This BP Pointer from “The BP 2019 List” (or: ways to Be Prepared for Scouts BSA on February 1, 2019) is about a newish recruiting tool for BSA Units … the New Member Coordinator.
Announced in detail at this ScoutingWire announcement, the idea of New Member Coordinators are simply to ensure that units have people whose sole focus is to make people feel welcomed.
Sure, sure, sure … all Scoutmasters, Assistants and Committee people know that they need to be super welcoming, and not just a couple of times a year at “joining events” or “after Webelos crossover”, but, they’re usually focused on their job that night … so New Member Coordinators can have their job too. The New Member Coordinators can just have the job of greeting any new Scout and family, welcoming back all others, and being focused on making sure all are enjoying and engaged.
There is a wealth of information at that New Member Coordinator webpage and in what links that launch from it, but that won’t tell your newish (new to the troop) volunteer everything about how to be successful – the National information is a lot of “generic” information about how a troop operates, and since we all know that All Scouting is Local, your troop will be different in many ways, and so it’s critical for New Member Coordinators to know your troop, for there to be feedback among Scoutmaster, Assistants, Committee and New Member Coordinators.
- That way, New Member Coordinators will know how the troop operates …
- … and perhaps what the current pressing needs are, and opportunities, for the new families, including parents who want someone to bring out their “inner volunteer”.
- The New Member Coordinators can circle back with feedback that may help busy Scoutmasters and Chairs more fully engage new families and prospective volunteers.
But remember … New Member Coordinators are not just “volunteer recruiters” – they should not be tasked with turning everyone into a registered leader – but use discretion about how and when to ask people to do what. Some parents may never get “the ask” to take a role, but may still be integral to the troop because they are loyal supporters of what Scouting is doing for our children. Having New Member Coordinators to keep all cheerfully welcomed is a great benefit.