Most Boy Scouts begin as Cub Scouts … and most Cub Scouts first learn about the program from a School Night for Scouting (SNfS) or Join Scouting Night (JSN) recruitment event. While your Pack may already have a very effective recruiting mechanism, here are some ideas on how effectively recruit within your school.
1. Meet with the Principal — reminding them of the value of Scouting in their school
During my five years as a Cubmaster, I was blessed to be in a school district that recognizes the value of Scouting within their student body, as an extracurricular activity and as a character building program for the students. As such, recruiting always starts with meeting with the Principal.
2. School Open House (optional)
If you are able to meet with the principal before your school’s fall Open House, then ask to set up a table – perhaps nearby the PTA sign-up table. Your only goal is to ask, “Can we send some information about Scouting to you?” with a sign-up page with email address, child and parents’ name and email and phone number. This will let you do an email blast when you are ready for recruitment night. Inevitably, someone will ask you about girl scouts, so have a second sign-up sheet so that you can pass their information to your peer (if you can find them).
3. Establish a 7-day countdown to your recruitment night
I personally like Thursday nights for recruiting. Fridays are tough for parents to commit to, when they are not yet enthusiastic about the program. Wednesdays are church nights for many. And Monday/Tuesday doesn’t give you enough consistency for message/momentum.
4. Send a letter to the Teachers … Thursday (7 days before SNfS)
Say something similar to what you evangelized to the principal, and in fact, consider recapping that conversation. Let the know that you are excited about the adventure for their kids and that you will be sending a letter home for all the parents on Thursday. Also, ask if they know of any kids in the class that they believe would especially benefit from the Scouting program, give them your email address or phone number. Let them know that next week, there
5. Send a letter home with every 1st thru 5th grader … Monday (3 days before SNfS)
Many schools send home packets on a Monday or Tuesday, which is great because the parents are used to looking through it for actionable information. The best option is to just be included in that stack. The letter/flyer should include the meeting time for your SNfS.
If your Council office is doing the printing, you will need to confirm the SNfS night — first with the principal, so that you can use their facility, and then with the Council, in case your District Exec is able to support the event
Note, while it is slightly more expensive, I highly encourage you to send with every child, not just the boys. While Johnny might have not received his flyer for some reason, his sister may have hers. A few extra dollars in printing vs. doubling the chance that a boy learns about Scouting, is worth it.
6. School Rally — during lunches or assembly … Tuesday (2 days before SNfS)
This is where you get them excited!!! This is not so much about putting out information/education as much as getting them totally jazzed for the fun of Scouting. Tell them that their parents received the informational brochure, but have lots of extras and send it with them again. Consider asking your existing cub scouts to wear their class-B t-shirts on the day of the rally.
Check out this video, as an example of how you amp them up. Your goal is simply to have them go home to tell their parents “I want to be a Cub Scout — did you read the flyer?”
7. School Night for Scouting (SNfS) … Thursday !!
This is it!! Consider asking two Cub Scouts, ideally a Cub and a Webelos (in Class-A uniform), to deliver the morning announcements, or at least encourage everyone to join the Scouts. Potentially, you might also offer for all existing scouts to wear their Class-A’s (possibly over other clothes, if they do recess). It is just one more way to get those new kids excited. Will post a second blog post on delivering SNfS itself.
As always, thanks for reading/watching.