On Target with Scouting
The On Target with Scouting program is designed to support district and council Cub Scout recruiting efforts through a BSA partnership with Daisy Outdoor Products and their distribution locations (Walmart, Bass Pro, Academy, Big R., Cabela’s, Dicks, Dunham’s Sports, Gander Mountain, K-Mart, Meijer, etc.) for on-site recruiting opportunities, or other locally identified locations.
With a focus on safety and fun, this program invites families in your community to experience an adventures that only Scouting can offer. The program leverages an activity that kids love while showing parents that Scouting teaches safety and fosters their child’s creativity, initiative, and sense of wonder.
Your council or district will host a community event for parents and youth to have the opportunity to learn gun safety while shooting BB-guns in an inflatable, portable range suitable for inside or outside use.
All of the details (supplies, snacks, instructors, setup, and promotion) will be taken care of by the council or district.
Through this simple interaction, parents will see the experience, friendships, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that Scouting can offer their children. This experience can be a “test drive” of the Scouting experience. Scouting employees and volunteers will be on-hand to help with the event, answer any questions, and of course, sign up new Scouts! This playbook will act as your guide for planning, promoting, and carrying out an event in your area.
Planning the Activity
Just as with any event, being prepared is key. Fortunately, this shooting sports is not a new activity to many of our districts or councils. This is meant to be a fun, easy to implement community event. But there are a few things you will need to have in place beforehand, so here are some suggestions to get started.
Determine Your Strategy
The On Target with Scouting program can be used as either a single, stand-alone event, or as part of a broader recruiting effort. For example, the program could be promoted at back-to-school nights or other similar presentations to incentivize families to join Scouting. Or you could plan to host this as an open community event and be prepared to recruit at the event itself. You can have unit and district membership representatives on site, and having access to “Be A Scout” unit location software is always a plus.
Set a Budget
Once you have committed to holding an On Target with Scouting event, budget the appropriate funds needed so that you can provide enough ammunition, targets, snacks, etc. Other costs to consider may include the following: event venue, food & drink, awards and prizes, as well as other miscellaneous event costs.
Pick a Date
This can be an outdoor or indoor activity, depending on the venue. Specify a beginning and ending time, but advertise the event as an “open time” for when families can show up and participate.
Reserve a Venue
Select a family friendly, open location to host the event. A city park, local nature center, local Daisy distributors (Walmart, Bass Pro, Academy, Big R., Cabela’s, Dicks, Dunham’s Sports, Gander Mountain, K-Mart, Meijer, etc.) or even Scout camp (as long as it’s close by) are all great options. The most important things to keep in mind when choosing a venue are that it’s easy to get to and that the venue has plenty of space for those who attend. Be sure to reserve the venue months in advance. And also be sure to check with your local city or county to be sure there are no restrictions on shooting BB-guns at your venue.
A shopping list of potential materials is available, but your most basic need will be the Daisy inflatable range, Daisy air rifles, a supply of BB ammunition (not pellets), and targets with your council information for each of the youth attending the event. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to order certain items to ensure you have everything needed prior to the event.
The Event Safety Checklist in the Guide to Safe Scouting and the Program Hazard Analysis found in the Scouting Safely section on Scouting.org can assist local operators in discussing safety conditions specific to their area. Safety is integrated into the program by design but is not necessarily called out as such. This includes range layouts, limitations on the guns used, and requirements for eye protection as well as the need for qualified supervisors who know and understand the equipment being used. This Operations Guide contains the program in its entirety. Multi-gun activities outside of these parameters have not been evaluated and are not considered official Scouting activities. This operations guide will be revised occasionally as changes are made to equipment, operation, and technology, so please keep an eye out for updates. The latest version is available online.
Plan to have a meal service run throughout the event. If your event is held during the day, plan on having a designated lunch time, but also keep in mind that depending on when families show up, some may want to eat before and some after. Be flexible. Choose something simple such as hotdogs and snacks.
Organize Staff & Volunteers
Like most things in Scouting, this event will only work with the help of our dedicated volunteers and professional staff. This is a great opportunity for parents, alumni, and donors to get involved. Below are suggested staffing needs with recommended numbers of people. Be aware that your staffing needs will vary depending on how many people show up to the event.
Promoting the Activity
It doesn’t matter how fun the event is if nobody shows up. Here are a few tried and true tactics you can use to get the word out. Remember to think outside the box and apply them to your community’s specific situation. We have created customizable assets to fit your individual needs that can be found by accessing the BSA Brand Center.
If you are hosting at one of Daisy’s distributors (Walmart, Bass Pro, Academy, Big R., Cabela’s, Dicks, Dunham’s Sports, Gander Mountain, K-Mart, Meijer, etc.) be sure to leverage through their retail influence also. Consider promoting it as a “Scout Night” or “Scout Saturday” where Scouts that bring a new friend earn the “Recruiter” strip.
Be sure your current parents and volunteers are aware of the event and are invited to participate. This is a recruiting event, and our best recruiters are those who are currently in love with our programs. A Scout family that brings their friends to an event is one of the most powerful recruiting tools we have.
Be sure to promote the event on your council’s social media channels. Encourage parents and adults to share photos from the event on their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Often, any local businesses you partner with will be willing to share the event with their online communities as well.
Reach out to your network digitally by sending them an email that promotes the event and includes links to learn more about Scouting in their community.
Fliers, posters, yard signs, etc. are great ways to drive awareness and promote the event in your local area. Professionally designed assets have been created for you to leverage during your recruiting efforts
School outreach is a great opportunity to promote your On Target with Scouting event. Back to School recruiting nights provide an opportunity to invite new Scouts to the event and allow boys who are not signed up yet to see Scouting in action. For new Scouts that sign up at the back to school night, a Daisy Scouting on Target or patch could be provided to them as an incentive for signing up. Daily morning announcements, take home mail, and weekly emails to parents are also great options to explore.
Public Relations/Earned Media
Reach out to your local newspapers and news stations and invite them to attend the event and do a story. Local news organizations usually appreciate advanced notice so be sure to let them know at least a week or two in advance. Additionally, consider inviting a local blogger as well.
Work with local businesses to have them provide prizes for the kids. Partner with churches and other local nonprofits (such as a science center or kids club) and invite them to participate as well. In addition to taking flyers to community centers, make sure it ends up on their online calendars.
Holding the Activity
The event itself is organized into four different stations that families and their Scouts will move through.
Check-in / Check-out
At the check-in station, provide each Scout and family with a Safety Talk, be issued. At the check-in station, families will also be able to ask questions and receive additional information about Scouting, specifically about units in their area. Access to “BeAScout.org” and the unit locator feature will be very helpful to the parents and staff at this station.
Course Safety Briefing
Cover the General guidelines, Qualifications, Purpose of the shooting event, Range layout and limits, Safety rules, Firing line commands, and Emergency procedures. All documents are found in the appendix.
BB Gun Shooting Experience
After the Course Safety Briefing, participants take their target to the Daisy Inflatable Range and begin their shooting experience. Depending on timing, amount of ammunition and the number of participants, you can let them shoot as few as 10 BB’s, or as many as you like. This is also a great spot to take pictures!
Awards & Snacks
After shooting, the Scout and family will be given their targets, any recognition and prizes (if applicable) and served lunch or snacks.
Recruiting at The EventRecruiting at the event itself should occur naturally and organically. When parents and youth have the opportunity to participate in Scouting and see what it’s all about, they tend to be much more responsive to recruiting messages. Be sure to have plenty of recruiting material on-hand and provide opportunities to sign up, but remember to keep it light and informal. Families came here to have a fun time, not to hear a sales pitch.
Follow UpAfter the event, it is appropriate to follow up with the parents and families that attended and include them in future council communications. Send an email to new families thanking them for their time and sharing photos or recaps from the event. Include an invitation to join a local pack if they haven’t already. The important thing is to follow up and ensure that those who have a desire to become part of Scouting are able to do so.