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.