In case your Service Unit/Community hasn’t quite gotten started on planning your Rally Night, or you will be doing more than one, here’s a list of ideas that worked in the past for our Community:
Before the Rally
- Advertise! Flyers at every school you serve, lawn signs, banners, posters, whatever your schools and neighborhoods will let you get away with!
- See if you can have a table at your school’s Open House or Meet the Teacher Night. Some of our schools allow it, some don’t. Or maybe even just a couple of Older Girls in uniform handing out flyers.
- Get every EXISTING Troop to fill out a form showing whether they are open, what volunteer positions they need filled, what levels they are, when and where they meet, etc. The online tools will give you some of this information, but knowing what the Troop is asking for helps you fill those holes effectively.
At the Rally
- Our Community tries to make this an adult event, rather than one for the girls. But children always show up, so be prepared for that – even if the flyers all say don’t bring the kids! It’s better to prepare for the kids to come, than to turn away potential Girl Scouts and volunteers because you didn’t get a Cadette Troop to come do some work on a Babysitting Badge by playing with the kids that show up. Or those High School girls who always seem to need service hours for one group or another. This can be used toward the Service to Girl Scouting Bar, too!
- Have displays as the parents walk in the doors. Uniforms, Girl Guides, scrapbooks, everything! Parents don’t know what they are signing up for besides cookies, camping, and college applications. SHOW THEM.
- Have a sign in sheet right by the entrance. That way your Placement Specialist can cross-reference people who showed up versus people who registered. And maybe send the ones who came but did not register an email a few weeks later, checking to see if they were sure they didn’t want to register – especially if the specialist ha some holes to fill in the Troops.
- Have one of your Ambassadors, or a Senior, speak to the crowd. Give her the experience of talking before a crowd, give them the experience of seeing what poised young ladies our muddy campers become. Have the girl talk about why she is still in Girl Scouts, what it has given her, what she has learned from Scouting.
- Don’t forget the Flag Ceremony, Promise and Law – it’s a great way to include those younger girls.
- Have tables, rooms, or corners set up for each level, depending on what your space offers you. At each of these, have a leader who has led that level before, but is not currently leading that level. They can speak with experience, but aren’t trying to put all the best girls in their Troop. 🙂 We typically have spaces set aside for each grade K-5, and then one area for Older Girls, because our recruitment drops off so drastically in sixth grade. But there is always a handful of Older Girls who show up, so make sure you have somewhere for them!
- Have some way of keeping track of who is placed in which Troop formed that night, hard copy, just in case.
Here’s a couple of forms I made, based off of ones I created when I was on the Recruitment Team. Even if you can’t use these directly, they may give you ideas you can tweak.
- TroopSurvey – this is a great tool for finding out which existing Troops need new girls and new volunteers.
- NewTroop – this sheet helps you keep track of what Troops you form at Rally Night, and who volunteered to be what!