For years, School Night for Scouting has been a large component of Northern Star’s recruitment strategy. Pack and District volunteers would cover every elementary school in the council on a single night, and our marketing would encourage families to “go to your local elementary school” to meet unit leaders and sign up.
This year, continued fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge that strategy. We’re uncertain about school access to outside groups like Scouting. We can’t expect every school to be available, and that changes our messaging significantly. In response, we’re adapting our message and our methods.
- Flyers and advertisements will not mention September 24th or local schools by default, they will say “sign up online today”
- In Spring 2021, Districts will host 6-7 Community Events: safe, open-house style activities for families interested in Scouting.
- This summer Packs will promote their programs at parades, festivals and outdoor events.
- In the fall, Increased presence at School Open Houses (where available) will be augmented with new Open House kits with activities and recruitment materials.
- We’re increasing our investment in digital advertising including social media, search engine, targeted email, audio streaming and follow-me banner ads
- Enhanced incentives for new Scouts – glow-in-the-dark t-shirt, adventure water bottle and fall day camp voucher.
- Additional resources for Packs to promote in their local communities (bookmarks, posters, yard signs etc).
- In September and October, every Pack will host a recruitment “Invite Event” for both their returning and potential new Scouting families. Invite Events can be nature hikes, outdoor games, field trips or other fun Cub adventures. Flyers, digital marketing and social media will help new families find these opportunities.
Scouting’s return comes at a time when families are hungry for opportunities for their kids to socialize. Scouting has a lot to offer families right now, and we commit to inviting every available family to join Scouting.
Every new Cub Scout will receive an adventure waterbottle, a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt and a ticket to FREE fall daycamp! Packs will pick-up an initial set of recruitment incentives at curbside kickoffs August 5th and 10th. Additional sets will be available at the Scout office, from your District Executive, or pickup at the Scout Office.
Fall is our biggest recruitment season and new families are ready to get involved! To support recruitment, we’ve created a variety of materials to help your Pack, Troop or Crew! Packs can request materials to help promote Scouting in your local community through the leaders’ portal on JoinCubs.org. Order bookmarks, posters, yard signs and more! Troops and Crews looking for recruitment materials should contact their District Executive.
Our New online registration system makes it easy for new families to join anytime – year-round, 24/7. Of course, paper applications are still accepted, but the online system makes finding and contacting a unit easy. New families using the joincubs.org system can also connect to scholarships for membership fees.
Recruitment Materials Request Form
Inflatable Archery Range Reservation
Did you know we have portable, inflatable, safe archery ranges that can be reserved for your Scouting recruitment event? Please work with the Program Relations Executive in your district for approval and then fill out the following form.
Mobile Archery Range Information and Reservation
Please visit the following page for more information (including the manual and range instructions) on this ranges. Mobile Archery Range Page
Get trained for School Night for Scouting by completing this online form and watching a video!
Online Training Videos Scoutlook Image ToolSocial Media Kit
You can find materials specific to Cub Scout recruitment below. As we get closer to fall, more items will be added.
Create or Get Images for Social Media
Create a custom image to invite people to your pack outing using our Scoutlook image creation tool!
Scoutlook Image ToolSocial Media Kit
You can find materials specific to Scouts BSA, Venturing, and Sea Scouts recruitment below. As we get closer to fall, more items will be added. Additionally, we hope that your troop or crew will consider running a new member event or welcoming new Scouts who join Cub Scouts or Scouts BSA. The below materials have a variety of suggestions or tips for doing so.
While local efforts, and a one-on-one conversation, is still the best way to recruit young boys and girls into Scouting, we're preparing a council-wide marketing effort to help you as much as possible! Below are just some of the examples that you may see out and about in your community.
2020 Fall Recruitment Marketing Efforts
- Social media messaging, including paid advertising and boosted posts with Facebook and Instagram targeted at families with young children
- Geofenced Internet advertisements, primarily targeted to parents visiting elementary schools in our council
- Radio ads with iHeart Media, headed by Dave Ryan of KDWB - a Scouting volunteer and parent
- Sponsoring Dave Ryan's Dads podcast and a KDWB live Facebook event
- Emails sent to thousands of Minnesota and Wisconsion parents - who are NOT currently Scout members.
- Spotify and YouTube ads
- Retargetting efforts - images shown to people on other websites after visiting JoinCubs.org
- Dozens of press releases and newspaper stories submitted to local newspapers
- Sponsored blog posts from local parenting blogs and influencers, discussing the benefits of Scouting and how to join
- School and Community Education advertisements
This, and more, is being done to help get the word out. If you have suggestions or ideas, reach out! Remember, these efforts are only one part of an overall campaign. You can help by sharing our posts and spreading what you see.