How Do I Keep and Retain Youth Members?
Once A Scout, Always A Scout
A question often asked is, "how do we keep or retain the youth we have in our unit from one year to the next?"
answers to this question are as varied as the reasons why families drop
out of Scouting. Conflicting schedules, cost, or a
lack of programs they'd like to participate in are some reasons people might leave.
Ideas To Keep Kids Engaged
year, all of our units (Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops and Venturing
crews) are encouraged to survey the youth and families in their unit to
find out several things they'd like to do throughout the
upcoming year, and even ask if they have a willingness to
Every unit should also be conducting an annual program
plan. This should include meetings, activities, and
events should be put on a calendar and shared with everyone in the
unit. This gives families ample time to review their family
calendar and plan to attend.
During the annual planning
session, costs for activities should be determined, and also shared
with all families. This way they have time to prepare to pay for the
activity, and even plan to participate in any unit fund raising events
to cover costs.
annual program planning session should
address which advancements or recognitions could be earned. All of our
Scouts and Venturers enjoy being recognized for their accomplishments,
and it should be a goal to provide immediate
recognition at the next
pack meeting for Cub Scouts or court of honor for Boy Scouts
Another key component is for unit leaders to
be trained for their position. Training is available on-line for all
positions, and every October and every April the Northern Star Council
holds a University of Scouting, where anyone can register to attend and
participate in a wide variety of trainings to help keep programs fresh,
organized and FUN for our Scouts. Some examples include: position
training, outdoor activities, program planning, unit fund raising
ideas, outdoor cooking, places to go/things to do, and far more.
On-line training is available at:
Scouting year, leaders should be communicating with their
Scouts and families to discuss the following year. It's
important for families to know that Scouting is an age appropriate,
grade specific program. So every year the challenges, experiences, and
adventures will grow to meet their needs and interests. Scouting is a
trail of fun and adventure that can easily last a life time!