In the last year, the 1st Whitehorse Scout Group has grown significantly, especially within the younger sections. As the Group is making its way onto the Canadian Path and hoping to see even more positive results this year, the word-of-mouth method and the Bring-a Friend events have proven to be successful to get more people embarking on the great adventures that Scouting has to offer.
Scouter Cascia Krolczyk from 1st Whitehorse took time to tell us how their Group was able to recruit more members and how they are gradually incorporating the Canadian Path to their program to provide youth with even more amazing adventures. To share the unique Scouting experience and recruit more youth, 1st Whitehorse uses different tactics.
“We organize some Bring-a-Friend nights, allowing our Cubs to bring in their friends to see what we do first hand. We also make a point of having an online presence on Facebook and tag any community groups or organizations that we get involved with. This spreads awareness of all of the cool things we do!” reveals Cascia.
The Group also uses advertising in social media and their local newspaper to promote start dates and locations. It’s a bit hard to know if the advertising had an impact on retention numbers, but it certainly helped according to their Group Commissioner.
To provide the best experience possible to the kids, the Group has been working on incorporating the Youth-led element of the Canadian Path into their program. Cascia explains:
“At the beginning of the season we spent the first meeting letting the youth sculpt the year. We brought forward some options and had them come up with some ideas, as well as had them tell us what skills they wanted to work on and how they wanted to spend their meetings.
This has impacted the youth by allowing them to be creative and has ensured their interest and engagement.”
The Group also had some great activities where the youth were able to enjoy the outdoors and get involved with hands on activities such as making fishing rods and kites.
The 1st Whitehorse continues to drive the Scouts Canada’s Mission of helping youth better prepare for success in the world, by giving Cub Scouts countless interactive experiences that enable them to think critically, ask questions and continue learning skills that will benefit them in life going forward. Cascia shares:
“We actively support and work towards completing personal progression badges as a Group and individually. For example, we are currently working on the Vertical Skills badge as a Group so we have taken the youth to indoor climbing walls where they have been taught the fundamentals of climbing.
“We also spent meetings working one on one with the Cubs who have selected badges they would like to work towards. This way the youth can both develop team work skills and work on their personal progression.”
1st Whitehorse is a great example of what Youth-led programming and Bring-a-Friend events can accomplish! We cannot wait to see how the progressive implementation of the Canadian Path will influence retention and recruitment in this Group next year.