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Nothing like a little last minute planning.

We have a relatively small troop (15 active--2 will age out by February), a small committee and 2 inactave ASMs. In February/March, we are expecting a Webelos crop which will double (or more) our active troop size this year andare planning on 15-20 more nexg year as well.

Rather than get behind the 8-ball, we are trying to proactively strengthen our committee and troop leadership before our new Webelos cross over. There are several parentsin the crossover group who will make good leaders, but it is failure to wait.

Saturday evening we are having a "Family Dinner" for all troop members and their families. After the meal, the boys have a lock-in, but the parents will stay fora short presentation I am putting together about the future of the troop. I will be covering logistics as well as equipment, but my focus is to be on recruiting new committee members and at least one ASM.

I am an experienced cub scout leader recruiter, but have never reached out to parents of troop boys. Do any of you have any suggestions I can incorporate: methods, key phrases, poems or stories to inspire parents to get on board? As much as I would like to keep it to 30 minutes, with all I have to cover, I expect it to take about 45. Any and all ideas are welcome.

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Your situtation sounds like mine a year ago.


1) Train your youth to take over as a boy-led operation. No amount of adults will be sufficient to muddle their way through a major growth spurt. The boys will handle it fine, but they need training and prep. You have time to get ready, don't panic.


2) Involve your CC to recruit adults. Tell him what you need and let him do his job.


3) If you are the SM, coordinate the interaction between adults and youth and keep the adult involvement to a bare minimum, assisting the boys only when they request it.


4) Insist on functional adult leadership. Inactives are of no value to a program.


Remember most adults do prefer a boy-led program and if one does not get a "sufficient number of adults" to come onboard, one may consider going that route instead.



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I am not the SM, yet (another month). Our CC is a great guy and an experienced scouter, but a weak recruiter (he also works offshore, 2 weeks in town, two weeks on the rigs).


I am currently a committee member, and we have only had 2 other active committee members for several years; there was also only the SM and no active ASMs. It was nice (in a way): no conflicts, easy to make decisions, and few complications. There were obvious drawbacks, most notably, it was difficult to pull off larger activites, and BoRs were infrequent, at best. With a small troop, this was tolerable.


As we are expecting 15-18 new scouts (with only 13 experienced, and 8 of those at 2 years and under), we need better committee support, including activity planning, transportation, fundraising and availability for BoRs.


We have been working over the past year to "upgrade" our youth leadership and the patrol method (they go hand in hand). Likewise, our committee is greatly improved over where we were at this time last year (they had not met in nearly 6 months at that time), but we need to kick the committee up another notch if we are to hang on to the boys who cross over.

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Forgive my long post...


The encouragement to go through your CC is due to the fact that technically speaking the CC is the "hire-fire" person for the troop...its what "he" does...that said, after many, many years we have found very poor results from family meetings and "please help us/help the boys" missives...


What has worked for us has been simple nose to nose asking. But this is part of a long term effort. Current committee and SM/ASMs spend over a year trying to get to know leaders of the packs and who will/might be crossing over...We have been accused (occaisionally)of selecting adult webelos leaders for recruitment rather than the webelos themselves.


We give handouts at pack events, service projects, webelos woods, as well as our own annual webelos/scouts skill traning day.These consist of troop history, copies of the troop's (and district's)activity programs, activity pictures, High Adventure pictures, sevice project photos and "fast start" info for up and coming boy scouts... lots of "trash can fodder" just to make folks feel at home.


To make it plain, we spend as much time figuring out which adults in a pack will fit the needs of our troop as we do getting to know the webelos (that task is primarily for our SPL, troop guides and den chiefs).


We identify adults and actively (if somewhat softly) recruit them. If their sons select our troop, we then go "head to head" and ASK POINT BLANK FOR HELP!


old salesman once said..."you can't sell "manure" unless you ask for the order"...So you ask and maybe ask again...sometimes it takes a while...usually it is best to work them "in" slow...We have had great success getting people to commit for a meeting a month as a committee member and then over the course of a year or so changing some of these folks into ASMs...


Then of course there are the naturals...the pack Committee Chairs, Cub masters, den leaders...if they are "good" we really work with them to help make them feel "at home" with our leaders..."scoring" a good leader is like a touchdown! But this takes planning, commitment and time (and lots of coffee).


Each pack we recruit boys from gets a recent pack parent whose son has become a member of our troop as a 'coordinator" the next year (If possible and some work better than others). These folks, are already known and comfortable in the pack environment and are tasked to find things the troop can do to help the pack...demonstration nights, den chiefs, award programs, etc. They also try to insert our webelos training weekend (free lunch for all) into the webelos activity shedule. This is so that a pack activity does not get planned "on top" of the weekend we want the webelos to visit one of our encampments. It is really not a hard job but it can pay big dividends.


pick your targets and ask! Its hard to say no when you have been cut from the herd...trust me.



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Okay, more info makes it easier.


I would start with the parents and do a general survey among the existing parents to "help bridge the gap" kind of an approach. Just a temporary thing to assist in assimilating the new boys and by helping until the new Webelos boys' parents come on board.


This way some of the parents can make a commitment that isn't "forever". People like to know that they can gracefully step down after a certain length of time if they want to. If they wish to commit for another tenure, fine.


So often when recruiting adults it often appears to be an ongoing thing that means I have to hang around for 8 years or so. But if they knew that it would be for 1 year and cover only giving rides when needed, they might bite. It also gets them in the door and they might make their commitment a bit more "permanent".


One can always have a signup sheet program. The boys have their annual activities planned. If there is need for adults, a sheet is created that indicate when, where, etc. of the activity, what is expected of the adult, and a place to sign up. This is posted once a year on the wall. If no one signs up after a month, the activity is cancelled. The boys themselves will recruit their own parents if the activity is really important to them. It also gets the boy-led program into the adult support recruiting role. Then all the sheets are collected, compiled into a booklet and mailed out to each parent. They know when they've signed up and they also know no one's going to be bugging them throughout the year for extra help.


This is a great way to build a support base of cooperation between adults and youth leadership in the unit. The boys identify their needs/activities and the adults work at assisting them, boy-led program in it's purest form.



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I have found that asking for volunteers at a parent meeting generally does not yield good results. It will be a good orientation for new parents and an opportunity for you to meet them.


My best successes are approaching people and as Anarchist says "ask point blank". Ask them to fill a specific job. You need to let them know exactly what would be expected of them and what sort of time committment is required. Let them know how important their commitment would be to the Troop. Leave them with the job description and allow them an opportunity to think about it. Follow up in a couple days.


I would first spend a couple weeks contacting parents individually and asking them who they think would be good people to fill various positions. From that feedback you should be able to get an idea who may be good people to approach. Try to identify who relates well to youth for Assistant Scoutmasters and who have good organizational skills for Committee Members.


Go ahead and have the parents meeting. That will be important for developing relationships. Save the recruitment for direct contact.



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I really dislike the term Troop Leader Recruiting!!

If I'm going to allow someone to take care of and look after the most important person in the world to me!!

I want someone who has been selected not just recruited.

I want the people doing the selection to know what they want and what is expected, not be willing to accept any warm body that can be recruited.

The task of looking after and leading our youth members demands more than a yell for help.

A great resource is:




Some people say that it is a little cumbersome?

But I have used it several times and it has always worked for me.

You do need to follow each of the steps.

Good Luck!!


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I agree with other posts in that you must talk to folks one-on-one. Trying to recruit in a group setting has never worked for me. Several years ago, I passed out a list of leadership positions that the Troop needed at a parents meeting. Awkward silence followed my query as to who would like to fill the positions. No one stepped forward and it was embarrassing for all.


What I found does work is to carefully develop a scope of work for a specific job and approach a parent with a personal request. This gets them in the door. Have them fill out the volunteer application once they have agreed to do the job. Once they have successfully completed the assignment, complement them and thank them, and then assign them something else. In a few months/years, they will be so far in that there's no turning back. You will have a good leader.


Parents that complain can be a good source of adult leadership. Let them know that you agree with them and that sure is a real problem. Then step back and develop a scope of work that addresses the problem and a week or two later approach that parent and discuss his/her involvement in addressing that specific issue. For example, one mom approached me full of anger that some Scouts were making a mess in the Church kitchen washing some pans after a camping trip. She is now the official kitchen monitor and works with the boys on keeping their equipment clean. She is also open to other related assignments.


Complainers either will work to fix the issue they are concerned about, or stop complaining and go away when assigned a task. I have found that the fact they are willing to verbalize an issue often means they care enough to actually do something about it. It's worth while to work with them as they will either shut-up or become an amazing resource.


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Thank you all for the input and suggestions. I read and kept up with you posts, and used your ideas (in part) to layout a plan to address the parents (this has been an ongoing plan, and we were just trying to smooth the edges).

We recruited several parents to the committee. Though we wanted one or two ASMs also, we had over the past two months reviewed our parents and had no foresaw no viable candidates, so we were not unexpectedlydisappointed. Fortunately we have seen several prospective parents in the Webelos crops we are recruiting from our shared charter packs.

Once crossover takes place in February, we will be using a different process to recruit parents to help out with our committee and leadership. We are working on those plans now.

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