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Last ditch retention one-liners


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#1 qwazse

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 09:14 AM

We were having an 18th birthday for a friend of Son #2's who joined our troop for about a year.

His mom was reminiscing how shortly after he quit attending meetings, the boy had roped them into family camping at Racoon Creek State park. Aptly named, the raccoons consider your food theirs. In the night, the vermin got a hold of some snack left by the campfire. Then they started clawing at the Boy Scout Handbook the boy had left out!

 

I asked the boy, "If I had known, I would have told you that if you came back to scouts, you would have the coolest handbook by virtue of the claw marks all over it. Would you have re-joined our troop?"

 

He said, "You know, I might just have considered it."

 

Got any other one-liners that may or may not convince a youth to change his mind, but would be fun to put out there anyway?


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#2 NJCubScouter

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 11:32 AM

In my experience, when a kid quits generally there really isn't an opportunity for a one-liner.  One week they are absent, then the next week they are absent, and so on, and eventually one of his friends reports back that he decided to quit, or one of the leaders runs into the kid's parent in the supermarket and gets told the same thing.  (I suppose you could try a one-liner on the parent, but generally they have already urged their son to stay in, and it didn't work.)  The SM may call the ex-Scout, but by that time Scouting is so far out of the kid's head that it doesn't make a difference. There is rarely a chance for an "exit interview" at a time when it might change the kid's mind.


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#3 Lurking...

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 05:20 PM

Boys that have quit my troops generally have their mind made up, or have their mind made up for them by their parents, so no one-liner is going to work.  It's not that we try, but we've had zero percent success with keeping boy in the group that don't want to be there.


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#4 desertrat77

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 09:34 PM

Quitting is usually permanent.  Won't see them again.  Their choice.

 

Exception:  the scout who meanders back when he's a senior in high school, wanting to finish Eagle for that college application.  No real interest in scouting per se, just looking for the bling.  But such interest is short lived, once he realizes the amount of work involved.


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#5 Sentinel947

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 07:04 AM

Retention must be an active, proactive action, not reactionary. I figure all the posters above have been in this awhile and already know that.

Boys quit when they are bored, under challenged, or feel like they are being ignored.
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#6 qwazse

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:37 AM

Here's the view from where I sit ...

 

1. I am not just a scouter. Kids see me around long after they stop participating in the life of the troop or crew.

2. They still made those oaths. Just because a youth let his/her registration lapse, I still hold him/her to what they promised.

3. Boys quit for lots of reasons. Only a few of those are the troop's fault.

4. A senior scouter once told me a story of how he went back to his troop one May after realizing the best thing about his previous summer was camp.

5. About a third of my venturers are boys who want to "catch up" to their scout buddies.

 

So, I hold out hope that something I say might sink in and make a boy feel welcome.


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#7 Torchwood

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 11:49 AM


Boys quit when they are bored, under challenged, or feel like they are being ignored.

In our neck of the woods, boys quit because they (and their parents) think that the sport that they are mediocre at will provide a college scholarship and a pro career, or they would rather stare at a screen all the time, and we get no buy-in from their parents to keep them in the program. Generally, when we see attendance flagging, we have a sit-down with the parents and show them that 70% of all kids who play sports stop before 8th grade, and ask them what else their son has going on outside of school. Once they start to think about the fact that college applications aren't THAT far away, and that the program that their sons are already participating in has a long track record of producing men of upstanding character, they usually get the Scout to re-engage.


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#8 Col. Flagg

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 12:08 PM

We exit interview the boys and at least one parent. Have done so for the last 10 years.

 

96% of Scouts leave because they simply are "in to" something else. It is usually sports, band or school. In our area these groups literally demand time from you. Band trips, extra practice, tournaments, even clubs at school all demand after school and weekends every year. The kids drops Scouts and other stuff so they can have at least some semblance of a life and some free time.

 

The 4% that does not drop for the reason above usually drop because they are bored. Most of these Scouts weren't that engaged to begin with and, despite efforts to reach out, they simply just stopped coming. With 3% attrition on average over 10 years, that's less than 8 Scouts.

 

Agree that no one liner is going to work to change anyone's mind. The only one liner I use is: "I wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors; and remember to always give your best in what you do."


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#9 Sentinel947

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 02:07 PM

Agree that no one liner is going to work to change anyone's mind. The only one liner I use is: "I wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors; and remember to always give your best in what you do."


"And if you change your mind we are happy to have you back."
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#10 Lurking...

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 08:06 PM

"Remember, you are still registered with us until next renewal time."  PL's do not revise email, texting contact lists but once a year, when the unit recharters.  Otherwise the same message goes out whether the scout is in attendance or not.


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#11 Hedgehog

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:40 AM

How about using this one liner well before they think about quitting:

 

"Are you having fun?"


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#12 RememberSchiff

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 05:58 AM

Times change. Remember when your SM one-liner was "Being a scout looks good on your college application, Earning Eagle gets you a pay grade bump if you enlist." ?


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#13 Lurking...

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:05 AM

I'm with Hedgehog on this one.  If the boy is not having fun in scouting, there's nothing I can say or do to change that.  This is always the most important question I ask in any of my SMC's.  It is the only gauge necessary to insure retention of members.  It is the reason I left scouting as a youth and it is the reason I have moved on from the different troops I have served.  Been there, done that.  I totally understand if a boy leaves because of this one issue alone.


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