For as long as most of us can remember, the Scout flier has been one of the primary options in your recruiting toolbox for attracting new members to your packs and troops.

When executed well, a Scout flier can be an effective tool. Executed poorly, it either won’t make it home or can actively deter new families from joining.

So, what makes a well-executed Scout flier? We’re glad you asked!

Below are two samples, one that is executed well and another that needs some work. Let’s dive into the elements that make successful fliers and those that should be avoided.

First, let’s look at a recommended flier approach. 

What makes the above an effective Scout flier? Several things.

  1. SIMPLICITY. Too often, we see fliers that are loaded with images, graphics, clip art, and copy points. The goal of a flier isn’t to drive registration right then and there, it’s to get someone interested enough to look for more information. Keep it simple!
  2. CLARITY. Strong fliers have a clear, targeted message for the audience they are trying to reach. You want youth and families to understand the message at a glance. Avoid confusion by providing a clear message that is easy to digest.
  3. BREVITY. Fliers are not meant to be the only source of information for potential new members and their families. The temptation to provide a wealth of information is strong, but avoid it. This is not a real estate contract. Ideally, a flier will have just enough information to pique your interest and drive you to another location for more information.
  4. BOLD. Strong fliers have large, bold imagery that captures the attention of the child or parent who receives it. This is especially true if the school you’re working with uses an online resource like Peachjar, Remind, Smore, etc.
  5. CALL TO ACTION. Effective fliers have a simple message to youth and parents, “Go do this…” Whether it’s visiting your unit’s website, social media page, contacting a leader, or attending a meeting to learn more, there needs to be a simple and clear call to action for parents to execute as they are reading your flier.

Now, let’s take a look at a less effective flier (note: this is not a real flier, but it helps illustrate the point). 

Since we’ve reviewed what makes an effective flier, we bet you can guess why the above version isn’t as strong.

  1. LACK OF SIMPLICITY. There is a lot going on here. Too many images, too much information, nothing to draw the eye in or capture the attention of a potential new family. Color is always a good idea, but too much becomes a distraction. Keep. It. Simple.
  2. NO CLARITY. What exactly is being communicated here? It’s rather hard to digest because the message isn’t clear. Do you want this family to learn more? Come to a meeting? Go on a campout? Join today? Keep your message clear and concise.
  3. IT’S NOT BRIEF. Simply put, there is too much text on here. A flier is meant to drive the viewer to a place with more information – not to provide every possible detail all on one page. Be short and clear in your message.
  4. NO FOCAL BOLD IMAGE. Big, bold images are more effective at grabbing the attention of a potential new member. Putting too many images on a flier doesn’t give the eye anywhere to focus. Many people will simply skip over this because there’s just too much to process.
  5. NO SINGLE CALL TO ACTION. This goes hand in hand with clarity. The goal of the flier is to get the user to take action on something. Be clear about exactly what you want them to do and how/where/when to go and do it.

To sum it up, effective fliers communicate one clear message, concisely, with bold imagery that captures the eye, and drive people to another location where they can learn more information or ask more questions.

The good news is that many of you are already doing this! For some, this will be a departure from how you’ve done things in the past; but, trust us, it’s worth it.

Putting these tactics to use is easy. It will make your fliers more effective, it will help make you a stronger recruiter, and it will lead to more members in your council.

If you’re looking for some great fliers to get you started, check out the options in the BSA Brand Center. You can find fliers for Cub Scouts, fliers for Scouts BSA, and more!

Please join us as we congratulate Jeff Hotchkiss, who will serve as Scout executive of the Catalina Council in Tucson, Arizona effective May 1, 2019.

Jeff began his Scouting career as a district executive at the Orange County Council in Santa Ana, California. After several assignments there, he moved on to become a field director with the Western Los Angeles County Council in Van Nuys, California and was later promoted to director of finance and administration of the San Gabriel Valley Council in Pasadena, California. He left the profession after being called to serve as the Director of Administration and Finance with Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. He rejoined the profession in Indianapolis with the Crossroads of America Council to help with a capital campaign and later served as a field director. He was then promoted to Scout executive of the Mohegan Council in Worcester, Massachusetts and concluded his tenure there with the successful merger of a neighboring council to form the new Heart of New England Council.

Jeff is an Eagle Scout and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow. He is also Wood Badge trained and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. He has served his church as both an Elder and a Deacon. He’s also been active as a leader in Kiwanis and Toastmaster groups.

Jeff enjoys the outdoors, good movies and like everyone else in the family he always enjoys a good book.

Jeff and his wife Melody have two grown children. Their eldest, Kim, and her Eagle Scout husband, Trygve, live in Minneapolis, as does their younger daughter Becca.

Please help us send Jeff our well wishes in the comments below as he joins in partnership with the volunteers and staff of the Catalina Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve.

This week, the BSA is proud to participate in and sponsor the 15th Annual Diversity & Leadership Conference, April 8th-11th in Dallas, Texas. Keynote speakers such as 44th President of the United States Barack Obama and General Colin Powell will present topics important to today’s culture, such as diversity & inclusion, professional development, talent management, corporate responsibility, and legal and organizational health.

And we’re in good company! Along with BSA, the 2019 conference is also sponsored by 54 other companies, including Amazon, Toyota, Valero, and Morgan Stanley, and approximately 1,500 conference attendees.

What BSA’s Bringing to the Conference

Erin Eisner, Chief Strategy Officer for Culture and People will be contributing as a speaker on the topic of Developing Leadership Presence and Current State of Employment Discrimination Law. In addition, Dinaz Jiwani, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist at the BSA will present ERG 101 – Starting fromScratch, a session to help workplaces form employee resource groups. Jiwani will also moderate the Changing demographic of the U.S. session, so if you plan to attend, get ready to engage with some of BSA’s brilliant minds!

The BSA team will also attend conference discussions on managing and leading a successful diversity council, diversifying the people supply chain, the changing demographics of America, starting diversity initiatives from scratch, and how to apply conference learnings to expand diversity outreach.

We are thrilled to participate in the learning, partnership and collaboration this conference will deliver as we share our strategic vision to serve families from all backgrounds and prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

The BSA is committed to Diversity & Inclusion– people, culture and diversity are considered top priorities, as they are inherently intertwined and pivotal to Scouting’s success as a movement. The opportunity for BSA to participate in the 15th Annual Diversity & Leadership Conference works to bolster our organizational focus of all three of these strategic priorities. 

Para garantizar que la capacitación de Protección Juvenil de BSA sea accesible para tantas familias como sea posible, ¡el programa requerido de Capacitación de Protección Juvenil de BSA ahora está disponible en español!

La capacitación en idioma español tiene la misma información, el material y los recursos de expertos que la versión en inglés, y les brinda a las familias que hablan español las herramientas que necesitan para ayudar a mantener a todos los jóvenes a salvo mientras disfrutan de su experiencia Scouting.

Visite My.Scouting.org para acceder a la Capacitación de Protección Juvenil en Español ahora. Como siempre, puede acceder a la capacitación en Inglés aquí.

Si conoce a una familia que habla español que necesita esta información, por favor comparte este artículo.


To ensure the BSA’s Youth Protection training is accessible to as many families as possible, the BSA’s required Youth Protection Training program is now available in Spanish!

The Spanish-language training has all the same expert-sourced information, material, and resources as the English version, providing Spanish-speaking families with the tools they need to help keep all youth safe as they enjoy their Scouting experience.

Visit My.Scouting.org. to access the Spanish-language Youth Protection Training now. As always, you can access the English-language training as well from My.Scouting.org.

If you know a Spanish-speaking family who needs this information, please share this article!

Please join us as we congratulate John H. Mosby, who will serve as Assistant Chief Scout Executive – Development, effective April 15, 2019.

John will bring proven leadership experience to support our staff and volunteer leadership in taking our development efforts to the next level. Aligning support for both National and local council initiatives has created synergy over the past several years and now, more than ever, expanded fundraising at all levels will provide the resources necessary to support our growing membership.

John began his Scouting career in 1990 as a district executive at the Heart of America Council in Kansas City, Missouri. He served in several positions at the council including program director, district director, assistant director of field service, and eventually director of field service. In 2001, he was selected as the Scout executive of the Illowa Council in Davenport, Iowa. From there, John moved on to become the Scout executive of the Northeast Illinois Council in Highland Park, Illinois and then the Narragansett Council in Providence, Rhode Island. John was then named the regional director of the Northeast Region, where he has successfully served since 2016.

John graduated with a bachelor of science in education and a minor in mathematics from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.

John is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow who enjoys running and bicycle racing.

John has two grown Eagle Scout sons, Tom and Jacob, and he has enjoyed serving over the years as their volunteer leader including treks to Philmont, the Florida Sea Base, and the National Jamboree.

In the comments below, please help us send John our best wishes as he assumes this new leadership role in the BSA. John brings tremendous energy and commitment to deliver the Scouting program to the youth of our Nation and we look forward to seeing how that enthusiasm will propel us forward in the years to come.

For this group of Scouts in the Boy Scouts of America Del-Mar-Va Council, experiencing their first crossover ceremony represented something more than a simple transition from Cub Scouts into Scouts BSA. It was a chance to continue a journey that, for some of them, had started in another country. 

Most of the boys in Pack 003 are part of families that immigrated to the United States within the past few years. In fact, the families of the 17 youth at this crossover ceremony came from countries including Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

When these families first came to the United States, they looked for an opportunity to introduce their children to the traditions and culture of their new home in the Easton, Maryland, community. Through a collaboration with the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center (ChesMRC), many of these families discovered Scouting. 

As its mission, the ChesMRC “empowers people from different cultures to become successful and engaged members of our community,” which is complementary to the mission of the Boy Scouts of America “to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

Scouting, which has long been a part of American culture, represented a place for these youth and their families to feel welcome and to learn about the culture of their new community as well as gain valuable skills that would serve these families well into their future. 

“I love being a Scout because we get to do some things that most kids don’t get to do,” said Blas S., who has been part of Cub Scouting for several years and was excited to be making the transition into a Scouts BSA troop. 

Ana Argueta, a mother who has been helping with the Cub Scout pack, talked about learning right alongside her son and the value that has for her family.

“Back in my country, I don’t think we’d have this opportunity,” she said. “So I think it’s a very good opportunity as a parent.”

As part of their participation in Scouting, the boys have had many adventures in and around their community.

“We get to explore the Del-Mar-Va peninsula a lot more, the traditions and cultures here,” said Cub Scout leader Matthew Peters. 

To see more on the story of these Scouts, be sure to watch the full report from WBOC-TV 16 below.  

WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 –

photo: WBOC-TV 16

We may only be three months in, but 2019 has already been a momentous year for the BSA! As March comes to a close and we wrap up Women’s History Month, see what these female leaders around the BSA have to say about women in the Scouting movement.

Cathy Wilson, Sr. Admin Assistant

“I am excited about Mike’s vision for engaging more women in the BSA movement. I think this is a great time for BSA to truly develop into an organization that leads from the front on engagement and inclusion of women leaders. I believe this will lead to a healthier, more well-rounded BSA.”

– Cathy Wilson, Sr. Admin Assistant

Carol Whitebook, Area 7 Director

“As the first female Southern Region Scout executive (2008) and the first female area director in the Southern Region as of this past October, I am passionate about making sure women in the Scouting movement realize their opportunities are unlimited.  With female representation on the Chief’s Cabinet and our first female National Commissioner, I am ecstatic about the forward momentum I am seeing for women, and frankly, all diverse candidates, across our Scouting workforce and volunteer structure.  I would encourage all female commissioned employees and all National Council females to gain support by joining RISE, our women’s workforce resource group. “

– Carol Whitebook, Area 7 Director

Ellie Morrison, National Commissioner

“When men and women work side by side with respect and towards a common goal, great things happen. That can be seen in action every day in the BSA. Men and women are working together at every level: unit, district, council, area, region and national. All of them are investing in children not their own—and those investments pay off in terms of character development, service and leadership—not only for the youth, but for the adults as well. The addition of girls in Cub Scouting and Scouts BSA to Scouting’s other programs for young women will expand opportunities for everyone.  It is exciting to see both men and women work together to ensure those girls have a great Scouting experience. As those young women earn their Eagle Scout Award, they will take their place alongside young men. Only time will tell where that will lead them and our country, but we know they will be prepared to do great things together.”

– Ellie Morrison, National Commissioner

Lucia Bernal, Field Director

“I think we have the ability to make a difference and give other women the opportunity to join us in this great movement because women have the power to move mountains and show a different perspective in a professional setting where everyone can rise. Our organization has the platform and allows professional women to create a better version of themselves and help young boys and girls become the leaders of tomorrow through the Scouting program.”

– Lucia Bernal, Field Director, Greater Los Angeles Area Council

Sharon Moulds, Scout Executive, Pittsburgh PA

“Women have been involved in the Boy Scouts of America for a very long time. We have even gotten better about attracting women into professional Scouting. Because of that, we must continue to reach out to them to ensure they have the support they need to be successful. 

As a female professional, my vision for engaging more women in the movement is to provide them with a platform where they can speak openly about challenges and opportunities they are experiencing. Then we create a forum where they can work on solutions that will help everyone; giving them a voice.

I would like other women in the profession, including myself, to welcome the new women coming in so they have someone they can reach out to. This would be especially helpful in smaller councils where they may be the only female.  Everyone needs someone they can call to get advice and if we could be proactive by reaching out to them, perhaps they will feel important and understood.

I dream of the day where we are a successful organization that is the model of diversity and a true example for the rest of the world.”

– Sharon Moulds, Scout Executive, Laurel Highlands Council

Alison Schuler, Executive Board Member

“Women are going wherever Scouting needs them.  Women, like men, can now use every asset at their disposal—time, talent, treasure, passion—to empower Scouts to have the character, commitment and training to lead, guide, and enrich their societies.  When all are benefitted, all should participate; when all participate to their best ability and without limitation, all are benefitted to the same degree.  Go forth, gentlemen and ladies, and serve!”

– Alison Schuler, Executive Board Member

Erin Eisner, Chief Strategy Office for Culture & People

“Scouting is premised upon servant leadership. Women in Scouting have long-ago mastered the concept of working in service of others. Their work and dedication to Scouting has helped instill values such as honor and leadership in millions of youth across our nation. This rich history of Women in Scouting is one to be recognized and celebrated. But now is also a time for deepening this connection and creating a new and vibrant path for women as volunteer leaders, women working in and leading our councils and young women in Cub Scouting and Scouts BSA. Women in Scouting are authentic leaders who bring diversity of thought, experience and perspective to strengthen our Movement. We have a mission to change as many lives through Scouting as we can. We are volunteering, working, leading and learning in the most exciting time in BSA history. Our future is bright and together, the Scouting family will continue to raise young leaders with strong character and unwavering respect for God, our country and each other.”

– Erin Eisner, Chief Strategy Office for Culture & People

RISE is a resource group for Scouting professionals throughout the BSA— both men and women. RISE works to recognize, inspire, support, and empower the women of Scouting through professional development, fellowship, service, and inclusion.

Special thanks to Dinaz Kachhi-Jiwani, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Specialist and RISE Chairwoman for submitting this story.

The Boy Scouts of America aims to instill lifelong values from the Scout Oath and Law into young people. While the organization often focuses on the impact of unit leaders, council volunteers, and BSA professionals, members of the educator community sometimes fulfill this mission.

To recognize the valuable contributions the educator community makes in the lives of young people, the BSA introduced the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award in 2016. Teachers, coaches, administrators, custodians, cafeteria workers, and many others can have a profound impact on preparing youth to become better citizens and leaders. These educators understand that ‘Scouting’ values can also make excellent ‘teaching’ values.

Named after a Columbia University education professor (who also happened to be the BSA’s second Chief Scout Executive), the Elbert K. Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award is presented to those who work in education and who follow the BSA’s mission “to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.”

This award can be presented at the district, council, area, region, and national level based on the reach of the impact of the recipient. Recipients do not have to be teachers or have previous Scouting connections. They can work in public, private, or religious schools, and at any level from elementary education to higher education.

While the award was just created in 2016, it has already been presented to dozens of worthy individuals across the nation.

Patrick Gibbons, a teacher at San Pablo Elementary within the North Florida Council, is one such recipient. Gibbons is known for modeling integrity, self-confidence, helpfulness, and kindness to his students. He creates a culture of respect for others in his 4th-grade classroom, ensuring that each student has an opportunity to shine.

Outside of just the classroom, Gibbons shows an attentiveness to his students’ well-being and personal interests, eating lunch with students and attending all school functions. He also leads a competitive school running club; Gibbons is known for teaching youth that if they finish first, to go back and help somebody — because no one should finish alone.

Several other remarkable individuals have also been recognized with the Fretwell Outstanding Educator Award.

Take duWayne Amen, a director of facilities at a school in Old Hickory Council, who goes above and beyond his responsibilities to serve the school and community.

Another example is Kim Wilburn-Cullom, an elementary school principal in Great Smoky Mountain Council. Kim believes in the importance of teaching youth to be prepared and do their best; she also supported the formation of a STEM Scout Lab at her school.

Another recipient, Nicole Adell, wanted to start a program to instill values and leadership in the youth attending the middle school she administered. She saw this as an excellent opportunity to partner with Chattahoochee Council to bring Scouting into her school.

The list of outstanding individuals in education who support Scouting values (either directly or indirectly) goes on and on. And unlike many Scouting awards, there’s no limit to the number of Fretwell Awards that may be given each year. The suggested rule of thumb is to present one award per year on each school campus; or two per campus for those campuses with more than 500 students.

For more information on the Fretwell Award, including a nomination form and presentation script, visit http://scoutingwire. org/marketing-and-membership-hub/new-unit-development/ education-relationships/.

This article was contributed by Cathie Seebauer, Communications Lead for the BSA’s Education Relationships Subcommittee. 

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