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Spring recruiting, share your thoughts and plans

With most schools back to full week in person classes, I have contacted our nearby elementary and middle schools to have them run a video and pass out flyers for our spring roundup/recruitment in May. All 3 elementary schools and the middle school are on board. They have even agreed to post flyers/posters. I have no idea what to expect. We are trying to rebuild the pack that dropped a couple of years ago as well as recruit for the troop with the potential of starting a ‘sister’ troop. We have not been able to send flyers home for several years and there has been no other promotion except a flyer in the parents ‘newsletter’ that hardly anyone reads and which costs $25 per issue to post in. We are very hopeful. The Superintendent is very supportive. I wonder if anyone else can share what they are doing. Of course we are also planning to put together a full summer program. Why register in May if you are going to wait for fall and why pass on the best weather of the year? We are recruiting from K to grade 8. Wish us luck… Next we will shoot for Ventures at the High School.

My council is making a Spring recruitment push. Part of that is some coordinated marketing and recruiting events and some incentives to join.

We have created a public facing Facebook page, trying to keep active on there with what we are doing. We’ve done some geofencing advertising from Facebook. Haven’t had super significant results, but there has also not been a huge sample size. The fee to geofence can be pretty negligible or heavy depending on how many eyes you are looking to get in front of.

National BSA talked about things like Facebook ads in a recent recruiting and marketing webinar suggesting $1/day should be sufficient in most cases. Any idea how your campaign compares to that advice?

So, I’ve boosted two different posts, one in 2019 which was our original run ($14), and then a different post where I boosted it to $4.49.

The $14 post had greater reach, and was drilled down to my ideal audience of women between 25-45. It was a recruitment video made utilizing several outing pictures + videos put together. Some of the responses that we received ended up other Scouters interested in the video and how that was made more than hey - we want to join your pack.

The investment is pretty minimal (as you mentioned, that $1 a day) so I would assume we will give it another go.

We are doing the same. We don’t have access to disburse flyers in the schools so we utilize yard banners and social media. Before the pandemic, we had a decent summer recruiting turn out, but only one scout joined. However, all the other scouts that came to the Summer drive joined in the fall. While it didn’t seem to have much impact at first, it ended up having a great long term impact. Suggestion, make sure you have a active summer schedule planned. Nothing worse for a scout than to join and nothing happen for the next few months.
Black2Gilwell, I love the idea of the video. However, anyone doing this needs to have approval from the parents. Some parents have a need and/or desire to keep images of their children off social media.

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Properly used, part A of the Annual Health and Medical Record has a place for parents to opt out of photography/video.

And, there’s a place in Scoutbook.

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We checked all of the Health Forms (Part A as mentioned) before posting anything, and also reached out via email to the entire Unit stating that we were producing a video. We only had one parent who came back saying they didn’t want their Scout in the video, but lucky for us - that Scout wasn’t in any of the video so we didn’t need to edit.

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Have you spoken with the Superintendent and/or principal regarding distribution of flyers and possible playing of a video during school announcements? Most educators see the value of Scouting for their students and with proper cultivation will support local programs and provide some access including flyers. It wasn’t that long ago that we could do classroom visits and assemblies along with flyer distribution. It’s time to rebuild or strengthen our relationships.

Even if your troop/pack has a reduced schedule over the summer still recruit now for late summer/fall. Most people today calendar their lives out a year ahead. Most kid activities beyond preschool/early elementary register a full season ahead, sports in particular.

There’s been a lot of mobility this year due to Covid. Reach out to Welcome Wagon if your town has one and target realtors to make sure information about your units is made available to new residents with families. Town hall and police department lobbies are also usually scout friendly and high public traffic/visibility areas for residents. Town senior citizen groups too – make sure grandma and grandpa know there is a scout pack or troop in town for the grandkids.

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