You’ve got a story to tell.
It’s about a group of young people who have come together as a team to go on adventures, experience new things, grow as individuals and have a ton of fun.
Sounds like the plot for a best-seller, but it’s better. It’s Scouting. Now you just have to find an audience for your story.
We call this process recruiting. Finding new Scouting families is vital to the growth of this movement we all love.
The job belongs to everyone: volunteer and professional, Cubmaster and committee member, Tiger and Venturer.
Knowing your role in recruiting and how you can share your unit’s unique story within the community is the subject of the July 2015 ScoutCast, available now.
Listen (or read) as Michael Ramsey, department manager of Marketing and Experience Management, explains how spreading the joy of Scouting in our communities can be your best recruiting tool.
You really should listen to the whole thing, but here are three big takeaways:
1. Involve your chartered organization
Your chartered organization offers more than just a convenient meeting spot. They can also be a main source for recruiting new families into your unit.
Ramsey says this can be as simple as having the religious leader announce Join Scouting Night during the service. Or perhaps you place a notice on the bulletin board or church website.
And of course there’s Scout Sunday and Scout Sabbath.
“In my church, in particular, when the pastor stands up and says, ‘If you were ever involved in Scouting, will you please stand,’ you just get shivers when you look out across the congregation and see the number of people that Scouting has touched over the years and the base of support that we have in those communities,” Ramsey says. “Our challenge is, how do we reach out to those alumni and people that have been impacted by the program and bring them to help the next generation of kids?”
2. Harness the power of some great new resources
The BSA’s Marketing and Membership Hub is one of the best websites to come out of the organization in a long time.
As Ramsey explains, the hub includes posters, flyers, charts, yard signs, stickers and other recruitment assets — all available for free to anyone.
“It also includes what we call playbooks,” he says, which are “strategies on how to run a great Join Scouting Night and how to promote yourself in the community.”
The Cub Scout Playbook is available now, and a Boy Scout version is in the works.
You’ll even find social media playbooks that give you suggestions for reaching out via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and any other current (or future) social media channels.
3. Remember the power of the press
Print is dead? Hardly! Local newspapers (and, yes, their websites) represent a great opportunity to share your message with the community.
“People talk a lot about the demise of the local newspapers, but the reality is a lot of our community newspapers are going strong and they are looking for great, positive stories about families, about youth, about Scouting,” Ramsey says.
“Something as simple as sending a photo to your local newspaper with a little write-up in the bottom of it” will do, he says. “Every Eagle Scout project should have somebody assigned to take pictures and share those things with a local media outlet.”
Meanwhile, on CubCast
The July 2015 CubCast, ready for your ears (or eyes) now, discusses the new requirements for STEM awards.
Changes to the Cub Scout program in June meant changes to the requirements for the STEM Nova and Supernova awards.
Teresa Colletti of the Greater St. Louis Council has the scoop.