Recruiting Ideas -- To Help Your Unit Attract New Youth and Leaders

Every Unit Wants More Youth and Leaders ... so, here's some Recruiting Tools you can use to generate interest among kids, parents, neighbors and folks affiliated with your Chartered Organization.  You can apply these with the Pack Leader's Guide to Recruiting attached below.  And on the left Menu, see the pages on Creating a Calendar of Fun ActivitiesRecruiting Leaders (Turning Parents into Leaders), Flyers and MediaSchool and Community PresenceSign Up Events, and Troop Recruiting ... this page is the Recruiting Overview. 

The Key Idea: successful unit recruiting needs a Unit Activities Plan.  Here's the concept:  which Pack sounds more fun?

"Join our Pack, we'll have a meeting to talk about what we might do!"


"Join our Pack, look at our calendar of fun activities!  Join Us!" 

Right: activities are more fun than Meetings. Getting fun activity ideas into your Program Planning is what makes Units successful.  

  • If you can't tell families what you plan to do, why would they join you?  
  • So, Recruiting Job One is plan a calendar of fun activities
    • ... even if you don't know exactly who will lead them yet ...
    • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
  • ... to help you, here is a set of activity ideas for your Scouts for every month of the year so you can have fun like this.  

If you do activities families like to do, they will join you, and that is what recruiting is all about.  And if it's fun, good for families to do, and safe ... it's Cub Scouting!  The big Pack Sign Up Night at School as scheduled by the District Professionals is certainly "one" tool to recruit new members, but not the only tool.  Use all your tools! 

  • If You Build it, They Will Come
  • If You Build It (a calendar of fun activities), They (Scouts and families) Will Come.  
  • Then Shout out your Plan, using both Flyers and Social Media (there are many ways to broadcast). 

And Recruit Families, not Kids!  Cub Scouting is a family program, so the goal is NOT to sign up new youth.  The goal is to sign up new families!  

  • If you and your current leaders recruit just new youth, you will have failed.  Sorry.  
  • The Cub Scout program is a family program.  
  • That shouldn't be a "turn off" for parents and guardians -- the Scouting program is designed to make stronger connections between kids and adults, which will make parenting easier!  
  • And without parental involvement -- adult leaders -- there can't be a Scouting program.  

So if your Pack has only a few active engaged leaders, recruit carefully: either be sure you're lining up more active, engaged leaders, or only bring on the youth your leaders can handle.  So as you get the attention of current and prospective families with your calendar of activities, turn parents into helpers, and helpers into leaders.

And Recruiting Needs to be Much More than School Sign Up Nights and Buzz Ups.  Successful and Sustainable Recruiting is a Process ... the Pack Leader's Guide to Recruiting describes these six steps: 

  1. Make a Calendar of Fun Activities that families like
  2. Recruit More Leaders and Helpers - one by one, find folks who can help your unit out
  3. Let People Know! Let Families and Organizations Know your Pack Fun Event Plan. (Families join Packs that do things ... Boys join Troops that Go Places ... let them know what you're doing ... there are many ways)
  4. School and Community Events -- Show your School and Community the Fun of Cub Scouting. 
  5. Once you've laid that foundation, have Sign Up Events: School Sign Up Night and Fun Events Too!
  6. More Fun Events.  Keep expanding and extending your Calendar of Fun Events … that’s what makes families join!

All of this helps your success at Sign Up Nights at Schools -- see Our Ideas here about Signup Nights and Signup Events.

There are More Recruiting Resources from the http://scoutingwire.org  Marketing and Membership hub for more ideas.  And know this:

  • no recruiting method works every time for everyone, but ...
  • every recruiting method works some of the time for someone.  

Membership Committee Ideas.  Some ideas about Membership Committee support roles are found at our page called District Help Wanted (Ways to Help Multiple Units).  There are many ways for people to help.  Some involve getting in front of kids or parents, others involve no public speaking, some can be done at night or on weekends, and many of the roles have connections with other Unit Support roles of a District, like Public Relations, Unit Service, Activities, Training and more.