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How To Start A Troop

Parents and community members make a key difference in the lives of girls by guiding them through the Girl Scout experience! At GSHCC, we want leading a troop to be an amazing experience, which is why we'll support you every step of the way, with 

  • Convenient, online trainings that give you everything you need on your schedule.
  • Activity Plans to help you quickly and easily prepare for meetings.
  • Individual guidance from our Member Support Team.
  • Flexibility—leaders set the troop meeting times and locations.

Common Questions About Leading Girl Scouts

Here are a few of the most frequent questions we hear:

What are the qualifications to be a Troop Leader?

QUALIFICATIONS

  1. Register as an adult member of Girl Scouts of the USA.
  2. Complete background screening.
  3. Accept and adhere to the purpose and principles of Girl Scouting.
  4. Be/Become familiar with current GSHCC and GSUSA programs.
  5. Be willing and able to work in a positive manner with diverse groups with varying lifestyles and cultures.
  6. Recognize, understand, accept, interpret, and support all GSUSA and Council goals, policies, guidelines and objectives.
  7. Complete required training. (Basic Troop Leadership & Program Level)
  8. No outstanding debt with any GSHCC entity (troops, service unit, etc.)
  9. Demonstrate planning, organizational, and problem-solving abilities.
  10. Be Girl Focused: Empower girls to lead activities, learn by doing, and cooperate with others on current issues that involve their interests and needs, while having fun.

 

For additional infromation, please reference the following:

How Much Time Will I Need?
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Being a Troop Leader actually fits into a variety of schedules. We recommend that troops meet twice per month. Current leaders report spending four hours preparing for and leading each meeting. Troop Leaders choose the meeting day, time, and frequency.

We provide our troop leaders with online meeting plans, so they can easily and quickly plan their troop’s activities.

I Don't Know How to Do the Things Girl Scouts Do.
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You bring everything that you need to start leading your troop. We think if the girls are smiling and having a good time, the leaders are doing a good job!

We provide online meeting plans to guide you through each step of planning your troop’s activities. We also provide convenient, online training videos and resources to help you learn what you need. Don’t forget that you’ll also have a co-leader who will bring complementary skills and experience to share.


Pathway to Becoming a Troop Leader

How to become the role model she'll always remember:

Decide to be a role model

No experience necessary—just a desire to share your excitement and encouragement with a group of girls in your neighborhood.

Complete the volunteer registration process
  1. Complete the volunteer registration process, including selecting a troop and indicating your desire to fill the Troop Leader role. (Annual membership fee $25)
  2. Watch for your background check email to come from “theadvocates@verifedvolunteers.com”
  3. Complete the background check (cost is $8) and wait for approval. 
  4. Once approved, you will receive a Welcome email notifying you to move to the Welcome Session oline training series
Take the online Welcome Session training

Take the Welcome Session Training Series (required)

arrow3-right_32_green Girl Scouts 101 | Ver en Español

arrow3-right_32_green Getting Started

arrow3-right_32_green Volunteer Toolkit

*All training videos listed above are self-guided

Get connected to your Girl Scout Community

Your service unit will be the best source of information for you as a new leader. At the monthly leaders meetings, you will meet service unit team members and experienced leaders who will be able to answer your questions about activities. You will also meet new leaders like yourself!

 

 

Be sure to ask to be added to your service unit’s communication (email list, website, Facebook group, Shutterfly, etc.).

Attend (in person) Leadership Essentials training
Set up your new troop

1.     Start looking for other adults to help!

A troop needs at least two un-related, background check adults (one of whom must be female) to get started, and most leaders also look for additional help throughout the year. Troops can have more than two leaders, and they typically have additional volunteers to help with the Cookie Program, Fall Product Sale, as well as other adults to pitch in with snacks, field trips, and other activities.

Parents of other girls in your troop are prime candidates to help out, but adults from the community might love this opportunity too. We can recruit online for your troop, but people tend to have the most fun with adults they know in real life.

2.     Pick a Day, Time, and Location for Troop Meetings

It’s a great idea to start thinking about how your troop will get together right away. You can start contacting potential venues now as you complete your registration and on-boarding to find a good meeting space. Keep in mind:

  • Most troops meet twice per month, but you can choose a schedule that works best for you.
  • Your meeting space needs to be a safe, clean, and secure environment that allows all girls to participate. Good options include:
    • Schools
    • Libraries
    • Places of worship
    • Community centers and buildings
    • Local businesses

3.     It's time to start spreading the word about your new troop!

It’s never too early to start spreading the word about your new Girl Scout troop. You can talk to your daughter’s friends, your neighbors, and other families in the community to make sure that you will have a lively troop. As a bonus, more girls usually means more adults who will be happy to help you lead this troop.

In addition to your word of mouth efforts, any open girl or volunteer spots will be listed in our online Opportunity Catalog, so you can reach additional girls that way.

Our staff will work closely with you to help support the formation of your new troop!

Troops are required to have a minimum of 5 girls. At GSHCC we encourage Troops to have 12 girls. However, we understand that every Troop is different and we will work with you to create the best possible experience for both you and the girls in your Troop!

5.     Set up your Troop bank account

Now that  the troop has 2 unrelated adults identified as Troop Leaders, who have completed all of the training requirements, you are eligible to open a troop bank account. 

All Girl Scout troops must have a troop bank account. Troops cannot sell cookies or other products without a bank account. Your troop may contribute through start-up funds, dues, product programs, money earning projects (see Financial Guidelines). It is important to know what your bank requires to open a Girl Scout account: 501c3 IRS Determination Letter, Girl Scout Articles of Incorporation, and Authorization Letter.

Contact your Service Unit Treasurer for additional information.

Prepare for your first troop meeting

Reference the copy of the Girls Guide to Girl Scouting you received at Leadership Essentials Training. Review year plans plans by visiting the Volunteer Tool Kit.*

Host a Parent/Caregiver Meeting: discuss troop plans and volunteer roles for all families.

Invite the girls and their adults to the first official Troop meeting.

 

*Using your unique User Name and Password, log in to “My GS” on the GSHCC website to view your troop roster and explore activities and badge programs.

Participate in continuous learning opportunities

Support makes all the difference.     

We’ve got the required trainings, enrichment opportunities, and resources you need to make your volunteer experience amazing. Volunteer training is offered in a variety of ways, so as to best meet your unique learning styles: written resources, face-to-face learning, interactive online learning—and we realize there may be challenges to fitting training into your already busy schedule. Which is why we are pleased to offer you Training By Request!  

Stay in touch

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter to stay connected to council events and find other awesome volunteers.

Don’t be shy—Reach out to GSHCC for support if you need it. Our new leader support team is ready to answer questions, offer suggestions and put you on the path to success.

  

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