It’s August, which means every Scout leader starts hearing about three things – Recruit, Recruit, Recruit. As a leader, I think many of us start to wonder why there is such a push to bring in new Scouts? I’m working hard at making sure my current scouts have a great experience, so where do I find the time to also bring in new Scouts? Why does the Council push this so much – is it just about the money?
I can’t answer that question for everyone, but I have the answer for myself. Here are just some of the reasons that I’m passionate about recruiting new members!
- Simply put, a steady flow of youth into a Pack or Troop is essential to maintaining the unit’s health.
- New Scouts bring energy and enthusiasm to any program — it’s new to them! Their energy can re-invigorate your current scouts
- On average, a unit can lose 10%-20% of their members in a given year, whether to aging out (Cub Scouts leaving for the Troop, Troop youth turning 18), competing priorities (sports, etc), parents moving, etc — replacing those Scouts are essential to unit success
- Units who don’t recruit new members are ones that eventually struggle and can fold –not because there isn’t a dedicated, knowledgeable group of Scout Leaders and Scouts who love what they’re doing, but because they eventually don’t have enough youth to continue a program
- Scouting is a great way for youth to build relationships and work with others — by recruiting new members, you are helping your existing Scouts to work with others
- Experienced Scouts develop by teaching new Scouts, both at the Pack and at the Troop
- New Scouts also mean an opportunity for new volunteers
- New parents / guardians are an excellent source for leaders in your unit — they’re interested enough in Scouting to sign-up their son or daughter
- Setting expectations of volunteering is key with new parents — lay out the expectations for volunteering at the beginning and follow-through on it.
- New parents may have the skills you’re looking for — maybe an accountant can be your treasurer, or that one new parent is an Eagle Scout or earned their Gold Award may be a Den Leader or future Cubmaster
- Bringing the Scout experience to new Youth – Finally, the largest and most important reason
- You’re reading this, so I’d guess that like me, you’re passionate about Scouting — and have seen the benefit of being in Scouting personally, either yourself or through your children / grandchildren
- Scouting is good for the Scout’s life – bringing young people into contact with a network of caring adults and offering participants fun, adventure and a wide array of learning experiences.
- Scouting is good for family life – giving parents and children meaningful time together, strengthening family relationships and building lifetime memories.
- Scouting is good for the lives of others – organizing service projects to make our communities better places and creating an ethic of service above self.
- Scouting is good for a lifetime – teaching lifelong values like integrity and respect for others. And the friendships made in Scouting, as well as leadership skills and practical knowledge, stay with participants long after their days as youth members are over.
- See the Top 10 Facts highlighted from a 2012-2013 study on the benefit’s of Scouting conducted by Wilder Research
Why do you recruit new members? Share your reasons in the comments below!