Scout Recruitment Ideas for the New Year

Tim Ahern | January 2, 2020
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Scouting is a rewarding venture, whether you’re with the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, or Brownies. Your role is to guide and shape the next generation, helping them become productive, honorable members of society. But troops face intense pressure to keep their numbers strong, especially considering a percentage of your members will age out each year. Scouting.org recommends adding at least ten new Scouts each year to make up for that attrition, but how do you actively recruit new members without seeming overly pushy?

Scouts already have strong brand recognition, so part of the marketing work is already done for you. You’ve likely attracted the parents who actively seek out Scouting for their children, but there are many others who simply need to learn a little more before making a decision. Here are some ideas that will help you boost your numbers in 2020.

Check with District Offices

Consider where a typical parent would go if researching information on local troops and make sure your information is there. The first action item on the Boy Scouts of America website is an invitation to find nearby troops. Make sure you’re showing up on your organization’s website and check with your district offices to ensure you’re listed in any directories provided to interested parents.

Use Social Media

The best tool for getting the word out is also free. Make sure your troop has a presence on social media, particularly parent-friendly platforms like Facebook, and regularly share photos and information about your troop’s activities. You can even pay for ads on the site to reach local families who are likely to be interested.

Host an Event

Whether it’s an open house or a winter carnival, an event can be a great way to draw in community members and get the word out about your troop’s work. Promote your event in local community social media pages and make sure your members spread the word. Include games that showcase how much fun your troop has.

Offer Member Incentives

Your biggest advocates are your current members. They’re the ones who will share photos on social media and invite their friends to come to your event. Incentivize sharing by offering prizes to Scouts who successfully refer new troop members. If you don’t have the extra funds to splurge on multiple awards, enter successful recruiters in a drawing and issue a prize to the winner.

Rent a Booth

Throughout the year, there are events in your community that are designed to connect sellers with local buyers. Consider renting a booth or table at one of these events and stock it with brochures and applications. On the day of the event, interact with those who stop by and answer questions. Chances are, at least a couple of parents will sign up their children after hearing about your troop. Once you’ve added recruitment to your ongoing efforts, you’ll find it comes naturally. The more you get the word out, the more you’ll find families approach you about joining. Our free fundraising guides can help you not only boost your recruitment efforts but better market your activities throughout the year for ongoing results. Click here to check out our guides.