Depending on the ages of your girls, you might take the lead in
guiding the structure and experiences of your troop—from how and when
meetings are held to how the troop communicates, from steering
girl-led activities to setting financial expectations. You’ll make
these decisions collaboratively with your volunteer team or co-leader,
as well as with input from the girls and their parents and caregivers.
Use these questions to guide your conversation with your
assistant/co-leader and troop support volunteers or co-leader before
discussing these topics with parents and caregivers.
- When will we meet and for how long? How frequently should we
schedule troop meetings?
- Where will we meet? Your meeting
space should be somewhere safe, clean, and secure that allows all
girls to participate. Some great meeting space ideas include
schools, places of worship, libraries, and community centers. If
working with teens, consider meeting at coffee shops, bookstores, or
another place they enjoy.
- Which components of the uniform
will families need to purchase? Which uniform components will the
troop provide for each girl?
- Will our troop be a
single-grade level or facilitated
as a multi-level troop with girls of many grade levels
combined into one troop? If multi-level, how will we make sure they
each get an age-appropriate experience?
- How will we keep
troop activities and decisions girl-led? Use the Volunteer Toolkit
to help you through this process by exploring options for activities
and reviewing the meeting plans and resources lists.
often are we going to communicate to troop families? Which channels
will we use to keep families in the loop? Effective communication will
help set expectations and clarify parent/ caregiver
- Will our troop charge dues, use product
program proceeds, and/or charge per activity? How much money will we
need to cover supplies and activities? What should our financial
plan look like?
Choosing a Meeting Place
What makes a great meeting space? It depends on your troop, but here
are a few considerations as you visit potential spaces:
Cost: The space should be free to use.
Size: Make sure the space is large enough for the whole group
and all planned activities.
Availability: Be sure the space is available for the day and
the entire length of time you want to meet.
Resources: Ask if tables and chairs come with the room and
ensure that the lighting is adequate. A bonus would be a cubby of some
sort where you could store supplies or a safe outdoor space for activities.
Safety: Potential spaces must be safe, secure, clean, properly
ventilated, heated (or cooled, depending on your location), free from
hazards, and have at least two exits that are well-marked and fully
functional. Also be sure first-aid equipment is on hand.
Facilities: It goes without saying, but make sure that toilets
are sanitary and accessible.
Communication-friendly: Check for cell reception in the
potential space and whether Wi-Fi is available.
Allergen-free: Ensure that pet dander and other common
allergens won’t bother susceptible girls during meetings.
Accessibility: Your space should accommodate girls with
disabilities as well as parents with disabilities who may come to meetings.
Need a few talking points to get started? Try:
“I’m a Girl Scout volunteer with a group of [number of girls] girls.
We’re doing lots of great things for girls and for the community, like
[something your group is doing] and [something else your troop is
doing]. We’re all about leadership—the kind that girls use in their
daily lives and the kind that makes our community better. We’d love to
hold our meetings here because [reason why you’d like to meet there].”
review and stay updated with our COVID-19 guidelines, which require
all volunteers to take all reasonable precautions to limit potential
exposure for girls, volunteers, and families.
If your group or troop can’t meet in person or hold a traditional
meeting, there are so many ways to bring the power of Girl Scouting
home! Meeting virtually can be a fun, engaging option for your troop.
setting up a virtual meeting, you’ll want to:
- Partner with troop families to make sure the girls are safe
- Select a meeting platform that allows families who
may not have internet access to call in.
about logistics: work with the girls to set up ground rules;
consider how you’ll incorporate in-person meeting traditions in your
virtual space and how you’ll keep the meeting on track.
- Talk with families on how
to keep activities girl-led if your girls will be completing
them from home.
And don't worry if your girls want to use a web or social platform
you’re not as familiar with, because you’ll learn alongside them! For
more tips on successful virtual meetings, check out the For
Troop Leaders section of Girl Scouts at Home. Visit gsLearn to find an entire
section of Virtual Troop Resources or the For Troop Leaders section of
GS at home.
Girl Scout Troop Size
The troop size “sweet spot” is large enough to provide an
interactive and cooperative learning environment and small enough to
encourage individual development. Though the ideal troop size is 12
girls, we recommend that groups be no fewer and no larger than:
- Girl Scout Daisies: 5–12 girls
- Girl Scout Brownies:
- Girl Scout Juniors 10–25 girls
Scout Cadettes: 5–25 girls
- Girl Scout Seniors: 5–30
- Girl Scout Ambassadors: 5–30 girls
A Girl Scout troop/group must have at minimum five girls and
two approved, registered adult volunteers. (Double-check the
volunteer-to-girl ratio chart to make sure you’ve got the right amount
of coverage for your troop!) Adults and girls registering in groups of
fewer than five girls and/or two approved, unrelated adult volunteers,
at least one of whom is female, will be registered as individual Girl
Scouts to more accurately reflect their status and program experience.
Individual girls are always welcome to participate in Girl Scout
activities and events.
Registering Girls and Adults in Girl Scouting
Every participant (girl or adult) in Girl Scouting must register and
become a member of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). GSUSA membership
dues are valid for one year. Membership dues cannot be transferred to
another member and are not refundable.
Preregistration for the upcoming membership year occurs in the
spring. Girls are encouraged to register early to avoid the fall rush.
Early registration allows for uninterrupted receipt of forms and
materials from the council, helps girls and councils plan ahead, and
gets girls excited about all the great stuff they want to do as Girl
Scouts next year. Girl Scout grade level is determined by the current
membership year beginning October 1.
membership is available to anyone who accepts the principles and
beliefs of the Girl Scout Promise and Law, pays the one-time lifetime
membership fee, and is at least 18 years old (or a high school
graduate or equivalent). Volunteers with ten or more years of service
can become lifetime members at the discounted young alum rate.
Adding New Girls to Your Troop
Growing your troop is a great way to share the power of the Girl
Scout experience and there
are many ways to get the word out, like hanging posters at your
girl’s school, using social media to reach families in your community,
or including your troop in your council’s Opportunity Catalog or Troop
Catalog. You can also find recruitment materials on our Recruitment
Scout Champions play a vital role in helping to spread the
word about how awesome it is to be a Girl Scout! GS Champions
introduce Girl Scouts to new girls and adults within their own
communities whether it be hosting local events, sending information to
schools, or just bringing flyers and brochures to libraries. GS
Champions have the power to educate their community about how both
girls and adults can join Girl Scouts in the Greater Chicago and
Northwest Indiana areas!
We need inspiring volunteers (like you!) to spread the word about
joining Girl Scouts to girls and families, and to help place new
members in troops.
Contact Martha Sternickle at 224-207-9227 or email@example.com with