By Lisa Kaminski; Manager, Community Development
I had the opportunity the other night, at one of the regional membership meetings for service teams, to be involved in a discussion on recruitment. The volunteers in the group had great ideas on ways to recruit girls and adults into Girl Scouting. From fall school open houses and new leader mentoring to help people become comfortable in their volunteer role, to re-engaging alumnae to help with series and events, we talked about the various ways people get involved in our organization.
A few things from that discussion stood out to me and I thought I would share.
We need to do our best to educate everyone on the ways that a girl or adult can join Girl Scouting. Girls and adults have many options – not just troop participation – and by educating, staff, volunteers, parents, and community members, more girls and adults may be able to benefit from a fun experience in Girl Scouting. There are many people out there that do not know about our different pathways to participating. Girl Scouting can offer a girl a chance to participate in a troop, but it can also offer her short-term series for times when she may need a better fit for her schedule, events, camp, and travel opportunities. Working together we can find ways to offer all of these options to girls and adults across our jurisdiction so that people can join Girl Scouting first and then choose how to participate.
Having a connection to Girl Scouting is a great motivation for someone to volunteer with our organization. People who have been involved know the benefits and most likely have realized them in their own lives. Who better to help us to build girls of courage, confidence, and character? However, sometimes we tend to focus our volunteer recruitment efforts on parents of girls, and we don’t find ways to keep women who have been Girl Scouts but have not yet become parents engaged in Girl Scouting. Brainstorming ways to involve these women and tapping into a largely underutilized group of potential volunteers could help bring Girl Scouting to more girls in every community.
With winter recruitment season now upon us, take a chance to look at the recruitment resources Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways has available, talk to other volunteers in your community, or your Community Development Manager about ways to engage more girls and adults in Girl Scouts, and together we can work to be sure that every girl and adult interested in Girl Scouts finds their own best way to participate.