Golden scouter reunion event
One way to rekindle the spark of Scouting is to invite both currently registered Scouters and those who are no longer registered is to a Golden Scouter event. The premise is that longer-term Scouters are among the most dedicated to the movement. We defined Golden Scouters as those who were associated with Scouting for 50+ years.
- Identifying Scouters who met the criteria above
- Contact information for the unregistered
- Centralized location for the event
- Developing an interactive program
- We started with a listing of everyone who was ever registered in our council, irrespective of the currency of their registration, and selected those who had a birthday on or before 1956. (We figured that if they were 8 years old in 1964, they may have become a Cub Scout that year.)
- We then sent out invitations to the GOLDEN SCOUTER EVENT if they were in Scouting in 1964. In 2014, that made them 50-year Scouters.
- We asked them to bring some memorabilia and a story or two about their fondest Scouting memory.
- We contracted with a local Elks lodge as it had a large space that was centrally located in the council.
- We developed a certificate signed by the Council Executive and Chairman of the Scouting Alumni Association committee chair.
- We also ordered 50-year Veteran pins.
- We had a special cake decorated with coffee and tea service.
- We marketed the event through the usual Council channels (newsletter, website, social media and roundtables).
- We had about fifty register, with about 35 attend.
- The program was really a matter of a welcome by the SAF Committee chair and asking each attendee, in turn, to do the following: Introduce themselves (Name, Residence and Council), tell their Scouting background, talk about their memorabilia or tell their favorite Scouting story).
- Present the certificates and pins.
- Serve coffee and cake.
- Many were rather enfeebled, but their stories and the way they told them showed their loyalty and enthusiasm for the movement.
- They were asked to support the council and the association. Many did, and a few signed up for the Pathfinder level.
- Most of the attendees were Eagle Scouts and/or Wood Badge trained. So, they were comfortable with the program model.
- Due to the advanced age of some attendees, and a certain amount of decrepitude, some were not in as good a physical condition as was expected. Many were in a wheelchair and had an attendant (relative). This resulted in some having to leave early… have pins and certificates ready for quick distribution.
- All wanted to continue to be on the mailing list.
- Some self-selected as donors. (No solicitations were made!!)
- A similar methodology could be employed, but with a younger contingent. For example, those who were Scouts or Scouters with twenty-five years of Scouting, might yield a more robust group who could take on leadership roles at the district or council levels and not be impinged by health issues.