Article Submitted by Scot Fuller, Director of Field Service, Longhorn Council
Back in June, the Longhorn Council held a focus group targeting our highest performing units when it comes to recruitment. One general theme came out of this meeting: it takes the entire Scouting unit and their network engaging the families in their community to be successful. This was true for Cub Scout packs and Scouts BSA troops alike. As we heard this feedback, we put together plans on how we could do this in a new virtual world that we live in. We have worked to engage multiple networks to deliver the same message: Scouting continues, and we want you and your family to be a part of it.
- We need our packs and troops having a social media presence. One of our council membership committee members and an assistant council commissioner does marketing for a living. He understands the complexities of social media and that every platform put together a different message to get the word out. He put together a great two-month guide for units to be able to market their message through multiple platforms. You can download the guide here: Growing your Scouting unit – Social media
- We have more friends of Scouting than just current Cub Scout families. In discussion with our council VP of Membership, we talked through the idea that we typically only engage Cub Scout families on a fall recruitment campaign. We knew we needed to break this trend. We have networks in other program levels, in alumni, and especially our NESA members in our council. We put together a communication asking them to help us advertise for the BSA Family Fun Fest by simply adding the Family Fun Fest Facebook frame on their profile picture. It was a small ask, but it goes a long way. We are currently putting together a BeAScout.org frame as well to continue our marketing push.
- Engaging our former Scouts. 2020 has been like no other year in Scouting. We saw very early that we did not have the same number of cross-overs that we have had in previous years, and we knew we needed to get on that. We put together our Save a Scout plan to reach out to former Scouts and re-invite them to the program. Besides our personal phone calls and emails, we also are inviting these Scouts back to our membership recruitment events in the fall. In addition, we started building relationships committees to re-engage our former Scouts of different religions and backgrounds and inviting them back to Scouting at a grass-roots level.
These are all things that are new to the Longhorn Council in 2020. We have not stopped pushing our traditional marketing tools, i.e. Scout talks, fliers, yard signs, geo-fencing, etc., but we realize that they may not have the same impact this year as they have in years past. We are working to ensure that we have as many asks out into the community as possible and that if someone does not join Scouting, it is by their choice, not because we did not invite them to join.
Scouting Wire would like to thank Scot Fuller for submitting this article.