One of my first moments when I considered enrolling my son in scouting was while visiting his elementary school shortly after we had moved. While searching out classrooms I saw several groups of children pass by. It seemed that one child was inevitably in a scouting uniform. My mind quickly connected that scouting would be a great way for my son to meet new friend and the rest, as they say, is history.
Some pack promotions are much simpler than others. Our boys are asked to wear uniforms to their school on the day of their den meeting, and class b’s on the day of or before any outing. Sure, not all the boys always manage this, but the ones who do seem to really enjoy it. We often have scouts tell stories of being asked in class what their uniform means. Not only does this make scouting visible to new boys, but it helps provide our scouts with opportunities to lead, even if it is something as simple as answering a few questions.
For the idea of wearing uniforms to work, a few small measures will improve the responses greatly. First, having uniform inspections on a regular basis helps to ensure that scouts have all of the parts of their uniform and know how to wear them correctly. Regular advancement will also help to keep new badges, belt loops, pins and beads going on to scouts so that they have something new to talk about. For older children, simple contact cards containing information on how to get more information on scouting can be a great asset as well. Last, but not least, simple e-mail reminders the night before will help parents get into the routine of having the uniform ready the next day. The more visibility a pack, troop or crew has, the easier it will be to spread the word about the fun of scouting!
On a similar note, not all scouts are as welcome as our pack. It has been mentioned that some scouts have been picked on when wearing their uniforms to school. Leaders, please use your best judgment when implementing this idea. Just remember, “All scouting is local!”