We live in a visual world these days. All you have to do is look on Facebook to see the impact of dozens of pictures and videos. Just look at the two examples below to see if the text or the photos tell the story better.
My company gave me a HUGE umbrella for Christmas. I didn’t know what to do with it, so I donated it to our Scout Troop. There was a contest for who could take the best picture using the umbrella, so I decided to get a picture of the boys with it. And of course they’re going to get all silly and show off with it. Funny guys!
See the difference?
Your Troop should be taking photos all the time – on campouts, at Court of Honor Ceremonies, Eagle Projects, or just at a regular Troop meeting being silly with an umbrella.
Our pictures get a lot of mileage. We post them on our Troop’s website, our Facebook page, use them in slideshows of Summer Camp and other activities to share with the boys, and also in slideshows and scrapbooks at our Eagle Courts of Honor. We also use pictures pretty heavily in our recruiting materials – pictures of the boys white water rafting, doing service work, shooting, at summer camp, or anything else we think might be appealing to a potential Scout. Sometimes our Historian takes the pictures, or parents do, or adult leaders. It’s much easier now that everyone has a camera phone right in their pocket and we’ve even given the boys some photography lessons on our campouts.
Bill Crnkovich from Best of the West Photography is also the father of one of our now-adult Eagle Scouts. We invited him along on our rather chilly Capital Reef campout to teach the boys some photography skills. These photos are among the hundreds on our Facebook page.
You aren’t just creating memories for the boys; you are giving parents, grandparents, and supporters a chance to share in the experience with them. For example when we post pictures of a campout on our Facebook page, the parents or grandparents have a chance to see some of the activities that happened on the campout, laugh about silly things that went on, and feel like they are more a part of it. It can also be a terrific recruiting tool – when boys see how much fun the Scouts are having, it makes them want to be a part of it.
Our most recent crop of Eagle Scouts clowning around prior to their Court of Honor Ceremony. I love how photos like these really capture the personality of the boys and the fun they have with each other. (Photo by Becky Denna, Scout Mom)
Photos help Scouts share their experiences with parents, grandparents, and potential recruits
So, how is your Troop harnessing the power of photos? Do you have a Troop Facebook page? A website involves some cost and ongoing maintenance, but a Facebook page is free and is easy to set up. It can be maintained by several different people including your Troop’s Historian, as it is a format the boys are very familiar with. If you have a Facebook page, have you invited all the families to Like it so they will see the photos you post? Don’t forget your alumni Scouts as well. Some of our now-adult Eagle Scouts chime in once in a while with a word of advice for the younger boys, or share some photos of their own adventures. I think they get a kick out of seeing these younger boys share some of the same adventures they enjoyed.