It’s that time of year again: it’s time to unpack the toadstool, get everything in order and invite the girls back for another exciting year of Guiding. For some of the units in Newmarket, Ontario, that means sending out welcome cards, addressed to the girls, by good old snail mail. Why you ask? It’s simple: who doesn’t like getting a letter in the mail? Especially when you’re a kid!
All kidding aside, there are a number of benefits to sending welcome letters in the mail:
- Girls Feel Special – The girls feel super important when they discover that they received a card in the mail that is solely addressed to them. I get a number of comments from parents at the beginning of the year letting me know how thrilled their daughter was to receive the letter. In the card, there is a little personalized blurb. It starts by saying “Hello…” and then their name. It welcomes them back if they are returning to the unit, or welcomes them to the unit if they are new. In previous years I have included their Cookie All Stars crest from the previous year (since they arrive after our unit meetings are done). And if they have a birthday around the time of mailing, I add a P.S. with some birthday wishes.
- All About Me Surveys – In the card, I include a separate “All About Me” survey. It asks questions like: What did you like about Brownies/Sparks last year (depending on if they are advancing or returning)? What would you like to try this year? What makes you upset? What are things that make you feel better? What is one thing you want the Guiders to know about you? The girls are encouraged to fill out the survey and return it to me via mail, email or bring it to the first meeting. On the back of the survey, I answer the same questions I asked them; that way they can get to know me before the year starts.
- Happy Parents – I feel these letters make a great first impression on the parents. It shows that we made that extra effort to make their daughters feel special. As well, they see that you care about getting to know their daughter as an individual.
Guest post by Sarah Pippy. Sarah is currently a Brownie Guider and a new Pathfinder Guider in Newmarket, Ontario. She has been Guiding for over 20 years. When she is not busy with Girl Guides, she loves to sing barbershop with her Sweet Adelines Chorus.