Fri, 13 Oct 1995 10:43:15 -0400
Among the jobs I do here at Jersey Shore Council is
membership with my wife, Donna. We have instituted the
back to school night for Scouts two years ago and it is
slow going. The old Membership chair opened up a single
location and this was the method used for years, but we
are making progress. The one thing that I have seen is
that the units in my area expect the membership committee
to do it all for them. We put out the flyers and the
youth come flocking to them. I am actviely seeking to
change that mind set. Anyway, I wrote the letter below
to be put in our Council newsletter to try and open
up some minds as to recruiting members. Now why am I
posting this. Well if you would like to use this letter
in any fashion, you have my permission. If you have
any ideas, I'm open to all of them. And finally, if any one
wants to critize me for it, that's fine too.
Yis & WWW,
>>>------> >>>------> >>>------> >>>------>
Robert P. Stawicki CM-Pack 38 ASM-Troop38 MC-Post 38
AT&T Bell Labs Council Training Staff, ADC
Princeton, NJ Jersey Shore Council
firstname.lastname@example.org BUFFALO EAGLE
For your reading pleasure. By the way, I gave it to my
DE last night and it will be in our next Council issue.
"RECRUITING" - Who's job is it?
I have been on the membership committee for Three Rivers
District for over a year now, and have been recruiting both Scouts
and Adults for over 7 years. I would like to give you all a little
insight into what I have observed. Each and every District should
have a person or committee in charge of instituting some kind of a
recruiting scheme. This can and will be a wide variety of activities;
from simple flyers to radio and cable spots. All of these are meant
to get a message to parents. The message is that the Packs, Troops
and Posts of Jersey Shore Council want your sons and daughters (where
Posts are concerned) to join their respective units. All of it very
well intentioned. My observations have shown that the majority of
the units recruit in this very manner.
Lets follow the path of the flyer to parent. The flyers are put
out to the schools, hopefully the teachers will distribute them to the
class. If every thing goes according to plan the child gives the paper
to the parent. One more step must take place - the parent must read the
flyer. It has been my experience that flyers work for Tigers and
Wolf age boys. There will be a few boys in the older grades, third to
high school, who are attracted by them; but if we haven't gotten the
boy by the first or second grade he is lost. To all of you unit leaders
- How many boys have you signed up in the last year that have walked in
off the street? One, two, maybe three, but this would be a rare case.
So, by now you should be asking yourself or me "How do I get more
First, look at your program. Do your members stay around for a
while or do you have a large drop out rate? In order for you to keep
your youth, YOU MUST HAVE A GOOD PROGRAM; something that they enjoy
doing, and something that they are interested in doing.
OK, you have a great program what's next? The second step in
recruiting is right under your nose and has been since you've been the
unit Leader - YOUR MEMBERS, YOUTH AND ADULT. These people need to
spread the word that what they are doing in their units is fun, worthwhile,
interesting, fulfilling, etc., etc., etc. I know for fact that your
members have friends that do not belong to Scouts. You have a
responsibility to let your members know that they are the ones who
should be doing the recruiting. They know your program, they are your
recruiters. The membership committee can only help.
Let's take one step back to your program. How long have you been
doing the same thing year after year after year. Is your membership bored?
If so GET TO TRAINING. Now a lot of you are saying, but I was trained 10
years ago, BIG DEAL! GO BACK AND GET RETRAINED. DO CUB LEADER BASIC OR
SCOUTMASTER FUNDAMENTALS OVER AGAIN. If you think you know it all than
sign up as a staff member, you'll learn something whether you like it or
not; and then you'll bring it into your program.
So back to the first question poised. "RECRUITING - Who's job is it?"
ANSWER - OURS, YOU AND ME
Thanks for listening,
A fellow Scouter
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City