From the Paid Guy
A monthly newsletter by Paul Cowan
Another school year has kicked off. Spring Branch is boasting a whopping 16,725 elementary age kids and 32,160 overall youth. POTENTIALLY, there are roughly 11,600 eligible youth who could be scouts. Currently, Mustang District has 1,264 youth or 11% of the available youth in our school district. (HISD is comparable)
The fall is our biggest and best opportunity to not only recruit Cubs, but also Boy Scouts and Venturers. Venture Crews are the easiest way to get high school aged co-eds in our program. It is also the best way to keep Boy Scouts exposed to the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law through their hormonal years. Boy Scout Troops should not feel threatened by their older boys running off and neglecting their responsibilities to the younger scouts. What they should feel threatened by are the noses of these young men who are drawn to gasoline and perfume more so than their desire to teach basic knot tying (again). Encourage your older boys to consider starting and recruiting females into a Venture Crew thereby keeping them in the program longer and giving them a safe outlet to explore their ‘social natures’.
Cub Scouts are easy to recruit. We can promise them the moon and they will join. We must then deliver of course or they will drop out. Boy Scouts are the challenge in BSA’s recruiting model. These young men are too “cool” to be “Boy Scouts”. They definitely hate the uniform. What they do get into though is the adventure we offer out of doors. Classroom merit badge work won’t cut it. If we are to make an impact on NEW Junior and Senior High boys in joining our program, it invariably must come from a boy to boy recruiting model. Arrow of Light graduates who are becoming Boy Scouts don’t count in this example. I am talking about brand spanking new 8-12 graders never before in the program being recruited by your existing youth to join and participate with us.
It’s easy to say, if each current Boy Scout (Cub Scout) will just recruit 1 friend each, we can double the size of our district. Truth be told, our current Boy Scouts keep this part of their life hidden from even their close friends for fear of being teased, harassed and even bullied. I can’t tell you how many times I hear two boys at a Camporee from the same school meet up from different Troops and say “I never knew you were in Scouts”. How sad is this? How will we ever grow our program if this mindset does not change? Scouting is FUN. We do very cool things in Scouting. Why can’t we tell people about them? How do we tell young men about them? How do we get boys to join Boy Scouts so we stop dropping Troops at recharter time due to lack of participation? We lost 2 Troops last year and are set to lose 2 more this year if we don’t turn around this mentality. Our Boy Scouts are our best selling tool. We have to sharpen our tools or die a slow death.
We have 89% of the ISD not exposed to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. What are you going to do about it? Enough on the membership rant.
Here is what is coming up this month and next for you to Be Prepared for. 1) Popcorn sign ups. It’s not too late. 2) SHAC Jam signups IT’S ON; BE THERE! 3) Cub, Boy Scout and Venture recruiting. Thank you to all who participated in the Pay it Forward Program! Whopping success. 4) Recharter Workshop in October. 5) YPT status for recharter. Don’t get caught without trained leaders. 6) Centennial Quality Unit Award.
Thank you for all you do. If I can be of service to you, please do not hesitate to call on me. I am here for your success. Use me!