Best Practice (Events - Pacific Harbors) - Scouting Alumni & Friends

Golden scouter reunion event

Overview

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.

Challenges

  • Identifying Scouters who met the criteria above
  • Contact information for the unregistered
  • Centralized location for the event
  • Developing an interactive program

Solutions

Event planning
  • 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.
Program development
  • 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).
The event
  • 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.

Summary

  • 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.

Downloads

Golden Scouter Certificate (PDF, 105KB)
Golden Scouter Flyer (PDF, 344KB)
Golden Scouter Marketing Collateral (PDF, 101KB)

Contact information

Mike Movius, Pacific Harbors Council SAA Chairman
movius@me.com

Is your council conducting fun and interesting events for your Scouting alumni?