Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rally the Troop: A Note on Recruitment

Before I rush to outline our petal activities and service projects as I promised in previous posts, I should describe how we went about inviting girls to join the troop.

There is a woman who serves as a troop leader for older girls who attend our elementary school.  She also volunteers as a Recruitment Coordinator for our school.  Her responsibilities include but are not limited to:  marketing Girl Scouts to the female student body, planning and running a recruitment meeting in the fall (and possibly again in the spring), securing leaders for a troop at each grade level, and assisting interested girls in finding a troop to join.  She worked with our Girl Scout Council in the first few weeks of the school year.  A couple of weeks prior to the recruitment meeting date, each female student in the school was given a flyer to take home.  Detailed information about the meeting was printed on the flyers.  Council provided paper bracelets that listed the date and time of our school-wide Recruitment Meeting.  The Recruitment Coordinator's contact information was also included for those individuals unable to attend the meeting and for people interested in addressing questions and concerns prior to the meeting.  She and I met at school during lunch the day of the meeting.  We secured the bracelets on the wrists of girls interested in learning more about Girl Scouts.  The bracelets served as a reminder to families interested in attending the meeting.   

The Girl Scout year begins on October 1st.  The recruitment meeting was scheduled on a weekday evening in late SeptemberWe convened in the elementary school multipurpose room.  While parents met with leaders and filled out registration paperwork, members of the older troops in our school took aside younger prospective Scouts and taught them different Girl Scout songs.  The girls also enjoyed coloring together while discussing what to expect once they join a Girl Scout troop.

In the spring of our first year, we had the opportunity to re-register our troop.  Early Bird registration allows leaders to re-register their current troops for the upcoming Girl Scout year.  We always ask that one adult register with the child.  This person can be a parent or guardian, a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or even a neighbor.  On occasion, this adult may be asked to transport girls or chaperone a special event, and he or she must be a member of Girl ScoutsAs incentive to participate in the Early Bird registration, our Council offers each troop a 15% coupon to use in the Council Shop.  Any girl who re-registered for the 2011-2012 year received a limited edition 100th Anniversary patch from our Council that was only available to those who took advantage of Early Bird registration.   

As the summer progressed, we were fortunate to be contacted by several families expressing interest in joining our troop.  Our Service Unit was invited to a S'mores Fest registration event in late September at a nearby camp.  The event was free.  Participating troops were asked to provide their own dinners and s'mores ingredients.  Upon arrival, leaders were asked to turn in the $12 membership fee with each registration form.  Then we were led on a hike through the camp to see the different lodges and tents we could one day reserve for a camping trip. Members of older troops planned games and built a fire for the younger girls attending the event.  Fun was had by all!

Please feel free to share any of your recruitment meeting and registration event ideas with us.  Thank you for reading!

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