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The Science of Scouting (STEM-related activities – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) recruiting program is designed to stimulate the great minds of our youth through engaging activities in the world of science. By participating in a variety of experiments, leaders will guide young Scouters through the process of discovery, watching as curiosity and excitement take over as the boys learn new things and develop new passions. Whether creating slime from scratch, building catapults, or making giant bubbles, Scouts will have lots of fun from start to finish!


conceptYour council or district will host a community event for parents and youth to conduct their own experiments across a wide variety of themes. All of the details (supplies, snacks, instructors, games) will be taken care of by the council or district. All the families need to worry about is having a great time. Through this simple interaction, parents will see the experience, friendships, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that Scouting can offer their children. It’s sort of 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.


A good scientific study asks the right questions before any lab work begins. Similarly, a successful Science of Scouting event will begin with the proper planning. But don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Here are a few things you will need to have in place beforehand in order to help ensure the success of your event.


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.


Event participants should be organized into lab teams, a group of 3-5 boys with an adult leader in each group. Let the different groups come up with their own names for their lab and encourage them to share it with the group. Each lab team will stay together as they go through various experiment stations, working together to conduct their studies. The following is a list of experiments that could be conducted at the experiment stations. Pick the ones that you feel most comfortable leading.

  • Recruiting at The Event

    Recruiting 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 Up

    After 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.