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"Boy Talk" or School Rally

The Boy Scouts of America recommends that recruitment efforts be concentrated on fifth- and sixth-graders in early spring, as they approach Boy Scout age. Several resources can be used to spark their interest, including introducing youth to Scouting with an interactive presentation.

Cooperation of schools is essential to gain access to Scout-age youth. Contact school administration to schedule presentation time during school with small groups of boys.

Plan the presentation to highlight Scouting’s activities, high adventure, and outdoor experiences. Display hands-on visuals such as backpacks, canoes, and tents, and allow the youth to check them out up close. Dress in outdoor wear to complete the setting. Allowing some experienced Scouts to assist in the presentation could help the youth visualize themselves as Scouts. The presentation should be no more than five minutes.

Following the introductory presentation, give each youth a High Adventure Survey, No. 34241. Ask them to check the high-adventure experiences that interest them. Explain that Scout troops do the kinds of activities listed on the survey.

While the youth are working on their surveys, announce that you would like to invite them to join a Scout troop. Explain that they will receive an invitation to join a Scout troop in their community if they mark that they are interested in joining. Collect every survey, and check to ensure that each is complete with the youth’s full name and contact information.

If the school cannot allow assemblies with youth, suggest the alternative plan of having the school distribute the High-Adventure Survey. Be sure to pick up the completed surveys soon after their distribution.

The High-Adventure Survey has shown that 30 to 60 percent of non-Scouts would like to join a troop.

The next step involves following up on the initial contact with youth who indicated their desire to join a troop. The Scoutmaster should send a personal letter to the parents of each interested youth, spelling out the values of Scouting and extending an invitation for the youth and his parents to visit the troop at its upcoming open house.

Include a Time Well Spent brochure, No. 02-341, or another brochure that describes Scouting’s values, to provide further information. Timing is important. Mail the letter as soon as possible after the survey is completed; schedule the troop open house for the week after the family receives the invitation letter

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