scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Recruiting Homeschoolers
Anthony Mako (ajmako@NLS.NET
Mon Jun 26 2000 - 12:27:10 CDT
<Darryl Hammill wrote>
I was wondering what your District or Council is doing to attract
homeschoolers to Scouting. As membership chair for our District, I am always
For instance, in our county we have over 1,400 families registered as home
schoolers. That actually could represent more than 1,400 students. Buts,
lets assume there is only one child in the house - and that only 1/2 of them
are young men. That means I would be able to reach into a pool of 700 young
men as potential recruits. What a great opportunity.
I don't know what our district or council is doing to reach these families,
but I know two possible avenues to doing so:
1) Locate the local Homeschool Association. You can usually get a contact
name from the local school district, but not much else. All you need is that
contact. You can then send a letter to that person in order to initiate a
conversation about recruiting for the Boy Scouts. Don't ask for an address
list or anything like that. Simply ask about the possibility of holding an
Open House for the members of the Homeschool Association.
2) Use your resources in the existing membership (i.e. Charter Institutions,
volunteers) who may have friends and family who are part of this group.
In our area we discovered a church nearby where about 60% of the children
are homeschooled. Our DE found out about it while talking to the pastor
about starting a Cub Pack in the church. Now we have a pack with about 25
Cubs and our troop will be developing a relationship with that pack this
There are some other sources of potential members that may be being ignored.
Last year we had a recruiting drive in the local school district. The
response was considerably less than expected since the Copley-Fairlawn
School District is pretty populous. Down the street from our meeting place
is a private school. During last year's recruiting drive there were 6 sixth
graders in that school. The district didn't even bother to approach the
school for an open house. These are the reasons I was given:
1) There were only 6 boys in the sixth grade.
2) Most of the students live in other parts of the county.
The DE told me that since those 6 boys lived in other parts of the county,
they would *probably* be recruited into troop closer to their homes. He
never came right out and said it, but I got the feeling that the real reason
was because the number of potential members didn't justify the effort. I was
a bit flabergasted. It wouldn't have mattered to me if those 6 boys had
joined another troop. Relying on a *probably* however, is the worst thing
you can do. It's like NOT reaching out to a boy because he'll *probably* end
up leading a life of crime. By reaching out to him, you increase the chances
he'll end up living a normal, law-abiding life.
What is your experience with this avenue for new Scouts (and Scouters)? How
about this - any HomeSchool Units in your area?
Chances are pretty good that a group of homeschool parents would prefer
starting their own unit rather than joining an existing unit. Probably
nothing wrong with that. I would suggest that the best "sales" line for
homeschoolers is either "America is returning to the values Scouting never
left" or "Strong Values...Strong Leaders...Character Counts." The primary
reason, I believe, parents are opting for homeschooling is because they
don't want to abdicate their right to educate their children in morals -
something public school systems cannot do.
A. J. Mako, Scoutmaster, email@example.com
Old Portage District, Great Trail Council