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Tuesday, 25 September 2018 15:23

How to Offer Families a Second Chance to Join

“Oh no, we missed it!”

Parents across the country may be having this realization right now. Others may have attended a local sign-up night but didn’t register. These families deserve a second chance to join our life-changing program.

Host a Second-chance Recruitment Event

Don’t be scared by the word “event.” You can create a second-chance event by simply promoting the first pack meeting after each sign-up night as another chance to join. These pack meetings should include a fun activity that new, existing, and prospective members can all enjoy.

Dan Beard Council has made this a standard operating procedure throughout its service area. “We ask all of our packs to hold at least one second- chance sign-up event, which is usually during the pack meeting,” said Director of Field Service Lawerence Norman. He also made two recommendations for packs planning a second-chance event:  

  1. Designate a few volunteers to welcome every new family
  2. Provide the same welcoming materials you offered at your initial sign-up night

Promote it

Send a personal email invitation to each family that attended a pack sign-up night but didn’t join. Make sure to send the message from an email account that the recipients will recognize and use a simple subject line like this one: “It’s not too late to join Cub Scouts!”

And don’t forget about the families that didn’t attend a sign-up night. Facebook is an easy and effective tool for reaching this audience. Packs can create a free Facebook event in just a few minutes through their unit Facebook page. The Facebook page you use to create this event should be up to date, easy to understand, and appealing. Parents may dismiss the joining opportunity after clicking the event if the page isn’t up to snuff.

To reach a broader audience, packs can boost the event. Boosting means paying a little bit to reach people who otherwise likely wouldn’t see the event. As little as a dollar a day for a week or two can propel a joining opportunity to hundreds of prospective Cub Scout families in your area.

Learn how to quickly create and boost your second-chance events by downloading the Making Social and Paid Media Work for Recruitment. Skip ahead to the Facebook section.

Take it to the Next Level

If you have a bit more time and resources, you can create a whole new event geared toward getting your new members outdoors right away and recruiting even more families.

Lake Erie Council held one such event at a local elementary school and even offered overnight camping on the school’s grounds.

“We saw this as an opportunity for new Scouts and families to camp overnight without having to leave the confines of the city. This can take away the fears and concerns of many new families without the risk of being far from home,” said Director of Field Service John Fabsits. 

This event and others like it included archery, BB gun shooting, fishing, water bottle rockets, a portable rock wall, kickball, a monkey bridge, cooking, a mini-hike, and more.

Remember What’s Really Important

It isn’t important whether you decide to offer a brand-new experience or if you simply promote your next pack meeting to prospective Cub Scouts. What matters is that you give families another chance to join our life-changing program.

Join us as we congratulate Philip Mba Wright, who will serve as Scout executive of Cherokee Area Council in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, effective October 16, 2018.

Philip began his Scouting career as a para-professional in Scoutreach at Pine Burr Area Council in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He also served as a district executive, district director and field director at the council before being promoted to assistant Scout executive of Chattahoochee Council in Columbus, Georgia.

Philip and his wife Amy have one son Danny Joseph “DJ”.

Post your well wishes in the comments below, and join us as we welcome Philip to his new role in Scouting as he joins the volunteers and staff of the Cherokee Area Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

Exploring is helping to expand the horizons of the aviation profession, and who better to help tell the story of an evolving industry than Forbes?

Thanks to a new partnership with Reach Higher, part of the Better Make Room initiative, Aviation Exploring landed a recent post in the online business journal’s Civic Nation BRANDVOICE.

The best news is, Aviation Exploring is growing quickly, and with major industry partners aboard this mission, the sky is the limit. The story, authored by Exploring’s very own National Director Dr. Diane E. Thornton, paints an impressive picture of what lies ahead for the aviation career development program.

“With partners that include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Alaska Airlines, we are working to establish 200 new Aviation Exploring posts and clubs across the U.S. this year, and to increase youth enrollment by 30%.”

Read about the exciting ways Exploring is helping to prepare the next generation of pilots, aircraft technicians, ATC professionals, and more in the full story from Forbes

In fact, young people like Yoni Butbul of Pathway to Adventure Council and Megan Ryan of Jayhawk Area Council are impacting the future of aviation today. These two flight fanatics currently serve as Aviation Exploring’s youth representatives, which means they bring the adventure and benefits of Exploring to major industry events like the national airshow, AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., and more. Learn more about how these outstanding young people are repping the Exploring program here.

Discover your future

Aviation Exploring is open to young men and women from the 6th grade to 20 years old with an interest in learning more about careers in the field of Aviation. Exploring offers even more programs for future professionals, in areas such as business, health care, engineering, and more. Head to Exploring.org to find a post near you.

Article produced with the help of Angel Martinez, director of Scouting relations and communications at the Alamo Area Council

The Alamo Area Council began using the BSA online registration system in 2016. During that time, the council team has seen positive results in terms of happy Scout families, volunteers whose lives are easier, and greater efficiencies for council registration processes. 

As the council team has worked to register Scouts and adults with the evolving system, they have gleaned valuable insights about why it’s a vital tool, and they’ve developed some strategies to help make online registration work even more effectively.

Leading this charge is Angel Martinez, director of Scouting relations and communications for the council.

“I want people to be happy,” Angel said. “Most Scouters want things simple and done right the first time so they can do what we do best – outdoor adventure!”

It’s no secret that it can take a long time to get signatures on paper applications and even more time to take the physical applications to the council office for processing. And even when they finally make it to the office, there can sometimes be issues with the information on the forms. This can result in confusion, errors and frustrating delays that impact all parts of the Scouting program.

Eliminating that confusion and frustration was a big motivating factor for the Alamo Area Council to embrace online registration.

But, like any change, it came with an adjustment period. Some volunteer leaders were initially skeptical that this new tool would solve most of their frustrations.

To help get those volunteers comfortable with the online registration system, Angel knew he first needed to build trust among the council’s Scouting community. He started by developing his strategy and doing some key legwork to rally his volunteers. But it wasn’t all business. Angel made sure to make it a fun and rewarding process. 

Here are Angel’s steps to success:

  1.  Start by asking the right questions (here are a few example questions Angel asked his volunteers)
    • What do you think about online membership registration and leads, and why do you think that?
    • Do you believe in what we are doing centered around the Scout Oath and Law and in service to all youth becoming our future leaders?
    • What’s your vision for the future growth of Scouting around our mission to serve more youth?
    • Would you please help us?
    • Would you please consider doing your best to support online membership registration and leads?
  2. Be a good listener
  3. Have food around when you are doing items 1 and 2
  4. Say “thank you”

Step number 3 might be the real secret sauce to Angel’s success. In fact, the Alamo Area Council hosted a free online-membership registration trainin­g (with food of course) for all its volunteers. Hundreds of Scouters attended.

“Our whole staff, including our Scout executive, served grilled hotdogs and pork tacos and listened,” Angel said.

The council even invited Debra Kendrew, who was the national special projects director at the time, to speak at the training and answer volunteers’ questions.

The event was a huge success!

Alamo Area Council has continued conversations and trainings with everyone involved in online registration, and the team has seen those efforts pay off in terms of membership, efficiency and customer satisfaction.

For the most up-to-date resources and training on online registration and lead management, visit: https://www.scouting.org/resources/online-registration/.

Service to the community is often what Scouts are known for, but disaster relief can be hazardous, and it’s best to enlist Scouts only in supportive efforts where attention to safety can be ensured. But for adult Scouters looking to help communities affected by hurricanes and other flooding disasters, here are five important things to consider before entering flooded areas:

Electricity

Be aware of any downed power lines, wet appliances, or other shock potentials. If the lights are still on in a building and the water is rising, there is an extremely dangerous electrical exposure. Make sure to shut off circuit breakers or power to the building before entry.

The use of generators in a flooded environment also creates electrical exposures. So before working with generators, be sure to read these safety tips from the Red Cross.

Infections

Floodwater often contains infectious organisms, including intestinal bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella; Hepatitis A Virus; and agents of Typhoid, Paratyphoid and Tetanus.

Before going into flooded areas or assisting, make sure your vaccinations are up to date, especially for Tetanus (last 10 years). Also, remember to wash and disinfect your hands frequently with these decontamination tips from OSHA.

Mosquitos

Pools of standing or stagnant water become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, increasing the risk of encephalitis, West Nile virus or other mosquito-borne diseases.

Avoid the risk of mosquito bites by using insect repellants and wearing long-sleeved shirts, and pants and review our alert on mosquito born illnesses.

Hazardous Material

Floodwater may be contaminated by agricultural or industrial chemicals, or by hazardous agents present at flooded hazardous waste sites. Additionally, floods have the strength to move and/or bury hazardous waste and chemical containers far from their original locations.

Always be aware of your surroundings and report any potentially hazardous materials immediately.

Animals

Be alert to animals moved or displaced by floods, and use caution around both wild and domestic animals—stressful situations may cause them to behave aggressively.

How You Can Help Now

When emergency resources become stretched in affected areas, the most important way to serve these communities is to respond to what authorities are asking for in terms of support.

While the immediate reaction of the Scouting community may be to provide hands-on support, often, the best way to help is to offer financial support to those whose homes—and lives—have been affected by a disaster.

To contribute to immediate relief efforts, donations can be made to the Red Cross and Salvation Army.

  • American Red Cross: Donate online at RedCross.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS to donate.
  • Salvation Army: Donate online at HelpSalvationArmy.org; by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY; or via mail to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1959, Atlanta GA 30301

During this hurricane season, many could be impacted by storms, including those in our Scouting family. As such, it’s more important than ever to Be Prepared. Please review these resources from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and make sure you know what to do before, during, and after a storm:

Prepare:

When a hurricane is headed for your area, you can take steps ahead of time to be ready for the storm. Make sure you and your family have a plan, gather supplies, and know how to safely evacuate, if necessary.

Stay Safe:

Know how to keep yourself safe once a storm arrives. Whether you remain at your home or evacuate, safety should always come first.

Recover:

Unfortunately, the impact of a hurricane doesn’t end when the storm subsides. Be sure you and your family know the safety precautions to take once recovery efforts begin.

Want to help others in your community prepare for an oncoming storm? Head to CDC.gov for more information on weather emergencies, or call 800-CDC-INFO for questions.

A Scout is helpful, but be sure to check out our 5 safety tips to remember if you plan to participate in hurricane relief efforts, as well the “Scouting Safely” site on scouting.org for information on incident reporting, BSA health and safety guidelines, and more.

Millions count themselves among the many Scouting alumni and millions more support Scouting in their communities – pledging their support through volunteer leadership, financial support and advocacy for America’s premiere character- and leadership-development program.

Now, as Scouting prepares to celebrate a groundbreaking year for the movement, the Boy Scouts of America is rallying all councils to bring forward the most influential and impactful Scouting supporter to the forefront to celebrate them and inspire others to learn more about Scouting in just three steps.

  1. At the 2018 Top Hands Conference, each council will receive one limited edition “Scout Me In” neckerchief to gift to that council’s most impactful influencer. (Councils will also have the opportunity to order more neckerchiefs in case they have more influencers to engage!) There are many ways to consider influence – from celebrities and bloggers to community and business leaders, and we can’t wait to see who councils rally in support Scouting.
  2. In September and October, our newly-identified influencers will be asked to wear the “Scout Me In” neckerchief and post a video or photo to social media using #ScoutMeIn and a few words to express their support of Scouting. These neckerchiefs will be available for preorder beginning next week at Top Hands through this online order form.
  3. Bringing forward the influential and vocal support for Scouting has its perks! The BSA will offer five $2,000 prizes (one for each class of council) and up to $20,000 to be distributed among the top three councils whose influencers can elevate the visibility and support for Scouting nationwide. The only “catch” is that the prize money must be spent to benefit your council and cannot be given to the influencer as payment.

With a cadre of influencers passionate about Scouting identified, the BSA will develop a video series featuring those influencers about why they support Scouting – one of the next extensions in the ‘Scout Me In’ campaign that will continue into 2019!

This is a win-win-win because it gives councils a fun, playful and rewarding reason to reach out to local influencers that they can actively engage for support into the recruitment and upcoming FOS season, enables the BSA to find some star-power that we would never be able to otherwise afford and creates highly-sharable and fun content that both councils and the national organization can share on social media to rally excitement about Scouting during the 2018 recruitment season.

Join us in congratulating Scott Hanson, who will serve as Scout executive of Mountaineer Area Council in Fairmont, West Virginia, effective September 16, 2018.

Scott began his Scouting career as a district executive at Daniel Webster Council in Manchester, New Hampshire. He moved on to become the program director with Del-Mar-Va Council in Wilmington, Delaware, and later to development director and field director with Baltimore Area Council in Baltimore, Maryland. He was most recently promoted to director of camping services of Mid-America Council in Omaha, Nebraska.

Scott is an Eagle Scout who enjoys going to see movies and spending time with family and friends. He and his wife, Becky, have three children.

Send your well wishes to Scott in the comments below as he joins the volunteers and staff of Mountaineer Area Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

This year, we’re excited to officially welcome girls and boys into the Cub Scouts and invite even more families to take advantage of the life-changing experiences provided through Scouting. After all, the values that Scouts are known for – being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent – are as relevant for girls as they are for boys.

To celebrate this, we want to introduce a new video that we affectionately call “Welcome to the Cub,” which we hope you’ll join us in sharing. It offers a chance to hear from Cub Scouts themselves, boys and girls, about why all kids will love Cub Scouts.

Their perspective is refreshing, thoughtful, and priceless! We loved hearing from them, and we know that the Scouting community will celebrate them, too.

Check out the video below, and be sure to share it on your own social channels to help spread the word about all kids being welcome to join Cub Scouts. 

Special thanks to the Cub Scout families of the Pathway to Adventure Council and to Arthur Mathews of the Cook County Forest Preserves for all of their help in making this video possible. 

Today, Exploring released nationwide survey results revealing that student interests are shifting from entertainment to high-demand STEM opportunities, offering insight into the aspirations of the future workforce and potential solutions to current gaps in education opportunities.

Exploring’s Career Interest Survey was fielded in 2017 to more than 32,000 students from 8th through 12th grades. More than 200 career options were offered to enable a broad view of student interests – and an indicator as to where talent gaps may appear in the years ahead. This survey helps Exploring develop real-life job experiences that combine student interests with in-demand career opportunities

The top 10 list of most popular careers shifted drastically in 2017. Overall, interest in STEM-related professions, including health-care careers, jumped to 52 percent in 2017, versus 45 percent in 2016, with interest shifting away from pop-culture careers.

The significance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education for youth is more important today than ever before. Careers in STEM fields are in high-demand, yet many fields are grappling to fill them because there are not enough trained professionals to fill the deficit. The Exploring program is helping by educating youth about STEM careers and building interest in subjects they might not otherwise know about in the traditional classroom.

The top 10 most popular careers from the 2017 survey were:

  1. Registered Nurse (ranked #1 in 2016)
  2. Physician/Surgeon (ranked #6 in 2016)
  3. Computer Programmer (new to the top 10 list)
  4. Veterinarian (ranked #8 in 2016)
  5. Professional Athlete (ranked #2 in 2016)
  6. Mechanical Engineer (new to the top 10 list)
  7. Teacher (new to the top 10 list)
  8. Artist (ranked #3 in 2016)
  9. Attorney (new to the top 10 list)
  10. Computer Engineer (new to the top 10 list)

“It’s encouraging to see a positive shift in interest toward STEM careers in just one year given concerns surrounding the shortage of STEM talent across a variety of industries,” said Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh. “Through Exploring, we introduce youth to real-world STEM career experiences so the jobs of the future are familiar and within reach as they are making decisions about their educational and career paths.”

Through the type of experiential education that Exploring offers, young men and women are able to see themselves in the full spectrum of STEM careers available to them. Exploring also teams with industry partners to better offer an authentic experience for youth, inviting them to explore real roles at real companies and organizations. 

“At GE, we know that the future STEM workforce is critical to innovations yet to be discovered, so we take seriously our role in helping young people spark an interest in pursuing a STEM career,” said John McDonald, Smart Grid Business Development Leader at GE Power’s Grid Solutions business and Exploring leader. “That’s why we partnered with Exploring – to give students real-world opportunities and experiences that open them up to a world of exciting and fulfilling careers.”

Exploring provides real-life activities and mentorship for youth looking to discover their future. Along with other BSA programs, including STEM Scouts, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts and Venturing, Exploring’s career development program complements how students learn about STEM – beyond the classroom, in the community and alongside industry experts looking to attract future generations of STEM professionals.

Learn more about these fascinating findings by reading the full press release on Scouting Newsroom.

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