Fall Recruiting Campaign
The council-wide sign-up night campaign focuses on recruiting new families to the fun and adventures of Cub Scouting. Begin your planning by attending your district's sign-up night training. Involve all your pack leaders in recruiting by inviting everyone to training! The council will provide support materials to your pack for sign up night.
Sign Up Night Guide Request Recruiting Fliers
Youth who join Cub Scouts will receive a rocket patch for joining. Scouts who join will also receive a rocket that they will be able to design, build, and launch at a fall district event. Packs can pick these incentives up from their district membership chair.
Fall Recruiting Training
All pack membership chairs, pack leaders, and Scouters interested in recruiting are invited to attend Sign Up Night Training to learn about fall recruiting. The training also covered the texting feature (text Cub Scouts to 833-301-1301), marketing using geofencing, and the council's join webpage (shacbsa.org/join) to help parents easily find units in their school district and join online.
Recording of Training New Fees Learn More About Geofencing National Recruitment Webinars
Sign Up Night Resources
Yard Signs (available from DE)
Table Tents and Signs
All Sign-Up Nights are designed to be fast-paced for today’s busy parents.
The presentation method has been used successfully for many years. The goal is to sign up new Scouts and adult leaders. Packs are asked to avoid the use of PowerPoint presentations because they tend to include too much information, take too much time, and often cause interested families to leave without signing up because they simply can’t stay so long. Instead, new Cub Scouts and parents should be invited back to a Parent Orientation a week later, which gives the pack an opportunity to share more information about their activities and leadership.
The key to making any Sign-Up Night successful is advanced planning and preparation, including recruiting a sufficient number of enthusiastic volunteers to help. A model campsite with a tent, camp chairs, fishing poles, etc. should be to one side of the presenter, so everyone clearly sees some Scouting fun while they’re there!
To ensure families get the message that it’s time to sign up, use various methods of communication and be sure to have a plan. You should start to build the buzz at least six weeks out from your sign-up event(s). The council and district will help get the word out, but the majority of your success will come from unit marketing.
How much access you have to promote Scouting in your schools will help you decide the best ways to market your sign-up event. Here are some suggestions – but these are just thought-starters. Don’t limit yourself. The more ways you reach parents, the more success you’ll have.
Advertise using Geofencing
Geofencing is a method of geographically targeting a specific audience using Facebook. Units with public, organizational Facebook pages can set up a Join Scouting Night event with a geofence that targets a specific audience (e.g., parents) around a specific location (e.g., within 3 miles of a school).
The cost is minimal (~$1 per day, for about two weeks), and the "boosted" event information is shown to the audience who enters into the geographical area in the real world while they are also on Facebook. It’s easy. It’s hyper-local, and it doesn’t rely on someone else passing out fliers or other material. While this doesn't replace recruitment fliers, it is simply one additional tactic to strengthen recruitment efforts.
Learn More Watch Video
If you have full access to promoting your event at the schools, you can employ any of the following best practices.
- Distribute sign-up event fliers the week before the sign-up event
- Posters and yard signs around school
- School rallies or youth talks at the school
- Back-to-school open house events, school carnivals, and conferences
- Electronic backpacks
- Invite current youth and parents to attend lunch at school in uniform
- Videos on in-school video networks
- School newsletter or website
- School marquee signs
Scout Talks are a great way to invite youth to your Sign Up Night. Scout Talks can make a huge difference when signing up new Cub Scouts! A Scout Talk is simply visiting each classroom and getting the youth excited about Scouting.
Scout Talks work best by visiting class-to-class and giving an energetic five-minute promotion on the fun that Scouting has to offer. If this scenario is not feasible then a school assembly will work; however, classroom talks are best. When speaking with the school, thank them for working with us in the development of youth and their community.
These energetic in-school presentations will dramatically increase the success of your recruitment! Consult your district executive for assistance.
Sample Scout Talk
Principal Meeting: District executives meet with school principals annually to discuss how the Scouting program can benefit the academic, emotional, social, intellectual, and physical development of their students. DEs ask principals how the local pack can best support the school. They share how Scouting activities contribute to the academic development of the children who participate.
Sample Principal Meeting How We Recruit Matters
Here are several ideas for promoting the event outside of the schools. These tactics can be done either in tandem with your in-school promotions or on their own if you are not able to get full access to the schools.
- Ask current members to use social media to let their friends and family know about sign-up event nights
- Personalized invitations, emails, and personal phone calls to prospective parents
- Door hangers and door-to-door invitations
- Recruit-a-friend and other peer-to-peer recruiting initiatives
- Fliers and youth/Scout talks at after-school programs or churches in the community
- Church and community websites, calendars, and bulletins
- Press releases
- Billboards, posters, and yard signs in the community (businesses, churches, etc.)
- Community fairs, parades, and other events
- Peer-to-Peer cards (business cards). Ask Scouts to hand these to friends. Ask parents to pass them out with Halloween candy.
- Plan a second event to invite prospective Cub Scouts (e.g., pack meeting invite)—use the second chance flyers.
Make your plans early to ensure that your pack has a great fall recruiting campaign – ask someone to join Cub Scouting today!
Your district or unit can leverage social technologies to improve recruiting. Social technologies are changing the way we collaborate and communicate with each other. Many traditional forms of marketing and advertising have been replaced by online word-of-mouth as consumers share their experiences online. In fact, according to Forrester, a premier technology research company, 75 percent of people in the U.S. use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.). That means for many families, the decision to join Scouting is going to start with online engagement.
BSA Marketing and Membership Hub BSA Brand Center
Sample Headlines: • Adventure is waiting. • Cub Scouts - Start Your Adventure • Build Your Adventure! • Adventure is Waiting. Join Cub Scouts.• Find Cub Scout Adventures Near You • Cub Scouting is Learning Through Adventure • Find Cub Scout Adventures • Rocket into Scouting!• Rocket into Scouting. Join Cub Scouts Today! • Find Cub Scouts Near You • Your Child will Thank You! • Build confidence with Cub Scouts. • Scouting families are supportive families. • Direction for Your Child. Peace of Mind for You • Leadership, Character, Confidence. • Learn More About Cub Scouts • Interested in Cub Scouts? • Considering Cub Scouts? • Enjoy the great outdoors with the Cub Scouts.
Sample Body Text
- When Youth Learn Through Adventure, They Learn For Life. Help Your Child Build Strength & Character Through Cub Scout Adventures. Learn More Today!
- Cub Scout Adventures Build Memories For the Whole Family. Click to Find New Adventures near you.
- Goodbye Video Games, Hello Adventure! Enjoy the Great Outdoors with Cub Scouts. Click to Find an Adventure near you.
- They're Growing Up Fast. Cub Scouting Can Help Them Grow Up Right. Help Your Child Be Their Best! Click for Info
- They're Growing Up Fast. Cub Scouting Can Help Them Grow Up Right. Don't miss the adventure! Sign Up Today.
- How Will You Celebrate When Your Child Earns Their First Belt Loop? Cub Scouts Brings Families Together with Activities & Adventures. Sign Up Today.
- With Dozens of Activities from Camping to Pinewood Derby, Cub Scouts Have Fun and Learn Life Lessons Every Day. Find a Den Near You!
- From Hiking, Camping, Roasting Marshmallows, and More, Cub Scouting is a Fun Way to Learn About the Great Outdoors. Sign Up for Cub Scouts Today.
- Did You Know There Are 1.3 Million Cub Scouts Ages 5-10 in the U.S.? Cub Scouts Have Fun While Developing Character and Leadership Skills That Last A Lifetime. Join Today!
- 1.3 Million Cub Scouts Ages 6-10 Learn Life Lessons Every Day. Click to Find a Cub Scout Program in Your Area and Prepare Your Child for Life.
Sample Link Description: • Adventure is Waiting. Learn More! • Build Your Adventure Today! • Adventure Awaits. Join Today. • Explore Cub Scout Adventures. • Family. Fun. • Adventure. • Your Next Adventure Starts Now • Find a Local Cub Scout Program. • Join the Cub Scout Ranks. • Find Cub Scouts Near You. • Click to Join Cub Scouts. • Explore Cub Scout Programs • Learn More About Cub Scouts. • Explore Cub Scout Requirements • Learn About Cub Scout Ranks.
Photos and Videos
Here are some social media images that units and districts can utilize. Right-click on the photo and save to your desktop. Additional resources
Put Your Unit on the Internet
For many families, the decision to join Scouting is going to start with online engagement. It is vital that parents can find your unit using internet searches. Please make sure your unit completes these two steps:
Step 1: Verify unit information on the council website
Verify your unit's information, links, and feeder schools on shacbsa.org/join-pack. There is a link at the top of the page to submit corrections to the webmaster.
Step 2: Update BeAScout.org
Make sure your unit’s information is correct on BeAScout.org. BeAScout.org is a tool prospective families use to find units to join. Is your unit information up to date?
We suggest listing feeder school(s) and/or church in the description.
Unit leaders can update the unit information to make it easy for new Scouting families to find your unit by logging into myscouting.org. Find a complete set of step-by-step instructions on how to update your BeAScout pin in this guide, and/or watch this “Setting Up Your BeAScout Unit Pin” instructional video.
The following registered leaders in your unit have the ability to update your unit's meeting location and contact information:
(A) Unit Leader: this means your Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Crew Advisor or Skipper
(B) Unit Committee Chair
(C) Chartered Organization Representative
Here’s what you need to do to update your unit's pin - the whole process should take less than 10 minutes:
- Step 1. Log onto your account at “MyScouting.org” and select “BeAScout” from the Unit Tools section on the left-hand menu. A new page will be displayed: There are two "tabs" on this window, and you should be on "Unit Pin Management" - if not, then click the "Unit Pin Management" tab.
- Step 2. Take a moment to look over the Unit Pin Management screen: If at any time you are lost, look for the "Help" link in the upper right-hand corner of the page for help. Also, note that the "Google Pin Preview" section, in the bottom-right area of the page, will display what will appear on the Google map. It will change as you enter/edit information in these steps.
- Step 3. Check the "Unit Description" - this box contains a combination of your unit name and your chartered organization. If the information is incorrect then reach out to your district executive (DE) for assistance.
- Step 4: If your Scout unit has a website, enter the web address (URL). Otherwise, enter your district website, preferably the unit’s page on the district website (e.g., www.raven.shacbsa.org/units). You can always edit this field later if your unit establishes a website.
- Step 5. Update the Alternate Unit Description: many units opt to type their unit type and number followed by their meeting location (example: "Pack 867 - Lincoln Elementary")
- Step 6: Make sure the Pin Status says "Active" if you want your pin visible to prospective Scouts and parents on the map.
- Step 7a: Select your primary contact. The primary contact will receive all emails from prospective Scout parents, so be sure to let the person know that they will be responding to all parent leads. If the fields in this section are "grey" then you must check the "Contact Person" box in the "Fields Displayed on Google Pin" section at the bottom-left side of the page. If the person is already a registered adult leader in your Scout unit, then their name will be selectable from a list. Once selected, all information is automatically provided in this section's fields.
- Step 7b: Also be sure to check all the information with the primary contact volunteer and edit fields that are no longer current (e.g., phone number, email address). It is very important that you keep this information up-to-date as volunteers and contact information will change over time.
- Step 8. Enter the location where your unit holds its meetings (address information). This address will dictate where your unit pin will appear on Google Maps. Note that it may be helpful to enter the name of your meeting location "address 1" and the street address on "address 2"
- Step 9. Type special announcements, up to 133 characters, in the box under Special Announcements. We suggest you list your feeder school(s) and/or church.
- Step 10. Check the Google PIN preview - this is a preview of what will appear on the map. Parents will only be able to see what is in this box, so please review it carefully for accuracy.
- NOTE: There is an option to change the icon from a Scouting map symbol representing your unit type to something else. Please DO NOT change the unit logo icon.
- Step 10. Once you are done, click the “SAVE” button and your information will be uploaded.
That’s all you need to do to set up your unit for BeAScout.org. Be sure to do this as soon as possible so your unit will get recruiting leads.
Parent Orientation Meeting
Online Registration and BeAScout.org instructions
New Leader Resources
Selecting / Recruiting Leaders
SHAC Membership Committee Resources
Webelos to Scout Transition
Packs are encouraged to hold spring recruiting events. Invite newly recruited Scouts and kindergarteners to attend day camp and pack summer events. This is a great opportunity to get them engaged in the program. Sometimes we think we can only recruit in the fall, but spring is a great time to get new Tiger Cub Scouts and their families involved early.