One fall sign-up night or school open house promo table is simply not enough to acheive the optimal recruitment success. Packs that embrace a growth culture always evaluate their sign-up night execution and then hold a follow up night at each school. There some very good reasons for this, including schedule conflicts for families, unforeseen distractions and mishaps with the marketing plan. Executing the recruitment strategy well is a challenge to be sure. But consider these four steps to good follow up.
Step 1: Understanding Challenges from the SIGN-UP NIGHT Event
We need to figure out what areas can be improved from the first event in order to have a more successful follow-up event. There can be numerous reasons why a Sign-Up Night (SUN) did not go according to plan, so we need to review everything we can. Maybe it was the weather, or another event was scheduled, or the flyers didn’t have enough information, or something else about the event didn’t convince attendees to join. Determine where we could have made improvements, and share this information to the Pack membership team so adjustments can be made for future events. Geofence you SUN, use the fence banners, rally your Pack parents to invite friends and encourage your Scouts to wear their uniforms at school.
Step 2: Get Pack Committee Buy-in
Now that we’ve discovered areas for improvement, we’ll need to get the Pack committee buy-in again for a follow-up SUN. When working with our volunteer committee, we need to make sure they feel supported and that we are in this together. Start by having a conversation with the unit New Member Coordinator (NMC), the Pack leadership and even consider what the Membership DE’s can do to better assist the Pack. Yes, this may mean some longer days and more time in our vehicles, but it’ll pay off in the long run. After all, we are volunteer run and professionally guided. If our Packs feel supported (and are supported), we will be successful at growing Scouting together!
Step 3: Focus on Planning a good SUN Event
We have an understanding of how to make improvements, and we have our Pack committee and Membership DE buy-in, now we need to plan the follow-up SUN event. Work with your Pack’s leadership committee to schedule a date and time then inform them the NMC and someone from the district will be present to lend assistance with the paperless application process, hand out the Pack Parent Orientation Guides and collect any completed applications at the end of the event.
SPECIAL NOTE & BONUS STEP: Make sure to include the 2 FREE UCI Flex Tickets offer and the FREE Fall Fest program in Oct. offer to attract new Cub Scouts to your SUN.
Step 4: Hold an exciting SUN Event
NMC’s and Memb. DE’s should make it a priority to attend every SUN, if possible, but this is especially true for rescheduled or follow-up SUNs. If the NMC cannot attend, we should make sure someone who is knowledgeable about Scouting and membership is able to attend to lend assistance. When holding the SUN, make sure to incorporate some kind of fun activity for the potential new Scouts, make sure to bring additional membership items such as square readers, blank applications, flyers, parent orientation guides, etc. in case supplies run low at the event. Most importantly, make sure to put on a smile and have fun!