Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Be Highly Visible - Part III: Programming

Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, Patriots' Path Council vice president for membership and relations, continues his series on why your unit needs to be highly visible!  This blog post deals with having engaging programming that makes your unit more visible to the community.  It is also a great way to market Scouting to community and business leaders in your area.

Here are some concrete examples:

Local media outlets always welcome Scouts.  Not only is this a great way for the boys to learn about making connections with the community, but some organization allow the boys to participate in making commercials, recording songs, etc.  A great experience for the boys and an effective means of free advertising for Scouting.
 
Many regional learning centers and natural sites of interest have Scout-specific programs that are well thought-out and highly structured.  Pictures from visits can be submitted to local papers, websites, and school newsletters.  Having groups of Scouts visit these sites also makes Scouting highly visible to other patrons and visitors. 

Your nearby historical society will be happy to provide programs to your Scouts that meet achievement and elective requirements.  At the same time, your Scouts will be visible at local sites of interest, which can often lead to relationship building and even community service projects.  Plus ... it's fun!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Be Highly Visible - Part II: Be seen

Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, Patriots' Path Council vice president for membership and relations, continues his series on why your unit needs to be highly visible!  This blog post deals with making connections within the community and interfacing with community and religious organizations.

Here are some concrete examples:


BSA's Adopt-A-School program is a great way to build a relationship with your local school and also show the school community that your unit is active and doing positive things with youth.  Go to http://www.bsaadoptaschool.org/ for more information about how to get your unit active.
 
Be sure to participate in community events and celebrations.  This fulfills the Duty to Country aspect of our program, it shows off your unit to the public in a positive light, and most importantly, the boys love it.  Event organizers love having Cub Scouts participate and this is another opportunity to build relationships with important community leaders.

Having Scouts earn their youth religious award not only fulfills our programs Duty to God beliefs, but is also a great way to develop relationships with the religious organizations themselves.  Congregations love seeing Scouts earn these awards and non-Scouts who are in the church youth group might be interested in finding out more about Scouting.  Go to http://www.praypub.org for more information about youth religious award programs.
 


Friday, November 8, 2013

Be Highly Visible - Part I: Make it easy for families to find you

Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, Patriots' Path Council vice president for membership and relations, gives some solid advice for local units: "I've heard it said more than once that the Cub Scout Pack in a town was the community's 'best kept secret.'  The last thing we want is for Cub Scouting to be any sort of secret.  Your unit needs to be highly visible!  Show the community the value of scouting for their youth, do community service, be out there and get noticed in meaningful and positive ways.  That is what is going to attract new families and create excitement and anticipation with new boys."

The next few blog posts will provide units with some concrete examples:



Get your unit's outings published in the newspaper when they
are doing 'cool' things that other boys would want to do.



Recognize community leaders often and publically for their support of Scouting.
Handsome certificates are available at your local Scout Shop.
 
Be sure to have boys wear their uniforms to local athletic and community events.  What's a better
recruiter than an excited little Cub Scout happy and looking sharp in their uniform?
 
 
There are many, many more ideas on how to be visible.  The next few blog posts in this series will give you even more ideas.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Potential Cub Scouts come right to your door on Halloween

As we approach Halloween, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, Patriots' Path Council vice president for membership and relations, reminds us about engaging with the youth of our community.  "Who is going to be coming to your door for candy in a few days?  Potential Cub Scouts!  When giving them treats, why not also invite them to join Scouting?  Pass out information/invite cards, tie slips of paper with invites to bags, use labels and stick them to candy wrappers.  You can even do a twist on front yard camping displays by creating a scary tent set-up.  Most importantly, briefly engage youth about what Scouting has to offer and give them some means of getting more information."

The below cards were created by the Westchester-Putnam Council for this purpose and can be obtained by clicking here.




Remember, our youth deserve a safe and fun-filled Halloween, so make your approach sincere, informative, and quick!! -- there are many more houses for them to visit.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Use Formal Invitations to Recruit and Avoid School Restrictions on Flyers

Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, Patriots' Path Council vice president of membership/relations, makes the observation that "some schools will not allow units to use tradition, council-generated flyers to be distributed for recruitment purposes.  Others will only let such flyers be sent home in electronic form via a virtual backpack."

Many school policies allow for the distribution of written invitations, however, so that students can invite one another to birthday parties, special events, etc.  Dr. Zoeller notes that "some crafty units are taking a different approach to recruitment and while still adhering to Board policies are instead creating formal 'invitations' as an alternative to prohibited flyers." It may seem like splitting hairs, but there is a definite difference between flyers and invitations in most Board Policy Manuals.

Why not create a formal looking invitation from a template many units have used annually for the Blue and Gold Dinner?

A neat design that recalls the traditional Cub Scout neckerchief.

Inside you can customize an "invite" message in any way you wish.
By creating a formal invitation, which many school district policies allow, you can circumvent the restriction on flyers and obtain the desired access to new families and youth -- all while putting your best foot forward and coming across as professional and creative.

To download the two customizable templates in Word format, click here and also here.

Good luck and happy recruiting!

Author's Note:  A special "shout out" to Cub Scout Pack 182 in Warren, Watchung Mountain District, for their creative use of these invitations and for persevering in getting them distributed as invitations in their schools.  Well done!!



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Steps for Creating a Successful Cub Scout Recruitment Event

Today, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, Patriots' Path Council vice president for membership and relations, shares some new ideas on Cub Scout Recruitment.  "We are very proud of the Cub Scout recruitment strategies we have developed in the Patriots' Path Council.  All of us are very pleased that the quality of our products are such that many of our resources and materials are adapted and used by other councils.  We always need to be mindful, however, that our colleagues in other councils are similarly motivated and often develop best practices and/or products that we can use here."

In this case, a 3-page information sheet and script has been developed by one of our neighboring councils that gives a good overview of how to prepare for, market, and conduct a solid Cub Scout recruitment event.  We thank our colleagues in the Central New Jersey Council for putting together this great resource and making it available to Scouters everywhere.  To access the PDF file, go to:  http://join.ppbsa.org/membership/pdf/Successful%20Cub%20Recruitment.pdf



In addition to the above, the Patriots' Path Council maintains a large number of recruitment resources that can be accessed and downloaded at:  http://join.ppbsa.org/membership/swfs/  You may also wish to consult earlier posts on this blog to get other great ideas and strategies.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Webelos Scouts and Boy Scout Camporees


Patriots' Path Council's vice president for membership and relations, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, discusses further ideas for effective Cub Scout Pack Planning .  "The June/July 2013 edition of Advancement News offers some great insight into creating additional opportunities for Webelos that also supports quality Webelos to Scout Transition practices.  The below article come directly from page 2 of the Advancement News."  You can download the full edition at:  http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1109945141041-14/06-07+2013+Advancement+News.pdf

Webelos Scouts and Boy Scout Camporees  This time of year during annual program planning, Webelos leaders often have questions related to Webelos Scouts attending Boy Scout camporees. Most frequently asked: Can they attend or not? If they can, why should they, and what can they do while there?

Webelos dens might decide it would be a good idea to attend camporees to complete Arrow of Light Requirement 4, "With your Webelos den, visit at least one Boy Scout–oriented outdoor activity," or even Requirement 5, "Participate in a Webelos overnight campout or day hike." From an advancement view, camporee attendance seems to fulfill the "letter of the law" for the former, but probably not for the latter—unless the Webelos Scouts hike through the camporee on the way to their own separate campsite!
  • According to The Cub Scout Leader Book, a well planned Webelos-to-Scout transition program helps Webelos Scouts in many ways:
  • By introducing them to Boy Scouting skills and future advancement opportunities.
  • By giving them the opportunity to see youth leadership at work in the troop and sense their own potential as youth leaders.
  • By allowing them to become confident and enthusiastic about the patrol method.
  • By generating the desire for troop membership as the result of this gradual exposure to troop-oriented activities.
  • By letting them make friends in the troop before becoming Boy Scouts.
There is little doubt these benefits would be experienced at a camporee, but the multi-troop setting may not go far enough in sup-porting them. This is primarily because a Scout troop involved in camporee events may not be focused on the Webelos visitors. Consider a similar scenario: When high school seniors visit a prospective college, the college will probably not want those visits to be during homecoming when students are caught up in their own activities. Instead, the college may plan special visit weekends where the focus can be on the potential freshmen.

A Webelos Scout daytime visit to a camporee is encouraged, as mentioned in the Cub Scout Outdoor Program Guidelines (www.scouting.org/scoutsource/CubScouts/resources/CubScoutOutdoorProgramGuidelines.aspx). However, the boys should not compete in the activities designed for Boy Scouts. To return to our previous analogy, those visiting high school seniors would not be able to take classes for credit during their college visitations. Help in determining whether an activity is oriented to Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts, can be found at www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/Age-AppropriateGuidelines.aspx. Most importantly, though, Webelos Scouts cannot spend the night at a Boy Scout camporee.

So much for "letter of the law." What about intent? As noted above in the Cub Scout Leader Book excerpt, the point of the Boy Scout visit and joint activity is to help with the Webelos transition into a troop. This can best be accomplished at a special troop Webelos Scout welcoming event, rather than at a camporee.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Annual Summertime Program Planning - Revisited

Back in April Patriots' Path Council's vice president for membership and relations, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, discussed the newly updated national resources for Cub Scout Pack Planning .  "Research conducted by Eli Lilly of Indianapolis, Indiana, illustrated that strong packs all have in common good annual pack programs that are developed a year in advance.  These plans are then placed in a calendar and shared with all families right in the beginning of the year. This shows good organization, avoids conflicts later, attracts more families, and you'll retain Cub Scouts for longer.  Why wouldn't we all want to conduct strong and thoughtful program planning??"
There is an overview of the six steps of the Annual Program Planning Process and additional resources that include:
  • Pack calendar template that allows you to build and share your calendar with your families electronically or printed
  • Pack newsletter template so you can share regular information with your pack families
  • Posters, both letter size and tabloid size, which you can customize for your needs
  • Family Talent Survey form
  • Cub Scout Den Meeting Program form
  • Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide
  • Boys' Life Planning Calendar
  • Boys' Life resources
  • Pack Budget Planning Guide/worksheets
The national BSA resources on Pack Planning can be accessed at:  http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/CubScouts/Leaders/PackCommitteeResources/UnitProgramPlanningTools.aspx

Additionally, Dr. Zoeller notes that the Patriots' Path Council's own Cub Opportunities page allows for "one-stop-shopping" when it comes time for dropping in great council and district events to round out the Cub Scout Pack calendar.  Events like district family camping, the Belt Loop Midway and Bonanza events, fishing tournaments, and a whole host of days trips, museums, sporting events, and so much more!!

Be sure to visit this hugely important resource when planning for the coming year at: http://cubopportunities.ppbsa.org/

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Religious Emblems Program Can Create Stonger Units

Today, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, Patriots' Path Council vice president for membership and relations, reminds us about the importance of the Duty to God component of Scouting.  "So many of our chartered organizations are religiously-based, and yet so few of our Scouts earn the religious awards available to them.  Participation in these programs could create an even stronger bond between the unit, families, and their chartered organization."

Youth members and families must obtain the specific set of materials for their religion.  These materials will contain all of the information, lessons, and/or service projects that scouts will need to complete.  Some religions also provide adult manuals for counselors and mentors.  Check with your local council Scout Shop to see if your booklets are in stock or contact your religious organization directly.

Below are links to a series of webinars to help instruct unit leaders, clergy, and families about the various offerings available to our youth.  Others can assist district and council leaders in creating large-scale programming.  In addition, you may wish to visit the main P.R.A.Y. website for further information at http://www.praypub.org/main_frameset.htm


Past Webinar Recordings and Other Resources
 
THE P.R.A.Y. PROGRAM for Protestant and Independent Christian Churches
Audience:
Anyone interested in the Protestant Christian program (i.e. clergy, lay people, Scout leaders, parents!)
Presenter:
Deb Hazlewood (P.R.A.Y. curriculum writer)
Description:
Thinking about offering a P.R.A.Y. class? Find out how easy it is! More importantly, discover how the P.R.A.Y. program can grow your church membership! 
An Overview of the P.R.A.Y. Program
Recording:
View Recorded Webinar (Requires name and email address to view)
PowerPoint:
Download PowerPoint Presentation (Right Click, Save As)
 
 
Religious Emblems Coordinator – Overview of the R.E.C. Position (Boy Scouts of America)
Audience:
For members of BSA (staff and volunteers)
Presenter:
R. Chip Turner, P.R.A.Y. Director of Communication and Training
Description:
Learn how the new Religious Emblems Coordinator position can be a tool for Council growth and retention! An overview of the rationale, duties, and resources available to Council and District R.E.C.’s Click here for more R.E.C. Resources.
Recording:
View Recorded Webinar (Requires name and email address to view)
PowerPoint:
PowerPoint of REC Presentation (Right Click, Save As)
 
 
Religious Emblems Coordinator – Best Practices (Boy Scouts of America)
Audience:
For members of BSA (staff and volunteers)
Presenter:
R. Chip Turner, P.R.A.Y. Director of Communication and Training
Guests:
Steve Bays, 
John Lyon, Atlanta Area Council, BSA
Description:
Updates and presentation of best practices by guest panelists
Recording:
View Recorded Webinar (Requires name and email address to view)
PowerPoint:
View PDF of PowerPoint Slides (PowerPoint coming soon.)
 
 
 
 
So You’re A Unit REC! Now What?
Audience:
For members of Boy Scouts of America (staff and volunteers)
Presenter:
R. Chip Turner, P.R.A.Y. Director of Communication and Training
Description:
Basic Orientation for Religious Emblems Coordinators at the Unit Level
Recording:
View Recorded Webinar (Requires name and email address to view)
PowerPoint:
Download PowerPoint Presentation (Right Click, Save As)
 
Coordinating Council / District / Unit REC’s
Audience:
For members of Boy Scouts of America (staff and volunteers)
Presenter:
R. Chip Turner, P.R.A.Y. Director of Communication and Training
Description:
How All REC’s Can Work Together to Achieve the Ultimate Goal of Greater Emblems Usage
Recording:
View Recorded Webinar (Requires name and email address to view)
PowerPoint:
Download PowerPoint Presentation (Right Click, Save As)
 
 
FAITH-BASED INITIATIVES (F.B.I.) for Boy Scouts of America
Audience:
For members of BSA, clergy, church lay leaders
Presenter:
Mark Hazlewood, P.R.A.Y. CEO
Description:
Learn what BSA and faith communities have in common and how the religious emblems programs can be the LINCHPIN for membership growth. Learn the rationale and benefits for collaborating with the faith community.  
This “mini session” is a teaser for the weeklong workshops offered at Philmont and the Seabase.
Click here for more FBI Resources.
Recording:
View Recorded Webinar (Requires name and email address to view)
PowerPoint:
Download PowerPoint Presentation (Right Click, Save As)
 
 
Teaching God and Me
Audience:
For people who want to teach a God and Me class
Presenter:
Deb Hazlewood (P.R.A.Y. curriculum writer)
Description:
Walk through lesson plans, see props and finished projects, gain valuable teaching experience.  NOTE: Participants should purchase a copy of the Student, Counselor and Mentor books for this webinar. Books can be purchased from PRAY's online store atwww.praypub.org/store.
Resources:
Recording:
View Recorded Webinar (Requires name and email address to view)
Note: There is a long pause at the beginning of the recording, please wait until the presenter begins.
PowerPoint:
Download PowerPoint Presentation (Right Click, Save As)
 
 
Teaching God and Family
Audience:
For people who want to teach a God and Family class
Presenter:
Deb Hazlewood (P.R.A.Y. curriculum writer)
Description:
Walk through lesson plans, see props and finished projects, gain valuable teaching experience.  NOTE: Participants should purchase a copy of the Student, Counselor and Mentor books for this webinar. Books can be purchased from PRAY's online store atwww.praypub.org/store.
Resources:
Recording:
View Recorded Webinar (Requires name and email address to view)
PowerPoint:
Download PowerPoint Presentation (Right Click, Save As)
 
 
REC’s Leading Religious Emblems/Duty to God Courses for 
University of Scouting / Pow Wow, etc.
Audience:
For members of Boy Scouts of America (staff and volunteers)
Presenter:
R. Chip Turner, P.R.A.Y. Director of Communication and Training
Description:
The How To’s and Content for Leading An Hour-Long Session at Council and District Training Events
Resources:
Recording:
View Recorded Webinar (Requires name and email address to view)
PowerPoint:
Download PowerPoint Presentation (Right Click, Save As)
 
 
Planning and Conducting a Duty to God Encampment 
(Including On-line Planning Tools and Templates)
Audience:
For members of Boy Scouts of America (staff and volunteers)
Presenter:
John Lyon, Council Religious Emblems Coordinator and Experienced Leader of Atlanta Area Council Duty to God Encampment
Description:
 
Recording:
View Recorded Webinar (Requires name and email address to view)
PowerPoint:
Resources:
Other resources for webinar (Zipped File, Right-Click, Save As)
 
 
FAITH-BASED INITIATIVES (F.B.I.) for Boy Scouts of America
Audience:
For members of GSUSA, clergy, church lay leaders
Presenter:
Mark Hazlewood, P.R.A.Y. CEO
Description:
Learn what BSA and faith communities have in common and how the religious emblems programs can be the LINCHPIN for membership growth. Learn the rationale and benefits for collaborating with the faith community.  
This “mini session” is a teaser for the F.B.I. workshops offered by P.R.A.Y. in May and November 2013.
Click here for more FBI Resources.
 
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Unit Membership and Marketing Chairperson

Patriots' Path Council's vice president for membership and relations, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, points out that with "over a hundred years of documented proof that Scouting has a beneficial and ongoing positive impact on the lives of our youth, you would think that this would be reason enough for parents to want to have their children become Scouts."  Unfortunately, without a strong and visible unit-level marketing strategy, hundred of boys in every community miss out on the opportunity to join this most-successful of youth movements. This is where the Unit Membership and Marketing Chairperson comes into play.
 
Area 2 of the Northeast Region has been instrumental in developing a comprehensive overview of this critical Pack Committee position.  The chairperson is charged with the responsibility of educating available youth and parents in a given community and making sure that they are aware of the benefits of the Scouting program.
 

To view the complete Position Overview as developed by NER Area 2, please go to:  http://ner-area2.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Unit-MM-Chair-Overview-3-20-13.pdf

Ultimately, every leadership position in a unit needs to be concerned with membership.  The new Unit M&M Chairperson, is a great way to keep everyone focused on the "Main Thing".

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Major Changes Coming for Venturing

Patriots' Path Council's vice president for membership and relations, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, discusses the major changes that are coming out of the national BSA for Venturing.  "These proposed changes should really help with Venturing's poor retention rate (53%) and the lack of sustained advancement of youth members (less than 1%!!!) ."

For some time, there has been a national committee looking to restructure the whole program.  Their recommendations include a new national committee structure for venturing, a JTE approach to how units function and measure success, a completely new advancement system, as well as changes in reporting, training, uniforms, and more.

A very solid overview can be found in the Scouting magazine blog. Go to the following link to find out more about the exciting changes coming for the Venturing program:  http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2013/05/28/venturing/

A beginning set of resources can also be found on the national BSA site by going to:  http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Venturing/NewProgAnnouncement.aspx

Friday, May 10, 2013

Commissioner Role in Membership Support

Today, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, Patriots' Path Council vice president for membership and relations, shares some of the ideas regarding Commissioner Role in Membership Support found on the Commissioners of the Boy Scouts of America Facebook page, which can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/CommissionersOfTheBoyScoutsOfAmerica?hc_location=stream


We are all in the membership business, but let’s talk about how you can use the Commissioner Corps to support your membership effort. The role of the Commissioner in membership will be an evolving one. The Commissioners own unit retention, and the Commissioners will continue to deliver unit service while we all work together to recruit and empower volunteers to lead the membership drive.
The Commissioners serve as the key link between the many resources of a functional district committee and the unique needs of each unit. In the absence of a strong district committee, the unit commissioner often is asked to fill many unit needs that should, in the best of all worlds, be provided by subject matter experts. Where those subject matter experts do not yet exist, our commissioners should support the efforts of the District Key 3 to recruit and deploy the right resource specialists. We have built this concept of linkage in our “simple and unified” mission statement and job description, outlined below. The concept of linkage is critical to our execution mission.  

The Retention Mission of the Commissioner Corps is best achieved by providing an adequate number of trained unit commissioners who provide a link to District Committee resources in support of a quality unit program.
 
We are asking our unit commissioners to focus on the following four primary areas:
Supporting unit growth in the Journey to Excellence criteria: JTE measures performance characteristics that unlock the door to a successful unit. Unit Commissioners should analyze the unit’s program and identify JTE areas where help is needed to move the unit to a higher level of JTE success.

Linking district committee resources to the unit: Unit Commissioners should support the district committee’s delivery of a “catalog of services” to support the specific JTE elements needed for a particular unit’s health and success.

Visiting units and logging the visits into the Unit Visit Tracking System (UVTS): Our core task remains visiting the unit. UVTS input feeds critical information to the district committee to help link resources to the unit.

Supporting on-time charter renewal: The commissioner’s focus is the retention of the unit, though we should be especially mindful of supporting new youth membership efforts as we move more toward a volunteer-led, professionally guided approach to increasing membership.
 
Finally, the Commissioner Corps is fully supportive of the concept of the New Unit Commissioner, as outlined in the Unit Performance Guide http://www.scouting.org/filestore/membership/pdf/522-025_WB.pdf . The concept of assigning a New Unit Commissioner on a one-on-one basis to each new unit, through the first two recharter cycles, is a proven and approved best method that results in dramatically increased new unit retention.
 
Together, we can bridge the gap to increased membership in the BSA. 

Resources for Commissioner Service

• Administration of Commissioner Service Manual, No. 34501 http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Commissioners/Manuals.aspx

• National BSA Commissioner Service website: www.scouting.org/commissioners

• Unit Performance Guide- http://www.scouting.org/filestore/membership/pdf/522-025_WB.pdf

• Unit Visit Tracking System (UVTS) help support. The Unit Visit Tracking System online help provides personal assistance from a BSA Help Desk operator. The phone number for commissioners only is 972-672-¬4389. The operator is on call to answer questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (Leave a message and they will call you back.)

• UVTS Training Support includes a PowerPoint presentation, a FAQ, instructions, and a video:

—For professionals, go to MyBSA, click on the Knowledge Base tab, and then go to MyTraining and Unit Visit Tracking System.

• MyScouting Support. Volunteers who have questions about MyScouting access or UVTS
access should send an e-mail to MyScouting@scouting.org with their user name, e-mail address, contact information, council name and headquarters city, and question.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Effective Cub Scout Program Planning

Patriots' Path Council's vice president for membership and relations, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, discusses the newly updated national resources for Cub Scout Pack Planning .  "Research conducted by Eli Lilly of Indianapolis, Indiana, illustrated that strong packs all have in common good annual pack programs that are developed a year in advance.  These plans are then placed in a calendar and shared with all families right in the beginning of the year. This shows good organization, avoids conflicts later, attracts more families, and you'll retain Cub Scouts for longer.  Why wouldn't we all want to conduct strong and thoughtful program planning??"

There is an overview of the six steps of the Annual Program Planning Process and additional resources that include:
  • Pack calendar template that allows you to build and share your calendar with your families electronically or printed
  • Pack newsletter template so you can share regular information with your pack families
  • Posters, both letter size and tabloid size, which you can customize for your needs
  • Family Talent Survey form
  • Cub Scout Den Meeting Program form
  • Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide
  • Boys' Life Planning Calendar
  • Boys' Life resources
  • Pack Budget Planning Guide/worksheets
The national BSA resources on Pack Planning can be accessed at:  http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/CubScouts/Leaders/PackCommitteeResources/UnitProgramPlanningTools.aspx

Additionally, Dr. Zoeller notes that the Patriots' Path Council's own Cub Opportunities page allows for "one-stop-shopping" when it comes time for dropping in great council and district events to round out the Cub Scout Pack calendar.  Events like district family camping, the Belt Loop Midway and Bonanza events, fishing tournaments, and a whole host of days trips, museums, sporting events, and so much more!!

Be sure to visit this hugely important resource when planning for the coming year at: http://cubopportunities.ppbsa.org/

Monday, April 22, 2013

Simple things a Council or Unit Commissioner can do to Increase Cub Scout Retention

Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, Patriots' Path Council vice president for membership and relations, notes that "commissioners can make a huge difference in supporting and improving upon Cub Scouting programs.  This in turn can lead to dramatic increases in Cub Scout retention within individual units and council wide."

Some of these ideas are shared in the Commissioners of the Boy Scouts of America  Facebook page, which can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/CommissionersOfTheBoyScoutsOfAmerica?hc_location=stream

So, what are some simple things a Council or Unit Commissioner can do to increase Cub Scout retention?

 1. Every new Cub has a handbook. Promote to all parents purchasing and using the appropriate Cub Scout handbook—Tiger Cub, Wolf, Bear, Webelos Scout. It is the manual to glean the most out of Cub Scouting for their child.

 2. Studies show a trained Cub Scout leader retains Cubs longer. If den leader-specific tr...aining is not available before the first den meeting, have the new leader take Fast Start training. It is available on MyScouting.org 

 3. All new Cubs earn the Bobcat Rank. Promote earning the Bobcat Rank within 60 days of Joining, and presenting the badge at the First Pack Meeting

 4. Promote Boy’s Life Magazine. Subscribing and reading Boy’s Life helps the boys experience Scouting even when he is not in a meeting

 5. First Den Meeting within 7 Days of joining. Quality den meetings are a critical tool for retention. Make sure every Cub and parent knows the date, time and place of the first den meeting before they leave the joining meeting.

 6. Communications. Promote frequent Communications between the Pack and parents on a regular basis: monthly newsletter, weekly contact using Facebook, Twitter, etc.

 7. Help all Packs find and have a den chief for each den. A good Den Chief serves as a role model for Cub Scouts, they look up to him and follow his lead on how they should act and behave. He serves as the “Big Brother” to the Den

 8. A well-planned program. Program planning is one of the most effective tools to retention. The pack must do their program planning in the spring of the year for 12 to 18 months, and distribute the plan to parents. Parents want to know what their Cubs will be doing

 9. Summertime Pack program. Keeping Cubs active and participating in Scouting over the summer months is an important retention tools. Cubs and families that enjoy a Scouting summer are more likely to stay involved in the Fall

 10. Orientation of all new Cubs and Parents. Successful parent orientation builds loyalty, lessens parent confusion, and reduces the potential of poor participation, which leads to retention through education. All families need to get the right information when they join.

 11. Leader Succession Planning. Help the Pack Committee understand the importance of planning in advance who will replace outgoing Den leaders and other pack leadership

Retention is all about Fun. Retention begins and ends at the unit level. The den and pack is where the most program happens and where the Cubs are most affected. So all meetings have to be FUN!!!!!!