Retention – Holding on to the Scouts You Have David Mitchko Mercer Area District Commissioner email@example.com
The BSA is always looking for a growth in membership. Growth in membership is the result of good recruitment and retention numbers. A growth in membership means that more youth are benefiting from the scouting program. Retention is a direct indication of how well you are running your unit. Good retention and recruitment will ensure that scouting will be around for another 100 years. Why is Retention Important?
A Fun Quality Program Retains Scouts • Hands On Activities: picked, planned and run by the PLC • Minimum classroom instruction • Positive reinforcement • Create a safe environment • Games and competitions between patrols – skills based • A mix of activities - not just for advancement • A Quality Program retains more scouts – strive for excellence • In 2011, a new program will be in place to recognize units with superior performance called, “Scouting’s Journey to Excellence”
The program should foster and encourage friendship among scouts Promote the Patrol Method Patrol meetings during Troop meetings SPL should know to keep friends in the same patrol Encourage scouts to recruit their friends Avoid the “domino effect” Peer Pressure works both ways Scouts with Friends Stay Longer
Gets Parents/Stepparents/Guardians involved in the Committee, as MB Counselors and as Leaders Invite new parents camping, but make sure you provide them with guidance and that they are trained in Youth Protection Everyone should feel welcome Involve parents in ceremonies and Courts of Honor Continually promote the benefits of scouting to the parents Keep parents informed – communicate! Involve and Work With the Families
The goal is to get them to First Class in one year Make sure they know advancement is done both at meetings and at campouts Prepare them for camping Skills instruction at meetings Planning during patrol meeting Scout and Parents should have list of what to pack Promote Summer Camp early and often Assign an Assistant Scoutmaster to promote and keep track of younger scout advancement Younger Scouts Need to Advance
Let them lead and value their opinions, whether or not they have a position of responsibility Promote High Adventure and challenging activities Every Life Scout should know what they need to do to advance to Eagle No “hanging out” during troop meetings Give JASM’s a specific leadership role Older scouts can mentor younger scout Assign an Assistant Scoutmaster as an Advisor Older Scouts Need Something to Do
Keep and monitor attendance - if a scout keeps missing meetings and activities, contact the parents Find out why a scout is not participating Offer workarounds Stress the benefits of the scouting program Be discrete when dealing with the issues Suggest scout move to a different troop, if need be If a Scout quits, try to get real and honest feedback Watch out for “Bubble” and “Helicopter” Parents Use your emotional resources wisely – scouting is not for every boy Follow Up with “Missing” Scouts