Re: Adult Participation
Merl Whitebook (MAWLAW@AOL.COM)
Thu, 16 Jul 1998 21:31:28 EDT
Bill Roswell asked:
Does anyone have a successful formula for building and retaining a strong
participation. We are in the phase of Troop growth where we have become a
large troop ( 73 registered scouts), have a very strong, active program. We
had strong adult participation in the past, but many of these adults are
burning-out and/or their sons have either gone with other interests: cars,
girls, jobs, sports, etc. We have others who obtained the Eagle rank and
inactive and others who have turned 18. In other words the previous adult
participation is dying out.
Bill there are several ways to recruit, attract, retain and maintain adult
troop ledership. This are the methods, which I have utilized in my troop.
1. Don't recruit scouts. We have never recruited a scout. We have recruited
fantastic adult leaders, and it was fine if their sons also desired to join
the troop. Scouts without committed leaders is a larger burden upon the
2. Define every function required for your unit to be active and thrive for
the next year. In my troop, we have 31 key positions which make up the
committee. Some are long term functions such as Tenderfoot to 1st Class
Coordinator, Merit Badge Coordinator, Advancement Chairman. Some are long
term but not as demanding, such as community service coordinator, Camping
chairman, Quatermaster, ect. And then there are positions which can be
completed with a beginning date and and ending date such as Popcorn Chairman,
3. Only after you have completed the position job description, are you ready
to utilize the troop resourse survey. Dont expect all adults to even take
the time to complete the survey. However with the position description, they
are better able to see what they might realisticly take on.
4. As vonuteers are identifed, ask each of them, who they believe might be
able to fulfill one of the remaining postions.
5. Many adults are afraid to volunteer or feel they are not part of the
clique. You have to approach many and invite them to volunteer. Often an
adult does not step forward, simply because no one asked him/her to help out.
6. Once you fill the positions, make it fun!!! Have the adults be a model
patrol. Cook together and camp together on campouts. Be certain t include
all key members and for that matter all adults at committee meetings. Make
the adults part of the group. An adult corp that has fun, sets the example
for the scouts!
7. Recognize the adults. We recognized every new adult volunteer at the
Court of Honor by awarding their patrol patch. Every Leader who receives
training is recognized and presented their trained patch and ASM.. (All of
our ASM are trained!) Wood badge goes without saying more. Every spring we
recognized all adult who have held position with certificates and trailblazer
council strips. Itnot that much, but the recognition has done wonders.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City