Welcoming millennial families to Scouting
Scouting experiences millennial families find attractive
- Outdoor – parents want ways to have their children outdoors. Parents feel their children spend too much time with indoor activities. Scouting is about camping and outdoor activities. Let parents know of your outdoor activities when introducing them to Scouting, post pictures and videos of unit outdoor activities to build awareness of the unit and your outdoor activities.
- Values –This generation of families’ feels ethical standards is important, accepts and feels comfortable with diversity in family structure, heritage and other ways, and desires to be socially responsible. Let parents know the values Scouting promotes and develops, e.g. courteous, kind, respectful, self-reliant and confidence; and how opportunities for developing and showing these traits are part of the unit program, e.g. monthly meeting programs and unit activities. Unit postings on social media should show how Scouts are making a positive impact on themselves and the community.
- Service – making a positive impact on the environment and society is a value and activity of interest for millennial families. Many Scouting activities align with this desire to be of service; e.g. unit and Scout service projects that contribute to the community or those in the community; would appeal to families. Including a food drive or cleanup day in the program are ways for Scouting to be of service to community and others. Let families know about community service program elements that your unit has in the schedule. Post photos and results of the projects on social media and share with peers.
Millennial families are frequently single parents or parents with two careers therefore they value their time and are careful how they spend their time. They have had technology exposure all their life and find it a tool for making the most of their time. They use mobile devices to accomplish tasks and maintain contact with their peers. They respect and value the experiences of peers more than advertising. Video through social media, e.g. Facebook, YouTube, Instagram; are ways to communicate on a peer basis with millennial families. Units should be active in generating photos and stories about their Scouts among the unit members and sharing them with other they know. In this way awareness of the Scouting unit and the values it delivers will become known. Awareness can be translated into Scouting engagement for a family by personally asking them to attend and join the Pack or Troop.
Question to ask in evaluating and designing your unit programs and operations practices to appeal to millennials:
Are the unit programs and operations compatible with an understanding that parents make decisions for their family and their children based on what they desire for their family; i.e. outdoor activities, personal values, positive community impact; consistent with their financial resources, i.e. provides value for the money (not necessarily cheap), and respectful of their time; i.e. time spend is felt useful and unnecessary activities eliminated, e.g. online registrations and payments available, meetings conform to announced schedules, accommodate the schedule of a single parent or parents with two spouses working.
Transparency is important to parents. They want to know what is involved in the Scouting program. What will their children be doing and learning as Scouts, what is done to fund the program, what time commitment is needed to be part of the unit? Transparency means being honest about the program, finances and time commitment when communicating with parents. If the program has value and presented so the value is apparent, being transparent will help engage families and provide positive peer recommendations.
These session take-a-way's from the session provided by Dan Gille are a result of extensive research on what interests, attracts and retains millennial families to Scouting. He presented the results of those studies, and actions all units and Scouters can use to attract and retain membership. If you desire to improve membership appeal, build your volunteer base, and retain new families in your Scouting program, review the presentation and Session Take-a-way's then apply the information to your unit new member initiative.
Millennials and Scouting 2018 05 03 (ppt)
Millennials and Scouting 2018 05 03 (pdf)
Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops can now create their own recruiting flyer using the editable PDF template. There is a flyer for Cub Scouts and one for Boy Scouts, select the one you need, enter the information desired; e.g. recruiting event, time and location; then print your full color flyer for distribution. Here are the editable PDF templates: Boy Scout editable recruiting flyers 2018 04 11 / Cub Scout editable recruiting flyers 2018 04 11 (1)
Online recruiting flyer ordering is available too. Provide unit and contact information, quantity of flyers needed, when needed, any notice to appear on the flyer, and they will be delivered to you. Here is the link to order your custom recurring flyers
If your unit needs help in gaining school access, organizing a recruiting event or holding school boy and girl talks; contact David Tafur, Field Director, at email@example.com. Please provide two weeks advance notice.
Recruiting is more than handing out flyers, so here are some helpful tips on how to make your recruiting efforts successful. More information
Signal Hill District Membership Chairman Brad Epstein, email firstname.lastname@example.org
EXPOSURE TO NATURE KEY TO DEVELOPMENT
A new study shows regularly experience with the outdoors, such as provided by Scouting, boosts children’s brain development.
The study from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health has found that long-term exposure to green space during childhood is associated with structural changes to the brain that lead to improved memory and less distraction. Additionally, children who grew up in environments with more exposure to nature had more activity in the regions of their brain associated with learning and social skills. More at https://scoutingwire.org/exposure-nature-key-development
Proof that Scouting and sports can coexist