Recruitment is hard. We focus our efforts at the beginning of the year. We’ve done a variety of things: go over to our feeder middle schools to recruit the spring prior, have a booth at freshman orientation, put up flyers (this year we used the template that NSDA provided for member posters; example is attached), ask teachers for recommendations, make video announcements, send current team members to English classes to talk… I don’t know what the magic bullet is.
I’m lucky that our main feeder school has a forensics program and we’ve been able to grow/maintain our numbers with students who know what the activity is. I think that is the main issue: how do you appropriately educate potential students on what speech and debate is?