Working on your Cub Scout recruiting plans for 2015? Whether you’re perfecting your council’s strategies for the year or not sure where to begin, taking a look at some of 2014’s major successes can help get your team on track to spread Scouting to more kids. That’s why we’re highlighting a few councils that experienced stellar growth last year (And bonus! We’re giving you a few actionable takeaways for Cub Scout recruitment and retention if you read on).
Cub Scout Membership Growth Success Stories
- The Hermantown, MN, Council grew 8.1% in 2014 thanks to clear goal setting. The team reintroduced a membership incentive called “Rocket into Scouting”, partnering with St. Paul, St. Cloud, and Rochester Councils. The incentive offers model rockets and engines to kids new to the program.
- The Derby, CT, Council grew 5% last year by bolstering training and retention-focused events. This team hosted a sports lock-in for new Cub Scouts and their parents, and structured their fall membership campaign as a partnership between the membership committee and the commissioner staff.
- The Texarkana, TX, Council grew 9.3% last year due to insightful planning and collaboration with District Executives. The council worked to solidify relationships with school administrators by hosting a superintendent and principal breakfast, securing the team with more access to school for Boy Talks.
Cub Scout Recruiting Tips for Your Council
These three councils are among many standouts that implemented strategies for Cub Scout membership growth in 2014. From recruiting strategy revamps to simple fine-tuning of standard processes, councils are achieving growth thanks to a few recurring action items. Check out the list of tips below and identify a few you can begin implementing with your team right away:
- Establish a culture of membership growth urgency with staff and volunteers at all levels.
- Cultivate and develop better school relationships for increased access to students.
- Follow established campaign plans, steps, and processes with discipline.
- Establish goals and targeted objectives, track progress, and reward staff for results.
- Provide unit training and materials early in the campaign. Prepare for new youth by selecting and training required leaders in advance.
- Spread the recruitment message through increased publicity and advertising.
- Partner with additional community organizations and their resources to conduct more recruitment activities in other venues besides schools.
- Offer units and youth incentives to participate.
- Train volunteers to run recruitment nights similarly, using a simplified agenda.
- Conduct recruitment campaigns in the spring and fall.
- Conduct engaging and effective boy talks in every accessible school.
- Conduct recruitment night meetings at every school.
- Attract new youth and families with activities or events conducted during recruitment or soon afterwards.
Let’s Talk Retention
Growth for your council hinges on retention. Check out this list of retention tips and reflect on how your team can innovate:
- Assist new leaders with helpful online and accessible resources.
- Train more leaders.
- Engage commissioners to help units plan good annual programs.
- Identify packs in trouble and provide timely assistance.
- Track and focus on maximizing transitioning youth.
Now, we want to hear from you: how are you planning to boost your Cub Scout membership this year? Which of the above strategies do you think are most important?