How To Start A Troop
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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 GSEWNI, we want leading a troop to be a great time, which is why we'll support you every step of the way. We provide our leaders:

  • 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 Volunteer Support team.
  • Flexibility—leaders set the troop meeting times and locations.

Common Questions About Leading Girl Scouts

Many parents have at least a few questions before standing up to lead their daughter’s troop. Here are a few of the most frequent questions we hear:

How Much Time Will I Need?

How much of a time commitment would work best with your schedule?  

We recommend you set your troop schedule and level of investment to match the time you have available. Some troops meet weekly, some monthly, but most leaders are able to have troops meet twice each month through the school year. 

We have resources to help you engage other volunteers to help run the troop, allowing you to share the duties with other parents. You’ll also have access to the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) where meeting details can be planned out ahead of time.

I Don't Know How to Do the Things Girl Scouts Do.

Deciding to take the lead means you have already taken the first step as a Girl Scout! Becoming a mentor and leader for girls is just as important as learning all about what Girl Scouts do.

Each new leader will receive an extensive set of resources and is required to take a Welcome to Girl Scouts training, taught by our council staff or designated volunteer facilitators. Our program Guide Books are exciting and easy to teach from. Our Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is your digital troop assistant and gives you program content and other resources to manage your troop planning all year long.  And most important, you’ll become a part of our sisterhood of Girl Scouts where fellow, more experienced, leaders provide you with support and guidance as they are invested in your success and the success of the girls in the community.

What Support or Help Is There for Leaders?

You will have one-on-one support from Council to start off successfully as you form your new Girl Scout troop.  All Girl Scout troops are led by two or more co-leaders. We encourage you to invite another parent or friend to support you because you know what kind of partner you need the most AND it’s going to be so much fun! We can work with you and your community to help connect you with a co-leader.

Once you have gotten a start, you and your co-leader will be connected with the council’s First Year Experience Staff.  Your First Year Experience Staff will provide specialized support to you as a leader through training, guidance, and helping you to create strong connections to the Girl Scout community. Your area’s Troop Support Staff is also invested in your journey as a new Girl Scout Volunteer and will reach out to you each month of the year. Our Customer Care Team is able to meet many of your basic needs and answer questions for you and your new troop members.  

The very best support you never knew you needed will be the local Service Unit for the area or town your troop is located. Each Service Unit meets monthly and you’ll be connected to a network of volunteers that are ‘in the know’ when it comes to girl scouts and supporting you as a volunteer and successful new leader.

We also provide online, in person, and on-demand trainings for our leaders that you can schedule at your convienence.

 


Start Your New Troop!
 
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Let us know you if you have questions or concerns about starting a new troop.  

You might not have enough time or maybe you want to make sure you’re a good fit for leading a troop. These things are important to us, too. Set up a time to talk with the membership staff in your area by calling or emailing our Customer Care at 509-747-8091 or customercare@gsewni.org


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Fill out the New Troop Request

If you think you might be ready to get started or you’ve already talked with our membership staff fill out the form above. This will allow us to direct our support for you and take the next steps together.

New Troop Request
Fill out my online form.

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Start looking for other adults to help!

You are going to be the best person to find your co-leader and recruit parents who want to start a Girl Scout troop with you. Share your excitement and let your friends know they are welcome to join this journey.

A troop needs at least two un-related, background check approved adults (one of whom must be a woman) to get started, and most leaders also look for additional help throughout the year. Troops can have more than two leaders, and they typically fill their Troop Committee with 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.


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Decide Where You'll Meet!

It’s a great idea to start thinking about where your troop will meet right away. You can start contacting potential venues now as you complete your registration and on-boarding to find a good meeting space. 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

Girl Scouts provides liability insurance for all regularly scheduled member activities which allows your troop to meet a variety of locations. Request your Certificate of Liability Insurance here, as needed.


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Start Spreading the Word About Your New Troop!

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

We have several Recruitment Resources to help you spread the word. Your own social network wants to know what’s happening in your life, so share your news on your personal social media pages. 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!


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Get ready for your first troop meeting.

Once you have met with your area’s membership staff and have become the leader of your new troop, you’ll want to host a parent/caregivers meeting as your first troop meeting. Start thinking of a date and place for this first meeting. Invite council membership staff or a local leader to attend and support you in providing your new troop parents/caregivers with accurate expectations and information about everyone’s first year in Girl Scouts.


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Stay in touch.

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

You are ready to hold your first meeting!