It’s tournament time in college basketball, which means that arenas across the country are full of serious fans, johnny-come-latelys, and the occasional NBA scout. In fact, the Kentucky Wildcats, who just went undefeated in the regular season, are routinely attracting 20 or more NBA scouts to their games.
The scouts don’t attend games to watch great basketball, however. They attend to watch great players–players who could someday fill their own teams’ rosters. They know that the clock is ticking for their teams, that even players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant are living on borrowed time. Today’s superstars are tomorrow’s coaches, color commentators, and ad pitchmen.
Of course, college coaches do the same thing. When they’re not prowling the sidelines at their own games, they’re watching high-school and AAU games, looking for the next freshman phenom. The clock is ticking even faster for them, since each player has just four years of eligibility and many turn pro even quicker. Lose the recruiting battle this year, and you could lose your job next.
The stakes aren’t quite as high for you and me, but scouting (lowercase) is just as vital to success in Scouting (uppercase). Your Scouts have, at most, seven years of eligibility, so you need to constantly recruit if you want your troop to survive.
That means being visible in your district. It means supplying volunteers to Cub Scout events like pinewood derbies. It means assigning den chiefs to Webelos dens. It means empowering your Scouts to invite friends. It means advertising your troop in your chartered organization and community. And, most of all, it means providing a program that will attract tomorrow’s Scouting superstars.
Don’t be the troop with no scouts. If you do, you’ll soon be the troop with no Scouts. And a troop with no Scouts is no troop at all.