 new Scouts this year, I think we lost three: two who in the end were not the outdoors type, and a third who started fights at every meeting and campout.

 

The parents of three more were eager have their sons join but wanted to wait until after football season. I moved from the area and don't know if anyone followed up.

 

See:

 

http://inquiry.net/adult/recruiting.htm

 

Kudu

 

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Recruitment is an ongoing process and can be time consuming. Our best results come from four approaches.

 

1. Den Chiefs. This is the easiest method of recruitment and needs to be used effectively. Just the mere presence of Boy Scouts at the Cub Scout level will bring few boys into the Troop. Using the Den Chiefs to inform the Cubs, Dens, and the Pack about the Troops activities can dramatically increase interest if you involve the younger boys.

 

2. Involvement. Many Troops do an annual pin college for the Webelos dens in their area. We dont do this because we find that the Cubs show up just to earn their pins and never return. Instead, we have three annual events. We do a special theme oriented campout every year in the fall which is specifically designed to recruit the Webelos and their families. We invite all of the Webelos and their families to our summer picnic. We do a hike and campout every spring.

 

3. Webelos Woods. This is an annual event where all of the Troops and Webelos in the area are invited to learn about each other. This is a great opportunity to tell local families about your Troop and the opportunities that are provided.

 

4. Brand Recognition. We have designed our own neckerchiefs and hats with a custom logo, and we are referred to by a name rather than a number because it separates our Troop from the rest. In addition, we dont just show up and talk at the bridging ceremony. We dress up in costume, get into character, and do a short skit to disseminate the information. At the end, we toss some candy to the kids in the crowd in order to create some fun and havoc. This gives the Troop a positive and fun outlook and we are remembered by everybody.

 

All of these efforts combined significantly increased recruitment, and unexpectedly, helped with retention as some scouts became interested in being on the bridging team.

 

 

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