Jump to content

Ideas for recruiting at open house?

Recommended Posts

We have been invited to some open houses at the local schools, where we would be allowed to set up a table or station. In the past we have done this and passed out flyers, but with little in the way of results.


In recent months, the "High Adventure Survey" has been very successful in growing our troop from a "paper troop" to 20+ boys. We would ideally get the boys at the open house to fill out this survey, so that we can then contact their parents to discuss scouting with them.


We would like to set up some sort of activity at the event.... one idea was to bring in a portable climbing wall, but this would prove to be cost prohibitive. Does anyone have any nifty ideas to share?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I second John-in-KC's idea: Have Scouts cook deserts in Dutch Ovens outdoors and Scouts show off their backpacking toys.


Boys Like Food and Toys.


As an "old-school" adult presenter, I always had great success implying that Scouting might be a little too scary for them. I raise the Scout handbook over my head and tell them (without a smile) that this is our book of rules, and we have some very strict rules in Scouting:


1) You must carry matches and you must carry a knife.

2) You must know how to do deal with bears and rattlesnakes.

3) You must cook over a fire, and find your way with a map and compass in the woods where there are no foot-trails.

4) You must know how to to be a hero so you can save the lives of your family in case of an emergency.

5) Those are the rules (you must do those things, no exceptions) but you can also optionally swim (only if you want to), shoot rifles and shotguns, bow & arrows, throw axes, paddle a canoe into the wilderness, etc.






The ideal is to give a recruiting presentation in the school auditorium to sixth-grade boys during school hours, without them knowing ahead of time that it is about "Boy Scouts."


I usually brought in 15 Scouts per presentation, but it is too much work for most people.




Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't do open house at a school but rathr have an "open house" at the church where we meet during a regular meeting. We get the local weekly suburban paper to run an article (we write it & they run it) and also the elementary schools (2 near us) will stuff a flyer in each 5th grade boy's backpack if we provide them. The article & flyer announce we are having an open house.


We do the things suggested above like have one patrol cook dutch oven items. Usually pizza, cobbler, brownies. Even the parents are surprised to see pizza from a dutch oven.


Another patrol sets up a dome tent & backpack tent and explains the difference and when each is used. Here we show a back pack and the gear it can hold. We also make Ramen noddle at this station on a backpack stove. Believe it or not most kids have nver had Ramen noodles. We do this outside and if it rains (last year) we set the tents inside and heat water in the church kitchen and just show the backpack stove.


Further down another patrol has pictures from campouts and tells them what we did during the last year.


Last station is for showing lashings, knots, first aid.


We open the meetng and then the SPL, ASPL and older scouts if we have more than 10or12 walk groups of 5 around station to station.


While the boys walk around the SM, CC and activity chair meet with the parents and talk about our troop.


I'm gonna borrow the "rulebook speech" if that is okay for the closing. That is awesome!

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have had no luck whatsoever with sending flyers home, nor with running blurbs in the church bulletin, etc.


The only thing which worked was getting the school administration on board, having them give the "high adventure survey" to all of their fifth grade teachers, with instructions to have the boys complete the form on the spot and pass it forward. We then collected the surveys from the schools and contacted the parents to meet with them on a one-on-one basis. With this, we went from 5 to 20+ scouts. So whatever activity we do, we want the survey to be a part of it....have a fun activity for them to do or something for them to eat, but first they have to complete the adventure survey. We also want to create a variation of the survey targetted toward cub scout aged youths.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...