How To Grow
The Hermans (chuckh@ADVNET.NET)
Mon, 16 Feb 1998 20:06:16 -0500
As the Membership Chairman here in Blue Water, I recently submitted this
article for publication in our Council newsletter.
How To Grow - The Three R's of Growth
RECRUIT Most people will not join an organization just 'cause. They need
to feel that they are wanted. Whether the program is Cub Scouting or Boy
Scouting, or any other activity, new people will not join unless they are
invited. Inviting boys to join a troop or pack is something that should be
on-going within the unit. Boys will not benefit from what you have to offer
if they are not there to participate. Where do these boys come from?
Everywhere! Let everyone know that your troop or pack exists. Contact local
churches and schools. Troops should be in touch with all the packs in the
area. Put up posters in the local stores. Publicize your activities in the
local newspaper. Remember KIS-MIF (Keep it secret, make it fail).
RETAIN Okay, now you've gotten those boys into your unit. How do you keep
them there? Program! If your meetings are boring, no one will stay. TV,
video games, sports, all those things, plus much more, is your competition
for a boy's time. They need to want to be there. That also means offering a
year-round program. Yes, even in the summer! The summer is when these boys
have more time on their hands and it is the best time to be outdoors. These
don't have to be weekly meetings like are held during the rest of the year,
but the unit should be getting together once or twice a month to do
something exciting and FUN! The plus side of a year-round program is that
you are not "starting up" each September, just continuing on.
RENEW What happens to the boys who stop coming to the meetings? Do we just
say "oh, well"? Of course not! We follow up. Why is he not attending? Is
there a problem that can be resolved? Maybe there is a transportation
problem, or a personality conflict between two boys. Those problems can be
fixed by the adults in the unit. Remember that, for the most part, the boys
in your unit are dependant on the adults in their lives to provide them
with transportation and funding. If there is a problem between boys, move
them to different dens or patrols. Also help them to resolve these
problems. Scouting is supposed to be teaching boys the skills they will
need in their adult lives. Sometimes though, a boy just doesn't want what
Scouting has to offer him. Don't hound him, accept his decision.
Blue Water Council - Port Huron, Michigan
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City