The first challenge

As I alluded to in my first post, our unit is low on current members. Pre-covid we’d have around 35 girls each term, but due to covid we lost our usual flow of girls both in and out, and therefore in July we actually said goodbye to 17 girls who are moving on to Brownies. Some of those have done a whole extra year at Rainbows to keep the normality and to wait for a space at their preferred unit, so we’re now down to just 10 girls, and although we have some on the waiting list we’re at about half capacity.

For any leader who’s been in this situation, it’s hard work trying to recruit girls when you’ve not had a flow of girls telling their friends, but this has been even more difficult as girls didn’t want to join on zoom as they were zoomed out and we’ve not been able to get out and about so the public haven’t seen the awesome things we normally get up to.

So how do I recruit during this time of not being able to go out and do a lot? How do I get into schools and how do I do any of this with a newborn? This morning I sent off a few more emails to local schools with a flyer attached asking for them to advertise the unit if they can, all while thankfully Dad has been feeding the little one.

I shared my first post with my husband and his comment was ‘well you work as well so after maternity leave you’ll have that to fit around as well, you enjoy work, will you manage everything’. Now I am very lucky as my day job is great with flexibility, I work a fair number of evenings and weekends on top of the usual 9-5 (well 7:30 – 4) but they are flexible, I used to use my lunch breaks to send emails to parents, or write a letter – and I think that will continue, as they say a Guide uses her time and abilities wisely, so I’m sure I’ll continue to do some admin on my lunch breaks, and finish early some days, but work later others. I’m looking forward to getting back to work next year and seeing how I manage with everything.

I’m on to the next challenge of preparing for our start of term, checking the budget for the year and make amendments to this if needed, inviting new girls from the waiting lists, writing start of term letters and prepping resources. Finally checking and updating the weekly risk assessment and writing any others for additional trips and events we’ve got coming up this term.

Recruitment resources I have been using (thanks to Lisa’s guiding illustrations for some of these). I have edited to show we’ll be taking girls aged 4 at Rainbows as part of the pilot.

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