Some troop leaders have no problem getting their parents to step in and help out while others are lucky if they see the parent's back as they sprint out after dropping off a car full of girls. Looking for ways to get your parents to be more like the first group? Maybe we can help...
1. Schedule a Parents Meeting: In this meeting tell your parents about dues, patches the girls will earn, service projects you will be doing, uniforms and books the girls will need and the parent committee.
2. Set Up a Parent Committee: Give each parent a parent committee form to fill out. This form will let the parents decide where they would like to help (not if). If there are some jobs that you just don't need help with (such as a babysitter for your children) mark it out.
3. Call on Parents: Parents are busy people too. If you want them to help out, call them and ask them to a specific thing keeping in mind the items they choose from the parent committee form and what that parent's strengths are. For instance, you would not ask a mom with a small car and 4 children to drive extra girls on a field trip, but the mom who likes to watch over her daughter at meetings just needs something to do -- ask her to fill out girls record forms or insignia forms.
4. Reward your Parents: Everyone likes to hear "Thank You" when they've gone out of their way to help out. Next time you have an awards ceremony for the girls, why not surprise the parents who have driven on field trips or who have stayed to help out at meetings with a special thank you? Not only will they be more likely to help again, you may get some more parents who can volunteer.
5. Let Parents Know You: During your parents meeting give a little background about yourself. Be sure to include that you are a volunteer and are a leader for fun. Recently I had a parent who had been with me for three years just realize that didn't get paid for being a leader, she was amazed! If parents see that this is not your "job" they often more willing to help out.
6. Don't let the parent affect the child: This one is super important. If you have a parent who refuses to help out in any way, don't let it affect her daughter. Each girl in scouting is special and important and should be treated as such.