Recently, I was asked to make some phone calls to scout families that seemed to have vanished from the scouting program.
A simple follow up call was needed to reach out and find out what happened to the scouts in question.
15 phone calls and the majority gave the same response.
"He dropped out due to lack of interest."
A couple of the parents expressed concern that it is taking over 2 years to make contact regarding their son giving the impression that the Council didn't care enough about them at the time that they dropped out.
This saddens me.
When I was the Webelos to Scouts Transitions Chair, I had suggested that all scouts receive an exit form to file with their unit leaders as to why they are not continueing on in the program.
This fell on deaf ears and we still make phone calls to scouts long out of the program.
To me, this is insulting to the parents of the scouts that dropped.
Why care now?
Where was the concern at the time they left the program?
The BSA offers a very dynamic program for all youth and is very beneficial for boys to be a part of this program long after they turn 18.
We, as leaders, need to be better suited to handle the issues scout families have-especially at the time of crossover or changing units.
The ultimate goal is to get and keep boys in the program no matter where they choose to go.
It is the paramount responsibility for the unit leader to ensure boys continue with the program and each leader should take it on the chin that a scout drops out no matter what the reason.
So come on leaders...get with the program and help your scouts stay in and correct the problem of missing scouts.