Seascout-Net Mail Archive for February of 1999: Recruiting Proposal
Fri, 19 Feb 1999 12:58:42 EST
I sent the following Proposal to National in Novembe of 1998, recognizing =
they were going through a time of program and personal change, I didn't ex=
an answer for several months. Time's almost up. I plan to follow up with a
phone call and an additional letter next week. Any suggestions or comments
before Wednesday, Feb. 27, will be appreciated. (I do acknowledge that muc=
this is 'preaching to the choir'--but needed to be set down for clarificat=
Larry Rasner, Ship 347, Scottsdale, Az
Ship website <A HREF=3D"http://members.aol.com/lrasner/index.htm">Ship 347=
To: Charles Bayless, Chairman=09=09=09=09=09=09 November 12, 1998
=09National Venturing Committee
=09Boy Scouts of America
=091325 W. Walnut Hill Lane
=09Irving, Tx 75038
From: Larry Rasner, Committee Chair=09=09=09=09
=09 Sea Scout Ship 347, Grand Canyon Council
My Proposal: Lower the joining age and grade requirements for Venturing to=
years old and 8th grade.
Precedence: Over the last 40-50 years the joining ages have dropped from 8
years old in Cubs to 6 for Tiger Cubs and from 12 years of age for Boy Sco=
(Troop) to as low as 10+. I know that boys registered in Troops have "join=
Ships as "cabin boys" at 13. Probably other types of Venturing units have
similar scenarios. There are also those youth who join informally at age 1=
while waiting for 3-6 months for a birthday.
Commitment: Actually lowering the sign up age to 8th grade and 13 years wi=
allow both youth and their parents to register, pay dues and make the
commitment to the unit.
=09Reasons: 1.=09Vastly expanded competition for the individual's time. Th=
includes, cable TV, video games, and the Internet. These things didn't exi=
or were very limited even as late as 10 or 15 years ago. So the sooner we
expose them to Venturing the better chance they will see it as a worthwhil=
2.=09At age 14, mental and physical changes may have given the youth a dif=
outlook. At this point, they all, and especially perhaps those without str=
religious or family foundations, may benefit by having a continuing ethic=
peer group (such as BSA Venturing) as an anchor.
3.=09Once they begin high school, many new things must take up their time.
Homework of a more difficult kind, sports, band, chess club, etc. And lots=
decisions about what things to do and who to do them with.
But... If they have been with a good successful Venture Crew or Sea Scout =
for a year, they may very well continue with it throughout high school and
even bring new friends into the program.
4.=09If 20 typical boys join an average Troop in the 6th grade, how many a=
lost to the Troop each year? It seems that many of them who like the scou=
program will stay through the 7th grade. But then the dropout rate seems =
accelerate each year. Perhaps 3 or 4 of those typical boys will stay =91t=
high school. Obviously, the Explorer program was designed, in part, to
address this. At this age, they have started to seriously notice girls (a=
vice-versa). So, it makes sense to me to offer an 8th grade boy who is lo=
to the Troop a way of staying active, with a different emphasis and co-
educational. But sooner than the old Explorer program did.
5.=09Girls of this age seem to still have a high level of enthusiasm and t=
looking for a way to work, learn and compete with the boys. It's an
opportunity for them to participate earlier in a variety of outdoor activi=
with good people. (Naturally, they could do this anyway...but...)
6.=09If large numbers of 8th graders were to sign up, even with the expec=
attrition over the years, the ripple effect could be enormous throughout t=
high schools. Our good citizenship attitudes and Scout Spirit could make =
7.=09The middle schools (Jr. Highs) are looking desperately for stabilizin=
influences and anything that will help their students through this transit=
period of their lives. Scouting can certainly be a strong factor. I know t=
many parents are happy and grateful that their youth are involved with a s=
8.=09Many of the Venturing Units are suffering because of low membership. =
youth- - particularly young ones- - brings in more parents to be leaders.
With more active members, a unit can function better, work better, train a=
learn better and have more fun. Thus be more viable and of greater benefit=
PLAN: Our Ship would institute a pilot program beginning in January, 1999 =
several of the local middle schools, with whom we have excellent
relationships. Working closely with our Venturing Executive, Jim McKitteri=
we would track recruiting costs and effort, numbers of students targeted, =
many demonstrated interest, how many signed up, became active, participate=
regularly and attrition each month. Results could show value to the progra=
within one year.
"1st Year Apprentice": If these younger members seem too young for parts =
the program or activities then they would learn and train on fewer or less=
outings and events. For example, no night sailing or out of state long cru=
until age 14 or attaining the rank of Ordinary.
Please let me know if this is something we can try out. Our adult leaders=
current youth think it would be a big help to our Ship and to many other u=
6740 E. McDowell Rd.
Scottsdale, Az 85257
602-990-3222 E-mail: Lrasner@aol.com
copy: =09E.E. Hayes, Scout Executive, Grand Canyon Council
J. McKitterick, Venturing Director, GCC
=09Doug Smith, National Program Group Director
=09Charles Holmes, National Venturing Director
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