Do you want to expand your girls’ network and bring new voices and perspectives into their world? Consider welcoming more girls into your troop! Growing your troop is a great way to share the power of the Girl Scout experience. And in the spirit of sisterhood, you’ll help your girls make new friends (and keep the old).
So if you’re ready to introduce more girls to Girl Scouting, what’s the best way to get the word out? Volunteers share their top ten tips for letting the go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders in your community know they can join in the fun with your troop!
1) List your troop in the Opportunity Catalog.
Whether your council dubs this online resource the Troop Catalog or Opportunity Catalog, creating a listing in it is a simple way to let your community know that your troop has open spots. You can also use this space to share what makes your troop unique and why potential Girl Scouts won’t want to miss out on all your troop fun!
2) Distribute and post flyers at schools and in the community.
What’s one of the most effective recruiting techniques, according to our volunteer experts? Being present at schools and other places where girls in your community assemble. Back-to-School Nights garner the most interest. Set-up a recruitment table with girls from the school’s troops.
Putting a “face” to the troop is particularly impactful. The personal contact at school events, directly with parents and girls by leaders and troop members, can be the most effective way of connecting and spreading the word on what Girl Scouting is about.
You can also encourage the girls to speak up at or outside of recruitment events! Have girls write out why other girls should join Girl Scouts, then she put those letters on a bulletin board at her school.
3) Share troop openings on social media.
Think of your most frequently used social touch points—maybe you’re part of a Google group for neighborhood parents or your town recreation department’s Facebook group. Consider writing a short post about the exciting, hands-on activities that girls can take on through Girl Scouts and that there’s room for girls to explore their interests in your troop. At the end of your post, be sure to let people know how to register their girls.
4) Use word-of-mouth tactics to share inspiring stories.
As helpful as social media and other apps are, word of mouth can be the actual proof that gets families excited about Girl Scouting. Ask the girls in your troop to share a Girl Scout experience such as a sleepover at the zoo, traveling, ziplining, Girl Scout camp over the summer, glass blowing, or whatever the girl found exciting.
5) Ask your girls to wear their sashes or vests to school on meeting days.
Just wearing their Girl Scout uniform to school on meeting days is a way of starting a conversation about Girl Scouts with their peers. It gives them an opportunity to share what they had learned when earning the different badges and all the activities related to patches.”
6) Spread sisterhood in your community.
It’s one thing to talk about what Girl Scouting is all about; it’s another to experience it! Your troop is an important part of your broader community, so consider adopting a “more the merrier” approach to events. Have your troop host a Me and My Guy Dance the first Friday in February every year, inviting all girls and their special guy—dad, grandpa, uncle—to the dance.
7) Use local media to share troop activities and achievements.
If you want to get the word out about Girl Scouts in your area, then you need to get the girls out and about. When your troop participates in community service, take a picture of our girls in uniform, and the local paper is great about putting the picture and information in there.
8) Have parents share their Girl Scout experience.
Just as your girls will share fun stories about their Girl Scout experience, so will their parents or caregivers! If parents feel that their daughters are having a great time at Girl Scout meetings and events, they will usually tell other parents about the troop.
Seeing is believing, so consider inviting the parents and caregivers in your troop to a meeting, or create a special event just for them. Plan a time for moms and caregivers to come and do an activity with their girls. It’s also a great way to find parents who fill a need in your troop; that’s how you include everyone and use your resources!”
9) Host a bring-a-friend night!
Bring-a-friend events. Plan an event such as a STEM night, or patch night where the girls can interact and learn about Girl Scouts. Give them a goodie bag to take home with a ‘s’more in a bag,’ a patch, and some small Girl Scout items.
10) Recognize the role your girls play in growing their troop.
Consider giving the girls who helped bring new members to your troop a small token of thanks—a new patch, certificate, or personal thank-you note from your council.
And, don’t forget, you don’t have to set a deadline for girls to join your troop. Encourage girls to join any time of the year. Fall can be a busy time of the year and that the girl may not be able to join until winter. Accept new girls at anytime!
Reprinted from Girl Scouts of the USA