Importance of State Fair Base Camp for Recruitment

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Michelle Carroll continues to seek volunteers for Base Camp at the State Fair Grounds. I was confused about the impact Base Camp has on recruitment. So I asked some questions. Here is what I learned.

Council uses Base Camp to put BSA programs in front of families and to have conversations with families about what Boy Scouts is. Depending on the year, weather, and scheduling of the Fair, between 400,000 and 1,000,000 people pass by Base Camp. Of those people, just short of 15,000 enter Base Camp to see what it is about. This means that as many as 1,000,000 people see BSA in the community, and many have contact with BSA members.

At the shooting range, boys are given an opportunity to express interest in scouting, by the parents’ signing a contact list. Persons on this listed are sent emails to inquire about joining.

Volunteers are important to this process for several reasons:

  1. Base Camp volunteers have contact with prospective families, telling the scouting adventure stories.
  2. Base Camp volunteers’ story telling increase the number people who express interest in scouting by signing up in the shooting range.
  3. Base Camp volunteers cause prospective families to have warm feelings about scouting before the prospective family walks into a scout sign up night. These prospective families are more committed to joining scouting and more likely to draw other interested families to the sign up night.
  4. Base Camp volunteers help boys experience parts of scouting that no story telling can match. These volunteers help stoke the flames of passion for scouting before any sign up occurs.

Help making recruiting more effective this fall by volunteering your unit for Base Camp.

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