Murphy Peter (MurphyP@RND3.INDY.TCE.COM)
Fri, 24 Jul 1998 11:05:00 -0500
Mary Fournier asked "Please expand on HOW those units you are
speaking of have been successful in getting parental support."
Since the season of School Nights is fast approaching, perhaps we can
all share our successful methods.
In my district we have formed teams of three volunteers to conduct
Night for Packs that request such help. The Pack is responsible for
advertising, getting a meeting place, and setup. The District Team
provides one person to run games for the kids, one person to give the
Tiger Cub briefing, and one to give the parent talk. We try to have 9 to
12 experienced volunteers to form these teams so we can cover all
Packs that request our help. Though I have participated a couple of
years giving the parent talk, I prefer that units take ownership of the
whole process and do it themselves.
In my parent talks I follow the National formula. School Night's primary
purpose is to recruit parents. The boys are already sold on the program
or they wouldn't be there.
I like to start out with a simple flag ceremony and a prayer. I include
prayer thanks for the fellowship and ask for grace and guidance for us
parents as we do our Creator's will in raising our children. Then we do
stunt or silly cheer.
I ask the audience to close their eyes and picture what Scouting is all
about. Images that come to mind might be camping, knots, pinewood derby,
etc. But if they keep thinking about it, they will also think about
good turn, words like "trustworthy". The first group of images are what
we DO but what we are ABOUT are VALUES and helping boys and
young men become valued citizens of strong character. The meeting
opening kinda covers it all. Flag ceremony = patriotism and good
citizenship. Religion and values are an essential element in good
citizenship. And we teach all of these important lessons while having
lots of fun.
Then I give a brief sketch of how Cub Scouts is organized and how it
works. I use an advancement ladder as a prop. When talking about rank
requirements I use a Wolf book to cite examples of family value type of
requirements and show that these requirements are designed to be done
at home and not in meetings. I use the prepare family meal, go on a
outing, go to church with your family.
Then I let the parents know that their involvement is REQUIRED on
three levels. 1) Praise their son when he does well. This includes
coming to pack meetings to see his performances and to see him
receive recognition. 2) Encourage him along the advancement trail.
Explain why advancement is important. That's where the important
lessons are (in the requirements) and they need to have something
to show for their work or they will become discouraged and quit.
3) Help provide Cub Scouts to all of the families in the pack.
Here I explain that Cub Scouts is like a babysitting co-op. In many
sports and other activities, parents may be use to seeing just a coach
or two for every team. In Cub Scouts every family helps to provide
for each other. If you can't make that kind of commitment, then Cub
may not be for you. I explain there are all kinds of jobs to fit all
of situations. Some small, some large, some are one time events, some
last all year. I tell about training and resources to help the new
Then we pass out the pack survey form that ask for address, telephone,
occupation, and such. On the bottom are two lists of jobs. Job
sheets are at each table. Each family MUST choose either one job from
column one or three jobs from column two.
Parents are already sitting at tables by grade level. So it is easy to
dens. All of the existing/returning den leaders are there to help and
answer questions. Registration forms are collected from each table/den
only when there is a den leader and assistant identified and all other
families volunteer for other jobs. The leaders leave the room and I tell
them they do not have to convince me they are too busy to help. They
have to convince the other parents they are busier than they are.
Two other methods work well: Tiger Cubs is designed to identify
potential den leaders. The program shows them it's not that tough to
run a meeting. At the end of school I check the school directory and
identify those Tigers who are the oldest in their family. Chances are
parents are not yet involved in 50 other activities. So I then use the
GREATEST method of recruiting new leaders:
Face to face individual asking. Please help ME provide Cub Scouting
to your son. I expect a 75% success ratio when I combine the above
In our own pack, we sometimes introduce the leaders and tell what they
do for a living. It's good for new parents to see that the current
are not just a bunch semi-retired people with too much time on their
hands but are every day folk just like them with busy careers. It's nice
that our current list of den leaders and the CC includes a heart
a small business owner, and a single mom. So I tell them to think
about these volunteers before they say "I'm too busy".
Peter M. Murphy :: email@example.com
SM T125, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church
Carmel, Indiana :: Del-Mi District, Crossroads of America Council
Life is short, pray hard.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City