Best Practice (Alumni Service – Three Harbors)
Civic Club Presentations
To reach out to Scouting Alumni and Eagle Scouts, through Civic Club contacts. Many Civic Clubs Sponsor Scouting units. Among these are Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Lions Clubs, Veterans of Foreign Wars and many more. Churches also are large sponsors of Scouting units.
For the purpose of this Best Practice, I will focus in on the Lions Clubs.
Most Civic Clubs have the same goals as the Scouting Program and share the same desire for service. The goal of this best practice is to educate the Civic Club Membership about the relationship that they share with the scouting program and to educate the membership on the programs that are available to them as past scouts.
- What Civic Clubs do you want to appeal to?
- Being a member of a Civic Club is a distinct advantage but not entirely necessary. A thorough research of the club you are targeting and an understanding of the clubs district makeup allows for an understanding of who to approach and how to sell your program. This is a step that is necessary for success.
- Once your choice has been made, information needs to be established about the Civic Club and a contact needs to be made to the club’s cabinet or board to sell your program. Once you have permission to contact clubs within the area, research is necessary to establish a listing of clubs to approach for selling your program and the contact person necessary to do so. A good place to start is with clubs that are presently sponsoring a scout unit.
- I was a member of a scout unit that was sponsored by the local Lions Club, this led them to join our troops sponsoring Lions Club. Through this participation of membership in the Lions Club, it gave me the opportunity to reach out to the district clubs, making them aware of the relationship the Lions Clubs have had with the BSA over the last 100 years. This started my quest to present the Lions Clubs with a program to make them aware of the scouting program and also the benefits that could be offered with their re-connection to the scouting program.
- Each Civic Club is different so a thorough research is necessary of the club that is targeted. We designed this program for the Lions Clubs, so I will detail our program development towards the Lions Clubs.
- I contacted the District Governor and explained my future involvement with the Lions Clubs as a liaison for clubs to have a better understanding of the Scouting Program. I asked his permission to establish a position known as the District’s Chairman of Scouting. He quickly agreed and installed me into his Cabinet.
- To sell the program, a display table is placed at the Lions District Convention. The display table has a stand up display showing all parts of the Lions Club scouting information, including the requirements for the Lions Club Scouting Service Award. A flier has been developed and is handed out to interested clubs. Brochures are available for the NESA Program and also for the Scouting Alumni and Friends. My business card is also available and placed on the display table. The table is manned to sell the scout presentation verbally to interested club members.
- To further promote the presentation program, a letter was drafted to send out information to Lions Club Secretaries and Lions Club Presidents, to allow for establishing a club presentation.
- Realizing that each Civic Club has different requirements for the BSA Community Organization Award Knot, I reviewed the requirements that have been established for the Lions Club Scouting Service Award. This award was not recognized by the International Lions Club, so I needed to establish it as a District Award. I presented this information at a Lions Club District Cabinet Meeting and it was discussed and passed by vote as a district award.
- Working with the Three Harbors Council NESA Committee Chair, we developed a presentation for the Lions Clubs within the District. The presentation gave history on the scouting program including the strong relationship with the Boy Scouts over the last 100 years. This gave a perfect opportunity to talk about the Scouting Alumni and Friends program as well as the NESA Program. Many members are Eagle Scouts and many are Scouting Alumni. The presentation allows for many questions. A display table is always part of our program with information and brochures of the scouting program.
- A slide show was developed to make our presentation “The Boy Scouts of America: Standing Together with Lions Clubs” more interesting. This is shown simultaneously with the presentation format. A projector, screen and a long extension cord are necessary for this presentation format. The needs for this space is discussed with the requesting club.
- A presentation format was made up to honor a Lion’s Club Member that has been sponsored by a Lion’s Club Member and has met the requirements for the Lions Club’s Scouting Service Award. The presentation takes place at a meeting of the sponsoring Lions Clubs choice. The award is presented during a ceremony that includes the District Governor, the Scouting Chairman and the Lions Club Sponsor of the Lion receiving the award. These ceremonies have been very well received.
- Once contacted by an interested club a full description of the time your presentation will take is given.
- The contact person needs to understand your presentation requirements. Be prepared to identify items you will need to put on your program. We usually ask for a table for display items and make sure there is room to set up your screen and check if electric outlets are available. A long extension cord is required as outlets are not necessarily close to where your projector is situated. Be Prepared!
- Lions Clubs meet at certain times, so make sure you can adapt to their meeting time and place.
- Bring brochures for passing out. We bring NESA Brochures along with NESA Cards and also Scouting Alumni and Friends Brochures and cards.
- Be on time for your presentation. Set up all information and make sure you will have all of your components working!
- Remember you are representing the Boy Scouts of America.
- Have fun!
I have represented the Scouting Program in our WI. District 27 A1 since 2014 as the District Scouting Chair.
By making many presentations to clubs in the district, and as a Scout Ambassador and present Unit Commissioner, I have been able to resolve problems and questions that clubs have had with their sponsored Scouting Units.
I have had the thrill of awarding 6 Lion Club Members with the Lions Club Scouting Service Award.
It has been a rewarding and fun experience! If you are able to work out a similar program, please do. It will renew your commitment to the scouting program and bring the interest in scouting back to Civic Club Members that have been Scouts and are Eagle Scouts.