Girl Scout Troop Annual Checklist — Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana
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Girl Scout Troop Annual Checklist

troopannualchecklist

Thank you for your Leadership to your Girl Scout Troop. We appreciate the time and talents you share with your Girl Scouts. Reference the calendar below throughout each Girl Scout month to keep track of important dates, best practices, and requirements and optional opportunities for you and your girls.

Our Girl Scout membership year begins on October 1; the calendar below is formatted to help you plan for a new year.

July
  • Girl Scouts are active throughout the summer! Girls are registered for the current year through September 30 and can participate in summer activities, such as meetings, field trips, troop and family camping, parades, etc. [*Note: Due to the risks associated with COVID-19, all in-person programming has been canceled through August 14, 2020. Also, please follow all Illinois and Indiana shelter-in-place restrictions when considering your summer plans. Review information on our GCNWI Blog.
  • Summer is a great time to review our online, virtual or in-person* training opportunities for volunteers in the GCNWI Learning Portal and on our website under the Volunteer Training tab.
Date Event
July 4 Independence Day
August
  • Review our training opportunities for volunteers in the GCNWI Learning Portal. Now is a great time to complete your required leader training, including About Girl Scout Level training if your troop is bridging to the next level of Girl Scouts.
  • Consider hosting a pre-season family event, such as a picnic, BBQ or play date at a neighborhood park to help girls and families learn about our girl-led philosophy and review awards and activities for the coming year. [Note: Due to the risks associated with COVID-19, please follow all Illinois and Indiana shelter-in-place restrictions when considering your summer plans.]
  • As girls are heading back to school, this is a great time to Renew Her Girl Scout Membership.  [Note: Due to the impact of COVID-19, many troops may have an excess of funds which were not spent on the girls. Please consider using troop funds to renew your girls for another year of Girl Scouts.]
  • Start building your Year Plan in the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK), our virtual troop assistant.
  • Grow your troop! If you are looking to add new girls to your troop, learn tips from one of our sister councils, Girl Scouts of Northern California. Read inspiring articles, such as 5 Strategies for Recruiting New Girls or 6 Elements of a Successful Girl Scout Troop Meeting in their online newsletter The Trailhead. Request GCNWI recruitment materials.
Date Event
Aug. 10 National S'mores Day 
Aug. 26 Women's Equality Day 
September
  • Kick off your Girl Scout year by hosting a Parent Meeting. Studies show that troops are more successful when they engage their families. Start your year by providing families with an annual meeting schedule, information about registration fees and troops dues, financial assistance options that Girl Scouts offers, how to donate to Family Partnership, uniforms and program resources. Be sure to ask parents to update their girl’s Health History forms. Forms and documents can be accessed on our council website.
  • Consider making a direct ask of parents/caregivers to volunteer with your troop. A variety of roles are available, such as Assistant Leader, Treasurer, Troop Support Volunteer, Troop Product Manager, First Aid/CPR volunteer and Camp Trained adult. All adult volunteers who work with the girls on a consistent basis, handle troop funds or drive girls other than their own to and from a Girl Scout event must be a registered Girl Scout with an eligible background check on file with council.
  • Learn about our Fall Product Program, which kicks off October 1, by attending a Service Unit training. No training in your community? Consider lending a hand to join your Service Unit team and train other volunteers in your community. Also, ask your families to support your girls and troop by being a Troop Fall Product Manager. Learn more about our Fall Product Program by visiting our council website.
  • Girl Scout membership expires on September 30. Girls must be registered to participate in our Fall Product Program. Please visit our website to Renew Her Girl Scout Membership. [Note: Due to the impact of COVID-19, many troops may have an excess of funds which were not spent on the girls. Please consider using troop funds to renew your girls for another year of Girl Scouts.]
  • Have you submitted your ACH Authorization Form? Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana uses ACH electronic funds transfers for our product programs to ensure a safe, secure transfer of funds between troops and council. Each year a new form must be submitted which is used for both the Fall Product and Cookie Programs. Forms can be accessed by visiting our council website.
  • September: Council-sponsored programs are live! Don’t forget to sign up for all of the STEAM, cultural awareness, and outdoor yearlong programs!
Date Event
First Monday Labor Day
September 15 – Pctober 15 National Hispanic Heritage Mont
September 30  Girl Scout membership expires
October
  • October 1 – New Girl Scout membership year begins! Please confirm that all your girls and adult volunteers are registered or renewed. Visit our website at to Join or Renew.
  • Host your first Girl Scout meeting of the season! Celebrate the new Girl Scout year with an Investiture Ceremony to welcome new girls to your troop and a Rededication Ceremony to welcome back our current members.

    Due to the impact of the COVID-19, virtual troop meetings are a great alternative when meeting in person is not the safest option for girls, e.g. in the case of an impending snowstorm. Please visit our website for current information about Girl Scouts From Home. Reviewing Safety Activity Checkpoints is always a good idea for any activity outside of a traditional meeting, including the new Virtual Meeting page. Also, have your girls complete the Internet Safety Pledge available on our council website under Forms.
  • October 1 – Fall Product Program begins. Participating in the Fall Product Program is exciting and a great way for girls to start earning money for their troop. Selling continues throughout the month; product is delivered mid-November.
  • October 31 - Founder’s Day. Named for the founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, Juliette Gordon Low was born on this day in 1860 in Savannah, Georgia. Encourage girls to plan an event to celebrate Low’s life and legacy and keep her spirit alive!
Date Event
October 1 Girl Scout membership year begins
October 1 Fall Product Program begins
October 9 Fire Prevention Day (Fire Prevention Week
From the Sunday before to the Saturday following October 9)
October 11 International Day of the Girl
October 31 Founder’s Day
November
  • Troops take delivery of Fall Product mid-month. Contact your Service Unit Fall Product Manager or Service Unit Manager for delivery information in your community.
  • Girl Scout Cookie Program is just around the corner! Plan to attend your Service Unit training. No training in your community? Consider lending a hand to join your Service Unit team and train other volunteers in your community. Also, ask your families to support your girls and troop by being a Troop Cookie Manager. Volunteers can work together as a troop cookie team. Learn more about our Cookie Program by visiting our council website.
  • Nominations for Girl Scout Board-approved volunteer recognition awards are due December 1. Consider honoring an adult volunteer in your community. Volunteer recognition awards include Appreciation Pin, Hall of Fame, Honor Pin, President’s Award, Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II. The DAISY award recognizes service by a council staff member. Learn more about adult recognition.
  • Give thanks and give back! The holiday season is a great time to speak with your girls about the importance of giving back to their community. Encourage girls to choose a Service Project that will help them understand that they are making the world a better place. Girls of all levels can participate in age appropriate activities. Below are some suggestions:
    • Visit a senior facility and sing with the residents.
    • Organize a clean-up day at a local park, playground or school.
    • Sew or knit hats for the homeless.
    • Organize a food drive or pet supply drive.
    • Work with an organization who serves people with disabilities.
    • Help at a veterinary clinic, animal shelter or SPCA.
Date Event
November 1 - 30 American Indian Heritage Month
November 2 Día de Los Muertos 
November 8 National STEM/STEAM Day
November 11 Veterans Day
November 17  National Hiking Day
Fourth Thursday Thanksgiving Day
December
  • Consider reaching out to someone from our Expert Connection to assist with badgework and other activities. The Expert Connection is a pool of volunteers willing to share their knowledge, skills, and experiences at troop meetings, leaders’ meetings, events, and more.  More information on the Expert Connection webpage
  • December 1 – Nominations for Girl Scout Board-approved volunteer recognition awards are due.
  • Girl Scout Cookie Program starts January 1. Attend your Service Unit training. No training in your community? Consider lending a hand to join your Service Unit team and train other volunteers in your community. Also, ask your families to support your girls and troop by being a Troop Cookie Manager. Volunteers can work together as a troop cookie team. Learn more about our Cookie Program by visiting our council website.
  • Have you submitted your ACH Authorization Form? Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana uses ACH electronic funds transfers for our product programs to ensure a safe, secure transfer of funds between troops and council. Each year a new form must be submitted. Forms can be accessed by visiting our council website.
Date Event
Dec. 8 National Brownie Day 
January
  • January 1 - Girl Scout Cookie Program begins! Engage your families and ask for support for your girls and troop. Volunteers can work together to ensure a stress-free cookie season. Troop tasks include data entry; treasurer, product pick-up, sort and/or delivery; troop booth sales coordinator; and rewards. Please confirm that all your girls are registered members of Girl Scouts before selling. Learn more about our Cookie Program by visiting our council website.
  • Attend the Cookie Rally. Visit our council website to learn more about this exciting event.
  • Get ready for booth site sales. Sign up begins this month. Review the Troop Cookie Manager Guide for important cookie dates.
  • Summer camp catalog is available!
  • Nominations for Service Unit volunteer recognition awards are due February 15. Consider honoring an adult volunteer in your community. Official volunteer recognition awards include Hidden Heroine, New Found Treasure and Volunteer of Excellence. Additionally, many Service Units have created their own special awards for volunteers. Contact your Service Unit Manager for more information. Learn more about adult recognition.
Date Event
January 1 New Year’s Day 
January 1 Girl Scout Cookie Program begins
Third Monday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
February
  • Girl Scout Cookie Program continues!
  • Cookie delivery to Service Units take place during the second and third weekends. Contact your Service Unit Cookie Manager or Service Unit Manager for delivery information in your community. Cookie cupboards open at Gathering Places and specified volunteers’ residences where additional cookies are available. The Goal Getter Program begins so that girls can continue selling cookies and attain their goals. Booth site sales begin. Site are continually being added to eBuddeTM. Check often for additional opportunities. Information about the entire Cookie Program is available by visiting our council website.
  • Summer camp registration opens during the first week of February. View the catalog and register online.
  • February 15 – Nominations for Girl Scout Service Unit volunteer recognition awards are due.
  • February 22 –World Thinking Day. On this day, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world celebrate the birthdays of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of Boy Scouts, and his wife, Olave, who inspired Juliette Gordon Low to establish Girl Scouts. Originating in 1926, this day is promoted by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), and girls around the world celebrate being a part of our diverse global sisterhood by participating in activities and projects with global themes.
    Not only does World Thinking Day give girls the opportunity to celebrate international friendships; but unites their focus on one theme to make the world a better place. Troops, Service Units and our local council may offer a World Thinking Day celebration, or girls may work towards earning a World Thinking Day award. See what Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana is doing this year to celebrate World Thinking Day!
Date Event
February 1 - 28 African American History Month
February 15 Service Unit Board Approved Awards Due
First Week  Girl Scout Summer Camp Registration opens
Third Monday President’s Day 
February 22 World Thinking Day
March
  • Girl Scout Cookie Program continues! Review with your girls the Five Essential Skills associated with the Cookie Program—Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, Business Ethics. Girls may continue selling cookies during most of this month to help meet their personal goals and troop goals.
  • March 12 – Girl Scout Birthday! This day commemorates the day in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low officially registered our organization’s first 18 girl members and held the first troop meeting in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia.
    Girl Scout Birthday always falls within Girl Scout Week, which starts the Sunday prior to March 12, known as Girl Scout Sunday, and ends the Saturday following, known as Girl Scout Sabbath. Although we are a secular organization, many girls take the opportunity to attend their choice of place of worship and be recognized as a Girl Scout.
Date Events
March 1 - 31 Women’s History Month
March 1 – 31 Irish-American Heritage Month
March 8 International Women’s Day 
March 12  Girl Scout Birthday
March 14 Pi Day 
April
  • April is Volunteer Appreciation Month!
  • Many Service Units organize their own Adult Recognition event. Contact your Service Unit Manager to see what’s happening in your community. Not much? Consider lending a hand to join your Service Unit team and help organize an event to recognize the volunteers in your community. 
  • April 22 – Girl Scout Leader’s Day. On this day we honor all our volunteers who work as leaders and mentors in partnership with girls. Girls, their families and communities create special ways to thank their adult Girl Scout volunteers.
  • April 22 – Earth Day! Celebrate by doing something “green” or being “eco-friendly” for our environment. Plan to attend our Green for Good event, which due to the impact of COVID-19 has been postponed until May 8, 2021.
Date Event
April 1 - 30 Volunteer Appreciation Month
April 22  Girl Scout Leader’s Day
April 22  Earth Day
May
  • Spring Renewal: Leaders, renew yourself and your troop, or encourage your families to renew, for the next Girl Scout year! Watch for special promotions for leaders, girls and troop support volunteers. [Note: Due to the impact of COVID-19, many troops may have an excess of funds which were not spent on the girls. Please consider using troop funds to renew your girls for another year of Girl Scouts.]
  • Encourage girls to start planning their year-end celebration! [Note: Due to the impact of COVID-19, all year-end celebrations should be done virtually.]
  • Review your Girl Scout year in preparation to complete your Annual Troop Finance Report due next month.
  • Bridging is an important part of the Girl Scout experience. It’s when girls prepare to take the next step with Girl Scouts. Earning a bridging patch is the perfect time for girls to reflect on their past achievements and look ahead to new adventures. Whether you bridge in the spring or in the fall, encourage girls to plan a personalized, fun and memorable ceremony for everyone involved—girls, volunteers and families. [Note: Due to the impact of COVID-19, or until Illinois and Indiana shelter-in-place restrictions have been lifted, any bridging ceremonies should take place virtually.]
    Visit our bridging page for patch requirements, ceremony ideas, bridging guide and bridging kits available in our Retail Shop.
Date Event
May 1 – 31 Asian Pacific Heritage Month
May 1 – 31 Jewish American Heritage Month
Last Monday Memorial Day 
June
  • June 15 - Submit your completed required Annual Troop Finance Report (AFR) digitally through the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK).
  • Is your troop bridging to the next level? Leaders are required, and Assistant Leaders are recommended, to complete the next About Girl Scout Level training. Visit our GCNWI Learning Portal and review all training opportunities and resources. 
  • Consider attending online, virtual or in-person training opportunities for volunteers through the summer or into the fall. [Note: Due to the risks associated with COVID-19, all in-person programming has been canceled through August 14, 2020. Please review information on our GCNWI Blog.]
  • Spring Renewal ends towards the end of the month. Verify which girls are returning for another year of fun and renew their Girl Scout membership. [Note: Due to the impact of COVID-19, many troops may have an excess of funds not spent on the girl. Please consider using troop funds to renew your girls for another year of Girl Scouts.]
Date Event
June 14 Flag Day 
June 15  Annual Troop Finance Report (AFR) due