Friday, March 22, 2013

Kindergarten Engagement/Recruitment - Stomp Rockets

Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, Patriots' Path Council vice president of membership/relations, makes the observation that "we already know who next year's Tigers and Tiger Leaders are -- they are your current Kindergarten class.  Too often we forget that and miss the opportunity to meaningfully engage families in what Scouting is all about before we try to recruit them to join.  We need to develop strategies for making connections with Kindergartners now and at the same time keeping an eye out for which of their parents/guardians might make good adult leaders."

One great idea is to hold a Stomp Rocket Derby.  It can be for just Kindergarteners, a combined event with your current Tiger Den, it can be a school-wide activity -- you decide what works best for you.

This launcher design produces no waste, and should cost around $10.

Multiple launchers will allow for a competitive event.

A Stomp Rocket Derby can include making the rockets from scratch, having teams develop a team rocket, and a whole host of competitive (and FUN!!) activities.  Both the launcher and rockets are easy to make:
 For one launcher, you will need:
  • One 10-foot length of 1/2-inch PVC
  • One 1/2" 90-degree elbow (all fittings are of the slip variety)
  • One 1/2" four-way fitting
  • Two 1/2" end caps
  • One 1" coupling
  • One 1" by 1/2" bushing
  • One 2-liter soda bottle cap
  • Lots of 2-liter soda bottles
Other supplies you will need for this project:
  • PVC cement
  • Hot glue
  • White glue
  • Cotton balls
  • Tape
  • Sheets of 8 1/2" by 11" paper
  • Lots of copies of the rocket template (see second web-link below)

It should be noted that this concept is not a new one.  You can find resources on how others have done this at:,or.r_qf.&cad=b&sei=wTlLUfv-M-LB4AOX-4HQBg.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Use Adopt-a-School to assist with School Access Issues

Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller of Patriots' Path Council discusses the Adopt-a-School Program.   "This relatively new program, launched by the BSA, seeks to connect Scout packs, troops, and crews across the country with schools in their communities."  Participating Scouts then work, within clearly defined guidelines, to partner with school administrations and offer the volunteer services that most efficiently meet their school’s needs. With each unit offering their school a minimum one-year commitment, meaningful community relationships are built and significant changes will happen in the schools.

The hope at the heart of Adopt-a-School is to build strong, sustaining relationships with these schools… creating thousands of lasting community partnerships across the U.S.  Through committed volunteer efforts – from landscaping and clean-up outside the school building to Scouts’ active participation in school events throughout the year – the BSA will become a defined presence in improving our nation’s schools.

To learn more about the Adopt-a-School program, watch this video:

Or visit the Adopt-a-School Program website at:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Venturing Recruitment Toolkit

Patriots' Path Council's vice president for membership and relations, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, discusses the new Venturing Recruitment Toolkit.  "The BSA has put out some great, new resources to help support councils, districts, and individual crews with strengthening Venturing programs to young people in their area."

Recruitment is a process that should be reevaluated each year as the crew learns and develops.  It's just as important to retain existing crew members as it is to grow the crew.  Use BSA's tools to assist with recruiting more teens to your crew or reconnect with former members who have become inactive or lost interest.  Encourage and invite them to reconnect with and engage in the crew.  Sometimes all it takes is that personal outreach or invitation to draw them in.

Visit the BSA site to download Toolkit at:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Scouts with With ADD, ADD/ADHD, and Special Needs

Scouting should be accessible to all youth and the Patriots' Path Council has been working hard to provide training and resources to support Scout leaders that work with young people with special needs.

Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, PPC vice president of membership and relations, points out that this month's ScoutCast has a great video segment on "How to Handle Boys in the Troop With ADD, ADD/ADHD, and Special Needs".

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.  What is it?  How do you know if someone in your troop has it and, more important, how do you as a leader handle a boy who has this disorder or other special needs?  Joining us for this delicate yet important discussion is Tony Mei, a 40-year Scout volunteer with the Marin Council in San Rafael, California.  He’s been working with Scouts with disabilities for almost 15 of those years and has developed training for College of Commissioner Science classes for Scouting with special needs and disabilities, including ADHD and autism spectrum.
Go to:  to see the March 2013 ScoutCast on this very important topic.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Strengthen Relationships with Important Community Members

Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, PPC vice president for membership and relations, shares a valuable membership tip on strengthening relationships.  "Having a great working relationship with important community members, particularly school officials, is critical when it comes to recruitment and retention.  Access to boys, families, facilities, and resources all has a lot to do with who you know and what kind of relationship you have with them.  That's why it is critical that you recognize individuals for their efforts and support."

Just as your scouts love to get patches and awards for their accomplishments, we need to make sure we are doing the exact same thing for those community members that support our units.  Certificates of Appreciation are on sale at your local scout shop for a very reasonable price.  Your chartered organization and your school principal are obvious choices -- and they will appreciate the positive PR too!  Why not take a few minutes to help strengthen relationships with those that help you the most? 

Cub Scout Pack 165 cubmaster, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, presents Katherine D. Malone Elementary School principal, Mr. Michael Valle, with a Certificate of Appreciation from the Boy Scouts of America for his outstanding support of the Scouting movement and of Cub Scouting in his school. Thank you Mr. Valle!