6 Steps to Starting a Roots & Shoots Group
1. Recruit a group advisor
As leader of a Roots & Shoots group, you would be in charge of facilitating meetings and choosing projects to undertake. However, choosing a trusted adult to serve as group advisor can help you along the way! Group advisors may be able to offer you advice and gain access to decision-making spaces traditionally held by adults.
2. Get other people to join you
Talk to people in all of your different social groups to see where there’s the most interest or where would be the most accessible location for your group. Tell your story! Tell people what you’re doing and why it’s important to you; ask people what they’re passionate about and invite them to join you in taking action. If you’re able to meet in person, try making an announcement at school or during an assembly, distributing flyers, or hosting a Roots & Shoots booth with information about Roots & Shoots, your group, and a quick activity for getting involved. If you’re starting a group remotely, you can post about it on social media, in your community’s newsletter, or place an announcement on the website and in the mailing lists of your school, community center, library, or faith group. Whatever method you use, remember to get permission first, and to provide the time, date, and location of your group meetings.
3. Find a place to meet
If you don’t have one already, you’ll need to find a space to meet regularly with your group. You can meet in your school, community center, a local library, place of worship, etc. You can also meet remotely using any video chatting platform. Leading a group virtually can afford you the opportunity to allow in Roots & Shoots members from farther away. If you would like to create a group based on similar interests, rather than location, consider creating a public group of the Roots & Shoots website and getting creative about how every member can take action on your projects from a distance.
4. Hold a start-up meeting
Choose a time, date, and location for your first meeting. Use the time to:
- Introduce and welcome everyone.
- Talk about why you have gathered and what is important to you.
- Engage your peers! Explain what Roots & Shoots is, the program’s history, and what your group is all about. You can use videos, resources from the Roots & Shoots website, and interactive components. Talk about the types of projects that Roots & Shoots groups initiate and brainstorm projects your members are passionate about.
- Pass around a list to get everyone’s name and contact information (e.g. phone number, email address, homeroom, etc.)
- Figure out when and where everyone can meet on a regular basis, then set up your next meeting!
5. Creating a Roots & Shoots Group Online
Once you have established your Roots & Shoots group, you can create a group page on the Roots & Shoots website and invite all of your members. This way everyone can access your projects and share resources. To create a group:
- Log in to your Roots & Shoots account
- Visit the Groups page
- Click Create a Group
- After entering the required information be sure to click finish
6. Getting started on a project
Getting started is the hardest part, but once your group is in place there will be so many projects your members are passionate about! If you’re not sure where to start, check out the Roots & Shoots 4-Step Formula and use Step 2: Observe to Map Your Community and identify areas of need to see where you can help. Once you have decided on a project, don’t forget to report it on your member or group profile.