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Recruiting goes on every day, not just at a one-night meeting.
Expect half of the families to plan their fall commitments in the spring.
Follow-up again with the rest at your fall roundup.

William D. Boyce New-Unit Organizer Award
Recruiter Strip

Your spring and fall recruiting events are vital for your unit. With a spring roundup, you can recruit before they commit to other fall activities. New Scouts will get to go to Camp this year. Your summertime calendar is packed full with the trips, events, and camping they want. Parents who plan ahead can make great new leaders.

Your fall recruiting is important too. This is when you get another chance to recruit the ones you missed in the spring. Don't focus on the activities they just missed but what is still coming up.

Your program and your calendar will sell them on Scouting. Make sure that your calendar is planned months or a year in advance and stocked full of great events. Make sure to include all of the council and district events you can. Prepare a simplified, one-page calendar for recruiting. The most important sales flier you have is your busy calendar.

Your other tool will be a good recruiting flier. Your district executive can provide the recruitment fliers and posters.

Don't forget how flexible we are. If they miss a sports practice, they may not be able to play the next game. But in Scouts, you can miss a meeting or even a season and still be welcome.


The Six P's of Recruiting


Have a clear purpose:

  • Every boy deserves the chance to be a Scout.
  • Sign up Cub Scouts and Webelos into existing packs as well as Boy Scouts and Ventures
  • Recruit parents to be unit leaders and committee members
  • Organize new units in areas we are not currently serving.


Involve everyone in the plan:

  • Ask every leader to participate. You need everyone's help that night and as you publicize the event.
  • Ask your district for help with Informational fliers and posters.
  • Ask other units to buddy up with you. "A Scout is Helpful." Work with each other.


A new Scout will rarely find you. You have to be pro-active and invite them, often several times.

  1. Ask each Scout to invite two friends. Referrals are your best prospects. If their buddies join, your Scouts are more likely to stay in too. Show them the Recruiter Strip they can earn.
  2. Ask your chartered organization to distribute your fliers. Go to their meeting and show them all you do.
  3. Ask your committee to take recruiting fliers to PTO, Religious Organizations, Sunday Schools, sports teams, clubs, etc.
  4. Ask local newspapers to run an article about a recent event and include details of your upcoming orientation.
  5. Ask local radio, TV stations, and cable providers to run Public Service Announcements you can get from your district.
  6. Ask if you can do fliers, boy talks, and an open house in area schools. Your district executive should have contacts with school administrators.
  7. Ask your past prospects who have not signed up yet to come this time. You may need to invite them several times.

Use all seven ways to promote your unit. Note that the key word is Ask. Use your resources. Brainstorm other ideas.


Hold the sign-up event at the location where the unit will meet or at their school. Make it a brief, upbeat, and well-planned rally. The group presentation should take no more than a few minutes. Don't talk about the past or use jargon like DE, FOS, OA, or SPL as this can scare off new families.

Gathering Activity
  • Ask everyone who attends to sign in with their Name, Phone, and Email.
  • As they come in, pass out applications, fliers, and your calendar. Ask everyone to fill out the forms. Have plenty of pens.
  • Don't stand in a click with your friends. Have a leader walk each prospect to a table and help them.
Opening (4 minutes)
  • Open the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and very BRIEF remarks.
  • Introduce your leaders.
Presentation (8 minutes)
  • Let the Scouts tell about their favorite activities coming up on the calendar: trips, camping, Summer Camp, etc.
  • End the group meeting in no more than a few minutes. Adults: Don't overwhelm them with stories, facts, and figures.
  • Leaders continue to meet with families one-on-one to answer questions.
  • Register new youth members. Explain what they need to know one-on-one. Don't overwhelm them. Ask, "Do you have any questions?"
  • Have unit t-shirts available as a gift or at a small cost. If they leave in your t-shirt, they will come back.
  • Consider light refreshments such as punch and granola bars.
  • Announce the unit's next meeting date. Better still have an New Scout event already scheduled.


Scouts with involved parents are more likely to stay in Scouts. Recruit adults to at least help if not be the leaders. These are great tools to help find out what parents can offer. Involve everyone. Scouts with "drive-by" parents won't last.


  • Call everyone who signed up to again welcome them and confirm information. Do not rely just on email.
  • Call everyone who didn't sign up in a few days and see if they have any questions. Can you call them again in a week?
  • Call your prospects again in a week. People often need to be asked several times.
  • Call your prospect again just before your next orientation. The ones you missed last time are some of the best prospects next time.



Cub Scouting

Northern Star Council's Version of Cub Scout Round Up Campaign Guidebook #13-253.

Organizing a new unit
Help finding chartering organizations
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