Recruiting for the Sea Scout Centennial

Recruiting is the most important activity to sustaining a Sea Scout Ship.

The National Sea Scout Support Committee has set a goal for Sea Scouts to have 10,000 members for our Centennial in 2012.

We currently have 7,000 Sea Scouts in the United States.

We can meet our recruiting goal of an additional 3,000 Sea Scouts if we all set a plan to be of greater service to youth.

How can we recruit more Sea Scouts?

First, there is one key requirement for recruiting: An active program that provides exciting adventure activities; community service; vocational explorations, and nautical training opportunities.

Key Things to Remember in Recruiting:

Recruiting Season is Year Round

The Most Proven Method of Recruiting is one Sea Scout Bringing a Friend

Ship Newsletters can communicate activities and generate interest to bring interested youth to Sea Scouts

What Goes in Recruiting Material?

Photos and Video that shows Sea Scouts having Fun!


Material that shows Action


Smiling Sea Scouts



Recruiting Methods:

Existing Scouts:

Partner with Scout Masters on the Goal of Retaining Older Youth in Scouting.

Attend a Boy Scout Troop or Girl Scout Troop Meetings.

Show a “What Did You Do This Weekend” Recruiting video to Troop.

Invite to a Sea Scout event or host Merit Badge Course.

Highlight a Boy Scout can earn Eagle in Sea Scout Ship.

Work the the Troop to Coordinate Calendars and Openly Communicate on Activities and Advancement.

BSA Council Drop Lists:

Work with Council District Executives on getting a Drop List of Boy Scouts who did not re-register with their Troop.

Have Sea Scouts call youth from Drop List inviting them to a specific Sea Scout activity to showcase the program for interest youth. Some Ships also have been successful in sending postcards to Boy Scouts who have dropped out of their Troop.

High School Club Day:

Set up a recruiting booth with posters, flyers and collecting names/telephone numbers/emails.

Morning Video Announcements:

Request permission to broadcast a 30, 60, or 90 second “What Did You Do This Weekend” video in high school morning video announcements.

End of Year Eighth Grade Visit:

Present or have information available for graduating students, inviting them to join in this summer.

Freshman Orientation:

Present or have information available for new students.

Religious Youth Groups:

Show a “What Did You Do This Weekend” Recruiting video and invite the youth to a specific Sea Scout activity.

Youth Centers:

Put up posters and/flyers

Host a Welcome Aboard Day:

Host Open House at both beginning and end of school year.

Must have activity, food and fun.

After Action Items for Sea Scouts for Youth Interested in joining Sea Scouts:

Ask for their phone number and email address.

Call before your regular weekly meeting and offer to pick them up.

Tell them their parents are welcome to come and see the program.

Many parents like to talk with other parents or the adult volunteers, so feel free to provide contact information to an adult for follow-up with an interested parent.

Community Action Items for Sea Scout Ships:

Network with organizations to build trust for presentations, ads in local papers and council support.

Online & Social Media Marketing Campaigns:

75% of teenagers with Internet access have a social networking profile.

Maintain Ship Website linked to Ship Facebook Fan Page.

Update Social Media for Status Messages/Tweets on Activities.

Post photos and videos to highlight an active Sea Scout program.

Setting a Course:

There are many ways to recruit new Sea Scouts. This is only a handful of methods many Ships have used over time. The key to growing our program is to an active Ship, a positive attitude and setting a goal to bring in new Sea Scouts.


One thought on “Recruiting for the Sea Scout Centennial

  1. One new thing we just did that worked well (2 recruits so far) is get a story about our ship published in a local news paper. There are a lot of free monthly newspapers published in SF for the different neighborhoods, and they’re always looking for things to write about. Recently one wrote about our ship, and while it’s not the perfect story, it’s already got us two recruits, so it works for me! See it here:

    Also, we get a lot of our recruits from parents who spread the word, so I ask them to put up fliers in their workplace lunch rooms or whatever, and to talk to their friends about getting their kids involved. Happy parents actually make some of the best spokesmen.

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