Cub Scout Recruitment Guide

Step 1: Prepare
“Be Prepared” is the Boy Scout Motto, and it should be the motto for your recruitment as well. All of the steps below ensure that your pack is ready for new scouts, and that new families can find you.

  1. Make sure your BeAScout Pin is up to date. is the first website that pops up when a family searches “cub scouts near me.” Your pack automatically has a “pin” on this website that lists your address, who to contact about joining, and even your pack website if you have one. Often, packs forget to update this information when leadership changes. To check on your pack’s pin, your Cubmaster or Committee Chair should follow these instructions. If you have trouble accessing your unit’s pin, contact the National Help Desk at 972-580-2489.
  2. Turn on your online application. If you would like to be able to accept applications online, click here for information on how to set up the online application system. Please note: the NEIC uses the pay later option–this way, your new families pay the pack directly, and you can then turn in their annual BSA fees to the Scout Office, or authorize us to use the money in your unit account. For more information about unit accounts, click here.
  3. Decide when your pack will recruit. Many packs actively recruit in both the Spring and the Fall, because this gives the pack the whole summer to get ready for the next year of Scouting and to hold fun summer activities that keep the kids engaged in the program between school years. However, some packs stick to recruiting only in the Fall. Whatever you decide, make sure that you give yourself and your pack enough time to get the word out about your pack (we recommend you begin planning your recruitment 6-8 weeks beforehand). Below is an ideal timeline for Cub Scout Recruitment. 
  4. Decide where your pack will recruit. If your pack meets at your local school or church, that’s a convenient place to have your recruitment. Talk to your school administrators about what you need to do to reserve a space well in advance of your event (we recommend 60 days). Other great recruiting options are before or after church services, school open houses or family nights, community events, or by hosting your own fun event at a park or community center.
  5. Make sure you have information ready for new families. Have at least a 90-day calendar ready to hand to prospective families (for help with creating your Pack calendar, click here). New parents want to join activities that appear organized and well-planned. Another good resource to distribute is this Pack Info Sheet, a fillable PDF that highlights everything a new family needs to know about your pack. The more organized your pack is, the more likely new families are to join it. If you complete this sheet, please share it with your District Staff so we can share it with new families who contact us. We’ll even print copies for you! In addition to this, you should hold a New Parent Orientation Night after your event to introduce new families to your pack, recruit new adult volunteers, and outline how your pack works.
  6. Know your goal (and your rewards!). We set goals for your pack’s recruitment based on a small increase from your previous year’s membership. There are no penalties for not reaching this goal, but there are rewards for achieving it! To view your Spring and Fall Recruitment Goals, click here. We encourage you to talk to your district staff about your goal to help develop a plan to reach it.
    • Spring Incentive: Each new registered scout (application is turned in with fees to the Scout Office by June 15) receives their Scout Handbook for free!
    • Fall Incentive: All registered scouts in the pack (applications and fees must be turned in to the Scout Office by Oct 30) receive a free pinewood derby car.


Step 2: Identify

An invite list is a list of youth that may want to join your unit. There are several different ways to generate an invite list, and many Council resources available to help you get the word out about your unit!

      • Use your school’s or church’s roster. Work with your school district or church directly to determine the availability of this list. For privacy reasons, this list is not always available.
      • Participate in a school or community event (festival, block party, fair, etc), and you can even bring a fun activity for the event. You can host a s’more making station, trail mix bar, raingutter regatta, or whatever your pack likes to do!  Come prepared with an interest form for parents to fill out to collect their information.
      • Send a flyer out through your school’s paper or online flyer system inviting new families to a fun event.
      • At a pack meeting, ask every family to write down two names of families that may be interested in Scouting and submit them to the pack.
      • Ask your Chartered Organization for a list of families that belong to the organization that you can invite to an upcoming event.

If you need help identifying new prospective families, let your District Staff know! We are happy to help.


Step 3: Promote

Promoting your event early and often is key to finding new scouts!

The Council has a variety of promotional materials available for free to all of our units, including customizable flyers, wristbands, postcards, yard signs, banners, mini Boy’s Life magazines, and more! We ask that you order your materials at least 3 weeks in advance of your event to ensure that we have what you need and that your prospective families see the information in time to attend your event. In addition, schools may have certain requirements for flyer distribution, including a deadline date. Check with your school’s administrators to find out their rules. Click here to order your recruitment materials!


Step 4: Recruit!

Your location is reserved, your recruitment has been advertised, and you are prepared and ready to welcome new families into your pack. It’s show time!

Tips for a Successful Recruitment:

      1. Everyone has a job. Get a few volunteers and parents to help new families by answering questions, helping them fill out the application, and collecting payment.
      2. Have a separate activity for the kids. We’re sure you know that kids have trouble sitting still during presentations. Assign a few adults to do a hands-on craft or game with the new and existing Scouts (in another room if possible, especially if you’re in a noisy gym!) while the new parents are learning about Cub Scouts and signing up.
      3. Collect applications at your recruitment event. For any school sport or activity, it’s commonly expected that dues and forms are collected at the sign-up event. Set the same expectation for your pack. This also reduces the amount of follow up you have to do with new families.
      4. Come prepared. Below is a checklist of everything you may need for your recruitment night.
      • Pack Display: Pinewood Cars, Books, other items that show the excitement of Scouting
      • Pack Info Sheet
      • Pack Calendar
      • Money for change
      • Paper Applications or computers/tablets for the online application
      • Sign-in Sheet
      • Pens, paper clips, white-out, etc.
      • Any materials ordered from the Council


Step 5: Follow Up
    • Turn in any new applications with payment to the Scout Office or your District Staff Member as soon as possible, no matter if you receive them at your recruitment night or a month later. Do not hold onto applications until it’s time to recharter! This creates a major delay in our paperwork process, and it means your new scouts aren’t in the BSA system (this can create major problems with advancement, registering for events, and insurance liability). If you are using the online application, make sure you log in and accept the applications, and deliver payment to the Scout Office. We try to make this as easy as possible–you can even email your district staff scans of the applications along with permission to take the BSA fees out of your scout store account.
    • Follow up with any prospective families who did not fill out applications. This is where the sign-in sheet comes in handy. Check your applications against the sign-in sheet and call those families that did not join. Address any concerns the person may have and offer to drop an application by their home, or invite them to your next meeting or activity.