Where is the best place to spend your program dollars? For Scouting Executives and Volunteers, this must be the million-dollar question.
What is the purpose of spending these precious dollars? The Wildlife Conservation Profession has a initiative called R3. The three R’s stand for Recruitment, Retention and Re engagement. If you don’t know this, virtually all wildlife conservation dollars are raised by the sales a licenses and related equipment. All guns, ammunition and fishing related gear has a tax on it for funding conservation. The State Agencies whose job is conservation know this and have initiatives to recruit sportsmen and women to fish and hunt.
We in Scouting should see R3 in our ranks also. We should be thinking R3 for both Youth and Adult Volunteers.
Boy’s life magazine did a survey. They asked Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts what activities they expected to do after 3 months after their registration. Their answer at the top was Camping and hiking. The Cub Scouts had fishing as #5 and the Boy Scouts had fishing as #3. Surprisingly, these were both above shooting.
So, to have satisfied customers, you need to meet their expectations. Do we inherently make a promise to the youth by their expectations and don’t meet them? How about looking at fishing as your hook? (Pardon the pun, I just couldn’t help myself)
Here is one way to start. Consider having a Certified Angling Instructor Class (CAI) in your council. This class will give you more knowledgeable and enthusiastic Volunteers. Your Fishing, Fly Fishing and Wildlife Conservation Merit Badge Counselors are your target market for this class.
From the CAI class, see if you can start a Council Fishing Committee. You will need a leader who has the management skills to run a committee. This Committee runs fishing events in your council.
It is really that easy.
If you want more Youth, look at fishing. It is the best bargain in Scouting!