Cub Scout Pack Recruiting: Your Ultimate Guide In 2024

Keeping membership up within a Cub Scout pack won’t be easy unless there’s a solid plan in place. Yet, many packs don’t make recruitment a priority, which eventually causes membership to suffer. In this article, I’m going to help you to set up a full-time recruiting process so that your pack thinks of recruitment as a “must have” and not just a “nice to have!”

When you think about recruiting, consider this quote from Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell: “A fisherman does not bait his hook with food he likes. He uses food the fish likes. So with boys.” Nowadays, of course, that means girls too! Recruitment is “baiting” boys and girls with activities that they find interesting and which will help them grow. 😀

PS. This article is a guest post collaboration between Cub Scouting volunteer Jaci H and Cole 🙂

In this article, I’ll share some solid tips for a strong recruitment program in your Cub Scout pack. I’ll talk about ongoing recruitment, community presence and school connections, parent engagement, strong packs, Scouts BSA resources, and publicity. I tried to have a little fun with some of the article subheadings — I hope you like them!

Cub Scout Recruitment Is Year-Round

Many Scouters associate recruitment with back-to-school nights. That’s okay, but I’m going to ask you to broaden that mindset right now! You need to think of recruitment as a year-round task. While back-to-school nights are awesome for promoting the pack, they can’t be the only focus. 

Helpful Link: Scouting magazine has a full article about spring recruiting!

Cub Chat also has several great videos on this topic. Leader Wendy K., who was interviewed in the video (28:16) below, reminds us of springtime’s advantages for recruiting: we get more daylight, it gets warmer, and kids start to look forward to summer (and parents are wondering what their kids are going to do in the summer!). 

Hopefully, your pack does a lot of fun Cub activities year-round: the Pinewood Derby, Raingutter Regatta, Bike Rodeo, and Water Bottle Rockets are just a few examples. Many packs hold fishing derbies as well! These are all great opportunities to involve non-Scouting friends and families. 😀

Your pack can even hold tailored Cub recruiting activities that are especially appealing to potential new members! Some of ideas I share in the previous link include guest speakers, engaging games, public displays of Cub Scouting, and much more. Be sure to check it out when you have a chance!

Have a Presence in the Community

Cub Scouts are at an age where it can be tough to find volunteer opportunities for them. Still, you can find events in your community where the Scouts can volunteer in full uniform or host a table. That’s just one idea — this mom came up with a list of 50 ways kids can volunteer. There are many possibilities that would help shine the light on your Cub Scouts!

Leader Jaremy B. from Tacoma, WA said, “We put candy on our table to get kids’ attention, but also bring a game. Cornhole is my go-to. Kids can’t just have a piece of candy; they have to earn it. We don’t give rewards in Scouting. You have to earn them while having fun. We also give flyers to the parents!”

Recruit Cub Scouts Through Strong Connections With Local Schools

I recommend asking for a table at all local elementary schools’ back-to-school nights. I found one pack that handed out detailed flyers. The pack leaders recommended talking to folks on the way out of the event (instead of on the way in). The Scouts could run a carnival game at their table, too!

Scouter Tip: If you create flyers, consider what details you want to include. Meeting dates and location, your Facebook page address, a calendar of events, fun photos, and QR codes leading to more info can all be helpful!

Another pack sends leaders to the schools to discuss Scouting with the teachers at lunchtime. Then flyers are sent home in school folders and information is included in the school e-newsletter. And don’t forget homeschooling communities! Cub Scouts provides a terrific opportunity for home-schooled kids to get more social time.

Divide and Conquer

By now you may be saying, “I get it, but who is going to take on all these responsibilities?” In a dream world, work is shared by many. This isn’t always the case, but we are going to think positive! 😉 Aim for each parent to have at least one job within the pack. Have one parent spearhead recruitment and another publicity.

The recruitment chair’s responsibilities might include:

  • Searching for opportunities to have tables at community events, fairs, or walkathons
  • Setting up a game at the pack’s table, such a “Minute to Win It” or simple carnival games
  • Maintaining materials needed for recruitment, such as flyers or display boards
  • Working closely with the publicity chair

The publicity chair’s responsibilities might include:

  • Obtaining materials to help promote the pack
  • Maintaining the pack’s Facebook page, website, and/or Instagram
  • Inviting the local media when the pack has a large event, such as Pinewood Derby or Raingutter Regatta
  • Working closely with the recruitment chair

If you really don’t have enough parents to fulfill these two roles, figure out how the responsibilities can be divided. Maybe one parent researches dates for community events while another looks into the resources already available from your local council!

Ensure Your Current Cub Scouts Are Happy 

Before you add new kids to the pack, make sure the Cub Scouts you already have are happy. It’s vitally important that your pack is strong first! If not, chances are kids will leave with a bad first impression, and that will not help your recruiting efforts at all.

How do you know if the kids are happy? Ask them! A verbal discussion could be held with the youngest ones, who are usually blatantly honest. 😜 Ask your Lions, Tigers, and Bears simple questions like the following:

  • Why do you like Cub Scouts? 
  • Would you invite a friend to Cub Scouts? Why?

The older Scouts — maybe 4th and 5th grades — could answer a short survey. That survey could be a few questions on paper or even a Google form. If you go for paper, spread the kids out at a den meeting so they can answer individually. If you go for a Google form, get parents’ support to help the kids complete it.

What would you ask on a survey for older Cubs? Here are a few questions that might help you gauge their satisfaction and get a few new ideas:

  • Why do you like Cub Scouts?
  • What is the most fun thing you’ve done in the last few months in Cub Scouts?
  • Which friends would you like to join Cub Scouts? (This gets them thinking about whom to invite in the near future!)
  • What activity would you like to do with your den?
  • If you could invite any adult to speak at a pack meeting, who would it be? What would they do?

Happy Scouts will naturally talk to their friends about the fun activities they do. The best way to recruit is this word-of-mouth method. If the Scouts are engaged in fun and stimulating activities, they will continue to be excited to participate and will share that excitement!

Maintain Solid Pack Parent Engagement

As I already mentioned, spreading the work out is ideal. Engage pack parents from the get-go with a short survey. You’ll want to learn what they personally can offer or what helpful connections they might have, because you need parents to fulfill pack volunteering positions as well as to be den leaders! Ideas for questions include:

  1. What is your profession or occupation? Are there related skills that you could share to benefit the troop? (An accountant could be a great treasurer, although that parent may not want something connected to their work! 😛 You don’t know without asking, though.)
  2. Do you have a connection to a facility we might be able to use for a large pack event? (Skip this question if your meeting place is adequate for a larger event where you would invite more family members and members of the community.) 
  3. Do you have a connection to a local grocery store, food vendor, restaurant, or caterer who might provide a discount (or even a donation) for a pack event? (You never know who knows someone that might be willing to help your pack!)
  4. Unrelated to your profession, what are some tasks you are good at and enjoy? Do you like planning events? Decorating? Baking? Designing things? Building things? (When your pack is in need of something connected to someone’s “like” or “I’m good at” list, you’ll know to ask them first!)

There are also things parents can do outside of committee roles. For example, my magician husband helped the Tigers during COVID-19 earn a Tiger elective (Curiosity, Intrigue, and Magical Mysteries). He created this video (2:50) to teach a magic trick. Spoiler alert: don’t watch it if you want to preserve the mystery of a card trick!

Part of maintaining solid parent engagement is making sure that parents are trained in their volunteer roles. Training from past leaders is always helpful! However, they should still participate in any training offered by Scouts BSA, as the past leader might have missed something.

Finally, appreciation for parent volunteers is vital as well. Simple words of thanks are always wonderful to hear, and formal opportunities to thank volunteers (such as your annual Blue and Gold banquet) are perfect too. Leaders should do their best to work through any differences and show appreciation for one another!

Use Resources From the Mothership: Scouts BSA 

The mothership is Scouts BSA, of course! They offer flyers, yard signs, posters, and brochures to help with recruitment. First and foremost, make sure that if a parent were searching for local Cub Scout groups on, they could find yours. Old website information will do your pack no good!

Next, have your recruitment chair look into these free council resources, as they will save you time and money! The three council sites described below look vastly different, but in the end they all still provide a variety of valuable resources if you take advantage of using them.

  1. Capitol Area Council offers materials that you can fill out and print from home. There is even a customized video you can request! The council also provides specially sized images for flyers and social media. If your council doesn’t provide such a wealth of resources, share this with them and ask them to do so — it never hurts to ask!
  2. On the other side of the United States, the Western Los Angeles County Council offers customized recruitment materials by contacting the district, plus information on proper leader and volunteer training. The resources aren’t as readily available as the other council, but they are still there. 
  3. In the southeast, the council in Atlanta has a full recruiting page that relays the importance of a strong and fun pack. It also describes how to recruit year-round and target families, not just the kids. 😉 Six items are available for download at the bottom of the page so local packs can get to work immediately! 

One leader suggested, “Ask your council to do a Geofence advertisement to families in the area where you are having a recruitment event.” I am not familiar with this marketing tool and don’t know if all councils use it, but it’s certainly worth asking your local council!

Expose Your Cub Scout Pack’s Greatness

Remember that “dream world” where you’d have both a recruitment chair and a publicity chair? The recruitment chair helps get new folks to the pack. The publicity chair gets the word out about all the amazing things the pack is doing. Especially when you’re outside having fun, invite your local newspaper, radio, TV, and magazine! 

The Pinewood Derby is a popular Cub Scout event that would be great for the media to cover. Cub Scout events provide great visuals, and media folks like awesome visuals! Kids are always wonderful at telling stories, too. You want the non-Scout kids telling their parents, “Hey, that looks fun! Can we go to that?”

Whether the media tells your story before an event — “Hey, this is what’s going to happen this weekend” or “Hey, look at what these kids did” — the exposure should be positive for your Cub Scout pack. Ideally, you get pre-event and post-event exposure!


Whew… that was a lot to think about! I hope I helped broaden your perspective about recruitment and that you are fired up to take these ideas to your pack and get to work. A strong pack with happy Scouts and solid parent involvement will be sure to flourish and grow. 🙂

Remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel — take advantage of the resources and materials available through your local Scout councils. They are there to help you and to make sure that you succeed in enhancing the lives of the youth in your community!

Want to read more about Cub Scout recruitment and crowd-favorite events? The following articles related to this piece might offer additional ideas!

Thanks for taking the time to read through this post and consider recruiting methods for your pack! Make sure to check out more ScoutSmarts articles to get support on your journey through Cub Scouting and Scouts BSA. Keep learning, recruiting, and enjoy your journey in Scouting! 😀

Jaci H

Jaci H is the proud mom of an Eagle Scout. She enjoyed volunteering with her son's Cub Scout pack and troop, most recently as the fundraising chair. She works as a freelance writer in Southern California.

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