St. George, New Brunswick
When it comes to Group growth, no amount of growth is too little to celebrate. In more rural communities, Groups are often faced with greater challenges in regards to increasing their membership. When we heard that the 21st St. George Scout Group in New Brunswick grew by over 60% we were eager to hear their story. Group Commissioner Cory Leavitt was kind enough to chat with ScoutScene to give us the scoop on how they made their Group grow.
What’s the trick up their sleeve? Exposure. Each youth within this Group comes from a variety of municipalities and communities in the surrounding area. Although this can often make Group growth more difficult, it has the ability to increase their exposure in a number of communities. For example, Cory let us know that each summer there’s a parade which occurs in each municipality, so they ensure that their Group is a part of each parade. This is where they’re able to hand out flyers and speak one on one to those parents and youth who might be interested in joining the program.
“Being a part of these parades also increases our diversity and allows us to focus on gender equality” said Cory. “Not everyone is aware that Scouts Canada is co-ed; so when they see girls included in the parade they become interested in joining. This has really helped to drive some of our growth.”
To help increase the Group’s exposure further, they also spend a lot of their time organizing activities and events in the surrounding communities. This often includes touring the local fire stations, the RCMP and/or Ambulance New Brunswick, who introduce the youth to ambulances and teach them how to properly call 911. Now that’s #SafeScouting!
Much like other Group growth occurrences it often comes down to the work of many great Volunteers. “We have a great team,” said Cory. “Our most senior Scouter has over 45 years of Scouting experience, while the rest of us have under five. Having older Scouting qualities and values mixed in with a fresh perspective has helped this Group develop a strong foundation for the future.” Cory’s goal is to set the base now to gain some longevity (i.e. to see that the youth enjoy themselves so much they continue to move from Section to Section as they get older), in addition to gaining new membership year after year.
To learn how you can grow your Group, visit the ScoutScene Archives to get inspired by the stories, tips and tricks of other Groups!