Back to School Night
This is the time of year that it is so important for a pack chairman to recruit a pack membership coordinator.
One of the hardest parts of recruitment is explaining the nature and duties of the position. Units that have had the luxury of having one parent assist in year one and then do the job in year to have the advantage of on the job training.
For most other packs, most of the training has to be done using other resources: classes, literature, or on the job experience.
BSA has put together a wonderful website for all packs, troops, and crews to be able to use for different recruitment purposes. There are even YouTube videos for the membership coordinator to learn their job. This is different than the usual E-learning process because there is no login required.
Take a look at this website to find out what you can do to improve your recruitment this fall.
Remember that all Cub Scout Packs should have a representative attend the Recruiting Rally at Victory Field downtown west of the Convention Center on Maryland and Missouri Avenues this Thursday, July 16, 2015. Food is served but that required an RSVP last Monday. Now it is an open house, but no additional food reservations are being accepted.
Your Pack representative will receive the recruitment package that you will need to run the August 27th sign up including paperwork, yard signs, and rockets.
Scout Troops and Venturing Crews are encouraged to send a representative. While the bulk of the recruitment goes to Cub Packs, Troops and Crews can learn how they can help support their sister Packs. We have over thirty elementary schools to staff on August 27th and only 18 Cub Packs. We need Troops and Crews to help cover the balance of the schools that night. We also need volunteers to present “Boy Talks” at the elementary schools. Troops and Crews would be wonderful in this effort.
Remember, Troops, most of your future recruits come from Webelos. If we don’t recruit Cub Scouts aggressively today, your Troop will fewer recruits in the near future. Your help is critical now. For more information on the plan, read this article.
The District Executive Con Sullivan, District Chair Steve James, District Commissioner Jeff Heck, many Unit Commissioners will be in attendance. This is a great opportunity to ask questions.
I was not appointed as the Committee’s secretary, so I did not take notes with an eye to that thoroughness. Nor was I a participant in each break-out session. With those warnings, I will highlight some of the discussions from the Committee Meeting.
Steve James, the District Chair, opened the meeting and emphasized that District needs to be focused on membership recruiting for August 27, 2015. He said, “We are in All-Hands-On-Deck mode. We need all Packs, Troops, and Crews to be part of the process.” Steve introduced our new District Executive Cornellius “Con” Sullivan. Con rapidly covered the points about our Council-wide Back to School Night that Darin Stendl, Con’s supervisor, had covered at the May Roundtable. Jump to the link for a detailed report. The most important part of the presentation for this report is that the marketing campaign’s call to action for the general public is “Sign up at your local elementary school.” This means that we need personnel at all of our District’s elementary schools.
During his presentation, Con emphasized that we have nearly 43 elementary schools to cover at sign-up night, while we only have 35 chartered units and 18 Cub Scout Packs. There is no way that the Packs can man all of the elementary schools. Con also underlined that there is a Recruiting Rally at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis on the evening of July 16, 2015. (Literature about the campaign is available on the Council website, too.)
In Darin’s earlier presentation he had emphasized that the call to action does not emphasize Cub Scouts. It is a general call to join Scouting. This means that Troops and Crews could receive new members, too.
Con reported that North Star District’s Cub Packs are encouraged to participate in a District-wide Pack Overnight Campout on October 17-18, 2015 (I will need to review my notes to double check dates) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Other weekends and campsites are available if Packs have fewer conflicts, but IMS is being pushed for North Star. IMS is close to home and exciting. Race cars and another race themed aspects will be emphasized through the weekend.
After Con’s presentation, there was a general open discussion of some of the logistics. One issue brought up is that customarily Packs collect the initial dues from new families on sign up night. Council then asks for a check from the Pack to Council to cover the new recruits’ BSA dues. This lead to some surprise and frustration. In addition, there was confusion about how much BSA dues the Pack should collect the first night to be considered a completely “registered scout.” Con did not have the answer at that time. These topics would be addressed in more depth later. For the duration of the meeting, the Committee agreed to take the issue under advisement and focus on the immediate mission of recruiting. At the meeting Con promised to clarify a few of these issues as quickly as possible.
This morning, he emailed me some clarifications. Read the rest of this entry »
As has been explained in an earlier post, this year’s marketing for fall recruitment will be very different than the past. These changes will affect all packs, regardless of what their past recruiting history has been.
North Star district has been blessed with many Cub Scout packs that have done a very good job of recruiting new Cub Scouts for years. They have been self-reliant. They have grown. They have followed these practices with the blessing of Council and District for years.
Unfortunately, scouting at all levels has suffered severe losses in the number of Cub Scouts participating. As Council Executive Vice President for District Operations Stroh Bronn explained at our District Committee Workshop on June 11, 2015, National, Council, and District have seen significant losses in just the last 3 to 4 years.
In response to these losses, Council has adopted several best practices used in other councils. One of those has been to return to a 25-year-old practice and recruiting. It is to have all Cub Scout packs have a sign-up night on one unified night. This year August 27, 2015 from 7 PM to 8:30 PM has been selected. New Cubs will receive model rockets and district will hold a launch day on September 12, 2015. Your pack needs to know how the rockets fit into recruitment and how to get the rockets.
This means all Packs need to be part of one coordinated effort, regardless of past practices and successes.
This plan needs a lot of manpower, so we need troops and crews to invest effort, too.
For this plan to work, all Packs, Troops, and Crews need to send representatives to the District Committee Meeting Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 7:00 pm in St Luke’s United Methodist Church, Room W-125 (enter through Entry #4).
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Adventure is Waiting… Launch into Scouting!
Join us at the Council Recruiting Rally at Victory Field
Our council will be conducting a “Picnic in the Park” –Recruiting Rally at Victory Field on Thursday, July 16th. This will be a great opportunity for Scout leaders to get ready for the council-wide Sign Up night on August 27th.
There will be food, prizes and lots of excitement and information sharing. Scout leaders will also be able to:
• Pick up posters, yard signs & all of the other materials needed for the sign up meeting
• Learn about the new online registration for youth membership
• Meet with your district membership team and district executive
• Get details about the rocket launch events and family camping weekends
Our June Roundtable will be held, as always, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N Meridian St, 4th Floor, Indianapolis. RSVPs are welcome, but not required.
The opening general session will be “Maximizing Council Resources for Your Unit” by District Commissioner Jeff Heck.
Sharla Merrick our Cub Roundtable Commissioner will host a conversation on Cub Recruitment, with a special emphasis on what will be happening in July, August, and September this year.
Jeff Heck will host a conversation about planning high adventure and using fellow district members as resources. We will discuss BSA bases and non-BSA trip ideas, planning cycles, and problems to watch out for.
Please be sure to invite any and all adults from your units. It is very important to get as many membership coordinators from all of our units to participate in Sharla’s discussion. Cub Recruiting this year is going to require Boy Scout Troops’ help, so please have your membership coordinator attend.
Many scouters do not feel that they are technically savvy. One of the resources available to units is the beascout.org. This website is intended to help people who are interested in scouting find units near their house.
As we go into a major recruiting season with a heavy marketing blitz, we need to be aware of how our units are listed on that website.
Here’s a link to a video to help key unit personnel update the information on the website.
As we have been working to rebuild the district committee, I have learned how the Boy Scouts of America structures their committee system. It is a little bit unusual, so it is worth sharing more broadly.
Each committee in the BSA system is interlinked with more than one committee outside of itself. What does this mean?
Let’s look at one example. Since Cub Scout recruitment is going to be a major issue in the next 90 days, let’s look at the membership position on a pack committee.
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UPDATE (6/24/15): Post moved to top of page in preparation for June District Committee Meeting.
On April 21, 2015, the Council held its semi-annual council operations meeting. This meeting is a chance for Council to outline its business plan for the next six (6) months and outline the responsibilities for the districts in carrying out those plans. The intended audience is the District’s Committee Chair, Vice-Chairs for Programming (with break outs for advancement, camping and activities), Communications, Membership, and Development, and the Commissioner.
Thanks to District Attendees
Since North Star is not fully staffed yet, the only persons who attended as a matter of their duties were Committee Chair Steve James and Commissioner Jeff Heck.
More impressively, North Star had many volunteers that took time out of their busy schedules in our response to our calls for help. These volunteers deserve a special note of thanks and appreciation from Steve and Jeff. Both our Roundtable Commissioners Sharla Merrick for Cubs and John Wiebke for Scouts attended sessions on Membership and Programs, respectively. Our co-chair for Eagle Projects and Boards of Review Rick Wittman and his wife Lynn Wittman attended sessions on advancement. Our chapter advisor for the Lowaneu Allanque Lodge of OA John Ruggles attended the camping sessions. Nominating Committee Member Mike Yates attended sessions on Training. Steve attended the session on Activities.
Cub Scout Recruiting & Back to School Night Changes
The central theme of the night is the massive changes that the Council Membership Committee is introducing for an exciting new strategy for Cub Scout Recruitment. The Council Membership Committee’s strategy focuses on making a streamlined process for marketing Back to School Night.
The problem that they identified is that young parents are often confused about how to join Cub Scouts. The solution is to make joining Cub Scouts more familiar. These same parents are familiar and comfortable with pee-wee athletics having a single event to join a pee-wee league. Cub Scouts is mimicking this method.