This resource aims to provide Troop Leadership with tools for effectively recruiting Boy Scout age (11-18) boys into Troops.
There are a lot of ideas listed on this page that have proved successful for troops but there are a few things you must do to ensure your recruiting efforts are a success.
There is really no better medium to get the word out about your troop than Social Media. There are several platforms and you should use those which your Scouts tell you their friends use the most along with the ones your Scout Parents tell you their friends use the most.
Facebook is kind of the default. Although it has fallen out of favor with the youth, parents use it heavily and most kids do as well.
Instagram is very popular with youth these days and it can be used to spark enthusiasm about your troops activities.
Having a good tri-fold pamphlet with your annual calendar, a brief history of your troop, contact info for key leaders and plenty of pictures is a great way to advertise for your troop at all of your events, not just when actively recruiting. Put 'em out at your pancake breakfast, popcorn show-n-sells, and even the church bulletin board.
Having a great welcome packet is very important so your visitors can learn about your troop without needing to know all the questions to ask when they're visiting. It's a great takeaway as well because it'll be a reminder of the fun they're missing by not being with the troop.
Enthusiasm & Youth Involvement
When you're recruiting, you need to be upbeat and you need Scouts with you. Sure, you're the one the parents want to talk to but the youth you're after probably want to talk to someone their own age.
Need some help getting enthused? Check out Wood Badge! You cannot finish a Wood Badge course without a fire being lit inside you.
So, you've decided that you want to do more to recruit for your Troop but you're not quite sure where to start. The below ideas can get you pointed in the right direction but if you get stuck, just ask your fellow Scouters at your next roundtable for some advice. Afterall, that is what roundtable is for. ;-)
City Festivals and Fairs
Most towns have some kind of festival every year with all sorts of activities. Your troop can run a fundraiser selling funnel cakes or hotdogs all while getting the word out about all the fun your troop has. Even if they're not selling funnel cakes, your scouts can be handing out fliers about the troop to all they meet.
Even if your troop isn't chartered by a church, there are a lot of churches needing help with their garage sales, Easter Egg Hunts, and Trunk-or-Treats. Have your scouts help out in uniform and keep their cargo pockets stocked with info pamphlets (see above).
Not to mention the fun that's to be had by marching in a parade, carrying the country's flag and a banner with the troop's website address, parades are a great way to remind the community that scouts are here to help.
Talk to a few of your troop alumnus to see if they're willing to donate a little cash to buy some cool gear. Then, offer that gear up to your scouts as incentive to invite their friends to join the troop. They recruit a boy and they get an awesome windbreaker.
Scout Account Bonuses
Some of your older boys may have all the equipment they'll ever need (or they think so, anyway) so you might need to sweeten the deal a little. They recruit a boy and they get $20 added to their Scout Account to help pay for Summer Camp or another outing. Troop Alumni can help pay for this.
Scouts can earn a nifty patch to wear on their uniform signifying their ability to recruit. Simply recruiting one friend into scouting qualifies a scout to wear this award. Check out the details here.
Back to School Night
Back to School Night isn't just for Cub Scout Recruitment. Go along with the Cubmaster and take a couple Boy Scouts with you. There are usually a couple older 5th graders who are interested in scouts. There are also plenty of youngsters joining Cub Scouts who have older brothers being dragged along to little brother's Back to School night.
Graphics and Fliers
Okay, hopefully, you're convinced you can do this. Now you just need some cool marketing materials to post on the bulletin board at work, church, school, grocery store (seriously, anywhere that will let you). You're in luck because the BSA has created a lot of cool stuff just for this purpose. You can check 'em out here. The council office may be able to print a lot of this stuff for you. Just ask your District Executive for details.