You’ve decided to become a Girl Scout Troop Leader! That’s fantastic news and you’re going to love the journey as a role model to the girls! As you get started, there are a few simple tips that will help you lead a successful new troop! Keep reading to see what you can do to give the girls the best Girl Scout experience.
Complete Your Leadership Training
As a new leader, it is your responsibility to be aware of all things going on in your community as it pertains to the Girl Scouts. Before embarking on your journey, you will want to complete any and all training relevant to your area. These training sessions are the first step and will cover group management, project management, budgeting for the troop, and even goal setting. While you may be skilled in some or all of these areas, it’s a good idea to see how the Girl Scouts enforce them for consistency. Access all of the training sessions on the Girl Scout Site or check out your local Girl Scout information guides.
Look Over the Volunteer Toolkit and Troop Resources
In order to implement your troop and have a successful year, review your volunteer toolkit to see how you can use your time wisely. The kit details safety requirements, how to manage finances, and tips for engaging the girls. There is also a step-by-step guide for starting a brand-new troop as a new troop leader. We all have to start somewhere and want to pass on our knowledge to newcomers before they move onto the next steps.
Be sure to look over your program resources as these will outline any upcoming events and program listings your families will need to know about. The additional resources also include the ever-important Girl Scout Cookie Program! Find all of the information on the Girl Scout Site.
Dont’ be afraid to ask for additional help! There are community membership managers dedicated to helping you when you feel stumped with your new Girl Scout Troop. Use your resources for assistance as much as needed. That’s what they are there for!
Prepare Your First Troop Meetings
In your first parent and troops meetings, you will be introducing your families to the Girl Scout experience and their responsibilities. The parent meetings are the perfect time to recruit parents and adults to participate in active troop roles. You will want other adults in your corner every step of the way as you coordinate the troop’s activities and set up a variety of schedules. Be sure to background check adults as they will be working with other children.
Determine the meeting location based on a public, clean, and safe space. Community members may have great ideas for meeting locations and you will eventually find a place that works well and becomes consistent. You should get everyone’s contact information on day one so you are able to send out important information such as schedule changes or cancellation of meetings as they arise.
Decide how you want to structure your troop. Do you need to organize them by grade level or different age groups? Depending on the size you may need to coordinate smaller clusters to keep everything on track.
Most families who go through the Girl Scout experience report feeling welcome and part of something bigger! Both the kids and the adults gain something from such a special experience within the troop, so take advantage of your time together.
Attend Monthly Service Unit Meetings
These meetings are put in place to help support and connect you as a volunteer within the community. You will be able to coordinate and communicate with other Girl Scout volunteers and leaders. You will be provided with a plethora of information on the Girl Scout programs and events within your community. Use this opportunity to find out where you can best serve in your area. This will vary county to county and city to city, but each location has its own wonderful perks and special events.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
The main goal of the Girl Scouts is fun! We want to foster community, courage, and confidence in our girls, but we can’t forget the fun aspect. Plan an activity for each meeting as an ice breaker and something fun to teach a lesson. This might include coloring pages, a writing experience, or just a quick conversation with a smaller group. The business of each meeting will always be attended to, so make sure to add in an element of fun each time you meet. I suggest setting up detailed activity plans to follow as needed. Give the girls something to look forward to when they get together. It will make things more enjoyable for you as well. New possibilities will arise for everyone involved.