How do you keep your volunteers excited to help when asked?  Or even, how do you get volunteers in the first place?  Many leaders are left holding the badge book all on their own with their troops.  Most of us like it that way for the first few meetings, just so we can get things organized, but even the most controlling leader will burn out quickly if they don’t have some help.

Time to start asking.  That’s right, sometimes all it takes is to just ask.  When you need help, call a specific volunteer and ask for their help.  Sending out a group email with a request will get you nowhere (and no volunteers).  Better to call Betty and say “Betty, I heard that you are really good at organizing, would you be willing to be our cookie mom for the next 2 months?  It’s a short-term job, but really important for the troop because we earn most of our troop money during cookie season.”  Of course, make sure that Betty IS actually good at organizing before you call, cookie mom is an important job!  But the important part here is to find someone with the skills, give them a set amount of volunteer time that you are asking for, complement their skills and explain why you are asking them personally.  Calling someone and asking them to be your co-leader is a lot different than asking for a short-term two-month commitment, or maybe even just a one meeting commitment to help with teaching a new skill, or maybe a quick and easy job like organizing the snack calendar would be an easy thing for someone to commit to.  This gives you time to work on the things you enjoy, or just be a bit less overwhelmed.

Now let’s talk about your attitude.  Are you fun to be around, generally happy when people arrive at the meetings, and are YOU organized?  Nobody wants to help volunteer to work with someone who is cranky, complains a lot, or never seems to know what they are doing.  Good energy attracts good energy.  It becomes contagious, others want to work with you because they will be supported and it will be enjoyable.  Take a good look at your attitude and how you talk to the other parents.  If the meetings are always a “chore” then it’s time to get a good attitude and ask for help.  Go get your smile on and pick up that phone!