7 Cub Scout Recruitment Ideas

Those of us who are already involved in Cub Scouts know how much fun it can be for the boys, but if a boy has never been exposed to Scouting, we need to have some good Cub Scout recruitment ideas.  Many packs hold a recruiting event just after school starts in the fall.  It may be called a “Round Up,” a “Scout Rally Night” or a “Join Cub Scouts Event.”

Regardless of the name, this is an important event for your pack.  A Cubmaster was recently interviewed on CubCast (a BSA scouting podcast) about how he is so successful in recruiting new Cub Scouts.  What he said stuck with me.  He is “selling fun to the boys,” and he is “marketing positive experiences to the parents.”

This article includes seven Cub Scout recruitment ideas to start your brainstorming.  These activities are designed to be used at a recruiting event.  Some of them will need a lot of lead time and  volunteers, and some can be pulled off quickly with just a few adults.

Bike Safety for Cub Scouts1.  Bike Rodeo – A bike rodeo is a great community service event!  However, it will take some time to organize.  There are many online sources available to help with the planning process.  One of the best that I have seen is from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  They call the event a cycling skills clinic rather than a bike rodeo, but I like bike rodeo better!

You can download their three resources here:

Cycling Skills Clinic Guide
Cycling Skills Clinic Appendices
Cycling Skills Sample Letters

The Utah Department of Health has a great Bicycle Skills Rodeo Packet that explains 14 bicycle safety skills stations you can have at your rodeo.

You’ll also want to check out my article about bicycle safety printable activities and the BSA resources.

2.  Fishing Derby – The BSA website has information about hosting a Fishing Derby.  You can also check out this resource.

Alka Seltzer Rocket ready for launch3.  Rocket Academy – A couple of years ago, my Cub Scout pack held a Rocket Academy as our recruitment event.  It was pretty awesome!  While it was a success, we learned a few things that could have made it even better.

You can host a more streamlined Rocket Academy with just one rocket.  One of the simplest rockets to make and shoot off is the Alka-Seltzer rocket.  Your rockets can be very simple projects, or you can make them a bit more elaborate by adding fins and a nose.  Add a rocket fuel drink, and you’re ready to go!

If you want to build rockets that are more complex, check out the BSA’s information about holding a Rocket Academy.


portable fire pit for s'mores4.  Campfire Party with S’mores – What says “Cub Scouts” more than a campfire?  And you can’t have a campfire without s’mores, right?  Plan this like a regular campfire with each den doing a skit or a song.  To make it even more fun, your leaders should do a skit or song–the sillier the better!

Have someone bring a portable fire pit and the s’mores fixings, and you’re ready to go. Even if it’s hot and it isn’t dark when you host your event, I guarantee you’ll have boys begging their parents to sign them up!

5.  Ice Cream Social – If you just can’t bear the thought of a hot campfire, consider a cool ice cream social.  Plan a few fun games for the boys then let them build their own ice cream sundaes.  And, you might want to set the sundae bar up outside so that a good hosing down is all the clean up necessary.

6.  Geocaching Event – If you don’t know much about geocaching, you can read my How to Geocache article.  Check out a great resource and other details about how to plan and execute this awesome activity as a recruitment event for your pack.

7.  Cub Scout Creators – For this make & take event, set up two or three tables with quick, fun projects for the boys to build. Here are some neat ideas that I found around the internet.

popsicle stick bows and arrows
Superhero masks
Courtesy of Almost Unschoolers
Courtesy of Red Ted Art
Flag neckerchief slide
marshmallow and toothpick constructions
Courtesy of Over the Big Moon
What can your Cubs dream up to build?

I hope these Cub Scout recruitment ideas are helpful to your pack.  Leave me a comment and let me know what kinds of activities you do at your Cub Scout recruitment event.

Yours in Scouting,

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10 thoughts on “7 Cub Scout Recruitment Ideas

  1. Carleigh roberts

    What are the age requirements for cub scouts. My son is 5. We are interested in joining but don’t know where to go.

    1. John Wick

      Cub Scouts are currently 1st (Wolves) through 5th grade (Webelos).

      There currently, with some select packs, the Lions Program, which is a pilot program designed for kindergarten.

      1. Brian

        Kindergarten = Lions – if your council has them it is still in its pilot stages
        1st Grade = Tigers
        2nd Grade = Wolves
        3rd Grade = Bears
        4th Grade = Webelos
        5th Grade = Arrow of Light (Webelos II)

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  4. Jenny

    Great ideas! Thank you for sharing them. Last August we held a Rocket Academy using many of your ideas. It was a huge success and we plan to do it again this year.
    We are also hoping to put together a Spring recruitment activity, and I will definitely consider some of the other ideas you present here. (I especially like the Bike Rodeo idea).
    Another local Pack in our area holds an “Activity Fair” in May. They have a sampling of many Cub Scout activities (a stomp rocket, a few pinewood derby cars and a practice track, a couple games from the Grin & Bear It Carnival, bars of soap and plastic knives for carving, etc). The community is invited to come and see what Cub Scouting has to offer.

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