Getting the Word Out
Recruiting starts from a simple place: Recruit teens wherever they gather. Look at church youth groups or Sunday school classes, sports teams, clubs, shopping malls, a student union, soccer fields, movie theaters. Current Venturers could set up a table at any of these locations to tell their story.
Your approach will vary depending on the opportunity and location. For instance, at a mall or movie theater, you might have only a few minutes to talk to interested teens, whereas at a youth group, you will have a captive audience with more time. Your location will define whether you have to find a way to attract young adults, to interest them in coming to talk to you. Remember that teens are visual and hands-on, so consider presenting colorful images of Venturers doing challenging and interesting things and hands-on activities where youth can try a new skill.
As you learn more about Venturing, you can get more creative with your sales and marketing approaches. Just remember: The bottom line is that the main reason teens don’t join Venturing is because no one asked them to!
Working with Crew Vice Presidents of Administration
One of the best ways to get young adults involved in Venturing is by having their Venturer friends invite them. In Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing, we like to see our units involved in regular, monthly recruiting. In Venturing, we even have a youth position with this as a priority: the crew vice president of administration. This is a key youth position, and your council or district can work directly with this youth on recruiting.
Points for Successful Work
To work successfully with this youth officer, it’s important that you pay attention to the following points:
- Make sure crew officers and Advisors know how important this position is so that at each election, capable and motivated youth run for the office.
- Make sure crew presidents and Advisors understand the recruiting responsibility of this position. Regular monthly recruiting brings new life to the crew.
- Make sure all of your crew vice presidents of administration are trained. Even though this is primarily the responsibility of the Advisor, the council or district could offer supplemental training related to this function. Once a year, invite crew vice presidents of administration to a special training session at your district or council Teen Leaders’ Council or Venturing monthly program forum.
- Consider recruiting a sharp young person who was successful in this role to serve on your committee responsible for calling each vice president each month to offer assistance and to check progress.
- Post a chart on your Web site or publish it in your newsletter showing monthly recruiting progress.
- Every month, recognize crews and vice presidents of administration who do well in their recruiting efforts.
- Establish a recruiting benchmark, such as asking each crew to recruit at least one (or two, or three) new members each month.
- Help crews in their recruiting efforts by providing good district and/or council marketing to youth.
- Regularly teach these vice presidents new approaches to recruiting.
- Establish a crew recruiting award for your district or council.
- Send letters to successful vice presidents of administrations’ principals or college deans, telling them what a good job their students are doing as leaders.
- Publish recruiting success stories in your newsletter and post them on your Web site. Even send them to the BSA national office to be recognized on the national website.