Re: Recruiting Problem
Fri, 3 Apr 1998 10:07:10 -0500
Remember, these ideas are designed for professionals to use, but they
can work for you too. Some aids for Boy Scout leaders;
Recruiting Scoutmasters: This is one of the toughest jobs you will
encounter on the district level. Make a vow right now that you won't
become a Scoutmaster to save a Troop! It's a big, big mistake to spend
so much time on one unit. Remember your mission!
To the truly committed professional though, saving a 50+ year old Troop
from extinction is one of the most rewarding accomplishments you will
ever have. Allowing one to die is at least equally depressing. =20
I developed this process out of pure stubbornness! Use the six step
leader recruiting process as a base for operations, but I've got an
additional trick that is borderline rotten-but worked every time!
1) Do you have an insider to help? Get one! In an older Troop there is
2) The organization's leadership may not appear to care much, but they
won't want the Troop to die on their watch either, so you will get a
chance to try a resuscitation. =20
3) Before meeting with anybody, spend some time going through the old
unit rosters. List all Eagle Scouts from 15 to 30 years ago. Next to
them, write in the Scoutmaster of the time.
4) Call as many of the old Scoutmasters as you can find, and plan a
luncheon or meeting at the Troop's meeting place. Explain what you are
up to, they'll almost always help out.
5) Share the list of Eagles with them and determine the best 5 or 6
prospects. Favor those with boys of Scouting age. =20
6) Have their old Scoutmaster set up a time to pay them a visit (with
their wives?). =20
7) An Eagle Scout will not say NO to their old Scoutmaster! =20
It's almost unfair! =20
8) Get as many of the old-timers on committee as you can. Support is
We got so good at this in my last district that we were still in the
reference stage when the top prospect walked into the Troop meeting with
his 11 year old son and says: "I surrender!"
Boy Scout age talk: 5 Minute speech.
Any veteran Scoutmaster will tell you that only quality unit program
will recruit new boys into the program. Believe It! When I first
started recruiting youth in 1979, the 8th graders had that dead look in
their eyes. By 1993 that look was in the 4th graders faces and eyes.=20
They don't believe anything! Its sad and scary, but who can blame them?
Before they can walk there is a purple dinosaur on TV claiming that he
truly Loves them! My best success came from building Scout Troops
through strong Cub leaders who believe in the Scouting program enough to
continue on onto the next level. You can have great success that way,
but it takes about 4 years to see the process to full fruition. =20
Ever since it started, the Webelos program has been the source of 90% of
the new Boy Scouts. So your field director says "You will do a school
Here's the best 5 minute speech I've been able to manage-and I've tried
Ideal: Boys only, separated by grade 5, 6, 7 =20
Wear your uniform
Have the Scoutmaster present (let him speak) =20
Do boy talk the day before meeting
Have flyers ready =09
Use the boy fact surveys=20
"I've got some questions for you, answer with a show of hands=85
How many of you want to be a pro football star?
How many of you want to be a pro basketball star?
How many of you would settle for being a rock star?
Look around the room. How many pro stars do you know have come from
this school? There are over ______ guys who graduate every year from
here, that's about _____ in 50 years. Figure it out guys, what are the
odds? Let me put it another way, who here believes in the tooth fairy?
Now, before your local coach has my head in a basket, let me say that
the last thing we want to do is have you give up any sport that you
enjoy doing! And you should always do your best at whatever you try.=20
And who knows, you might be the lucky one.=20
But for those guys here old enough to think realistically, I've got a
few thoughts for you!
You are going to have to make a living doing something, and like it or
not-money buys freedom, if not happiness. Now you can go on playing
games and sports and eventually you'll drift into something-probably.=20
Or you can take control of your own future=85and that's where we can help=
You see, besides the camping and hiking and swimming and all, Scouting
has about 120 different merit badges that can provide you with an
incredible chance to see a lot of what this world has to offer-both
outdoors and indoors. =20
Nowhere else is this available to you, the chance to visit people and
places and try on almost any career you can think of. We are welcoming
new members tomorrow night, and you are invited to come by and visit.=20
Between now and then though, do yourself a favor. Take a look into the
eyes of the people you see on the streets, or in their car, or where
ever. You'll find a lot of unhappy faces. As it's been said before: =20
"The majority of the masses live miserable lives of quiet desperation".=20
That's what makes the lottery so big! When your life comes down to a
million to one shot. (Personally, I find it pathetic when somebody
tells me what they are going to do when they win.)
Understand, if you join Scouting, we're not going to give you anything!
Except an opportunity to sample some of what this world has to offer. =20
You may even find yourself a real future!
I have to go, Thank You for letting me speak to you on this level, and
whatever you do, do your very best! Good Luck. Oh, by the way-the
camping part is a blast=85sometimes!
"Truth is the perfect disguise=85" Kris Kristofferson
Troop Truths: There are several realities about Scout Troops you should
learn early on-and none are "politically correct". If you try them
anyway, keep records-so at least you'll learn from it.
1) After about two years, (depending somewhat on training), most
Scoutmasters will tend to find their comfort zone of membership in the
Troop. Once that level is reached, dropping 10 new Webelos into their
"saturated" unit will be the same as throwing them away. =20
2) In a Troop with an average youth age 14 to 15+, Webelos are nothing
more than "Blue flu" to be fought off. What do they have in common?=20
Absolutely nothing! I recall as a 12 year old that anybody who shaved
was a full grown adult to me. Including the Senior Patrol Leader, whom
I was scared to death of, as he fully intended me to be.
3) When a veteran Scoutmaster resigns, the older youth often quit soon
afterward. Order of the Arrow or Summer Camp Staff can dissipate this
problem somewhat. I used to get them to help with Day camp or on a
camporee as staff. The good thing is that having Scouts near Eagle
serves to keep a Scoutmaster for awhile longer.
4) A unit will stop growing when it fills the meeting space, know the
limitations before recruiting begins.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City