It wasn’t adrenaline or horsepower that first got Pat Currie interested in all-terrain vehicles.
It was the potential these four-wheeled machines have to recruit new Scouts and to retain older Scouts and Venturers.
Currie, Scout Executive of the Dallas-based Circle Ten Council, learned of the Polaris ATV program after the BSA’s National Service Center conducted some eye-opening research.
The BSA identified activities that young men and young women enjoy that aren’t offered in Scouting. ATVs were high on the list.
OK, so nobody disputes that Scouts would love riding ATVs at council camps. But who’s going to pay for these machines?
That’s where Polaris Industries Inc. stepped in. They offered the machines to councils at the unbeatable price of free.
“We jumped on it quickly,” Currie says. “We thought it would be a great program to add.”
The reaction from Circle Ten Scouts and adults was overwhelmingly positive. And Polaris proved a perfect partner in teaching Scouts how to have fun, ride safely and respect the environment.
But for Scott Arrington, Circle Ten camping director, boosting summer camp attendance was the big draw. After adding Polaris ATVs, attendance at Circle Ten camps is up more than 13 percent. In 2016, the ATV programs were completely full for the first three weeks of camp.
“It’s got that bling factor,” Arrington says. “It’s got what you’d call curb appeal. You can put an ATV in your leader guide and … boom, they’re interested.”
Hear more from Currie and Arrington in the video below.