BSA District Journey to Excellence
#3-5 : Membership Recruiting
[ Organize / Cyber #1 / Schools / Referrals / Social Media / Community Events / Scout Show / Coordinators / Service / More Ideas / Roundtable / Resources / Troop / Crew / Ship / Order of Arrow ]
District JTE Strategies - a series of articles and resources to help scouting volunteers deliver the best possible youth program to their community.

    #3: Gold Standard:
    Market Share = 13% of total youth population (TAY)

    #4: Gold Standard:
    Youth Growth = 2% increase of Prior Year

    #5: Gold Standard:
    New Member Recruiting = 4% TAY Plus 1% Growth in Cubs, Scouts and Venturers

      Note: Here you have three different metrics for measuring district growth through new member recruiting. You don't need perfection in each, but every district/council should give top priority to a strong membership committee program.

    Random ideas for Districts, Councils, Packs, Troops, Crews, OA Lodge, Ships.

    A. Organize & Train Your Recruitment Team:

    Every unit should have a recruitment committee and recruitment plan. This team should meet frequently to review their progress with all of the 100+ recruitment tips listed below.


      1. Start with Prayer - Scouting is a noble endeavor, ask for His Divine Help in your sincere efforts to make your world a little bit better.
      2. Collect Contact Info - For each new prospect collect the following info-
      • Prospective Scout name, age, school
      • Parents Name
      • Phone #
      • Email

      3. Create Unit Recruitment Team - Get help from other adults and older youth.
      4. Create Annual Recruitment Plan -
      5. Important Recruitment Supplies -
      • Prepare Unit One-Sheet - one-page flyer about the unit, important contacts, annual calendar of events and unit goals (Ie "have fun").
      • Stack of Scout Interest Cards -
      • Stack of Adult Applications -
      • Stack of Youth Applications -
      • Stack of Boys Life Samples -

      6. Get Scout Leader Basic Training - Having a rich understanding of the program will greatly enhance your success as a unit recruiter.
      7. Attend Wood Badge - This advance scouting leadership training course will give you some awesome skills to greatly enhance your success as a unit recruiter.
      8. Frequently attend unit activities - Look for new faces of youth, adults, and siblings that are participating or could be potential participants.
      9. Presentation to Unit Committee - advise your unit on how they can assist the recruitment effort.
      10. Participate in District Membership Committee - get update info on recruitment events and opportunities in your area.
      11. >Attend District Roundtable Monthly - get update info on recruitment events and opportunities in your area. Several times a year they have recruitment refresher sessions and updated recruitment collateral.
      12. Study BSA Year-Round Guide to Boy Scout Recruiting - 6-page pdf.
      13. BSA Recruiting Hub - More online resources.
      14. Prepare Recruitment Station - table, tablecloth, large posters, easles, handouts, etc. (My best posters were photos of the youth doing super fun outdoor activities. I also had old boys life magazines ready to handout too.)

    B. Cyber Presense Update:


      15. Update "BeAScout" Cyber Pin - BSA National and Council conducts various large scale marketing campaigns that directs parents to use this interactive online map to find the right scouting unit nearest their home or school or special interest. Proof that your "pin" is working, has the right contact info and a good description of your program and link to your unit website.
      16. Build Unit Website - Many perspective families will do online research before contacting you again. Your website presense should have great pictures and family testimonials to help sell your unit. State your unit mission and purpose.
      17.ScoutWiki Unit Pin - Update your unit listing on this additional volunteer scouting cyber marketing effort.

    C. School Recruiting:

    School Night for Scouting is for kids in kindergarten through 5th grade; which are the normal Cub Scout ages. From June to August, watch your District Roundtable for training cub scout recruiting, and organizing School Night for Scouting in your area.


      18. School Night for Scouting (SNFS) - a one night event at the start of the school year, where we provide the opportunity to sign-up for Cub Scouts at every elementary school in the district. Most new scouting recruits come from this event. Ask your district executives which schools (public, private, charter, church-school, home-school, etc) are in your neighborhood and have not been assigned to a Cub Pack as of yet.
      19. School Community Newspapers - they are always looking for appropriate news stories. Share with them about scouts, activities, accomplishments, etc.
      20. School Message Boards -
      21. PTA Meetings - link School Night for Scouting with parent orientation, a PTA meeting, or some other event that is more heavily promoted. Some packs often provides crafts and games for the children while parents are meeting teachers.
      22. PeachJar.org - What's After Class? - Many schools now contract with PeachJar to deliver timely online notices about approved after-school programs like sports and scouting. (Normally $25 per listing, but ask around about "Free" listings.)
      23. New Family Orientation Night - Schedule a scout night roughly 1-2 weeks after the School Night Recruiting to welcome them to your pack, collect signup forms and initial membership fees.

    D. Word of Mouth Referrals:


      24. Recruiter Recognition - Scout to Scout "word of mouth" referrals is certainly the most effective way attract and retain new members. Encourage the youth to earn and display this patch.
      25. Encourage Scouts to Wear the Class B shirts - especially before Back To School Night or any School Festival.
      26. Encourage Adult Scouters to Wear the Class B shirts or other souvenir scouting shirts - (I frequently get positive feedback when I wear mine out in public.)
      27. Custom Troop Bumber Sticker - place on scout vehicles, trailers, camp gear, school binders, and more.
      28. Benefits of Scouting Flyer - Prepare a summary recap handout of the many benefits of Scouting.
      29. "Invite A Friend" - Every scouting activity flyer should include a reminder to the scouts to bring a friend. Fun activities is their opportunity to make a positive impression.
      30. Unit Pass-along Cards - for unit adult scouters to share with acquaintances and street contacts
      31. Serve your Neighbors - encourage scouts to look for frequent opportunities to serve their neighbors.
      32. Scouting Posters for the Home - Encourage scouting families to hang scouting posters in the home.
      33. Digital Device Background - encourage youth and adults to have a scouting theme backdrop for their phone, reader, computer or other digital device.
      34. U>Share Scout theme videos - in social media, Youtube, facebook, twitter.
      35. Unit Newsletter - monthly, quarterly or annual.
      36. Frequent Field Trips - every scout outting is a unique opportunity to interact with the general population and to show your unit brand.
      37. Make New Friends - A Scout is Friendly - as often as possible. Look for someone who needs a friend.
      38. Discover New Hobbies - Make friends thru new hobbies and find a scouting connection.
      39. Use Scouting Lingo - Get friends to ask you about what those words mean.

    E. Social Media Marketing:


      40. Business Message Boards -
      41. Church Message Boards -
      42. NextDoor.org - "The Private Social Network for Your Neighborhood."
      43. Facebook Advertising -
      44. #Beascout Hashtag on Twitter -
      45. Share a daily/weekly scout message
      46. Encourage Scouter Blogging - Many scouters have different journal methods and reach different audiences.
      47. Facebook Comments - post scout positive comments in Facebook.
      48. Include US Flag Image - scientifically proven to have a positive persuasive effect for scouting recognition.
      49. Facebook Compliments #1 - Thank people and organizations for their support of scouting or the country or for our Veterans.
      50. Facebook Quote of the Day -
      51. >Facebook Links - Great BoysLife Articles - link to fun articles in BoysLife, Scouting Wire, etc.
      52. Facebook Links - Scouting News - Find lots of positive eagle service project news articles. Positive, complementary, service, and humorous. (There are always lot.)
      53. Unit Twitter Handle - #Troop726SDIC
      54. Unit Instagram Account -
      55. Unit Facebook Page - I ran mine like a big private group scrapbook to share event pictures with scouter families. These families could then share with their friends and extended family.
      56 : Open for more ideas

    F. Community Events:


      57. Local Attraction Discout Rates - Many families with tight budgets enjoy visiting local attractions and benefitting from the discount rates available to large groups such as scouts.
      58. Local Attraction VIP Tours - Many families enjoy that scout groups frequently enjoy VIP guided tours to local attractions.
      59. Community Message Boards - such as Elks Lodge, Kiwanis, YMCA or your Charter Organization.
      60. Community Event Display - try and have a recruiting booth at community events, like National Night Out, Christmas Parade, christmas caroling, etc.
      61. YMCA Events - check a YMCA or JCC in the area they are always running community events. Setup a table at the YMCA heathy kids day, start of the fall basketball season, trunk or treat etc.
      62. Pinewood Derby DisplayCommunity events—set up a booth with a pinewood derby track and some cars.
      63. Community Flag Ceremonies - get short news clips in the school parent news letter and do flag ceremonies whenever we can.
      64. Interfaith Council Events - Contact interfaith councils / participate in interfaith events.
      65. Scout Day at the Ballpark - another opportunity to show the community our scouting spirit and have a fun time doing it.
      • Petco Park - Campout on the BallField - popular scout event. Frequently done by out-of-council units staying the week at nearby Camp Fiesta Island Summer Camp.
      • Harlem Globetrotters - All Scout tickets include a commemorative Harlem Globetrotters patch.
      • Zoo Roar and Snore Sleepover - sleepovers include camp activities, an after-hours look at the wild life of our animals, guided walks, a campfire program, dinner, an evening snack, and breakfast the following morning.

      66. Ten Commandments Hike - Combination high-profile parade, wave the flag, Duty to God, etc. Visits several local churches, including many that don't sponsor a scout unit but are more than happy to host a scout visit.

    G. Scout Shows:


      67. Scout Show - games, scout skills, food trucks, and more. A lot of other units have been going to back too school events, PTO events, and family nights at the schools.
      68. Recognition Dinner for Charter Org -
      69. Advancement Ceremonies - Invite extended family and friends to major advancement ceremonies.

    H. New Member Coordinator:


      70. New Member Coordinator- Dramatically boosts efforts to retain new families.

    I. Community Service:


      71. JustServe.org #1 - Post all unit serve projects on JustServe and invite the public to join you there.
      72. JustServe.org #2 - Look for service projects in your community that your scout unit can assist with.
      73. JustServe.org #3 - A common ongoing service project is the international family history indexing project at many Family History Center's of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This activity is open to youth as young as age 11 and involves simple reading and data entry skills for as little as one-hour.
      74. Historic Sites - Service project for local historic sites.
      75. Eagle Project List - Prepare a list of Eagle Projects ideas that provide maximum visibility in the community.
      76. Invite Community to Service Projects -
      77. Scouting for Food - Contact all your neighbors. Include Scout Unit pass-a-long card.

    J. More Ideas:


      78. Build/Edit ScoutWiki, MeritBadge.org, Wikipedia, or other Open Content Forum - Add Content on scouting activities and adventures that promote scouting. As the community sees more examples of scouting taking the lead in providing family friendly outdoor activities, recruitment opportunities will increase.
      79. Wood Badge Ticket - Every scouting Wood Badge Candidate should have at least 1 "Ticket" project involving boosting their unit membership. It could begin with anything on this list or being something entirely different.
      80. Recycle Boys Life - drop off those old copies at the waiting room for your doctor, dentist, resort, work/school cafeteria. Donate to local public libraries.
      81 - 86 : Open for more ideas

    K. Roundtable Ideas:


      87. Recruitment Training - This should be a major session of District Roundtable, several times a year, especially in the early summer months.
      88. New Unit Moment - A brief roundtable big rock is to review with the membership new units being formed in the area.
      89. Preview New Recruiting Videos - a fun big rock item for Roundtable.

    L. Recruitment Resources:


      90. BSA Membership Recruitment Hub - From recruiting ideas to social media best practices, the Hub provides a one-stop resource to discover, activate, and improve your marketing and recruiting strategy.
      91. BSA Brand Center - With new digital-specific guidelines, the BSA brand identity guide contains all the tools you need to craft messages and materials that resonate with today’s families while keeping true to the BSA brand.

    M. Troop Recruiting:


      92. Webelos Woods -
      93. Den Chiefs - It is amazing how much cub scouts admire and respect the older boy scouts. Have him share a moment at pack meeting about their hi-adventure trips.

    N. Crew Recruiting:

    Every group needs a "shiny object" that grabs the interest of the young crowd, today's youth have so many competing interests!


      94. Camporee Exhibits - Lots of the best candidates for older scout units are those scouts that are actively participating at District Camporees.
      95. Host Merit Badge Clinic - Many crews have special talents and could host some phenomenal merit badge classes.
      96. Scout Summer Camp Exhibits -
      97. District Webelos Woods - While there are usually many strong scout units present trying to recruit the webelos, this would be a great opportunity for the Crews to strut their stuff.
      98. Invite a Friend Night - The friends get a special gift .
      99. Special Event Day/Night - Shooting sports and arcade game day. For STEM enthusiasts, launching rockets, indoor rock climbing wall, RC vehicles, and drones are all popular.
      99B. Troop Court of Honor Displays -
      99C. School’s Eagle Scout Display inspires Others : Bryan on Scouting - See what they do at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge NJ. (11-Dec-2018)

    O. Sea Scout Recruiting:


      100. Camporee Exhibits - Lots of the best candidates for older scout units are those scouts that are actively participating at District Camporees.
      101. Host Troop Sail Adventures - Have a promotional display at District Roundtables.
      102. Scout Summer Camp Exhibits -

    P. Order of the Arrow Recruiting:


      103. Camporee Exhibits - Lots of the best candidates for older scout units are those scouts that are actively participating at District Camporees.
      104. Indian Lore Merit Badge - OA units have the best material to present this
      105. Scout Summer Camp Exhibits -
      106. District Webelos Woods - While there are usually many strong scout units present trying to recruit the webelos, this would be a great opportunity for the Crews to strut their stuff.
      107. December Roundtable - Inform all Scoutmasters about the importance of January OA Elections. Include big display (pictures / video / etc) to help scouts understand what is OA.
      108. OA Retention - Experience has shown that the vast majority of youth of the next generation prefer their communication via text messaging instead of email! (Make it happen.)

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