The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “friendship is one of the grand fundamental principles of ‘Mormonism.’”1 That thought ought to inspire and motivate all of us because I feel that friendship is a fundamental need of our world…it should be manifest quite naturally as we live the gospel.—Marlin K. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy
Your crew, team, troop or pack may be missing an opportunity to grow in numbers and the ward mission leader may just be the person to help.
Community outreach is a part of most churches, but in a Ward, especially in quorums, we may not be reaching all our neighbors. Statistics from BSA show that nationwide, most boys are not “churched.” However, when they join a crew, team, troop or crew sponsored by a church, the family often finds friends there. Many join those churches; their leaders use Scouting as a way to reach into the community to find new members. So why not your Scouting unit? Why not your ward?
Unit Membership Chairman
“Oh, no!” you shout! not another committee position. Naturally you could ask for one, oar maybe it would be easier to get the ward mission leader to look into the job. All you have to do is three things:
- Orient and register the ward mission leader
- Share this job description with him (see below the video)
- Build a social media network among Scouting parents and invite friends and neighbors to meetings on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media platforms. The Voice of Scouting blog offers great training to get you going or you can watch this five minute video to get ideas:
Membership Chairman Principal Responsibilities
- Meet with the Cubmaster, primary president and committee to discuss membership goals and retention. Hold similar meetings with the Young Men presidency, Quorum presdents and the ward Scouting committee
- Build a Facebook page to tell others about everything you do in Scouting.
- Offer boys peer-to-peer recruiting tools both on-line and in print, so they can invite friends all year long.
- Conduct “back to school” and “off to camp” recruitment Scout promotion events in nearby schools
- Distribute membership fliers to schools in your area.
- Conduct Scouting rallies and boy talks in schools; your district executive will be happy to help with this when needed.
- Attend the district’s membership chair training sessions, which will focus on best practices.
- Have your Scouting unit’s be involved in adopt-a-school service service projects. This service to the school will help keep the doors open to your recruitment efforts each fall and spring.
- Ensure that new youth and adult applications are completed and turned into the council service center within a week after receipt of the applications.
- Update your unit’s’ BeAScout pin on the Scout Map and follow up with leads.
- Have your units participate in a fall and spring recruitment plan.
- Work with the district transition chair to encourage youth to transition to the age-appropriate program as they grow older.
- Have an annual customer satisfaction survey done with current Scout families.
That looks like a lot more than the ward mission leader will want to do, but even if he just does a few of these things, it will help your Scout unit grow.
Since both Cub Scouting and the LDS Church have a family focus, using programs like Cub Scouts is a great to way to introduce others to the common values of our faith and theirs and it is clearly a safe place to make friendships with families.
There are many different types of family structures in today’s world. Scouting can be a support to all of them. We believe in involving families in the training of youth, and we are sensitive to the needs of present-day families. Cub Scouting provides opportunities for family members to work and play together, to have fun together, and to get to know each other a little better, right alongside other families who are doing the same. Cub Scouting builds the neighborhood by giving neighbors a chance to know one another.
In the past, nearly every elementary school in the nation had a Cub Scout pack. Those BSA packs were sponsored by the PTA, but these organizations parted ways in the late 1980s and over time, the rite of passage for a boy to be a Cub Scout at his local school faded.
It’s really a shame that in Utah where nearly every elementary school has one or more LDS Stakes associated with the school’s children there isn’t a pack serving those boys. It seems natural that nearby LDS packs would recruit members from the schools, how about your pack?
For more ideas on recruiting visit BSA’s Membership Resources webpage.
What are your best ideas for reaching out into your community?