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Thread: Recruiting via schools

  1. #1
    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Recruiting via schools

    Hi,

    I'm about to take over a cub pack which has had "issues" over the last couple of years with regularly changing leaders and a fall in numbers. Back in September the group had about 3 cubs and the DC has been running it and has built it back up to 7.

    Our DC sent leaflets to two of the local primary schools (one of them is next door to the hall where we meet). There was a lack of responses to this (think he got 1 reply).

    So, what I want to know is whether anyone has had any more success recruiting via schools and how they have done it? Myself and the SL have a variety of bright ideas such as arranging to go and talk to the kids directly in class, more leaflets, taking scout activities to the classroom, etc. Has anyone else tried something similar?

    I've already been provided with an idea of which schools the kids from our area go to (its a fairly wide area with a complete mix of social backgrounds but currently most of the cubs are travelling from quite a long way away and live much closer to other groups!)

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

  2. #2
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    here is the onkly recruitment method that i would advocate...

    1) run a good programme

    2) let the kids know there are places for their mates...

    don't expect 24 overnight... you have 7? good. let's aim for 12 kids by Easter and 15 by the end of the summer. this time next year? let's aim for 18 cubs.

    get them outside, get them muddy and get them away from their parents to do dangerous stuff like building fires and playing on waterslides...

  3. #3
    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    here is the onkly recruitment method that i would advocate...

    1) run a good programme

    2) let the kids know there are places for their mates...

    don't expect 24 overnight... you have 7? good. let's aim for 12 kids by Easter and 15 by the end of the summer. this time next year? let's aim for 18 cubs.

    get them outside, get them muddy and get them away from their parents to do dangerous stuff like building fires and playing on waterslides...
    The issue at the moment is that virtually none of the kids come from the local area and are only coming to the pack because their nearer pack has a waiting list. As much as their mates will always be welcome it would be nice to get some of the kids from the local area involved.

    As for numbers - all sections in that group seem to settle at about 15-20 kids - probably because of other local groups, size of hall, etc. I'd be very happy with 3 sixes (think 24 could be a disaster in the size of hall available)

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

  4. #4
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    You say the Pack has had issues recently so I'd say you need to run a fun and interesting programme for a bit to prove that the Pack is well run and stable again.

    Once you have done that I would expect the parent grapevine to start bringing enquiries your way but in case it doesn't make it clear to the Cubs that you'd like them to bring a friend along, talk to their parents in order that they will talk to other parents at the school gate and persuade them that your pack is the right place for their kids.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

  5. #5
    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    You say the Pack has had issues recently so I'd say you need to run a fun and interesting programme for a bit to prove that the Pack is well run and stable again.

    Once you have done that I would expect the parent grapevine to start bringing enquiries your way but in case it doesn't make it clear to the Cubs that you'd like them to bring a friend along, talk to their parents in order that they will talk to other parents at the school gate and persuade them that your pack is the right place for their kids.
    The group has just launched the "four week challenge" - bring a friend along and get him to stay for 4 weeks to get a buddy badge.

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

  6. #6
    Map Geek marcush's Avatar
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    do bring a buddy night.

    Rule 66. A map and compass offers no protection against getting horribly lost.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Very interesting. I am aware of a similar scenario where a Group couldn't attract locals, but now has kids from about 8 miles away. Yet kids who live a stone's throw away from the HQ go to another Scout Group...

    How do you get kids from the school next door to start coming along when there rather obviously is a reason why they don't.

    Remember, at this age it is the parents who make the decisions, so maybe, somehow, you need to collar some local parents and see what they have to say.

    I'd say don't rush in. I'd look at getting involved in the school gala day and then doing you recruiting proper once parents have had a chance to see you in action.
    Ewan Scott

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    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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    Tilley lamp fan! Howslo's Avatar
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    One of the most effective tools we use is the 'school gate Mum' (or Dad, not wanting to discriminate!). If you have a keen parent, get them to persuade other parents to bring their kids along. We've used it before now for Beavers quite successfully, and I see no reason why it shouldn't work for Cubs.
    Howard
    Joined as a Cub in 1980
    ACSL 1991 to 2000
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    GSL 2010 onwards. To retirement?!
    www.evingtonscouts.org.uk
    @19thLeicester
    19th Leicester (Evington) Scout Group

  9. #9
    Scout Leader Graham Hannam's Avatar
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    A bit early I know, but we ran a stall at the local school summer fair.

    The Scout Leader, myself and one of the Cub leaders came along with the GSL.

    Whilst the GSL ran the "stall" with lots of publicity material, we did some practical stuff.

    It is astounding how many kids you attract with a few large metal trays, some kindling and a number of different methods of (controlled) firelighting.

    They were queueing up to have a go. It was a really good ice-breaker and we got to have a good chat with them about all the different sorts of things they can do - starting at cubs and moving up to scouts.

    One of our existing beavers had about 6 goes during the three hours we were there (he'd better stick with cubs then scouts after that)!
    Graham


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  10. #10
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    We have gone into our local school and presented at assembly. Usually we have used our Cubs that go to the school as part of the assembly either speaking at the assembly or preparing visual aids or being in a video. We have usually done 1 per year to coincide with founders day. We then give out an info letter to the appropriate year groups to take home. We are not doing one this year because both Beavers and Cubs are full.

    Dave
    Dave Brookes
    Scouter in Charge 4th Swindon
    Cub Scout Leader 4th Swindon
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  11. #11
    Senior Moments Penny E's Avatar
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    We simply wrote a 1 page lettermade copies for each child and asked the school to send them home all the kids school bags. They were very happy to do that, and we filled all the places almost overnight.
    Akela, 1st Tylers Hill

    Yes, those are my legs - and my hiking boots too!

  12. #12
    Member FlyingFox's Avatar
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    Word of mouth worked in the case of our Beaver Colony. We offered a good programme, happy Beavers who told their friends, who told parents, who asked parents of Beaver etc.....

    As for the schools. My sons school are very pro-active with things like this. A new judo club started an after school club in the school hall, they did an assembly and sent a leaflet home - full classes now.

    At school fetes and open evenings local groups are invited to have stalls. It wasn't always like this. It took someone to approach the school, let them know what they would get out of it; youngsters continuing to prepare for 'life' and in the case of the Judo 'respect' and 'discipline' and the school agreed for them to come into assembly.

    Do you have a community magazine? We have a couple of free ones that come through the door and it is free to submit articles, same for your local church they will have a newsletter.

    Good luck and I hope whatever you choose to do works
    People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. Eleanor Roosevelt.

    Emma
    BSL Lightning Beaver Colony
    2nd Brize Norton (RAF) Air Scout Group

  13. #13
    Account Closed
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    Following this thread with interest. Short of kidnapping kids off the street or Press-Ganging ('You have taken the SL's shilling in that glass of coke), I am fast running out of ideas!!!

  14. #14
    IanJames ianjames's Avatar
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    We have always found being at the local school summer fayres a worthwhile exercise, try and get a mixture of young people that match the school age range there doing scouting bits. We normally do marshmallows over an open fire to attract a bit of extra attention. Some are better than others I just think its your luck on the day but its also a good community exercise.
    Ian Turner
    Cub Leader, TA & ADC Cubs
    2nd & 7th Welwyn Garden City Scout Group


    http://www.wgcscouts.co.uk

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