Recruitment and retention. Aside from program implementation these are two of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy unit. Be it a pack, troop or crew, without members there can’t be a program.
As we approach the fall and get ready for the “back to school season” it is important that unit leadership work together to formulate a plan for their biggest opportunity for annual recruitment. Opportunities to recruit and engage the community are all around you. From large scale community events, to setting up a table at a back to school event, the opportunities are plentiful.
If you are looking for ideas or want some additional inspiration there are some great resources out there. Online resources like www.Scoutingwire.org contain invaluable information and resources when it comes to marketing and recruitment. For example, the “Adopt A School Program”, is a fantastic way for packs, troops and crews to make a positive impact while further developing relationships with schools in their communities. Of course, the District Committee is always a resource as well. Don’t forget about all the great leadership and veteran Scouters around you.
Remember to delegate. It takes a team to make these recruitment efforts a success. Be sure to utilize the skills already at your disposal. Your www.my.Scouting.org profile and www.beaScout.org site are tremendous tools when it comes to recruitment and processing of applications. Be sure that you are utilizing those Key 3 positions as well as delegating the additional positions to those who are involved in your unit leadership/committee.
DITCH THE PAPER APPS! Ensure that your unit’s www.beaScout.org site and online application portal are active and contain the correct information. If the Scout or Scouter is new they can complete and submit an online application right then and there! Once the applicant has been approved by the unit leadership and paid for, the applicant is then registered. The online system is proven to be faster and more accurate.
Lastly and most importantly, remember that Scouting is FUN! Be sure to engage your audience with a smile! If you’re not having fun, then they probably aren’t either.