I remember the first time I walked into Orange City Elementary School cafeteria in Orange City, Florida to attend my first Cub Scout meeting as a second grader. My parents and I didn’t know anything about a Den or a Cub Scout Pack. We were simply looking for a place to have fun together. A place to build memories and grow our family.
Whether you are registered in a Pack, Boy Scout Troop, or Venturing Crew, I bet you remember the first time you walked into a Scouting meeting or event. It can be overwhelming, exhilarating or both. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) wants to ensure our newest members feel they made the right decision from the start.
Sustaining membership in Scouting at any level depends on new members joining and enjoying experiences that encourage them to stay. When a youth and his family feel welcomed by Scouting, and grow closer as a family unit through Scouting, then they will stay in Scouting. Simply put, the “Director of First Impressions” for the BSA is its neighborhood program, the unit.
To support our units in their annual membership plans, the BSA has designed and launched the volunteer position of New Member Coordinator.
Here’s how your unit can fill this important role:
The New Member Coordinator(s) is appointed by and reports to the Pack/Troop/Crew Committee Chair. Yes, units may have more than one New Member Coordinator. In fact, we encourage a small team (one to three members) to serve as your unit’s Welcome Committee and community recruiters!
New Member Coordinators should focus on:
- Sharing the benefits of Scouting.
- Develop and share your own Scouting story, showing the impact of Scouting on your family.
- Share local examples confirming the fun and value of Scouting to youth, families, and the community.
- Promote Scouting benefits through social media and other avenues of communication.
- Showcase Scouting through engagement in local community events and service.
- Coordinating unit recruitment.
- Oversee unit recruitment efforts like joining events, group presentations, and peer-to-peer initiatives.
- Appeal to potential youth members and their families through well-designed and widely distributed invitations shared through electronic media, handouts, and personal contacts.
- Ensure the unit’s BeAScout pin at www.BeAScout.org is updated. Contact all that email you via this site.
- Collaborate with community leaders, particularly in your sponsoring organization, to promote Scouting
- Guide the joining and welcoming process for youth and their families.
- Help youth and adults to greet newcomers warmly and to establish friendly, enjoyable relationships so that new members form a strong sense of belonging.
- Develop a unit welcome packet, electronically and/or in print, to answer frequently asked questions and to provide resource and contact information.
- Ensure youth and adult applications, transfers, payments are promptly submitted to the Council office.
- Build excitement in the unit program and encourage youth and families to take pride in Scouting accomplishments.
- Promote feedback and sharing of ideas through customer satisfaction surveys and other means.
The BSA has designed this webpage scouting.org/nmc to provide comprehensive resources to support the New Member Coordinator position. The site offers short training videos, webinars, and multiple how-to guides.
We encourage you and your unit to visit this site and engage a New Member Coordinator team today!
Yours in Scouting,
Boy Scouts of America, Old North State Council