I'm ready to be a Girl Scout leader,now what?
Only 10 steps to starting your troop.
If you haven't already, contact the Troop Organizer (TO) at your daughter's school or one of our District leaders listed below. Your TO will answer many of your questions. She'll help to get you started.
TROOP ORGANIZER LISTING - BY SCHOOLS:
Bartlett = Kate Whitcher email@example.com
Brummer = Laurie O'Dell Laurielynnmayes@hotmail.com
Kent Lake = Jen Watson firstname.lastname@example.org
Pearson = Stephanie Lusk email@example.com
Salem = Kathy Swan firstname.lastname@example.org
Sayer = Angie Mullan email@example.com
C,S,A, ( Cadette, Seniors & Ambassadors) Shelley Oliveira
District- Leader Support Coordinators:
Laurie O'Dell firstname.lastname@example.org 248-767-2226
Kate Whitcher email@example.com 864-907-2817
South Lyon = GSSEM Community 05, District 03 (0503)
Below are helpful documents to get you stared and keep you going:
Steps to Starting a New Troop
1) Register as a Girl Scout Volunteer To begin, Click on this application link and fill out the
Follow the online instructions. Once your done, your application will be review by Council and you will be contacted via email with further instructions and informed of your Troop's number. Any questions you may have can be directed to your TO or the GSSEM Help desk at 800-482-6734.
You can move forward while your paperwork is being processed.
2) Create website log ins. If you haven't already, you should create a login for our SLAGS website and the GSSEM Troop management site. Our websites are the method in which we keep you connected to what's happening here in our area and inform you of important events and Leader meetings.
3) Recruit a Co-Leader. Friends, family or your Troop parents can help you with managing your troop. Your Co-Leader will have to be a registered 02 Leader and should be someone that has agreed to help you run the troop and take over in your absence. Helpful parents are a big part of your troops success. It's important to delegate positions to help lighten your load. Keep in mind that Co-Leaders, Troop Campers, Cookie Moms and anyone handling troop funds will need to be registered and take classes. If you have any questions, call your TO or District Leader.
4) Get going on your Leader Training Requirements. 01 and 02 Leaders are required to take these courses. They're available online for your convenience.
There are 2 courses you'll need to take before your first meeting.
***Make sure to active the online training from the GSSEM website to
ensure you're credited for the course.
Step 1: Log into GSSEM follow this Link ==> GSSEM Activities
Step 2: In the Left hand box titled Refine Your Results, click Volunteer Training
Step 3: In the listing of courses, scroll to the Bottom and click on the course titled:
Girl Scouting 101 Online from GSUSA 2014 then Log in, follow the instructions
and complete the video.
Step 4: Return to GSSEM Activities, In the Left hand box titled Refine Your Results,
click Volunteer Training, select Volunteer Orientation Online from GSSEM 2014
follow the instructions and complete the video.
Sept 5: You will receive an email from GSSEM, confirming your trainings are complete and
informing you of your Troop number. This step may take up to 48 hours.
For more about training courses and descriptions use the button below.
Remember to check back and look into refreshment courses as you change to new levels.
5) Open a Bank account. The "how" of this will be answered in your Leadership Training class. Check with your TO or Community Finance Administrator for a list of banks in your district that are Girl Scout approved. The 01 and 02 Leader(s) from your troop will need to be signers on the account. Choose one of you to be responsible for keeping the troop's financial records. This will make your record keeping easier to file at the end of the year. Account signer(s) must be adults, 18 years or older and not related to one another.
6) Decide when, where and how your troop will meet. How your troop is organized is up to the discretion of the 01 and 02 Leaders of the troop. Every troop is unique and there is no "right" answer to this.
WHEN: Some troops meet weekly, others bi-weekly. Some troops only meet on weekends. Choose what best fits your schedule. If you have flexibility around days and times, consider poling your scout's parents, this will effect their schedules as well and may determine how much help they can give you.
WHERE: Some Troops meet during the week, in a room at their schools. Others at a library, church, city building or conference rooms. Even in the Leader's home. Sit down with your Co-leader(s) and discuss what works best for you. Keep in mind not to over book yourselves or your troop. SLAGS (South Lyon Area Girl Scouts) is an active District. There will be events that may happen frequently through out the year. So, pull out your calendar and take a look at what will fit. Next, contact the facility you've decided to meet in and book your dates. Most will allow you to book the entire year. This is good and will allow you to notify your parents in advance of meeting dates. Please keep in mind, regardless of where you decide to meet, School, church, Library or Home, we are guests in their building. Please, be a Girl Scout and leave the premise better then you found it.
HOW: Still not sure what to do? Start with two meetings per month and go from there. You can always add or subtract meetings should you need to throughout the year.
Once your meeting schedule is confirmed, move onto step 7. If you need help finding a meeting location, talk with your TO. She'll know of places that troops have have used in the past.
7) Plan and hold a Troop Parent meeting. This is an "adults only" meeting for the parents of your troop. We recommend having this meeting, prior to your first troop meeting with the girls.
Design an agenda to cover with Parents: Examples are...
If you're feeling a little nervous about answering parent questions, invite your TO to attend your Parent Meeting and help you out. Having experienced backup is always a good idea. Click on the blue button and you can save a copy of the GSSEM Parent Handbook. This document will get you started with thinking about Policies for your troop and help you out with your Troop Parents. Make sure your Parents view you as a person, a volunteer and not just an email address. Build the expectation that this is a functional, evolving troop. It grows with the girls as they learn new skills and it requires their help and communication to continue. Informing your parents of the troop's expectations from the beginning is a big help!
8) Plan your meetings: For examples, click on the Scouting level, above and to the right of this screen in the "Learn about each Level" Box.
There's no "wrong" way to plan a meeting. Some leaders plan 2 or 3 meetings in advance. Others, plan an entire year and make changes as they go. We recommend whichever you choose, involve the girls. Check with the Girls Guide to Girl Scouting book for your grade level. Journeys are also a wonderful and easy way to get started. Younger Daisy or Brownie troops may need you to plan more for them but you can start by giving them choices that interest them. Then, head off in those directions. Older troops should be more girl driven choices and the girls like to make more decision about what they do. Meet with your Co-leader(s) and decide what direction you'd like to take. Remember our focus as Leaders and Volunteers should always remain Girl Lead. So involve your girls in their troop direction decisions. Also check the of this site. There are documents and spreadsheets there to help you. A good one to start with is a Travel Policy for your troop. An example for Daisies and Brownies can be found under Forms.
Girl Scouts has released several Journey series to help you in this area as well. Below are links with helpful suggestions that will assist you with an entire year of plans if you'd like them. The Girls Guide to Girl Scouting is another exceptional resource and can take you step by step through your goals and badges.
9) Create a Kaper Chart. Kaper Charts are a long time tradition in Girl Scouts. They will help you to organize your meeting and get the girls involved in the process. A quick search through Google will show you many options for different Kaper charts there are.
10) Hold your 1st meeting and HAVE FUN! Remember there are DOZENS of ways to do almost anything in Girl Scouts. Each can be as "right" as another. So, relax and use your common sense. Most of all, learn and laugh with the girls!! Girl Scouting is fun!!
OK, You're ready! But remember, there are also many Leaders in our District willing to help you out, so don't be afraid to call and ask if you need something!
Good Luck and Welcome to Girl Scouts!