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. Continue reading “Roll out the welcome mat!”

Three things you must do now

It’s already mid-August, which means school will be starting very soon for most, and with it the Cub Scout program year. Packs should have been planning their recruiting activities – Boy (and Girl!) Talks, exhibits and demonstrations at school activity nights, School Nights for Scouting (evening presentations and orientation for new Scouts and families) and the first whiz-bang pack meeting.

But there are three things you need to do as soon as possible. Continue reading “Three things you must do now”

Family Scouting Early Adopter program

In October 2017, the Boy Scouts of America took the historic step of deciding to allow girls into our Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting programs  The introduction of Family Scouting, as it’s known, into Cub Scout packs was to begin by the fall recruiting season in 2018, while the parallel program for girls of Boy Scout age is due to start sometime in 2019.

Now, under the Early Adopter program, councils which opt-in are allowing packs to begin recruiting girls this winter. Continue reading “Family Scouting Early Adopter program”

Looking from the outside in

At our church, I serve on a committee that oversees our communication efforts. Among our tasks are the advertising and promotions that we place in local media, our various “side-door” ministries (activities that help to enrich the community, like Scouting) and the church website. We redesigned the website this year, and one of the topics that we added was a look at our Sunday worship for those who are visiting us for the first time, and what they could expect when they walked through our doors.

As we tossed around ideas for the first-time visitor section, we had to envision walking into our church – something we do each week without much thought – as if we had never been there before. Sure, we had all been first-timers once, but it had been a long time since we gave it any thought. Not only did it open our eyes to things we stopped noticing years ago, but it led to some redesign work in the church to make it easier for newcomers to find their way.

The process got me to thinking about how first-time visitors to our packs and troops must feel. Continue reading “Looking from the outside in”

There IS a better tool

soccerball_250As fall recruiting season nears, we’re putting together our plans to make sure every boy has an opportunity to join Scouting – scheduling Join Scouting nights, polishing our presentations and getting ready with another year of fun, adventure and enrichment.

You can tell that fall is approaching because our competition is getting their act in gear as well. All over town, I’ve noticed signs springing up announcing that youth sports leagues are forming, for kids age 3 to 17. Competing for space on street corners with the political signs, these promote a certain non-profit organization that franchises youth sports programs in towns around the country.

I won’t mention the name of the organization, but a check of their website boasts of over one million participants in towns from coast to coast, offering leagues, camps and clinics in today’s most popular sports. In a way, the organization is similar to Scouting in that kids at all skill levels are welcome, with no tryouts. Everyone plays in every game, sessions are one day a week, and trained officials are present. There’s no mandatory volunteering and, unlike us, no fundraising of any kind. Continue reading “There IS a better tool”