Roll out the welcome mat!

This fall, we’ll be joined by families new to Scouting. Curious about the flyer they might have picked up at a school assembly or by what their excited son or daughter told them about Cub Scouts, they’ll be walking through our doors into what – for them – is a great unknown.

Think back to when you were brand new to Scouting. Was there someone who welcomed you in and showed you what our program is all about?

If not, there should have been, and now we have that someone who can help your new families feel welcome and get them into the swing of things.

The New Member Coordinator is a unit committee position who volunteers to work with new families, sharing the benefits and features of Scouting. They also can help coordinate recruiting efforts, and guide and assist new members with signing up and getting up to speed. In short, they’re the new member ambassadors for the unit.

To support these aims, there are several opportunities for the New Member Coordinator. To share the benefits of Scouting, they can rely on their own Scouting story to tell new families about the fun that lies ahead and the benefits to their children. They can engage on social media and at community events and functions, and they can give examples of how Scouting helps the community and youth have fun and be of service.

Behind the scenes, the New Member Coordinator can help with in-school recruiting by arranging with the school, and even helping with, the “Boy Talk” or other presentation. They can help the unit committee plan and carry out recruiting and joining activities, and make sure the unit’s BeAScout pin has accurate information.

Most importantly, though, the coordinator’s job is to make families feel welcome. Meet and greet them as they come to your recruiting events. Help with the recruiting meeting through planning and taking a role to put the plan into action. Work with your unit commissioner to make sure that new Scout and adult applications get turned in promptly. Talk to families and ask them how their experience is going and find out ways to help improve your unit’s program.

The New Member Coordinator is a committee position, appointed by the committee chair, and registered as a Committee Member (MC). There can be more than one – you might want two or three to handle the influx. Most of the work of the New Member Coordinator is done early in the program year, but they should be alert to opportunities to connect with families throughout the year so they’ll have a greater sense of belonging. Scouts get more out of Scouting when families strongly feel that they’re part of the unit.

The Boy Scouts of America has more information on the New Member Coordinator position including a brief training video. Start thinking about who might make a good coordinator for your unit and invite them to help welcome your new members!

This post first appeared on Bobwhite Blather.
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