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Question? Ideas for Recruiting

We have a small unit and as a result run Rainbows, Brownies and Guides together.

Our Rainbow unit started in April 1991, Brownie unit started in February 2003 and Guide unit in April 2005.

My Mum started all 3 units and I started as a Rainbow and have been with them ever since. :)

Trouble is, over the last few years our numbers have dwindled and our connections with the District/Division have collapsed (we didn't see a Commissioner for over 5 years and meetings were on a night none of us could make).

We now have 1 fully warranted Guider, 2 Guiders in training, and 2 regular parent helpers.

We have 5 Rainbows (1 will be going to Brownies in December), 3 (soon to be 4) Brownies, and 4 Guides. (These numbers were much lower last year)

Overall, this works well for us... we open and close meetings together but follow separate programmes in between. Although, often come together for activities.

We have 3 girls waiting to join Rainbows but have 2 years until the oldest is 5. :s

We have a website and most of the girls we have recruited in the last 12 months have come through the website.
I'm frustrated though, because we just can't seem to recruit.

I have posters and flyers ready to go out over the next few weeks but what other ideas are there?



The Wicked Witch of the West (15,000+ posts)
I was going to mention the school route... could you perhaps go in and do an assembly? how about around 22nd feb going in with girls in uniform to explain in assembly what thinking day is all about? gives you perhaps time to approach schools and agree on day/date/time etc

is there a local parish magazine? could try a letter in there - a sort of chatty information type one detailing what you've been doing - might get a few interested?

also, is there a local newsagent/corner type shop where you can put up one of the recruitment posters/leaflets? I find the recruitment postcards quite good and just add the website join us link

could you perhaps consider getting girls themselves to give out leaflets/postcards to their class mates? postcards are free from trading and there is a rainbows/brownies and guides one


Brownie-induced madness
We also run a joint unit (R&B so far, we are not sure if/when we'll start doing Guides).

We went joint because a) we wanted to be a community unit which means encouraging family participation and this way sisters of different ages can come to the same unit and b) we did not ever anticipate having enough Brownies to be very full.

We live in a fair sized city but we mainly draw from a small area (I assume you are also drawing from a small area? Are you rural or urban)?

We've mainly gained girls through:
- Word of mouth - make sure all the families know you are taking on new girls - sometimes they don't know how big you are able to be.
- Schools - letters round and/or assemblies
- Local noticeboards
- A leaflet drop but very targetted (two streets right next to the school where a lot of families live)
- Other units passing on girls who live closer to us (make sure they know you have spaces).


The Wicked Witch of the West (15,000+ posts)
- Other units passing on girls who live closer to us (make sure they know you have spaces).
actually with join us, at least all units will get flagged up on map and that may show parents of a unit that they didn't even know was there? (so join us may help you recruit a few more, especially if other units near by are full, you should benefit from the overflow - I am thinking join us will equalise the waiting lists a wee bit amongst areas????) But definitely need to let your join us co-ordinator know that you have spaces


Veteran (100+ posts)
What about asking the Guides to organize:
a) a Party (maybe Party Planner badge) and ask the other girls to "bring a friend".
b) 10p night - again ask the girls to "bring a friend"
c) If you could take part in a community activity or raise funds for a good cause try to get it in to the local paper (and a mentioned that you have places)
d) Couple of hours bag packing (hand out notices to families with young children advising you have spaces)
e) Attend a fete or similar and again hand out notices.

I designed some A5 card recruitment cards. Each card was divided into 9 (I think) squares (I did this on the computer). Each square had a statement such as "Fun" "Camping" "Craft" "Friends" and appropriate clip-art in each square and of course a contact telephone number. These were handed out to schools and suitable venues.

Hope this helps


Veteran (100+ posts)
are there other local units? - if so there may just not be enough girls to go round.
are there other activities in the area? - if a really popular dance class is held on your night you will only get the ones who dont want to dance.

i agree with the others advertising through school is best because they have your target audience. ask to send flyers out or ask current girls if they can hand out to girls in their classes.
Thanks for your suggestions...

Hopefully we'll get the leaflets and posters out soon. I live almost 30 miles away from the unit so I'm unable to visit schools etc.. Mam will do it though.


The Wicked Witch of the West (15,000+ posts)
if you arn't actually local yourself, you could just give out a few of the leaflets/posters to parents and ask them to display them in and around village for you (most don't mind and you could end up with posters in some lovely prominent places that way)


Veteran (100+ posts)
Certainly I've found that putting letters through schools tends to be the most successful for me, as well as word of mouth. Like others have said - get posters up everywhere that's possible - schools, playgroups, shops, leisure centres (basically where the parents/guardians are known to congregated). Another one is word of mouth - get your current girls (and their families) to let others know what you do in the unit. I've got spaces still in my units, and I've asked parents/girls to pass the word on. Peer pressure can be a good thing, especially if it's seen as the 'cool' thing to do, and found that the girls tend to come in packs of friends (if that makes sense) - get some more girls in and they'll hopefully pull in more of their friends. (Playground talk can be good, as then the girls mention how much they like it to their friends, who then go on and bug parents...).

Been seen in the community is important as well - earlier this year got one girl onto the waiting list, as a result of watching a local dramatics group. The Mum and Nain (Gran) commented on how well behaved all the Rainbows and Brownies were and when could 'Flossie' join. We also attend the Remembrance Sunday service and the local carnival parade - haven't really got any girls from either event, yet, but at least seen in the community. Also this winter also planning to attend the Christmas fairs again, hopefully we'll get some girls from them this year - at least the main one.

I also mention the units on my facebook wall, mention spaces, what we've been doing etc., so at least that potential parents are aware that both units exist and also what we do. (Breaking down barriers.) This generated another girl for the waiting list who's hopefully joining next term. Also a couple of aunts who are interested in their niece(s) joining the unit(s), but not been successful in getting the parents in contact with me.