If you build it they will come pt.2

Well, it took less than a day for someone to read the post and fire an email to disagree… thanks for the email… now Mr. Anonymous… I would like to invite you to read all the way to the end of the last post.. it says “We will talk more about the other pieces to building the program in the next few posts.. so stay tuned!”
So here you go.. Part 2 of “If you build it they will come”.

In the last post I focused on the Scout Leadership and how fundamental that point is in developing your program so ‘they’ will come.  Once that is established, or at least progress is being made to that end, it is time to sell the program.
How do you sell a calendar?  As simple as I can put it, just show it.  And how you show it is through relationships.  Your unit needs to have several relationships to grow.  The first is obviously with the Packs.  Yeah, PACKS, plural.  It is not good enough to rely on a single Pack to “Feed” your unit.  The reason I say that is because we are selling a specific program.  Let me take a minute and explain that.
Our program, our plan, our Troop is not like every other Troop.  Each Troop has its own flavor, its own way of delivering the promise, its own style.  The beauty is that given the Mission, Goals, and Values of the Boy Scouts of America we (all Scout units) can do it that way, we can all have our own flavor or style to achieve the Goals, work through the methods and deliver the promise to the young men that come to and stay with the Troop… so having said that what we are selling is OUR program, and that applies to every Troop out there.
Relationships with multiple Cub Scout Packs is critical if you want to maintain sustainable membership numbers.  It is realistic that not every Webelos Scout will cross over to your unit.  It is fair to give the Webelos Scouts and their parents choices in their selection of Boy Scout Troops.  Den Chiefs that assist the Pack and Dens are great recruiters and sell our program weekly.  They demonstrate through their stories, there teaching, and their presents that we have a unit that values their leadership.  The Den Chief is encouraged to make open invitations to the Webelos Scouts to attend Troop meetings and camp outs.
The Den Chief is the front line of recruiting for a Troop.
The second line of recruiting and relationship building between the Troop and the Pack is Adult leaders that have their hands in the program.  The Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmasters should maintain a friendly presents within the Pack.  Attending Pack meetings, Den Meetings and participating in special Pack functions.  Relationships with Den Leaders and Cubmasters are important in the process of transitioning a Webelos Scout to a Boy Scout Troop.  This process never ends and is only effective when it is real and part of the annual plan.  Dedicated time and energy is a must to the recruiting effort.  Your Troop should have dedicated leaders, both youth and adult that can and will give effort to building and maintaining relationships with those Packs.
The relationships that you build become lasting and meaningful when you give that time.  Some things that we find are successful are; helping the Packs with their recruiting efforts, providing assistants with Pack programs like family camps, pinewood derby races, parades, and working with the Webelos Scouts on activity pins.  Providing youth “teachers” to help the Dens of the Pack achieve belt loops is another great way to get your Troop program sold.  That and by having the Scouts do it, they develop their leadership styles and demonstrate to the parents of the Cub Scouts that our program fosters youth leadership, skills development, and and over all delivery of the Scouting program.  Taking the Cub Scouts on a Fishing derby, working with them on a Wildlife conservation effort, participating with any of the sports related belt loops provides opportunities to lead and recruit, all the while selling the Troops program.
These are building blocks in the “Field of Dreams”… if you build those relationships they will come.
In our next post we will talk about the open house and troop visits… Stay tuned.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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