When we’re young, things like shared values and common interests are a small part of why we gravitate toward each other. Sometimes, it’s as simple as proximity, attending the same school, temple, or church, or chatting with your neighbors who live on the same street or block. Other times, we find friends within our parent’s friend groups, like mommy and me gym classes or dad’s story hour at the library. And as girls grow up, their friends become even more valuable as they surround themselves with a supportive group to help them maneuver the bigger social world—and Girl Scout sisters are the perfect allies.
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So if the new membership year rolls around and you feel like you’ve already asked everyone you know to join your troop, try asking your girls to invite a friend. Introducing new girls into your troop can help with the overall health of the troop, keep things interesting, and provide additional adult support. And if your girls invite friends they’re already comfortable with, there’s a good chance they’ll get along with the rest of the group! With that in mind, here are six solid reasons why you should ask your Girl Scouts to invite a friend to your next troop gathering:
1. You’ll introduce your girls to a new set of friends.
You can never have too many Girl Scout sisters. And when girls invite a friend to a meeting or event, they’re introducing their troop to a new friend and their friend to a whole new group of friends! That means more buddies to chat with, eat with, explore with—you name it, because you never know what might spark a new friendship.
2. She’ll have the chance to reshape an existing friendship.
Sometimes friends move in different directions, especially as classes change and interests evolve from year to year. Friendships forged when girls shared the same teacher may fizzle once they’re separated, but asking girls to invite their friend to a troop meeting after school may help them stay connected, re-energize the friendship, and change up your troop’s dynamics.
3. She’ll have opportunities to explore new ideas with friends.
As children grow, they may gravitate towards new interests, and we all know Girl Scouts is the ideal environment to try new things. But sometimes trying new things can be a little scary, so encourage your girls to invite their favorite friends to join them on their next Girl Scout adventure. The comfort of a familiar face can make the experience less intimidating, more fun, and definitely more memorable.
4. You’ll create a community of inclusion and diversity.
Moving to a new city or community is never easy for a kid, especially during the developmental elementary and middle school years. When I was younger, my family moved around a lot, but Girl Scouts made it easy to “make new friends, but keep the old”. Each and every girl brings something special to the troop. I remember, every time a new girl moved to town, I always invited them to Girl Scouts, and it was amazing to hear about the different places they came from, like Tahiti and India. They were always eager to share their cultures with us, and we were excited to learn about faraway places. On top of that, inviting newcomers to your troop is a great chance to help them to feel included at their new school.
5. New girls = new parents (and many hands make light work)!
New girls also means new parents, who can bolster your friend circle and troop volunteer roles. A new perspective on the troop may push everyone outside their comfort zone and bring fresh ideas and opportunities to everyone involved.
6. She can take a friendship to the next level with shared experiences through Girl Scouts.
If a friendship is flagging, an injection of shared experiences like camping, gardening, building a robot, or putting on a dramatic performance may be in order. It sheds a new light on old friendships, but also allows new skills and talents to appear. And probably the biggest benefit of all, your girls will bond with each other and realize they’ll always have their Girl Scout sisters by their side no matter what.
When girls and young women are a part of something bigger, like Girl Scouts, they benefit in ways they may not yet understand. Especially as our lives become more digital with social media and such, it’s important to maintain our existing friendship circles as well as build new ones. Your troop of Girl Scouts is a strong network like no other, so why wouldn’t you want your girls to invite their friends to join?
What to do next:
- Got open spaces in your troop? Opt-in to the Troop Catalog so that new members know your troop is ready to welcome them into Girl Scouts!
- Looking for more ways to grow your troop this year, check out this related blog post: 6 Resources to Help Grow Your Troop.
- It’s important that every new girl feels safe and welcome—learn more about how to create a safe space for girls.
- Growing girls have different needs depending on their age. Take some time to understand the likes, needs, and abilities of girls at different ages with Volunteer Essentials.
Heather Burlew-Hayden—Heather is the Chief Marketing and Recruitment Officer for Girl Scouts of Northern California. A former Girl Scout, she comes from a long line of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, including her sisters, mother, grandmother, and great aunt Margaret who earned her Golden Eaglet in the 1930s! Originally from Upstate New York, she has lived in SoCal, Washington DC, and Brooklyn (Holla!) before landing in Northern California. She loves to travel, eat, and read read read.
Back in 2nd grade, my best friend kept asking me where I was disappearing to every Wednesday afternoon (my troop had weekly meetings at my elementary school and I went EVERY week). She knew nothing about Girl Scouts, so I invited her to our end of the year Court of Awards dinner. She ended up joining my troop soon after and staying until we graduated high school. Now we’re both lifetime members (and still best friends)! Thanks for spreading the Girl Scout love Heather! <3
Here’s another reason: overcoming parental objections.
I begged my parents for two years to let me join Girl Scouts and their answer was always no. It wasn’t until my friends asked why I didn’t join the troop, and then several went together to my house to tell my parents they wanted me in the troop that they finally said yes.
I learned early the power of assembly.