Sign Up Events -- Not Just School Night, but also FUN Events

Remember: for Cub Scout Packs:  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. 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. 

And recruiting does not start at "Sign Up Night".  Recruiting is a Process ... the Pack Leader's Guide to Recruiting describes these steps to lead up to your sign up events:   (1) Make a Calendar of Fun Activities that families like, then (2) Recruit More Leaders and Helpers - one by one, find folks who can help your unit out ... see the ideas below! (you'll actually do this throughout), and (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), and (4) School and Community Events -- Show your School and Community the Fun of Cub Scouting, leading to (5) once you've laid that foundation, have Sign Up Events: School Sign Up Night and Fun Events Too!

There are two basic kinds of Sign Up Nights at Schools: 

  1. ideally, a meet and greet orientation with fun added (what fun you have is up to your Pack and Parents and Leaders -- could be games outside, set up a Pinewood Derby Track, set up a tent campsite, have a portable campfire outside for s'mores, balsa wood or paper airplanes, stomp rockets and water rockets, a raingutter regatta ... use your resources and ideas), or
  2. a "just get the signups" event where there is some brief discussion about Scouting (maybe a different "stations" or tables) but more time and effort on collecting money and applications (this may work if you're lucky or for the rare Pack that has more leaders than they need ... but this often falls flat if is just run by your District Professionals and families don't "connect" with current Pack parents and leaders and what they are planning for Pack activities).  

Pack Leaders: to take charge of your Pack's message to families, see this plan and script for a Sign-Up Event and the attached Pack Parent Orientation for Sign Up Night that you can revise with your activities and details, and shoot on a screen if you have projection, or print as a handout -- these can work with a few engaged volunteers supported by District Professionals ... you can use your District Professionals just for paperwork and registration fees while you and your other leaders describe what your Pack will do.

But do this in addition to the District Scheduled Sign Up Night at Schools: host a family fun event with a brief discussion time added for adults about Cub Scouting, maybe a "Welcome Back to the Pack" party or picnic (while the kids keep on with the fun activities -- you can still use the attached plan and script for a Sign-Up Event which works with the attached Pack Parent Orientation for Sign Up Night).  

  • There are many fine ways to lure new families to be involved with your Pack.  
  • Many Packs like a Fun Event, like a Bike Rodeo, Fishing Derby, Picnic with Field Sports, Creepy Crawly Critter Event ... 
  • ... some set up a Pinewood Derby Track and cars and run for fun, or fly Kites, or play Chess, or cook hot dogs and S’ Mores,
  • ... or go somewhere like Six Flags or a neighborhood pool or White Water or Rock Climbing Gym or Zip Lines or Putt Putt Golf or Bowling or
  • ... what do your families like to do? 

Pack Sign Up Night Audiovisuals and Powerpoint.  A Powerpoint Display might be a good tool if your big recruiting event is an indoor sign up meeting, especially if you use your Pack's photos.  The attached Pack Parent Orientation for Sign Up Night is updated based on the new advancement program, and designed to "keep it simple" about what Cub Scouting is ... download this, and revise to fit your Pack's big weekend activities, when and where you meet, and what you charge for Dues, and use this for your Sign Up Night!