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Even the best Unit can find themselves struggling to recruit leaders. Suddenly, they realize that the same 5 or 6 core people are doing all the work to make the Unit run.

It doesn’t have to be that way! This page will give you some simple – and effective – ways to get parents to help. Scouting is better together.

Key Take Aways for Recruiting Leaders

  • Ask for Help! – But don’t do a group ask.
  • Ask a specific person to do a specific task.
  • No desperate pleas for help

Recruiting New Leaders Tips

There are many ways to recruit new leaders, one of the keys is finding out what is important to the person you’re trying to recruit.

You also need to have clear expectations and descriptions when you discuss a position. People are more likely to take a role when they know what is involved. 

Start As Helpers - Nurture to Leaders

Packs Need Adult Leaders – Most Need More. A fully functioning Cub Scout Pack must have the following: (1) a Cubmaster, (2) Den Leaders for each den (of 6 to 8 Scouts in the same grade), (3) a Chartered Organization Representative, (4) a Committee Chair, (5) several Committee Members performing key support functions, and, ideally, (6) Assistants for Cubmasters and Den Leaders.

  • Many Packs don’t have all those roles filled with engaged active leaders.
  • Don’t forget to future proof your Pack. Some Packs have enough now, but if there is a big influx of new Scouts, a Pack that used to have 45 Scouts with 6 Den Leaders and now has 90 Scouts may need 6 more Den Leaders and more help overall.
  • Every Pack and Den needs help doing parts of the leader jobs and the support of Den and Pack operations and activities.
  • And if you have a fun Calendar of Activities and adventure (you should), it should be fun to do the activities – and lead the activities.  So if your Pack follows the idea that Cub Scouting is Fun, Family and Friends you should find it easier to get most parents to lead and help.

Most Parents are Willing to Help

While you can’t hope leaders appear there’s also no magic involved in setting up parents to become leaders.

Constantly be recruiting leaders. 

We know, that sounds horrible but in reality the way you constantly recruit leaders is to assign parents small tasks throughout the year. Those helpers then get familiar with how Cub Scouts works – and how fun it is to work with the Scouts – and are less hesitant to become leaders.

Make sure you have a fun program!

This is helpful to retain and recruit Scouts, but it also allows you to see which adults are most interested in the activities. Engage with those adults who show interest.

Most people won’t just volunteer. 

Have you asked a room full of people over and over again to be leaders? Usually not very effective. Either you don’t get any volunteers or you don’t get the right volunteers for the open positions.

The “right request” will find you with the best people in roles structured for them. The good news is there are lots of “right” ways to ask.

Why don’t people volunteer? Most parents are willing to help but they don’t know what each position entails, they don’t want to take on too much, they are afraid they won’t have help, or they are still so new they don’t know what they don’t know.

This is where turning a Parent into a Helper is a great start! Start them with something small – maybe they do a craft related to an adventure during the Den meeting. They could help to plan an outing or be the “helper” at a meeting making sure each Scout is receiving help and attention.

Co-Leaders are lifesavers. 
  • An optimal “co-leader” approach is to have the team include someone from each family.  (It takes a village, right?)
  • Then they may decide who will take the lead on each Adventure (meeting) or other activity.
  • Or what team of “co-leaders” will take the lead.
Be sure to celebrate your helpers.

Scouts aren’t the only ones who like recognition. 

  • When you recognize and applaud your helpers, their kids will be so proud.
  • That will help parents turn from helpers into Leaders!
  • Recognize every parent who is “getting it done” for their Scouts – do it live, use emails, Pack newsletters and social media.



File Name File Description Download
Yardstick Timeline A great motivational resource explaining the small amount of time a parent has to impact their child’s life Download
100 Point Adult Participation Form Give your parents the challenge of being a 100-point leader Download
Family Talent Survey A great way to engage parents is letting them share what they enjoy. Have each parent fill out this Talent Survey to help identify those areas. Download
Every Parent Helps Pack Rules Sample guide on setting expectations that all parents will help make the Pack succeed.  Download
Six Secrets to Recruiting Volunteers Six secrets to recruiting volunteers for the positions you have. Download
How to Turn Parents Into Helpers 84 ways to turn your parents into helpers…who can then become leaders Download
Recruiting Leaders A step-by-step plan to fill your leadership positions. Don’t take shortcuts, trust the process Download