The Scout Association
Other Tips, Methods & Advice
Remember: First impressions count! Follow up enquiries swiftly, make individuals feel welcome, be patient, flexible and supportive, and make them part of the team!
Parents and Guardians – of current Youth Members
Ask for help with specific tasks – for example: cooking at cub camp, taking notes at a group meeting, looking after the Troop finances, etc. This is the essence of ‘The Big Adventure‘ technique. Don’t frighten off people by asking them to do a specific role, instead ask them to help you by doing a specific task. This may later evolve into a labelled role.
Parent Pack – issue to parents when their child joins Scouting. Asking for details about parent’s occupations and hobbies will help to identify those with particular skills which could help with specific tasks. A Parent’s Guide to Scouting can be ordered from the Scout Shop.
The Big Adventure – involving adults in the leadership team of a residential experience is a good tipping point for converting them into more active volunteers. Target specific adults to support you in running your next residential event, give them a job to do and let them experience the adventure on offer for adults in Scouting
Parent Rotas – involve parents on a rota basis in your section meeting. Make sure you give them something to do and get them involved in the activity. Target those parents who show more interest and continue to involve them on a regular basis. Be prepared to answer questions and explain how parents can get more involved in supporting Scouting.
Parents and Guardians – of future Youth Members
Welcome Pack – When a young person joins include in your Section/Group Welcome Pack details of how parents can support Scouting, and what you expect from them – for example participation in the Parent Rota. Outline the various different ways adults can be involved in Scouting – not just uniformed roles! Think about the other opportunities outside the section and group that also exist. Find out parents occupations and hobbies as part of a young person’s information form. This will help you to identify those adults with particular skills and interests which could help with specific tasks!
Joining List FAST TRACKING – Fast track those young people on joining lists if their parent can help on a regular basis or is willing to take on a role within Scouting. Remember to ask if parents are willing to help when they enquire about their child joining and explain if they join their child will get in faster!
Skills Development – are you near a College or Uni? Students often need practical experience as part of their course, make some enquiries and sell the benefits of volunteers in Scouting …training, skills development, and opportunities to practice skills. You could end up with Hair Styling, Computer Programming, Plumbing, and more as part of the section programme! Don’t frighten people off with too much responsibility, allow them to enjoy the fun of Scouting and over time become more involved.
Use the Six step approach to recruiting volunteers.
Advertise vacant opportunities online. There are a number of volunteering websites which list local opportunities, these include: do-it, ivo, Trustee Bank and Frogspawncreatives. Contact Mark Guy to arrange for your opportunities to be uploaded.
Volunteer Centres – register your opportunities with your local Volunteer Centre. Find your local centre at: www.volunteering.org.uk
Posters, Flyers, Newspaper Articles, Public Events – and all the other media outlets. A poster will not solve all your recruitment needs! However raising public awareness of local Scouting is likely to help in the longer term. Log into the member’s area of scouts.org.uk to access the Print Centre where you can create branded personalised resources.
Create a Vacancy board using the Print Centre and then display it in a prominent location in your meeting place, where parents and visitors will see it.
Think You Know Scouting? Think Again video – an excellent recruitment tool for use at promotional events, on websites and to share with friends via Facebook and Twitter.
Scouting Magazine – Once you’ve read your copy of Scouting Magazine, stick a label to it with your contact details and leave it in a local waiting room, library, staff room, on the train. Encourage others to do the same.
Ask them Back – Contact past youth and adult members of your Group and encourage them to get involved again by reminding them what fun they used to have. Avoid those individuals who left under a dark cloud! The personal approach works best with this group of people, ask someone who knew them whilst in the Group to make contact with them.
Youth Members (14-25)
Young Leaders – are the leaders of the future. To find out more about the Young Leader Scheme contact your District’s Explorer Scout Leader (Young Leaders).
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – Volunteering Section – Do you have some working in your section as part of their DofE Award? Making them feel valued and part of the team could see them stay on following the completion of their award. Lots of organisations deliver the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Get to know your local providers and inform them of the Volunteering opportunities you can provide DofE participants.
Scout Network Members – involving Scout Network members in your programme occasionally may encourage members to take on an adult appoinment when they reach 25, if not before!
Friends, Family and Work Colleagues
Personal Contacts – ask people you know if they would like to get involved or help you out with your hobby! The personal approach is the most successful. Most adults volunteer in Scouting because:
They were a Scout when younger
Their child is a Scout, or wants to join
A friend got them involved!
Shout about Scouting – let your friends, family and colleagues know what fun you have and the adventures you get up to as an adult volunteer in Scouting. Show them what they are missing out on! Facebook status and other social network sites are great at doing this. For example: “Back from kayaking down the River Arun with 20 Cubs!”. You may be able to have an article in a work newsletter or magazine. Talk about Scouting during your lunch break, and other social times. Raising people’s awareness of what we actually do in Scouting will help when they are asked to help!