Bring a friend

Looking at ways to grow your unit? Bring new girls into your unit to experience Girlguiding for the first time

Introduce girls to guiding by holding a bring a friend night

I joined because my friend joined, but now we’ve made loads of new friends! I can’t wait to go on adventures with them.Chloe, 1st Goodwick Rainbows

A bring a friend night is when every girl in your unit is encouraged to bring a friend - from school or another club - who isn't already a member.

It's a great way to introduce new girls to guiding, because our current girls are our greatest ambassadors! Lots of units have found it an effective way to involve girls who might not have thought of guiding before.

Holding a bring a friend night

Invite friends - plan the bring a friend night a few weeks in advance so girls have time to invite their friends. Ask every girl to invite a friend who isn’t already a member to the meeting or event. They could even make special personalised invitations. Remember that you will need to get consent forms from parents of visiting girls, so it may be a good idea to send these out with invitations.

Check who's been invited so you have an idea of numbers. You don't need to worry about consent forms straight away.

Get girls to plan the event - ask the girls in your unit to plan and run the whole event so it's full of the things they like most about guiding. This will make visitors more likely to want to join. It could be a themed night around a holiday or celebration, linked to a badge to show what girls do, or involve making a craft item they can take away to remind them of the fun they had.

Give visiting girls and parents a big welcome – introduce all the leaders and helpers and tell your guests a bit about what a unit meeting involves. Do a fun ice-breaker activity to give the girls a chance to get to know each other and encourage visitors and members to mix.

As a leadership team, commit to making sure every parent gets to speak to at least one of you.

Discuss what went well - immediately afterwards, discuss how it went with the leadership team so you can make it even better next time. What did parents and girls say about it? What questions did they ask? Was it at a suitable time? How can you get more girls along to the next one?

Keep in touch with parents - make sure the invitation says parents are welcome to come and say hello before and after the meeting. On the day, collect their details with a contact form - remember to be clear about why you're asking - as well as giving out your contact details on recruitment resources

You could also explain that there are opportunities for parents to get involved too.

Follow up any conversations with parents with a quick phone call or email during the week following the event. Let them know how much you enjoyed having their daughter there, ask if she enjoyed coming and if they have any questions about Girlguiding. Be sure to take note of any useful feedback for planning your next event.