Getting Volunteers/My view
Barbara Van Dyke (BarbaraVD@AOL.COM)
Sun, 30 Apr 1995 10:57:02 -0400
Michael Smith writes about getting new volunteers by using the "hardball"
It reminded me of an experience when I was a new Brownie leader. We met at
the same time as a Junior Girl Scout troop. I noticed all the parents
participating with that troop and commented to the Junior leader. She told
me: "Oh yes, they're all the PTA moms, when we had some open spots in our
troop, I went to them to ask if their daughters would be interested in Girl
Scouting." Of course, these are some of the best kinds of parents you want
for your group. However, its the kids that don't have those kinds of parents
that need Scouting and Guiding the most.
I my few years as a leader I've noted 4 kinds of of parents:
1) The absolutely dedicated parents (my guess anyone reading this list
falls into this category). These are the leaders, the ones taking all the
time to prepare and take the training.
2) The parents who feel Scouting/Guiding is a great activity for their kids,
who help at meetings, go on trips, pay on time, etc. They won't take
training, and once their child decides they don't want to participate any
more, they also discontinue their participation. I don't mind these kinds of
parents at all.
3) These parents also find Scouting/Guiding valuable to their child. They
won't take training, they come to the meetings, but do not help, instead it
is a social time for them to talk with other parents. I feel in their mind
they feel they are participating, just because they are there. I call it
"perceived participation." (I also have a hunch that they do not have a clue
the quantity of time a leader puts into the troop).
4) The drop-off-at-the-door parents. They're never around for meetings or
trips. They usually will sell cookies, though not always. These are the
parents with the kids that Scouting/Guiding will benefit the most.
I realize that generalizations like these are not always accurate. Many
parents may float between a couple of these categories, as people's lives are
not static. Job responsibilities, other volunteer work, personal problems,
their children's other activities, new additions to their families, there are
countless reasons that affect one's ability to participate in a
I have had varying degrees of luck recruiting volunteers, "hardball" works som
etimes. Convincing people that if enough volunteer to participate, that the
time committment could be minimal, small tasks assigned to alot of people can
often complete the job. The PTA moms and dads already know this.
Barbara Van Dyke
Brownie Girl Scout Troop 1541
Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City