Sign-up nights have been a keystone for Boy Scout recruiting for years, and for good reason: they work! Sign-up nights give parents and youth an opportunity to get to know Scouting at a personal level, face-to-face.
What Is Sign-Up Night?
Sign-up nights provide basic information about what Scouting offers youth and families in the area. This could be done through a formal presentation, an information table, a film about Scouting, or even through games and contests. The important thing is to get the family’s attention and let them see what Scouting is all about.
How to Execute a Sign-Up Night
The key to a successful sign-up event is thorough planning. You will need to work closely with the school or community center you are using, organize volunteers, and be prepared with any necessary materials such as information fliers, sign-up forms, and even treats. Planning should begin at least eight weeks in advance of the event.
- Get help – Assigning a unit membership chair and pack sign-up coordinator is a great first step to a successful recruiting season.
- Set goals – How many youth and families do you want to sign up for Scouting? How will you do that? Set goals that help you measure the success of your event.
- Get trained – Many councils and districts offer training for Cub Scout sign-up nights. Check with your council to see if there is training in your area.
- Reserve your spot – Sign-up events typically take place during the back-to-school recruiting season. For that reason, holding the event at a school is usually the best option. Contact your local school principals or superintendents to discuss your Cub Scout sign-up event and get permission to attend.
- Choose a “play” – Having a theme for a sign-up event is a great way to capture the attention of parents and incentivize them to sign up on the spot. The BSA National Service Center has put together several best-in-class programs to help you stand out in the crowd and get families excited about Scouting.
- Organize volunteers – Your pack sign-up coordinator should organize the sign-up event team for your unit, usually five to six people to act as “station chiefs.”
- Have fun! – Speak from the heart, don’t stress, and just enjoy the opportunity to introduce new parents to Cub Scouting.
Check Out the Sign-Up Night Unit Playbook
Learn more about the ins and outs of sign-up night for recruitment by visiting the Marketing and Membership Hub Sign-Up Night Unit Playbook. Do you have any tips or tricks for planning a great sign-up night? Share your comments and stories below!