Recruitment time for Scouts can be a stressful time for leaders trying to either gain more girls into your troop or gain new troops into your service unit area.
I have been part of a number of recruitments over the years. Many have been making posters or flyers to send into the schools, but have found you will send out 400 flyers and have 4 or 5 girls show up to the recruitments. I have tried setting up school fairs, at the mall, at community organized programs for girls, but always find the interest to join is very low. But one thing I have tried that seems to work well is letting the girls you already have in your troop or Service unit troops recruit the girls. It is just like everything else in life, why do you go to a certain restaurant, hair salon, or doctor sometimes its simply a luck thing you saw a flyer read a review, but often you had a friend tell you how awesome they were and you have to check it out. The same goes for being a GS if your girls are telling their friends how much fun scouting is they will be more interested in joining.
Thats where a Bring a Friend Party comes in, don’t just have a meeting where you stand up in front of girls and parents interested in joining scouts and explain to them all the fun stuff you do, the experienced gained, how great it is to be a leader, etc. Instead show them how great it is. Make your recruitment event a activity, party, games, crafts, etc. Give them the experience. The most important thing as a leader is be organized show parents how easy it is to be a leader as well. Then after all the fun and games have a table set up to take down everyones information that wants to join, become a leader, and depending on time you can sign people up there or follow up with everyone after meeting.
First be sure to review these post that cover more detail of things to think about when your trying to recruit new leaders, and to remember when you were in their shoes:
- 4 Things you wish someone had told you before becoming a leader
- 3 myths that may be stopping you from becoming a leader
Now onto some great ideas to use for your next Bring a Friend Recruitment Party, some of these ideas will really depend on your location and how big of a turn out you could expect.
Bring A Friend Recruitment Party
Carnival Game Party
This would be great way to get girls excited about being a scout to host a carnival game party. Set up different games for girls to play and while girls are playing games if you have enough help have leaders talk to parents about the benefits of Girl Scouting. If you need ideas for games this website has 12 easy to put together games to play. Click here
YMCA Pool Party
This would be up to your area YMCA, since recruitments are never a for sure attendance number you may either have to do pre-registration or if Y has life guards on call to add more if number of girls add up. I have seen very successful pool party recruitments, where girls swim then have hour event after where you go over everything that makes being a scout amazing.
Photo Scavenger Hunt
I have done a number of these types of parties for bring a friend events. You will need to make this even a bit longer, and depending on location adjust the things girls need to find. I shared a super hero theme photo scavenger hunt and I also have a A – Z planned scavenger hunt available here on the blog. Click here (A – Z version at end of post)
Squirt Gun Fun Party
If you are able to get a number of squirt guns, and paint then this be a great way to get girls creative and have a blast making a art piece using squirt guns. Then you can follow up the activity with a presentation to girls and parents about other fun things Scouts do. Click here for directions on squirt gun art.
Back to Scouts Ice Rink/Skating Rink Event
I would recommend doing this during a public open skate so you wouldn’t have as many concerns with insurance, but check with council for complete regulations on this in your area. Secondly you can have everyone bring a friend girls can skate give them idea what fun scouts have and as leaders you can discuss all the opportunities scouting can offer the girls and parents.
Keep It Simple With A SWAP
If you wanted to make it more of a traditional recruitment where you share your experiences as a leader, have a few of your girls share their experience, and then have each girl make a SWAP, you can even explain to girls how SWAPS work and at Girl Scout events we often exchange SWAPS. Checkout my pinterest board with over 300 ideas. Click here
Make S’mores and Share Stories
This would be a fun way to have girls and parents attending make a S’more which is a Girl Scout Favorite at camping events. Then have girls and leaders share some of their favorite memories as a Girl Scout and why they should join.
Field Day Event
What better way to get the girls up and moving is to play a pile of relay games and group games with the group. Then after the games and activities you can share everything you love about Girl Scouts and have your current girls do the same.
Some great games to play at your recruitment
- 5 easy and fun cotton ball games
- 7 games and fun with hula hoops
- 10 games to play with parachute
- 12 games to play with balloons
Ice cream social
Bring Ice Cream and they will come. Include a few games and crafts and share ice cream while sharing the news of how great Girl Scouting can be.
It could be fun to turn the event into a alice in wonderland tea party. You can go simple and just offer tea and crackers/cookies, or you can put on a Alice in wonderland party complete with games and a mystery meal. Don’t worry I have everything you need to throw this party. If you do the meal you can have dinner entertainment where leaders and current scouts share what they love about scouting and at end of party ask girls who wants to join for more fun all year round.
Fall Fest Event
If your recruiting during the fall you can put together a fall fest event with games, activities, and decorating pumpkins. For some ideas on how to put together a event like this click here.
Put on a Juliette Low Skit
This would be a great way to get all your girls involved. Have them put together a skit that really covers everything that makes scouting so great, including details on Juliette Low, the promise, the law, the activities, games, badges, outdoor adventures, and more that the girls do each year as a Girl Scout.
I hope these 12 ideas help spark some creativity while you plan your recruitment events this year. If you have more ideas feel free to share in comments below.
After you have the troop recruited…Organize Your Troop with a 25+ page Leader Planner
This Leader Planner is from another amazing blogger named Jen her blog is called “I am StrawjenBerry” With the help of Jen I wrote a blog post explaining everything you will get in this planner. It has everything you need to plan your troop year. The planner contains your calendar, meeting planners, rosters and badge trackers in one safe place for when you need it. Read more