Annual Troop Start-up
The girls will grow and change every year, and the way you organize the troop will change right along with them. At the beginning of every program year, review the annual troop start-up list with these things in mind.
- Invite the girls. What new friends will the girls invite to join the troop? Help more girls discover the positive, skill-building, inclusive environment of Girl Scouts. Use school communication channels or your own social networks. Then, invite the girls to share their first-choice activities and badges (or awards) to earn, so you can begin to build your Year Plan in the Volunteer Toolkit. With the girls, establish or review troop behavior expectations. Not sure where to start? Use the Girl Scout Law to guide the conversation.
- Invite the adults. Leaders always want more help, and caregivers want to know how it’s going, so keep asking caregivers to assist with specific tasks and update your parent helper list. Thank the parents who offer to help and give them a job right away. Still need more help? Expect to ask more than once.
- Update the meeting schedule. Did schedules change for you or the girls? Adjust the day, time, or frequency to meet your needs for the coming year. Schedule the first meeting of the year and promote to troop families. Review the troop meeting information details in MyGS-My Troops and edit as needed, or even better, check your email or text messages for the survey link to update all the troop meeting details with the council.
- Update the troop bank account. Any changes? Fill out and send in the ACH Authorization Form to the council if you’ve moved your account or rotated volunteers on or off the account. Start a new Troop Finance Log for the program year to track troop revenue and expenses. Keep it up to date all year and submit to the council in May.
- Re-register girls and adults. Review the troop roster in MyGS-My Troops. Check all returning girls and volunteers are registered, and adult background checks are up to date. Did any girls move away, or did new girls join or transfer into your troop? Do any girls need to renew their membership? Confirm your adult volunteers in the roles of Troop Fall Product Program Manager and Troop Cookie Manager.
- Host a parent/caregiver meeting. Bring together the whole troop family to reconnect, build excitement, and clarify expectations of the coming year’s activities. You and the girls choose what to host: a meeting, a party, a family field trip, or a Court of Awards or Bridging ceremony to kick off the year.
Find the details, forms, and guidance by reviewing:
Six Steps to Start a Troop in Leader Basics.
- Attend the Fall Product Program training and the September Service Area material pick-up meeting. Busy? Ask other troop volunteers to attend on behalf of the troop.
- Check gsLearn for trainings of interest. See what’s new and what you want to review. Save the dates for upcoming volunteer certification trainings.
- Be the role model you want to be for the girls who need you, appreciate you, and have fun with you. Have another wonderful year!
Have questions? Contact us by visiting gsnwgl.org or by calling Customer Care at 888.747.6945.