After my older daughter was a Girl Scout for several years, I finally gave in and created a troop for my younger daughter. There is usually a shortage of leaders, so I made the decision to step up and volunteer.
As a troop leader for the Girl Scouts, you have an important role in shaping the lives of young girls. It is also a big responsibility, and takes a lot of time. I found myself going to regular Girl Scout Leader meetings, planning activities, managing the bank account, doing paperwork, organizing cookie sales, and much more.
Here are some tips to help you succeed:
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Keep track of troop meetings, events, and deadlines. This will help you stay on top of everything and avoid last-minute scrambling.
Get a Girl Scout Leader planner, a notebook, a binder, an organizer. I have a Happy Planner and it is a great way to stay organized. A good binder is important because you will need to bring paperwork to events, such as permission slips and so on, and you will also have to store a lot of paperwork.
You are going to need a place to take notes and store paperwork right away, starting with your Girl Scout training.
Set up a bank account and stay on top of bookkeeping. Keep all receipts!
Make sure to keep parents and girls informed about upcoming events and activities. Utilize various communication channels like emails, newsletters, and social media to keep everyone in the loop.
I set up a Facebook page for my troop, because it has all the tools I need. I can create events, manage RSVPs, upload photos, send messages to members. The only issue with this is if you have parents that are not on Facebook. However, there are other sites and tools that may have this capability.
Foster a positive, inclusive environment
Create a safe and welcoming space where all girls feel included and valued. Encourage teamwork and respect for each other’s differences.
Plan fun and engaging activities
Plan activities that are age-appropriate and cater to the interests of the girls in your troop. This will keep them engaged and excited about being a Girl Scout. Have a mix of activities ranging from your usual meeting place to field trip types activities to places like a museum, planetarium, fire house, etc.
Encourage leadership development
Encourage girls to take on leadership roles within the troop, such as planning an event or leading a project. This will help them develop valuable skills that they can use in their future endeavors.
Be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances and adjust your plans as necessary. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but being flexible can help you overcome any challenges that arise. Additionally, as the girls get older, they tend to have more commitments such as sports and school activities, so you will have to be adapt to changing needs.
Have support and delegate
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from other troop leaders, parents, or Girl Scout staff. There are many resources available to you, and reaching out for support can make your job easier. If your local Girl Scout council offers events, those are good opportunities to take advantage of – e.g. caroling at a local nursing home or a Powder Puff Derby.
Prepare for Cookie Season
Selling cookies is quite a big commitment. From cookie pickup, to sorting, and delivery, this is a big task. You also will likely have cookie booths, and all of this is time consuming.
Remember, being a Girl Scout troop leader is a rewarding experience that can make a big impact on the lives of young girls. With the right mindset and approach, you can create a fun and engaging experience for your troop that will leave a lasting impression.
Some of my other Girl Scout posts:
Girl Scout Grocery Store Tour
Circuit Cube Fun for Girl Scouts
Girl Scout Kindness Rocks
Girl Scout Trip to the Apple Store
Girl Scout Activity: Making a Marimo Aquarium
Girl Scout Activity: Pom Pom Pinecones (good for holiday fundraisers)