Step 6: Host a Parent/Caregiver Meeting
Now you’re ready to pull it all together in the Parent/Caregiver Meeting. Our research shows that troops who hold parent meetings every year have a higher level of satisfaction with their Girl Scout experience.
Follow this agenda to ensure the most relevant information is communicated clearly. Add your own unique style to the meeting and share your excitement for Girl Scouts! For more information and planning tools, check out the “Intro Meeting” plan in the Volunteer Toolkit. You’re going to be great!
- Leader introductions (share why you volunteer your time with Girl Scouts) and go over dates/times/frequency and locations of upcoming meetings
- Have caregivers introduce themselves and share expectations for this year of Girl Scouting
- Explain our mission as well as the Girl Scout Promise and Law
- Discuss how our girl-led, hands-on, collaborative program helps girls take risks, dream bigger, and gain important skills–all while having fun and making friends
- Share overview of your Year Plan–including which badges, journeys, special trips, and outdoor adventures the troop may participate in
- Explain how you’ll be engaging parents in their girls’ Girl Scout lives by keeping them in the loop on what the girls are doing and learning during each meeting
- Encourage them to let their daughters “be the expert” at home, explaining or teaching a new skill she’s learned to the rest of the family
- Let them know there will be special events throughout the year for families to share with their girl and celebrate all they’re achieving with the troop
- Using the Make Her Experience Memorable guide from the Volunteer Tool Kit, point out that spending just a little time to help can make a big impact
- Secure adults to help with organizing and managing the calendar for troop snacks, the carpool schedule, and the troop phone tree or social media page-all activities that can take as little as 15 minutes per week
- Encourage caregivers to consider other leadership opportunities listed-emphasize they’re not just welcome to lend a hand, they’re wanted
- Outline costs to parents and caregivers (sash or vest and other supplies needed for the year)
- Explain dues expectations, and how they’ll be used to support the troop
- If participating in the Girl Scout Cookie or the Fall Product Program, explain how money raised benefits the troop, and briefly go over the five critical skills girls will develop in the process
- Make sure everyone has your phone and email, knows the troop number, and has all the information about the next troop meeting (date, time, location and any supplies the girls will need to bring).
- Determine the primary communication method the troop will use (text, email, phone, social media, other).
- Collect forms then leave time for questions, concerns, and simply to get to know people better
- Friendship Circle, with girls. (You may choose to have the parent meeting occur at the same time as the girls’ troop meeting, to maximize everyone’s time. If you do this, it is helpful to have the two meetings in different rooms, especially for Daisy troops! Come together for a closing Friendship Circle.)
Follow up with a thank you, then keep the conversation going all year via email, in-person chats, and/or social media, whatever way you have decided to consistently communicate with families. Updating caregivers on troop activities helps them feel more invested and gives them a chance to build on their girl’s experience at home.