Second in a series of thoughts about looking ahead.
What’s your recruiting goal, the minimum annual number of new members (youth and adult) to maintain your unit?
Our Troop has hovered around thirty to thirty five Scouts for many years now. We maintain an active contingent of five or six uniformed adult leaders (ones that we usually see at a Troop meeting) and four or five core committee members.
We need to recruit about five to ten new Scouts every year to maintain the Troop over time. “Five to stay alive” is our watchword. Several Scouts reach their eighteenth birthday and ‘age out’ each year. We tend to loose about two or three out of ten Scouts within the first year. Once beyond the first year we loose very few.
We devote a great deal of energy to recruiting every year. One assistant Scoutmaster is charged with actively communicating with two or three local Cub Packs and tending a very active Den Chief program.
We need to add one new actively dedicated adult every year or two. Our typical adult leader tenure is about five years. Many have stayed involved past their son’s years with us, some for ten or twenty years. These adults than must be trained and nurtured towards developing skills, rewarded for service and kept engaged with relevant work.
Particulars are not so important as the concept that we are continuously thinking and acting to keep the Troop on an even keel.
Slipping membership, like dehydration, is hard to correct once it becomes noticeable. Most sources advise that we drink a given amount of water over the course of an active day to remain hydrated. Membership is a similar ongoing concern; if it becomes a real problem resolution is much harder, if not impossible.
Other articles in this series: