Tiger Cub Scouts

Mom to Mom Cub Scout Recruiting

Mike wrote to me with this question about Cub Scout recruiting:

I’m hoping I can solicit your help in a project. I’ve been a scouter for the past 6 years… DL/CC/CM all through the cub years and now I am on the council board. One issue that’s been troubling me for several years is our declining ranks in cub scouts.

I’m a strategy executive by profession and I’m convinced that the BSA messaging and recruiting campaigns, while having inspiring tag lines and great potential, aren’t properly targeted or executed. Specifically, they are not delivering a valuable enough message to the biggest decision maker in a young boy’s life… his mom.

What I’m proposing is a mom-to-mom campaign that can be executed locally to recruit families into cub scouting. I’d like your thoughts on this idea. What does a mom want to hear? What do you say to other moms to convince them to give it a try?

I think you are correct that the parents are the primary influence in determining if a boy joins Cub Scouts. There are so many different activities competing for our children’s time. Parents need to know that whatever they sign their kids up for will be worthwhile. I think the idea of a mom-to-mom campaign is a great one.

For our family, we liked how Cub Scouting provided a way for our sons to be recognized for whatever they were interested in. My oldest loves being outdoor – he can get an Outdoor Activity Award. Another of my sons loves to play chess. He can get his chess belt loop and pin. Another just likes to try new things and explore new ideas. He got lots of arrow points. My fourth son loves basketball. He got his basketball belt loop and pin.

Another thing I really like about the program is that it allowed our sons to move outside of their normal social circles. The guys they hung out with in Cub Scouts were not necessarily the same ones they hung out with at school. When I talk to other parents about Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing, I always bring this up. I think that learning to get along with different groups of people is an important part of youth development.

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12 Responses to Mom to Mom Cub Scout Recruiting

  1. Heidi March 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM #

    I think this would be a great idea, but how? Can you give some suggestions on how the Packs can do this. As a mom and a Cub master am always looking for new thoughts and ideas for having new boys join in our fun adventures.

  2. EARL MATTOX March 19, 2012 at 11:04 AM #

    GOOD IDEA – WHEN CAR WE GET THIS PROGRAM STARTED

  3. former den leader March 19, 2012 at 12:32 PM #

    This is exactly what we do in our school based pack. It has been a success for 7 years. We call it parent to parent recruiting. One main way we do this is to host a meeting of Kindergarden parents who are interested in the spring. This gets the Tiger den off the ground in the fall when the first grade boys need a little club and identity. This also only allows a boy to be recruited if there are adults recruited to lead. Dens at other levels recruit when they have openings or fill openings off the waiting list.

    Fall DE run drives have not worked for us.

    • April July 20, 2012 at 6:31 PM #

      You mentioned “off the waiting list”…… does your pack really have and maintain a waiting list?

      • former den leader January 28, 2013 at 4:18 PM #

        April,

        Just caught your question. Yes most of our dens in our pack have waiting lists. Once a den is at 8 (or the maximum of what the recruited leaders want to handle) a leader will start a waiting list, or offer to assist the parent inquiring in setting up their own den.

        We meet at a small school with low turnover. As a few boys choose other activities, new boys are added in to the dens.

  4. LAA March 19, 2012 at 9:25 PM #

    We had an outdoor activity recruitment night with different stations that were run by the Boy Scouts (skateboarding, basketball, pinewood derby cars, marbles, bean bag toss)… after a simple pledge of allegiance, the boys went off and the moms/dads came over to a table where we had refreshments and a short presentation. We had a high level calendar of events available for them – to see what else was happening in the year – talked about the program, and took signups.

    The moms of the current scouts were on hand to welcome folks, answer questions, put a face on the program. It got the boys interested and wanting to come back, it got the moms some time to hear and see what was going on instead of a presentation night.

  5. William March 23, 2012 at 9:06 AM #

    My opinion is that the impression most people have of scouts is camping and outdoorsie rough and rumble boy stuff. This impression does not appeal to most moms. I think the marketing angle of Mom to Mom is a good one if one can appeal more of the lessons that scout teaches on a more home oriented/leadership/responsibility side.

  6. Rachel May 15, 2012 at 6:30 AM #

    Any program that gets the family interested is great. I feel order for the boy too stay interested so must the family. I love our pack activities more than the kids, I think.
    I have just taking a new position called Build Scouting and this fits well with what you are proposing. I am in.

    • Anonymous January 16, 2013 at 9:42 PM #

      hi Rachel

  7. Joe October 8, 2012 at 8:06 PM #

    We have a program call SKIT ( Scout in Training) basic we get younger brothers of Cub Scouts that not of age to join scouts. We let they join in most Cub Scouts activity for example Pinewood Derby Races. And when they at correct of age they can not wait to join.

    • linda May 13, 2013 at 9:15 PM #

      I love this idea of skit, I would like to use this at a training event is that okay?

  8. Sherry June 17, 2013 at 6:18 PM #

    Parent-to-Parent Cub Scout recruiting is a great idea! I wonder if BSA has thought about some kind of campaign for that.

    I like the variety in the program as well. Regardless of your son’s interests, there is something for him.

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