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Mega Recruitment Drive!

Lydia!

Veteran (100+ posts)
#1
Hi Ladies,

So I'm taking over a Guide unit which in recent years has suffered from lack of consistency in its leadership team, a brilliant but slightly clingy Brownie feeder unit leader and maybe a lack of sparkle...although they did have a good leader in the last couple of years.

This will be the first unit where I'm leader in charge, and I'm all enthusiastic and mega ambitious. Currently, the unit has about 6 girls, and loads of YLs, reflecting the larger unit that was there a few years back. It's nestled in an area with strong Guiding to one side, and a bit of a black hole to the other. It also happens to be slap bang in an area undergoing one of the biggest regeneration projects in London and the UK's history. So I'm thinking we can make this unit great, and it is being targeted by the Growing Guiding people at CHQ whoop whoop.

So we're having our first meeting on Wed. I'm not expecting newbs this week, more slowly growing over the year. I thought I would share on here what I'm doing, and them come back over the year to update on what worked, and what didn't.

So here's all the stuff I've done:

Updated my Go! with the right details for Join Us!
Recruitment posters in local newsagents and bakers
Recruitment posters in local Sure Start Centre
Recruitment Posters and leaflets in local library, GPs and Dentist
Letters to local Schools for announcements in assembly, postcards for year 5/6s, and plans to have a meeting in one or more open to pupils
Letter to the local body organising the regeneration, and getting a stall at the opening of their new community centre in a month (luckily attended by the nearest primary ha-ha)
Internet ads on Netmums, Mumsnet and Clubz
Asked church where we are to advertise in announcements and newsletter
Plans to have bring a friend night later this term
Contacted feeder Brownie unit to build links, and will send personalised invites to 10 year old Brownies to join us
Contact feeder unit to plan joint trips in the coming year to improve visibility

And most importantly...

...spent ages pouring over the programme to make it diverse, fun and fresh. Have plans for trips, and nights away in the coming year. Once they come, they wont want to leave!

So wish me luck, and also feel free to post up more suggestions! I'm thinking once the unit is a bit bigger I can try for getting the girls out and about in the local area to gather interest that way, say through community action.

:)

Lydia
 

Porth

Veteran (100+ posts)
#2
First of all good luck.

I've been doing a major recruitment for both of my units as numbers dropped right off, especially when the main car park outside was closed for over a year while the new doctors and chemist building was being built. The meeting place was then hidden behind the boards that they'd put up round the car park, even though there was still walking access to the building. Also the local primary school had a new head teacher and also the school wouldn't allow me to put letters through the school for a year. Combined with the Brownie unit the main leader was moving, none of the parents wanted to take over (as it would have been straight from dropping the daughter off right into main guider role).

From the looks of it you've covered most of the main areas to target potential new girls. Would also look at doing a 'bring a friend' night choosing suitable activities that may bring in new girls.

Other places to think about is the local leisure centre(s) and any other places that the girls may go (chippy, takeaways etc). As well as letters going into the local school(s) that you're targetting, what about asking if you can go in and run a short session?

Look at putting posters up in the local supermarkets as well, basically any shop/building etc. that will allow you to put up a poster.

I've mentioned both of my units a few times on my facebook wall and resulted in certainly one parent sending me a message asking for her daughter to join - now just waiting for the girl to turn 5 so that she can join.

I agree with you about the visibility part. Both of my units are seen in the community - carnival parade, Remembrance Sunday service and also the local dramatics group. At the latter it's always commented on how well the girls have behaved themselves, how they are the only ones who don't do a loo visit while the show is on - only before, during the interval and afterwards. Also the tidiest children in the place as well as they've been drilled over the years to pick up all the rubbish they've generated as well. This year it resulted in a parent putting her daughter onto the waiting list, also lots of comments on how well behaved all the Rainbows and Brownies were.

By getting a reputation of well behaved girls, I've found that the parents are willing to send their girls to the units. Also I've had new girls by what the current batch of girls have said, it certainly can be surprising how many more girls you can get when the current set of girls start talking on the school playground/yard about the fun activities they've done the night before. If you can do some really good sessions on top of the good normal sessions then hopefully it'll be seen as the 'cool' place for the girls to be and hopefully draw in more girls into the unit.
 

Lydia!

Veteran (100+ posts)
#3
So, in actual fact, the unit had 4 girls on the first meeting of term, which would have been 2 had I not persuaded the mum that her daughters should just try the unit with new leadership before writing it off after receiving a 'our daughter will not be returning to Guides' email.

So, summer girl count....................... 2
First meeting count..........................4
Meeting before half Term...................8

So I'm quite pleased to have gone up to 8, which includes 1 girl I've won back into Guiding at 12 after she left at 10, and 3 new to Guiding completely!

Plus, I have a wave of Brownies trying us out after half term, as I've been working tirelessly building links with two natural feeder units that had been lost.

So looks like we may survive whoop whoop! Best of all, the girls are LOVING the programme and their parents have been commenting on how much their daughters are enjoying it so that's great too!

So here's what I'd reccommend:

*Recruited 3 new to Guiding through postering directing them to Join us (parents commented they had no idea Guides were in my area until they saw it)
*Recruited 1 (plus prospectives) from Community Fair (and other girls to other units/ sections)

Letters to schools are going out until half term, so will update you on that afterwards.....
 

shackademus

Veteran (100+ posts)
#4
brilliant well done.
is it worth sending a card to all the ones who have left in the last 2 years telling them there's new leadership, what the guides have done so far and what they hope to do before chriatmas and in the new year.
 

Roo2

Veteran (100+ posts)
GuiderPlus
#5
sounds like you've got off to a flying start, well done you, just got to keep the momentum going now!
 

*gwen*

GIC Guide/SS
GuiderPlus
#6
What great reward for your effort. Hope the unit continues to grow, which it will by word of month from the girls saying how much they are enjoying it
 

Lydia!

Veteran (100+ posts)
#7
Hi,

new term update, first meeting back I have 12 on my books, horray!!! I'm also expecting another 1 this term. The new ones I had last night are my first Brownies that I've encouraged to come up, after reforming links with Brownie units.

But better than all that, I actually got a thanks last night from a parent for turning the unit round. She says her girls now love it and wanted to thank the leadership team for all their work. Felt so lovely to hear that and I'm buzzing today as a result!
 

Jaffa

Veteran (100+ posts)
#8
We opened last january and went to 21 in the first year, a bit like you, I think we were at about 12 at easter time, then it's grown, we found we had retry and try and try. Sent postcards into school more than once, and consent asked girls to pass on postcards etc. Going to do another recruitment drive this term.
 

Lydia!

Veteran (100+ posts)
#10
Well done Lydia,

Could you let us know what your programme has been to date
No worries. Bear in mind we have a starter activity (7:00-7:30) for when the girls are arriving, and a main activity for after that (7:30-8:15). Last term we didnt run with patrols as were too small, but we have them now.

Programme last term:

19th September Planning Meeting (choosing trip, out of meeting place night), Shambala braclets, Armpit Fudge (teaching them to teach people at event)
26th September: Guiding Mag activity-Inspirational Pictures (Alex)
Pamper Evening: Reflexology (My mum came into teach), Bath bombs
3rd October: Unit **Mystery Solving Evening** : 'Mystery of the cupcakes, had several leaders in playing roles..they loved this...YLs started planning YLQ
10th October UV Evening:
Glow in the dark neckers, UV cupcakes, Ring toss (We illuminated cupcakes with a black light)
17th October: BP girl did her activity (sports comp) and the YLs did the 2nd half (paralympics inspired activities & activities from 'including all resource')
24th October: Outdoor Cooking/ Indoor campfire:
Pitta bread pizzas, Jelly Baby Apples, Edible Campfires& sparklers
31st October**HALF TERM**
7th November: Lego Minstorms Robots session 1: Build your robot
14th November: Lego mindtorms Robots sesion 2: programme and race robots
21st November: Decorate wooden patrol boxes with Pyrography
Cultural/ Global Starter Activity
28th November: OUT OF MEETING PLACE Night **CHIP HIKE** (Chosen by girls)
5th December Fashion Night: design unit trackie bottoms
12th December 4/ Peer education Evening: Teamwork topic chosen by Girls
19th December 'Christmas Down Under'
Beach Volleyball, Maori Sand Art Baubles/ tree decorations,Ice cream Sundaes

This term (I've attached), most of it is finalised...'challenge evenings' will be a challenge or badge we do over 2 weeks (not yet chosen).
Also this term we have a 'Discover London' 1 night residential, and will be going on a trip too. For patrol evenings they've planned 6 nights, with at least 5 of those to be spent on a GFI.
 

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LFC_dragonfly

Veteran (100+ posts)
#11
Wow, you really have spent ages on the programme making it really great and girl led. I hope to do something similar when I take over my unit as GiC.

Well done!!