Gentlemen's Merit Badge Series
With the goal of retaining young alumni in the Scouting program, the Cradle of Liberty Council set-out to create a young professionals network who would gather to engage in sessions that are informative and help them to build their professional circle and professional knowledge. To that end, we created the Young Professional Scouts and called the inaugural events the Gentlemen’s Merit Badge Series as a familiar term to create interest in past Scouts.
Young professionals, loosely defined as those 21-35 years of age, typically are very driven in their jobs as they establish themselves with their company. Paired with the lack of connectivity to Scouting while they are away at college, it is tough to re-engage this group.
To address these issues, we gathered a group of young professionals and created the Young Professional Scouts Executive Committee, and they developed a few tactics to generate interest:
- Personal Invitations.We realized from the start that for the group to be successful, we needed to reach-out to people individually and invite them to be a part of the group. We also used eBlasts and postcard mailings, but nothing can substitute one person calling or texting another.
- Worthwhile Events. We didn’t have meetings and we certainly didn’t call them meetings! Our events always had an element of fun involved, whether that was learning the art of a straight-razor shave, how to swing a golf club, or networking over a bourbon or cigar.
- Informative Topics.As alluded to above, each event had its own theme, and many of them allowed a participant to learn a new subject or skill. Scouting is all about learning skills in a safe, nurturing environment, and we took this mantra and gave it a professional skills spin.
Personal Invitations. Worthwhile Events. Informative Topics.
These were our main points we followed to create interest around our new Young Professional Scouts group, and in its fifth year we are still hosting events monthly that engage young alumni. With the right people involved who have the right connections and a desire to see the group succeed, it is fun to watch it take flight!
Is your council conducting fun and interesting events for your Eagle Scout alumni?