Re: NEW SUBSCRIBER
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU)
Mon, 1 Aug 1994 23:51:59 -0400
Increasing parent involvement is always a challenge, you're not alone.
One successful strategy is to make a gigantic poster listing all of the
Pack positions, activity chairs, and other jobs that will need to be
filled throughout the year with a blank next to each. Fill in the ones
where you have a volunteer ahead of time. Take the poster to your Join
Scouting Night meeting and tell the new parents that each is expected to
take on at least one of these jobs, explaining that Cub Scouting is a
family organization and must have family; e.g., parent participation.
Similarly put the poster in the front of the room for your Pack Meeting
and give the same encouragements. This will net a few and help with a
little peer fear/pressure. Nobody likes being seen as a non-contributor.
Let them know that, if you don't see their names, you'll help them find
something. Then the Pack's leadership can divide the missing names
and follow-up with one-to-one invitations.
A great selling point, when you begin to hear excuses is to tell them that
what the Cub Scout program offers is what each parent would like to give
his/her child, if there was enough time and that the advantage is that we
can pool resources to see that each boy gets those things. This means that
you the parent have to carry your share, which is a lot less than if you
were trying to do all of these things yourself. Remind them that its not
fair to ask other parents to shoulder their own share and this excuse
maker's as well. You may lose one or two that don't want the commitment,
but would they have stayed anyway?
Another point is that there are a lot of folks that are hesitant
to volunteer, especially in hispanic communities. Some will be honored to
be asked and to see your trust in them and will respond positively with
encouragement. One of the best Webelos leaders I ever had sat quietly and
never said a word at meetings for over a year because nobody every asked.
I saw enthusiasm in his eyes and asked. A week later he came to a meeting
in full uniform with every patch in the right place, brimming with ideas.
He took Webelos to camp each year and never missed an activity. His den
grew and had to be split twice.
While there is no best solution, consider making it a point to find the
positive attributes of each parent as you get to know them and then use
that as a reason you think they would be good at ________________.
Remember that they can't say yes, if you don't ask.
Yours in Scouting, Michael F. Bowman, a/k/a Professor Beaver
Deputy District Commissioner Exploring, GW Dist., NCAC, BSA
Speaking only for myself, but with Scouting Spirit . . .
____ mfbowman@CAP.GWU.EDU ____
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City