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"Words To Live By" Theme? - Help!!

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I'm still continuing on as District Membership Chair.


Yesterday was a coldish wet day here in SWPA (With little or no wind).

Of course this was the day planned for a kite day, recruiting little Lads who will soon be entering first grade.

All things considered it didn't turn out as bad as I thought.We signed up 11 new Tiger cubs and the local press came out and took a few photos.

I was very disappointed that not one Cub Scouter showed up!

Back when I was a CM, I wanted every Lad I could get.

This event had been well planned and well advertised.

My big fear now is that these lads and their parents will never be contacted and will be lost before they even get started.


Back in December I had asked our DE what plans the Council had for the Fall Cub Scout recruiting drive? The Council still doesn't have VP-Membership. He never gave me any answer.

Talking with him yesterday he informed me that the theme that National has come up with for the fall is "Words To Live By".

It seems that each point of the Scout Law is the sales pitch.

Why we are using the Boy Scout Law to attract Cub Scouts? Just seems a little more than slightly daffy to me!

While it's been a long time since I was a Lad of Cub Scout age, somehow talking about trustworthy, loyal and all that other good stuff would not have me chomping at the bit to want to join.

Ten of the eleven little Lads that signed up yesterday didn't share the same last name as the parent who came with them. I of course don't know what or if there is a reason for this?

However looking at the list of names I was left wondering if maybe selling traditional family values is the right way to go? Kinda like selling air-conditioning to Eskimos.


I'm very much aware that I can be a pain; I didn't like that horrible cat, Garfield, I thought the drive for Cub Scouts was a good idea. I just wish that National had given us more support and put more thought into it.

Words To Live By? -Somehow just seems like it's not going to work.

I'd like to come up with something that might.

Something that a little Lad could buy into. A theme that appeals to both the kids and their parents. (And maybe the Cub Scouter's who hopefully will be the sales team.)

A District/Council in Alabama is doing something with fishing. Handing out fishing lures to the little Lads and inviting them to a fishing derby. This sounds like a good idea. But in our area by fall all the fishing seems to have died down. I might use this idea next Spring.

Any ideas that you have or can come up with would be very much appreciated. - Thanks


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I agree that this is not an inspiring theme for youth (probably not even for boy-scout-aged youth). It might appeal to us geezers but even then I'm not so sure!


I like your kite idea - too bad the weather wasn't more cooperative.


Anyway, two things I have seen that worked pretty well for the little guys:


1) We partnered with local fire departments to do a Tiger recruiting event. Every little boy I've ever met wants to climb on, in, through, and around a fire engine. Turn out is virtually guaranteed. Ours had a catchy name which I can't remember at the moment! The key here is to ensure that everybody who shows up understands this is a cub scouting event and not just a fire hall public relations event.


2) We set up booths at local festivals in late summer and hand out whatever old gimmicks are left in the council cupboards, along with info about local packs. Last year we gave away literally hundreds of matchbox cars that were found in the storage room, left from a couple of years ago when the theme was centered on NASCAR. (We gave them to every boy from about age 3 up, and to more than a few girls too - figured it would spread the word about scouting in general and who knows, maybe they have brothers or male cousins.) And scout stickers. And press-on tattoos. (remember the 3 amigos tattoos from a few years back?)


We have also done a simplified raingutter regata and let anybody who wanted to, race boats. Water-related fun on a hot day at the local festivals drew in a lot of kids & parents.



I've found a lot of cub leaders are pretty burned out by this point in the year. The prevailing attitude I ran into while doing the above tended to be that they're not going to turn away new boys but they're not going to seek them out at this point in the year either. I was hard-pressed to find help running district recruiting events in spring/summer as a result. Also most packs in this area don't run much of a summer program so they'd prefer to wait until fall to do their heavy recruiting. I don't know if the dynamic is different in your area?



Oh, and another one (though I don't know how I feel about this!). One lady I know in another district arranges to attend all the Head Start kindergarten graduations and signs up kids for Tigers on the spot. She simply assigns them to the pack that is the most closely affiliated with where ever they'll go to school in the fall. Her district usually does really well with membership as a result. But I don't know how many of those boys actually end up participating in scouting, come fall.



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Also promote CSDC as a way yo keep them involved over the summer. My council has agreed to allow new TC the earlybird fee, no matter when they sign up. I know my TC wannabe is really pumped up for CSDC.

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To be honest I'm not that enthusiastic about this May Round Up.

We can get some of the little fellows signed up, but how many we ever see again is another thing.

We charged $10.00 yesterday.

The kids got a cheap kite, a couple of hot-dogs, chips and a drink. (As ever we cooked about 3 times as many hot-dogs as we needed -Rory was oh so happy!!)

I like the Fireman idea -Think I might use for for the plan "B".

After the school sign up, when we haven't reached our goal we tend to sit around crying in our beer with no real plan as what to do next.

Of course now that OJ is deeply involved with the local volunteer firemen this shouldn't be hard.


Both the DE and the District Chair are a little down in the dumps. Of the four Districts in the Council, our District was the only one that didn't make Quality.

The Council only made Quality in part thanks to a new pack that we started in the parish of our District Chairman.

So far the finances look good we have done OK bringing in the cash needed for them goals. So now it all comes down to membership.

So they are trying to push me!!

I have to admit to still being a little bit peeved that the Board and the SE have not taken the bull by the horns and made membership as high a priority as I think it should be.


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Of course I see where your coming from and maybe where "They" are coming from.


This kinda brings up:

What are we selling?

Who are we selling it to?

Are we selling a "Game with a purpose"?

Or is it a "Purpose and then a game" ?


While maybe the Cub Scouter's are not in my good books.

For the most part they are a happy group.

They I think see the good in what we do, but tend to be more focused on the how more than the why?

When they go into the schools to do the Boy Talks, my goal as membership chair is to give them the tools they need to get the little fellows excited enough to come back on the night with their parents.

While I'm sure none of them are dumb enough to get up in front of a group of little guys and start harping on about "Words To Live By". I need something that everyone can buy into which is going to work.

The kite thing worked. (Well some wind would have helped!)

First the parents seen that they were getting something.

The kids seen it as a fun activity.

The kites were kits and the boy and the parent had to work together to put it together.

I did give a little speech where I mentioned that this was a value based program, this was just before I led them all in a song.

I was selling fun.

My view is that once we get them in we can work on the value thing.

Also I tend to think that the image of Scouts and Scouting is very much bout values and this is already in place. We don't need to sell it. Kinda like telling people that they will get wet if they go swimming.


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The only thing you can sell to Cubbies is "fun". They don't care a whit about Trustworthy, etc. WHat do we do in Cub SCouts??? WE HAVE FUN!!! The fire truck idea is a good one. My BIL drove an 18-wheeler...one of my best den meetings is when I had him bring his truck to my house in the cul-de-sac (he had to back it in)...then we opened the doors and turned 'em loose. Even tilted the cab forward to show them the engine and check the oil, blow the air horn, etc. My neighbors hated me.

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If it helps, this is the theme that Cradle of Liberty Council has been using for a year. I have to admit that I was skeptical when COL rolled out this theme last year but since their membership numbers are up, National decided to use it too -- at least that's what they told us at Roundtable. You could take a look at the COL website at www.colbsa.org, or call the Council to ask about how they use the Words to Live By theme in Cub recruiting.

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