Recruiting new members into your Cub Scout pack should never be thought of as a one-time deal. Instead, it should be an ongoing process! Plus, if you get your recruitment plan down right, it won’t really feel like “recruiting” at all. You’ll simply be planning (and publicizing) amazing pack and den events, ensuring that new Cubs come back again and again!
PS. This article is a guest post collaboration between Cub Scouting volunteer Jaci H and Cole 🙂
As I was writing my Recruitment Guide for Cub Scout Packs, I came across a lot of fun ways packs planned to recruit new members. I wanted to share those ideas in this article! At the same time, I realized that packs don’t always need a specific recruitment event. Instead, they should think about promoting themselves with what they already do!
In the next few minutes, I’ll share how you can make any of your Cub Scout pack events a recruitment event, and also specify the materials you’ll need. Then, I’ll conclude by sharing many of those fun ideas I came across while researching this topic. We’ve got a lot of helpful info planned in this article, so let’s dive in! 😀
Cub Scout Recruitment Events
The cool thing to note is that any fun event in your pack can be used as an effective recruiting activity! All you need to do is encourage your current members to invite potential Cub Scouts, and then show their guests how great Scouting can be. Is your den having a game night? Is there a magician coming to a pack meeting? Be sure to invite a friend!
What You Need for Your Cub Scout Recruitment Event
While it’s great to have conversations with potential Cubs and Cub parents, and for them to participate in activities, people also need visual reminders and written information. To turn any event into a recruitment event, make sure you have the following items:
- A display. A tri-fold display is awesome. The purpose is to display basic information about your pack events and showcase the fun! Check out this video (6:03) for a great example:
- Scouts in full uniform. You want folks to recognize Scouts BSA and see the Cubs doing service and having fun. The non-Scouts will start asking questions when they see your Scouts at the 4th of July parade, then playing games at the park, then doing a cleanup in the community!
- Information on how to join. You might use a flyer template from your local council that includes your meeting days, fees, and a calendar. You could even include a QR code leading to a website or Facebook page. If you don’t share information on how to join easily, you are missing an opportunity!
Fun Cub Scout Pack Recruiting Ideas
Remember I said a couple of times how I came across so many fun events that packs hosted specifically for recruitment? You’ll find 10 of my favorites shared below! Sometimes the pack took an annual event, added one element, and turned it into something new. Other times the pack did something simple and fun at a park, which is very visible to the public!
If you want to hear more ideas, check out to this Cub Chat video (38:57) below. It’s a bit long, but will be great to listen to if you’re going for a walk or doing some errands around the house! 🙂
Cub Scout Recruiting Idea #1: Recycled Raingutter Regatta
I saw that many packs invited kids from the community to a Recycled Raingutter Regatta as a recruitment event. To hold this event, the materials a pack will need to supply include empty juice boxes, aluminum foil, plastic milk jugs, plastic soda/water bottles, and old pool noodles.
A pack in Walnut, CA incorporated a Raingutter Regatta with an ice cream social. They distributed goodie bags with Scout magazines, coloring books, pencils, stickers, and magic clay. Some of the wording from their promotion is below, including a few edits from me:
If you live in Walnut or close by, join our Cub Scout family to kick off our Ice Cream Party. Pack 722 has a proud history — close to 40 years. We provide amazing adventures for kids outside of their school classrooms. Kids learn hands-on skills, life lessons, and have fun, too! The best part is you, as a parent, can witness their accomplishments.
A pack in Green Valley, AZ invited kids to a Recycled Raingutter Regatta combined with water play. They played wet sponge toss and everyone got soaked. 😛 They concluded the event with popsicles and ended with several new recruits!
As you can see, at least two packs took their annual Raingutter Regatta and added a new element (ice cream social for one and water play for the other). That’s how they turned the event into something new and involved non-Scout kids. Simple and effective!
Cub Scout Recruiting Idea #2: Game Night
How about a game and s’mores night? Gather board games or some fun outdoor games, build a campfire, and enjoy a treat. You could even set up games in tents for a full camp experience! Need other game ideas? Check out our article, Fun Cub Scout Games: 11 Epic Indoor and Outdoor Pack Activities!
Cub Scout Recruiting Idea #3: Trunk-or-Treat
Another option is to have your pack host a trunk-or-treat for Halloween. Be sure to also have your recruitment tri-fold board visible! Instead of just handing out the candy, have the trick-or-treaters play a game. Use a simple Minute to Win It game, or something like a bean bag toss to have the kids compete a little to earn more candy!
Below is a great video showcasing 100 epic games you could consider incorporating into this (or other) Cub recruiting events. Although the video below runs almost 2.5 hours, you only need to watch a few minutes to get some fantastic game ideas!
Cub Scout Recruiting Idea #4: Invite Unique Meeting Guests
Invite friends to a pack meeting when you have a special guest. One pack said it rotates between a magician, a balloon lady, and a snake guy! Think of presenters for school assemblies. There’s the experiment person and other folks who bring animals. Any of those would be entertaining!
Cub Scout Recruiting Idea #5: Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby
Invite friends to your Pinewood Derby! This is arguably the most popular event in Cub Scouting and will be sure to generate a ton of energy from your guests. It’s fun to see all the different car designs and to watch the kids race them. There was a pack that also hosted a separate Lego Pinewood Derby. The kids built cars out of Legos. Check out the race (1:35) — it looks like a blast!
Cub Scout Recruiting Idea #6: Summertime Fun
You can also host enough activities for your pack to earn the National Summertime Pack Award. Among the requirements is hosting a minimum of one event per month in June through August. Imagine inviting friends to swimming, bowling, and fishing! This Cub Scout pack in Fargo, N.D., hosted a lure clinic (2:33). How could kids not be hooked? 😛
Cub Scout Recruiting Idea #7: Cub Scout Bike Rodeo
A pack bike rodeo could be an awesome event to open to the whole community! It promotes physical fitness and bike safety. A bike rodeo usually involves various stations that can include bike maintenance and safety, an obstacle course, a turning station, a circle station, and a section to navigate the cones. Here’s a video (1:12) of this event from Maine:
Cub Scout Recruiting Idea #8: National Night Out
Most states celebrate this event to build community and enhance relationships with local police on the first Tuesday of August. One pack uses National Night Out to set up a booth with a Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course. Another shoots off water bottle rockets. This is a casual opportunity for the kids to have fun while parents learn about Scouting!
Cub Scout Recruiting Idea #9: Host Cub Scout Events at Your Local Park
Pack 522 in Michigan hosted a “Bounce Into Scouting” event. They rented bounce houses and gave out hot dogs. To promote their event, the Scouts walked in the town’s homecoming parade and passed out 200 flyers with candy. They also sent flyers home in school backpacks. Nine kids ended up signing up to join the pack!
Cub Scout Recruiting Idea #10: Invite Local Media To Your Events
To help get the word out about key pack events or service projects, your pack could consider contacting local media to invite them out! Do you have a local newspaper? Magazine? Radio station? TV? Invite them to cover an event and spread the word about your pack. Everyone loves stories about kids making a difference!
Did you see some of your regular pack events here? Have you thought about using them as “recruiting” tools before? I hope I’ve helped you see how to take what you’re already doing with your Scouts and turn it into a promotion for the pack! This is the best way to recruit new Cubs, without it feeling like too much work. 🙂
Psst! If you want more ideas for a year-round recruiting effort, be sure to read my Recruitment Plan for Cub Scout Packs. In that article, you’ll learn more about enhancing your presence in the community, strengthening the pack, and taking advantage of Scouts BSA resources!
Thanks so much for dropping by, and for being an awesome part of Cub Scouting! If you enjoyed learning about these Cub Scout recruiting activity ideas, I’d highly recommend also checking out any of the following articles if they spark your interest:
- Supporting Your Child In Cub Scouting: A Parent’s Guide
- Cub Scouting Total Costs: Uniforms, Fees, And More
- Everything To Know About Cub Scout Ranks And Advancement
- Cub Scout Camp Packing: 37 Essentials For Cubs And Parents
- The 3 Biggest Benefits Of Cub Scouting (Also Written by Jaci H)
That’s all for now! I hope these fun games and activities help to expand your pack membership and have an even better time in Cub Scouting. Hope to see you back here at ScoutSmarts again soon. Until next time, I’m wishing you some successful Cub recruiting initiatives ahead! 😀