Volunteer Experience, Volunteers

How & Why You Should Grow Your Troop This Year

Girl Scouts is all about making new friends. And one of the best, easiest ways to make new friends is by welcoming new girls into your troop!

After all, new members bring fresh ideas, different ways of looking at things, and excitement that can spark creativity and energize everyone. Plus, introducing new friends to Girl Scouting allows existing members to flex their leadership skills and build confidence. Basically, everybody wins!

Why should you grow your troop?

There are so many benefits to growing your troop, in addition to encouraging your girls to make new friends and broaden their horizons.

Every time you add a new girl to your troop, you’re bringing the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to one more girl in your community! You’re teaching her that her voice matters and helping her turn “can I?” into “I will!”

Plus, according to research from the Girl Scout Research Institute, the most successful troops nationwide have 12 girl members. This allows for lively, engaging conversation among the girls without being too overwhelming for the troop volunteers.

How do you grow your troop?

Now that your troop is on board to welcome new members into your troop, how do you actually do that? Luckily, there are many ways you can reach out to girls in your community, depending on your time constraints and comfort level!

Let the girls know about the new Invite a Friend patch!

We all know girls are the best salespeople in the world. Utilize their skills (and their network!) to find new girls in your area who are interested in joining Girl Scouts.

And there isn’t a better Girl Scout incentive than a good patch, right? We’re excited to announce our brand new Invite a Friend patch just for current Girl Scouts who invite a friend to join their troop!

After her friend has become a Girl Scout member, the current Girl Scout’s parent or caregiver just needs to go to gswo.org/inviteafriend and fill out the form. Within a few weeks, their brand-new patch will be delivered to their door!

Have the girls in your troop pass out fliers to their friends.

If girls in your troop are excited about the new Invite a Friend patch (we are, too!), give them resources to make it easy to earn!

We’ve created a fillable flier for you in Microsoft Word that you can download and pass out to the girls in your troop! Simply open up the file in Microsoft Word, update the highlighted text with your information (and remove the yellow highlighting), and print! Girls can keep these in their backpacks and hand out to their friends whenever they see them!

Download the flier here!

Have the girls in your troop bring a friend to a meeting.

If you’d prefer to meet with the girls before they sign up, host a Bring a Friend Meeting with your troop! Each girl in the troop brings a friend along so they can see first-hand what it’s like to be a Girl Scout. Or, at the beginning of the year, you could designate certain meetings as open to friends. That way a current member of your troop doesn’t feel pressured to find someone to bring along.

During this meeting (or meetings!), make sure the agenda stays true to who you are as a troop. You want these friends to understand what it would be like to be a member of your troop, so be true to your troop’s culture!

Wear Girl Scout swag often, especially on meeting days!

When I was in first grade, many of my classmates were part of the same Daisy troop. They wore their light blue smocks every time they had a meeting, and I remember being so jealous of them. Why didn’t I have a smock? What are all of those patches on them? How can I get them? You better believe my parents signed me up for Girl Scouts the following year.

Girl Scout uniforms are designed to show off all of the amazing things Girl Scouts have accomplished. So let them show it off! Encourage girls to wear their Girl Scout uniforms, especially on meeting days! Their classmates and friends will ask questions, which will (hopefully) lead into a conversation about how they can join, too!

Add your troop to the Troop Opportunity Catalog.

One of the most common questions we get is how to join a troop, especially if you’re new in the area. Whenever someone begins the registration process at gswo.org/join, they’re taken to the Troop Opportunity Catalog.  They type in their zip code and the girl’s grade level, and a list of available troops comes up.

If you’d like to grow your troop, make sure your troop is visible in the Troop Opportunity Catalog! You can include a short description of what activities your troop likes to do, like STEM, exploring nature, or road trips. That way, new girls are able to find your troop without much additional work on your end!

Not sure if your troop is listed, or want to update your troop’s information? Contact our Customer Care Team to get it updated at 888.350.5090 or customerservice@gswo.org!

Bring a friend to a Girl Scout program event.

Does your troop participate in a lot of program events? Awesome! Have girls invite a friend to participate in the next program event your troop is participating in! Not only will they get a taste of your troop culture, they’ll also get a better understanding of the wider Girl Scout sisterhood!

To register, they just need to go to gswo.org/activities, search for the event, and register! They need to become a member of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio to attend, but that doesn’t mean they’re required to join your troop (or any troop!) afterward.

So there you have it! Six awesome ways to grow your troop, and get help doing it!

Concerned about the work it will involve? Check back soon for tips on how to encourage parents to lend a hand with your troop throughout the year!

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