Sea Explorers and their recruiting problem (long reply)
Sam Fairchild (SAMF@OHSTMVSA.BITNET)
Thu, 12 Nov 1992 10:35:00 EST
Dear Jeanne Anderson,
I'm using your problems to promote better recruiting for all Scout units.
As a new Cubmaster, my view is still somewhat limited...
> It's good to see another Sea Scouter on the list! I'm Jeanne Anderson, A Sea
> Do you have any tips for increasing our membership? sters
> Jeanne M. Anderson
> Explorer, Executive Board Member, Jack of all Trades
> Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan
You might try recruiting from a marketing standpoint. Identify your
interest group, identify ways you can expose potentially interested boys
project a future image of your Ships in five years if nothing effective
happens in the recruiting area. (Sell the sizzle)
Here is what we did in Cub Scout Pack 74 in Central Ohio Council:
We made presentations to elementary schools, gave them copies of a
printed map of our area
with major roads at the edges and Scouting Principles in the middle
(along with dates/location/times of the next two pack/parent meetings).
We used the Scout Night vehicle to attract potential Cubs *and* Parents.
We inform new parents our Pack 74 has a strong tradition of parental
involvement/support (so they know what is expected).
Yes, I know Exploring is different, but attracting boys interest isn't.
You have to reach out!
> The local scoutmasters
Try promoting "high adventure" camps onboard ship in the warm months!
Be sure to charge appropriate fees for usage of the boats/equip.
Try: one camp in northern waters in summer, one camp in Carribean (sp?)
in the cold months (you'll have to fight off parents from *this* one).
> are reluctant to give the boys any info about our events because they're afrai
> we'll "steal" them away. This is obviously not our intent. After all, what's
> dual registration for?
Be sure to track and recognize boy's progress toward the Eagle.
Be sure to get real Eagle scouts to participate in promotions and as
much "high adventure" as possible. Take pictures.
Our Committee Chairman won the "Bridge Builder" Award from the Central
Ohio Council for the number of
boys his recruiting program has brought into Scouting. Pack 74 feeds
four Scout troops in our area! We also route boys into adjacent Cub
Scout packs. Problem boys from those packs try to get into our pack!
(Sorry, I ramble too much)
What about your Explorer troop? Well, how about taking Cub Scouts and
their parent/Akela on a boat ride? How about making presentations to
local Scout troops and offer them the same deal?
Take them to a maintenance party
(surely you sailors have *those* with all those boats!) and feed the boy
milk and cookies and pop. Make initiations to regattas like my local
Yacht Club does (it has a waiting list).
Make presentations at Pack meetings at all surrounding Cub Scout packs
( good task for a few mature boys/daddys in your troop ).
Show off your picture album and/or video tape at those meetings.
You will not "steal" boys from anyone! You will find boys that never
had an opportunity to even make a choice! The other troops will get
more boys as will your Explorers. All leaders in our district/council
are given contact information for nearby cub and scout units, to better
help foment cooperation and unity in Scouting.
Your recruiting and information campaign will also receive support from
your Council. The main thing is to proceed quietly without stepping on
too many toes - that is why you start with the middle schools.
Recruit the eighth graders into the lowest explorer levels and provide
Scouting info to boys in lower grades, so they get the idea early.
As your program unfolds, provide statistics to nearby troops on number
of intereseted boys. Give boys the troop contact info, too!
Troop leaders will see the wisdom of your campaign, adapted to your
regional area. All our urban ideas might not work, but most will.
You will have no trouble finding boys to hike out on the windward
rails of your sloops and catamarans!
Recruiting is not a competition
among scouts. It is a competition with all the other attractive
alternative attivities today's boys are faced with!
It is your job as a unit leader to help get the Scouting message out
to people in your community. National and Council may get the pro bono
public service announcement onto TV, radio, papers, but someone has to
get out and make opportunities appear!
Whew! My soapbox just got a few more dents in it!
Disclaimer: the above is not a criticism (real/implied) of anyone
living or dead. Today's society has changed (references to Toffler's
books and the book "Passages") and we need to help Scouting ride the
waves of change to preserve the values we hold dear.
Cubmaster Pack 74, Central Ohio Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City