How do you increase visibility within your chartered organization?

The Scenario

Troop 21’s membership has been dwindling the past few years. Not too long ago, it was 50-members-strong; today, membership is down to 23. Families have moved; Scouts have aged out of the program; some have dropped out for other reasons — the problem is that the troop hasn’t been able to attract very many new Scouts. It perplexing, especially since the troop’s chartered organization is a large church with a robust and active youth group.

When Troop Committee Chair Ryan approached the church’s new youth group pastor recently to ask if he could put a flyer up on the bulletin board in the youth group’s room, the pastor replied, “Oh, a Scout troop meets at this church? I didn’t know.”

The Answer?

It’s not an uncommon problem. A Scouter whose troop meets on a military base approached us with a similar scenario:

We are almost invisible to the residents, except for a very few events which we take part in annually. This anonymity is hurting our membership and I wondered if anyone else has had problems similar to what we’ve been going through for years.

Here are some tips on strengthening your unit’s ties to your chartered organization, but we want to also hear some advice from you. How do you get the word out about Scouting to your chartered organization? How do you find ways to recruit within your chartered organization?

About Michael Freeman 446 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.