Did you have a family reunion this summer? What about your Scouting family?
When a scout finishes his time with a troop, that is all too often the end of his Scouting experience. He's off to college or work, and no longer has time for Scouting. And, no one ever tells him he's still welcome to come back and visit.
Troops usually put effort into recruiting boys, and then effort into keeping them involved until they turn 18. After a scout ages out, or makes the earlier decision to stop participating, that is often the end of the troop's effort with that person, but maintaining a relationship with past scouts has many benefits for both the troop and scout.
The past scout has contact from home, support when he may feel alone out in the world, and reminders of the values presented in Scouting.
The current scouts learn more about life after high school, see that Scouting values will stay with them, and are shown that their troop cares about them, even outside Scouting.
So, how might your troop better maintain relationships with past scouts?
- Contact Info - maintain email and postal address information of past scouts and their parents.
- Newsletters - troop scribe can maintain a list of alumni emails and include them on newsletters and other communications of interest.
- Christmas Cards - a recap of the troop's year and plans of adventures to come.
- Annual Troop Photo - include scout names, patrol names, and adult changes that happened since last year.
- Winter Break Party - college students are often home on break from Christmas to mid-January. That's a perfect time to invite alumni to a winter party so they can catch up with old patrolmates and see how the troop is getting on.
- Family Picnic - Early June can be open for many young people finishing a year of school and not yet starting a summer job. Perfect time for a reunion party.
- Birthday Wishes - historian duties could include sending a birthday card to past scouts, signed by the current patrol leader of his old patrol, the senior patrol leader, and the scoutmaster.
- What Else? - leave a comment below with ways your troop stays in touch with past scouts.
The BSA is working on improving long-term relationships with past scouts and keeping them involved as adults.
The BSA Scouting Alumni Association offers a patch to new alumni, along with a bunch of other tidbits and quarterly newsletter. There is a cost to be a member.
If you're interested in acquiring another square knot, there is an Alumni Award Knot for scouters that identify, engage, and participate with BSA alumni.
Posted: 14:45 09-18-2014 1116
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