No matter how large or small, achieving growth within your Group is something to be celebrated. This month we are celebrating a Scout Group that not only has grown significantly, but continues to focus on growth as a key area of importance. After all, growing your Group means more youth are able to experience the fun adventures Scouting has to offer. The 1st Newmarket Scout Group understands the value of Scouting in youths’ lives and were happy to hear that this past year they grew by 79%! But the Group does not want to stop there; they have plans to grow even more over the next year.
Despite their success, the path to growth has not been without its challenges for the 1st Newmarket Scout Group. Over a decade ago there were more than 10 Sections operating independently from one another. An absence of consistent plans and procedures across the Group Committee hindered their ability to grow. As new inquiries about joining the Scouting program were often left unanswered, the Group was not organized to take in more youth.
In attempts to increase membership and retention, they have since enforced a super-group concept, with one Group Commissioner, treasurer and a strong Group Committee. In just a short period of time, the 1st Newmarket Group has seen significant improvement. They now have a robust Beaver Scouts program, which is attributed to quick response rates of membership requests. “Simply put,” said Group Commissioner Robert Pearson, “technology has been our friend. Without the electronic helpdesk and the will and ability to respond effectively to inquiries at the local level, we would still be looking into the abyss.”
Simply put, technology has been our friend.
Visibility of the Group at town events like Clean-Up Day, Moonlight Movies and the Santa Parade have also helped to improve the Scouting profile around town. Robert has high hopes this will serve to attract new recruits, as spring registration is fast approaching.
“I’ve been a Scouter for 40+ years,” said Robert, “so I have worked with a wide range of Scouters and youth in that time. In my experience, it is frequently the newest Scouts and the new Scouters bringing their energy and enthusiasm that keeps us all moving forward. They are the ones who help the rest of us maintain perspective and renew our own commitment to Scouting.”
What this Group is doing in Newmarket shows you that all it takes is a little hard work and dedication to enable a Group to thrive. As spring registration approaches, we encourage every Group to reflect on their Group growth efforts to see if they are able to spot any room for improvement. To read other Group Growth articles, visit the Scout Scene Archives.