Northern Lights Council hosts community Bring-a-Friend event
Bring-a-Friend events are a great opportunity to invite the community to experience the outdoor adventure and fun that Scouting provides.
For youth, Bring-a-Friend events are a chance to show their friends, neighbours and family how awesome Scouting is, and to give their friends a chance to learn more about the incredible adventures and experience that Scouting has to offer.
For the Group, it provides an opportunity to fill their Sections and to connect with more parents and potential Scouters.
So how do we best shout the Scouting spirit to our guests?
For Northern Lights it was inviting the entire Edmonton community to the Scouts Canada Adventure Centre to see what Scouting is all about. Over 100 individuals were able to put their rock-climbing skills to the test on the climbing wall, give archery a try, light their first fire, race Kub Kars, and so much more!
Tonille Malette, the Council Relationship Manager of Northern Lights Council, took the time to provide us with insights into the planning and coordination that went behind organizing such an amazing event in their community.
First and foremost, she revealed that one of the key element was a combination of staff and volunteer-led initiatives.
“As a staff team, we coordinated the overall event while having the volunteers lead each specific activity. We recruited subject matter experts to ensure the families had the best possible experience,” Tonille explained, “We also had all 3 departments (Field Services, Operations and Retail Services) participating, with the Operations team helping with registrations.”
Thanks to the Retail team, the Group was able to offer Scout Shop discounts for the attendees to showcase all the great camping and outdoor equipment sold by the stores to support great safe Scouting adventures.
Another key element of that event’s success was all the promotion done before and during the event with the help of the volunteers, staff and the youth.
“We advertised on local radio stations, Facebook (on the Edmonton Community Leagues site and it was shared over 30 times by Scouters) and on our website. We also had youth using Instagram and SnapChat to promote the event the day off,” says Tonille, “A special SnapChat filter was created by one of our Rovers and everyone enjoyed our photo booth.”
*To learn how to create a SnapChat filter, click here.
During the event, the Group also had their Medical Venturers and Medical Rovers on hand (with their rig) doing first aid demonstrations and running first aid stations.
“It really was an all-ages experience; parents were able to see what their children could do with Scouting, from Beavers all the way up to Rovers. We had volunteers talking about scholarships, international travel, jamborees and leadership skills—just to name a few,” said Tonille.
The Group was thrilled to have six new youth registered on the actual day of the event, with registrations still trickling in.