What are your processes when a new Youth member wants to join your group? Do your Leaders know this process as well?
After speaking to the prospective Parent do you have some standard information you can give or send them? This could be in the form of a booklet or an email.
We have a lot of information to give a new Parent and a single conversation can’t possibly tell all or could be too much information for a Parent to retain.
In order for a new Youth member to join they must pay the Membership Fee and preferably on the first night. If this is not possible (maybe they just turn up one night) then the Parents can complete an F6 Form but this form must only be used for one night and can only be used for an activity at the Scout Den.
In an ideal world a prospective Parent would ring the Group Leader before the Child attends and would then be given information on membership during that conversation. I would then follow this up with an email explaining the membership process again but there are several other things that this email could do.
- The Parent can be told the names of the Leaders and their roles
- Provide a membership form to be completed by both Parents and bought along with the membership fee on the first night
- Provide a brief outline of how the prospective Section operates ie Cub Scouts – explain the badge system and section nights
- Talk about ongoing costs ie subs, levies, uniform, camps etc
- Provide a few past newsletters so the family can see what the Scout Group has been doing over the past few months
- The Leaders will be cc’d in on the email so they know to expect the new Youth Member
- The Leaders might also reply with some more relevant information such as what they are doing next week.
What do you do when a new Family joins?
How do you tell Parents everything they need to know about Scouting?
Do you hold a meeting with the Parents or invite them to an information evening or supply them with a Parent information booklet? Have you added them to your contact email lists and make sure they will receive your newsletter?
This is a crucial time of year when we have an influx of youth members and sometimes being able to talk to all Parents separately is not possible. Although in an ideal world an individual meeting should occur it is more essential that you find a way to get relevant Scouting and Group information to the Families.
By holding Parent information sessions you can make sure that important information conveyed is accurate and although you may have had snippets of conversation with some Parents it reinforces any information the Parent has already heard or read. Apart from all Families getting the same information they also find out the differences between Leaders, Adult Members, Adult Helpers and Rostered Parents and allows Parents to meet each other and form Friendships.
Other advantages include encouraging more Parents into formal roles in the Scout group such as fundraising and assisting Leaders (on camps, transport and section nights).
The Scout Group should have a Parent information handbook. Please ask me if you need to get a copy of one for ideas.) This booklet should have information about ongoing fees and Leader contact details.