There is a natural attrition in any child’s activity, including Girl Scouts. Some girls find that it is not the right fit, it no longer interests them, others have scheduling conflicts, and still other girls may just want to take a break.
Four years ago, my Daisy troop had seven girls. We lost two the next year-one graduated to Brownies, and the other was a girl from another elementary school. Her mom said that she thought Daisies were for little girls! (her older sister was a Brownie, and I guess it did not occur to her that one day she would be a Brownie, too!)
Photo from Pixabay
In our second year of Daisies, my co-leader and I got in trouble with our service unit for doing our own personal “round-up”. Our ranks swelled to twelve that year as we recruited almost every first grade girl in our tiny school. I made sure I had at least one or two extra volunteers on hand for every meeting.
In our first year of Brownies, we lost one girl who had actually bridged with us from Daisies to Brownies, and two others came and went throughout during the first few months of the year, and eventually they left by winter.
This year, our second as Brownie Girl Scouts, we saw the return of one of my girls who left…and then she dropped out this past March. My other Brownie who left mid-year did rejoin another troop that fit her scheduling needs. I was glad about that.
A month before our bridging ceremony, I sent out an email to the parents with information about our final few meetings, I asked them to tell me whether or not their daughter was returning, because I had to buy the bridging patches and pins.
I had suspected that one child might not return, but was surprised when one of the moms emailed back to tell me that her daughter was not continuing.
Did I take it personally?
I emailed the mom back and told her that her daughter is always welcome to rejoin us next year if she changes her mind.
Troop attrition happens. And if you are reading this blog, then there is a 99.9% chance you did nothing to make a girl want to leave. I know that sometimes the demands of life overtake the commitment of being a Girl Scout leader. Meetings become less fun for the girls because you and your co-leader have not made it fun (and like I said, if you are reading this, this has nothing to do with you. But this does happen.)
You can always open up your troop to new girls if you want to increase it’s size. There are always girls on wait lists, hoping a troop will let them in.
How have you handled troop attrition?