Eighty families and more than 300 visitors total turned out for the first Scout-O-Rama at Notte Park and Camp Meehan on Sunday. Scout leaders said 17 people signed up to be a Scout during the event, making this a “huge success” and their largest recruitment effort ever.
Fifty-six children went canoeing for the first time, more than 100 children signed a pledge to end the “R” word, more than 210 miles were hiked, and 160 people went on the guided 1.5-mile hike of the west river trail. They learned history of the land, planet and animal identification, and hiking rules and safety.
Scout leaders offered special thanks to the North Providence Police Department for crime education and traffic control, the North Providence Fire Department for fire education, first aid support, and assisting with a campfire program, the National Guard for running a booth, and the North Providence Recreation Department for continued support of Scouting in North Providence.
Scouter Joe Riccitelli shared how the Scouters in providence, Rhode Island, set up and presented their Scout-O-Rama aimed at recruiting Scouts-
Our local Scout Troop, Cub Scout Packs, and Girl Scouts joined forces to set up and run the event.
Fliers were sent home through the school, we were able to get in the newspaper for several weeks before, and had a banner on the main road in town.
We usually attend local school’s open house events for recruiting, this year we went and invited everyone to the Scout-O-Rama. Our thinking was that if a boy can see and do what Scouts do they would be more interested in joining.
How it Worked
At the entrance to the park was a sign in station. We collected everyone’s information issued color-coded name tags so our Cubmasters, Den Leaders, Scouts and Volunteer Families could in a glance see how old the children were and if they were currently registered as a Scout. We talked to children and families about joining Scouts during the whole event as they visited the stations.
We had adult volunteers at the sign in station with the paperwork if someone wanted to join. Each unit in town also created an information packet we distributed to interested families.
We also handed them a map of the activity stations
- Canoes – We rented canoes through our council, and had a motorized rescue boat.
- Rock Wall – Provided by our local National Guard.
- Nature Hikes – We did a 1.5 mile hike every 30 mins. The trail was built by an Eagle.
- Local Fire and Police – had stations they ran with handouts and general education for attendees.
- Crafts – Origami, natures eyes, and paracord bracelets.
- Handicap awareness – Wheel chair obstacle course, and blind fold walk.
- Rockets – Recycled two liter water bottles into bottle rockets.
At [5:00] PM we served hot dogs, and had a campfire on the beach.
Thirteen new Cubs joined the two Packs who participated, and eight families requested calls for more information. Six families expressed interest in girl scouts. Four new boy Scouts; two at the event, two who attended joined afterwards. We also recruited an new Assistant Scoutmaster.
The Scout-O-Rama generated a lot of attention for Scouting in our community. We are getting calls and emails from interested families. Several other community groups have offered to run stations with us next year.
What We Learned
Rather than waiting until 5:00 pm we’ll have a concession stand with hot dogs and snacks for sale inexpensively. We’ll set this up so after participants get 5 activity stamps they get a free hot dog. While the campfire was great very few guests stayed, so we may not have this next year. We are going to invite more community groups to participate.