I saw this all the time back when I was a den leader, and I still see various forms of it at the troop level, and not just at recruiting time.
“Pee Wee has so many activities, that I don’t have time to get him to all of them. So, he’s not going to < insert BSA activity name here > this week.” That’s fine on occasion, as we’re all too busy for something at least once a day. However, when it becomes a habitual issue (e.g. “I can never get Pee Wee to the OA meeting. Can he ride with you?”) that I start to have trouble. Recently, the issue of over-committed parents came up in which the parents of Scout #1 (who were going out of town) had apparently coordinated to have him carpool to a campout with the parents of Scout #2. A few days before the campout, a desperate email came from the parents of Scout #2 that they couldn’t get either of the scouts to the campout, because they had some other commitment. I don’t know specifically why this case occurred, but I know multiple-bookings tend to happen for me when I’m not paying enough attention to what I’m doing/agreeing to.
Back on the recruiting side, sometimes getting movement on recruiting for parents who say they’re too busy has taken putting them in touch with someone else they already know who is participating in scouts, and encouraging them to alternate “carpooling” to scouts. Some of our families in the troop did this with no outside prompting.
As much as I’d love to get another youth into scouting, I’m thinking about the inevitable impact that having another set of parents “too busy” to support their scout in the program will have on the leaders/other parents who are involved. If the parent thinks they’re too busy to even consider their scout participating, how much support will they be able to give at home for the scout’s work in the program (or for that matter helping the other adults implement the program)? At the same time, having been a kid who grew up in a single-parent household, I know that my mom didn’t have any time to “support” our pack/troop, but we made it work anyway. She eventually ended up helping start a pack closer to home that my brother joined, so maybe “not now” doesn’t have to mean “not ever” in those types of recruiting situations.