A key challenge for any volunteer organization is increasing membership and keeping programs timely and interesting. We know we’ve achieved success when our programs not only keep new members coming in, but are also helping to keep those members long term.
That’s why I applaud the approach used by the Huguenot Trail District in the Heart of Virginia Council to tackle this challenge for Scouting. It’s called: Transition Day.
Now in its eighth year, Troop 800’s Transition Day is designed to show boys who are nearing the end of Cub Scout activities what they can look forward to by continuing on to Boy Scouts.
Bill Mulvihill, program chairman for the Huguenot Trail District, says this year’s event in September was the largest to date, with 120 Webelos Scouts spending the day scrambling up a climbing tower, riding a zip line, sampling cake made in a Dutch oven, and learning how to safely shoot BB guns.
Mulvihill told the Powhatan Today newspaper: “We hold this event to try to get their interest – to say, ‘If you wait six months, this is what’s available to you.’ We’re all about keeping the boys active.”
According to Troop 800 Scoutmaster Rodney Parsons, Transition Day is pulling in about a quarter of the eligible Webelos in their district, a big achievement to boost their Boy Scout ranks.
This demonstrates how with strategic thinking, one of our districts is continuing to see membership growth by creatively connecting Webelos Scouts to the next leg of their Scouting adventure. It’s a sustainable program that promotes the entire Scouting experience, not just Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts alone. Nice work!
How do you apply this kind of thinking to your programs? Does a holistic approach like this lead to more sustainable results for your recruiting efforts?