You’re a new Girl Scout leader or volunteer? Awesome! Now, what? What can you do to ensure your girls have a great Girl Scout year? Amy Caperton, Denine Dains, and Darby Petitt in the Metro Denver region are experienced leaders of troops with older Girl Scouts, many of whom have been together since Daisies and Brownies. They offer this advice for new troop leaders and volunteers.
- Hold a parent meeting to get their commitment for involvement and for signing permissions slips and medical forms signed.
- Ask the GIRLS what they want to do, what is their vision for the year. This may take more guidance with younger girls.
- If your troop is new, spend time at each of the first several meetings with “get to know you” activities.
Darby: Get together with your co-leader before the school year to discuss the year ahead. For younger girls, this might involve mapping out the year, leaving meetings for fun holiday stuff, Cookie Program learning, World Thinking Day prep, badges, Journeys, etc. For older girls, I still map out the major events, but leave a lot of meetings for the girls to plan.
Denine: Have the girls create a plan for the upcoming Girl Scout year. Invite parents to a meeting and have the girls present their ideas. This helps not only a girl to be engaged in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, but the entire family as well. Once caregivers and siblings know what their girl wants out of Girl Scouts, they can support her journey!
Darby: We start out each year with a planning meeting. We welcome the girls back, find out how their summer was, and take suggestions/ideas for what they want to do and pencil them in. We bring all the badge requirements and have them look through to see what interests them. For girls who can earn one of Girl Scouts’ highest awards, they can also map out their two/three years for when they will start to work on the award.
Do you have any tips, tricks, “life hacks,” etc. to share? We would love to hear them! Just email GSCO Public Relations Director AnneMarie Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org.