What is National Night Out? From the National Night Out website, “National Night out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.” (https://natw.org/about/). National Night out is held typically the first Tuesday in August, which will be August 2nd this year.
What does National Night Out have to do with Scouting? In Scouting, being active, participating members of the community is at our core. The Scout Oath, pledges that Scouts will “help other people at all times” and many points of the Scout Law promote ways of living our life that are consistent with building camaraderie in our neighborhoods while making them safer and more caring places to live. It makes perfect sense for Scouting to be a part of your community’s National Night Out! In addition to these things, Scouting has a long history with Law Enforcement. Police Exploring has long been a staple of the Learning for Life Exploring Program. Over the years many of our Cub Scout Rank Requirements and Electives have had Scouts meet with or visit members of the law enforcement community. Scouts BSA badges such as Emergency Preparedness and Law help to give Scouts a better understanding of the responsibilities of law enforcement professionals in our communities.
Does my community participate in National Night Out? There is a good chance that your community does or cooperates with another local community to have a great National Night Out event. Click on the map on this page (https://natw.org/about/) to see if your community or a neighboring community is participating. If you aren’t sure, contacting your local police department or your local municipality is a great way to find out.
How can my unit participate? What should we do? National Night Out is a great time of the year for families to think about ways that they can get involved in things in their community. What better way for a family to get involved than to get registered with your Scouting unit! We recommend reaching out to your local National Night Out coordinator and asking whether your unit can set up a booth at the event. Setting up a booth is more than just a table and some pictures of your unit in action. Though these are great, find out a way that you can have an active display. What can you do that is hands on? Pinewood Derby Race? Raingutter Regatta? Gaga Ball? Scavenger Hunt? Bike Rodeo? These are all easy and fun activities that your unit can put together. Your unit can also help with something that the National Night Out needs support with. Maybe there is a flag ceremony. Maybe they need help at registration. Being visible and being a good neighbor are great goals for National Night Out. Make sure you have information to share with prospective members. The reverse side of this flier is a template that you can customize and hand out to prospective families. Showing them that you are active in your community is a great motivator for new families!
Download a customizable National Night Out Flier here!