However, it's more thinking about the problem in reverse.
I never joined at school because the one lad whom I did know to be in the ACF was lording it up and to be honest making them look a bunch of walts (I didn't know that word then of course, otherwise I would have used it on him ).
He'd come to school in his combat jacket, and talk about the best calibrations for sniper rifles and how to account for wind . What I am saying is, you should use the lads you currently have to advertise themselves to their mates, but make sure they are presenting a good image.
Some schools have an issue with it, but not all. They put together a recruiting package of grinning cadet photographs, powerpoint slide shows and a couple of smartly dressed cadets and go off and accentuate the positive: camps, adventure training, Duke of Edinburgh Award participation, personal development - that sort of thing.
Open days wouldn't work - we're in Apache territory!
I used to go to cadets in another town from where I lived due to the local cadets hanging around street corners and the likes in uniform after parade my parents did not allow me to go for this reason. My parents both having served in the Army were non to happy about the idea of myself or my sister (who also intends to join when she finnishes her career training) mixing with people who had no respect for the uniform they were wearing. Drinking smoking loutes with fowl mouths not a good look.
I am politely trying to suggest that this may be a reason for your decline in numbers. The kids may want to join but the parents may be against the idea. I also suggest you make calls to the other cadets instructors and see if there numbers are falling too in your area.
Another suggestion do you have kids on your books who don't attend calls to parents may be an idea you may find said kids are up the park and there parents think they are in your charge.
Make sure the cadets are on show every opportunity Half marthons, Charity events anything to raise the public profile.
Our county has a recruitment trailer set out with all the shiny things that attract cadets. We take it to various shows and public gatherings and it seems to do the trick. Can't beat word of mouth though, have you asked your cadets to bring friends along?
We leafleted the local area,shoving 100's of flyers thro doors offering a meet & greet evening with a bbq.Worked quite well.
Unfortunatly,our det was right next to a closed det in a school & they got 90% of the recruits in the area.
My brother was thinking of joining but did not know when and where they meet, his high school had their annual remembrance assembly and asked the cadets lads or ladies to wear their uniforms to the assembly. This identified the people he had to speak to get the information he needed.
There is also very little information available on the internet for the local cadets.
Go to the local schools and ask to do a presentaion on the ACF. Also ask if you can do some comd tasks and drill in the hall or play ground we did it for 4hrs one day and got 15 new recs in we are going back the the regimental team and i recon we will do alot better try whats the worst that can happen?