Jeremiah M. Crabtree (email@example.com)
Tue, 06 May 1997 11:04:43 -0400
Here are some ideas which might help you in your efforts to grow the
membership of your Ship. Some may not be applicable to your area, so
pick the ones you think would work. They all have been used at one time
or another by the SES SEA DEVIL. If you have individual questions
please address them to me off the net. If you have more ideas, please
share them on the net with everyone. Hope the below is of some help to
many of you.
Yours in Sea Exploring,
Jeremiah M. Crabtree
Former Skipper SES SEA DEVIL
1. Increase the visibility of your Ship in your community.
--Newspaper news releases (election of Petty Officers,
Advancement recognition, activities, etc.)
--Posters in prominant locations in the community (library,
schools, grocery stores, retail stores, community
--Flyers about your Ship and its program (Deliver them door to
door in your community).
--Information tables at a local mall or in front of a grocery or
large retail store.
** Have Sea Explorers in uniform
** Make brag boards (picture boards) or photo
albums of the Ship's activities.
** Have some "hands-on" items available
(demonstrate/teach knots/splicing, etc.)
** Have flyers with information on your ship
--Participate in community events for exposure (Adopt-a-Highway,
local parades, and other community events such as
-- Get your program on your local community cable television.
--Participate in Scout EXPO's and Camporees.
2. At least once a year compile a list of eighth or ninth graders in
your community that could be Prospective Members and plan a
--Obtain a listing of eighth and ninth graders' names,
addresses, and telephone numbers from the career
interest survey conducted in your area schools by your
local council. DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF TO THOSE YOUNG
PEOPLE WHO PUT DOWN BOATING, SAILING, SWIMMING, ETC. AS
THEIR LEISURE HOBBIES. SOME OF THE BEST SEA EXPLORERS
THE SES SEA DEVIL HAS HAD HAVE LISTED HORSEBACK RIDING,
BIKING, AND DRAMA AS THEIR LEISURE INTERESTS!!!!!!!
-- Go through yearbooks (and the local telephone directory) of
those schools that didn't participate in the career
interest surveys and compile a list of names, addresses,
and telephone numbers of prospective members. (Yes, you
are right, it isn't easy matching the names in the
yearbook to the families in the telephone book. There
are lots of Jones and Smiths.)
--Get a list of eighth and ninth graders (name, address,
telephone number) from your sponsoring institution's
membership families to add to your Prospective Member
list. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO HAVE SPONSORING
INSTITUTION FAMILIES INVOLVED IN YOUR PROGRAM!!!!!
-- Get a list of 8th and 9th graders in churches your current
members attend and names, addresses, and telephone
numbers of friends and neighbors who can be added to
your Prospective Member list.
-- Decide on a date, time, and location for a "FIRSTNIGHTER"
(Recruitment meeting). Make arrangements to use the
hall, room or whatever facility you will hold it in.
-- Prepare a personalized letter to be sent to each person on
your prospective member list. In addition to the date,
time, and location be sure to include some of your
Ship's exciting activities that you have planned for
the year ahead and even some of the superactivities your
Ship has done in the past. Personalize it by noting a
personal touch in long hand, for example, "Dear
Sam/Jane, looking forward to meeting you and sharing
with your our exciting and fun-filled program," "hope
you can make it", etc.
-- Prepare a top-quality, well-planned agenda for your
"FIRSTNIGHTER." It should focus on the opportunities
and activities offered by Sea Exploring and should
heavily involve the youth members of the Ship. Have a
slide or video presentation of some of the Ship's
exciting activities, get the prospective members
involved in some "hands-on" activities such as tying
knots, splicing, throwing a heaving line, etc.
--Arrange for permission to use a realty firm or business office
with multiple phone lines to call those prospective
members to whom you sent "FIRSTNIGHTER" invitations.
The calls should be made the Sunday afternoon or
evening before your FIRSTNIGHTER. This is to remind
them of the meeting and to tell them personally how much
you are looking forward to meeting them. The mailing
and the phone call combination should ensure between a
7-12 percent attendance at your "FIRSTNIGHTER". (In
other words, if you sent out 200 letters, and have made
200 phone calls you should have 14 to 24 Prospective
Members attend your "FIRSTNIGHTER.)
-- Address, stamp, stuff, seal and mail the invitations to the
Prospective Members to the "FIRSTNIGHTER". (the
invitations should be mailed 7-9 days before the
-- Arrange for refreshments (drink, cookies, cake, etc.) for
after the "FIRSTNIGHTER".
-- Have your Ship members arrive the night of the
"FIRSTNIGHTER" a few minutes early to set up the
hall/room. They should be in uniform and some should
be assigned as greeters to meet and welcome the
Prospective Members at the door. Be sure you have a
sign-in sheet to record the name, address, and
telephone number of each Prospective Member attendee.
Ensure that each Prospective Member gets Sea Exploring
literature and an Explorer Registration Form.
-- During the week following your "FIRSTNIGHTER", follow-up by
phone with all the Prospective Members who attended your
"FIRSTNIGHTER" but did not join that night. This phone
call could be the critical link in getting the
propective member to come back and join.
3. Recruit new members year-round.
--Bring a friend to a special Ship meeting or activity (Movie
night, boat day trip, etc.)
--Designate one meeting a month to bring prospective members.
--Word-of-Mouth is the best recruiter.
4. Be friendly and attentive to prospective members visiting your Ship
meetings. If they don't feel welcome, they certainly won't
join. Make that extra effort.
5. Most important perhaps of all is to have an exciting and adventurous
Ship program. After all, it is the program that the young
people are interested in.
6. If you are short in membership, invite members from another Ship to
come help you at your "FIRSTNIGHTER".