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, the COVID-19 pandemic challenges our ability to use that strategy. Many (if not all) schools will be restricting 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”
- Every Pack is encouraged to host a recruitment event at the location (physical or digital) and time that works for them. Given enough notice we can customize flyers with that info.
- As schools are putting together drive-through open houses, device pickups and the like, Packs are connecting with schools to be present, visible and helpful.
- We’re increasing our investment in digital advertising including social media, search engine, targeted email, audio streaming and follow-me banner ads
- Additional resources for Packs to promote in their local communities (bookmarks, posters, yard signs etc) are being distributed.
- Enhanced incentives for new Scouts – glow-in-the-dark t-shirt, adventure water bottle and fall day camp voucher.
- Digital den meeting options for packs that can’t gather.
This is a big change, but it 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 6th and 11th. Additional sets will be available at the Scout office, from your District Executive, or at district pickup locations on September 24th.
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.
This is our biggest recruitment effort of the year. In that vein, we've prepared a variety of materials to help your pack, troop, or crew! Use the different tabs on this page to find materials you can print or use the button below to order materials from our office.
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.
As they're created, we'll share some of those items on this page to give you an idea of what's out there. We're still working on our marketing efforts for 2020, but below you can see some of what we've done in the past.
Examples of Marketing Campaign from Last Year's (2019) Campaign
- 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
- Retargetting efforts - images shown to people on other websites after visiting JoinCubs.org
- Dozens of press releases annd newspaper stories submitted to local newspapers
- Sponsored blog posts with Twin Cities Mom's Blog, discussing the benefits of Scouting and how to join
- School and Community Education advertisements
- Google Ads, thanks to the Google Ad Grants network
- Hundreds of boosted Facebook events created for every school hosting a Join Scouting night, with local information.
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.