Ken and Colin attempt to tackle a question that almost every section of every Scout Group has to deal with at some point: how to handle a shortage of qualified volunteers — whether you call them Scouters, Leaders, or Cub/Scoutmasters — and how to go about attracting new volunteers to the program.
It’s going to be hard to start; that’s pretty much a given. Running program when you’re short on people is difficult, and you’ll likely have to get a bit creative; maybe you’ll need to borrow Scouters from another section within your Group, or maybe you’ll need to borrow Scouters from another Group entirely. Maybe you’ll need to schedule activities that see two sections come together in one space, so that Scouters can be shared between sections.
But the important thing is to find ways to keep running a program for the youth...and then go all-in on that program. Do whatever fun and crazy things cross your mind, or the youths’ minds. Because effective recruitment probably starts not with begging or cajoling parents into signing up, but in making sure that the youth are engaged and having fun, week after week.
And once you’ve got that happening, the next steps in the recruitment process become easier.
Firstly, we have a shout-out to Scouter Charles, who sent us a link to ScoutmasterCG’s chart of different types of camp fuels, which discusses the ethics of each: https://scoutmastercg.com/disposable-propane-cylinders-2/
Secondly, Scouter Carl from the 6th Stockport Scouts sent us an update on how things are going for his group. He’s been navigating the challenges of a career change as well, but it sounds like Scouting in Stockport is alive and well...and even going on camps!
Thirdly, Scouter Shane from Cub Pack 290 in New Hampshire reached out to see about arranging a chat between a couple of Arrow of Light Scouts from his pack, and any interested Cubs and Scouts from the 59th Edmonton. Happily, that discussion — a requirement for Arrow of Light — was able to happen recently.
And, as always, a big thank you to the folks at Scouting Radio for rebroadcasting Scouting Stuff episodes to their worldwide Scouting audience. If you're listening to us on Scouting Radio right now, let us know; reach out and get in touch. We'd love to hear from you.
Slow Burn, by Kevin MacLeod