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How to Start a Troop

Welcome to Girl Scouts, soon-to-be troop leader! You’re well on your way to transforming the lives of girls by guiding them through the Girl Scout experience, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Our team wants to make the troop formation process as easy as possible, so you can get to exploring, learning, and bonding with your girls in no time!

You’ll have all the support you need from us, including:

  • Convenient, online trainings on a range of topics, available on your schedule.
  • Resources to help you quickly and easily prepare for meetings.
  • Individual guidance from our council Membership and Program teams, as well as experienced Girl Scout volunteers in your local community.


Ready to get going? Here's how:
 

Meet With a Membership Specialist

So you're decided to join Girl Scouts as a troop leader! Thank you so much for stepping up as a role model for girls in our community. Now's the time to grab coffee with a Membership Specialist, or meet at another location and time that's convenient for you. 

In this one-on-one conversation, you'll learn more about leading a troop, discuss potential co-leaders, and decide on troop details (like meeting schedule and location). This is a great opportunity to ask questions — no question is too silly or too small!

Register as a Volunteer

The next step is to officially register as a volunteer, if you haven't already. Check your email for your background check invitation, which may take a few days to process. You will receive a welcome e-mail as soon as your background check is approved.

Annual adult membership costs $25, and background checks usually run about $3. Financial assistance is available for both expenses.

Once you’ve completed your registration, you’ll have the option to add another membership for your girl, too. Annual girl membership is also $25 and financial aid is also available.

Spread the Word and Recruit Girls and Volunteers

It’s never too early to start spreading the word about your new Girl Scout troop! Even while you wait to complete your onboarding, you can talk to your girl’s friends, your neighbors, and other families in the community and at school to make sure that your girl will have a lively troop. As a bonus, more girls usually means more adults who will be happy to help you lead!

Before you host your first official meeting, you should aim to recruit at least 6 girls and 1 or more additional adult volunteers (who are not related to you) to create a thriving Girl Scout troop. In addition to your word of mouth efforts, our Membership team will support you with recruiting girls and volunteers, including helping to pair you with a co-leader if you don't already have someone in mind.

We’ve created a few downloadable tools to get you started:

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Girl Invite Slip - A customizable slip to invite prospective girls and share troop information.

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Join My Troop Fillable Flyer - A customizable flyer to add a description of what makes your troop special!

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Join My Troop Facebook Cover Image - Update your Facebook Cover Photo to let your friends know your troop has open spots available.

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Join My Troop Facebook Post Image - Use this image on Facebook as your profile picture or to post about your troop.

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Instructions: Girl & Adult Registration Steps - A customizable instruction sheet to let interested parents and girls know how to register and join your troop.

Complete Your Onboarding
Completing Your Leadership Training

Dive deeper into the world of Girl Scouts with Leadership Training. All of these trainings are short and sweet, and tell you everything you need to know to be the best troop leader you can be!

The full list of Onboarding Steps is being refreshed for 2019! Stay tuned.

A key part of completing your onboarding is identifying a co-leader for your troop. Once that role is filled, you'll be ready to attend Troop Leader Orientation and hold your first troop meeting!

Get Ready for Your First Troop Meeting
Hosting Your Parent Meeting

After you've completed your onboarding, but before your first troop meeting with the girls, invite your troop families to their first family meeting, where you'll set the tone for the year, recruit troop volunteers, collect safety forms (everyone needs a Girl Health History form to get started), and talk details about troop dues, Girl Scouts, and the awesome activities you'll do this year.

P.S. - Our Membership staff always attends that very first meeting to support you and help answer any questions families have about Girl Scouts!

Planning Your FIrst Troop Meeting

As you start to plan the year together, remember: Girl Scout troops can do anything, from camping and high adventure to arts and crafts, to science and engineering activities! It’s important to put your girls and their needs and interests first, but having a well-rounded Girl Scout experience will not only introduce your girls to a wide variety of skills and experiences, it will encourage healthy risk-taking, open minds, and strengthen sisterhood.

To get the full Girl Scout experience, we encourage all troops to:

  • Meet at least once per month during the school year to form a tight-knit troop
  • Choose badges or activities from a variety of skill-building areas
  • Hone their entrepreneurial skills by starting a troop cookie biz through the Girl Scout Cookie Program
  • Explore the great outdoors through an age-appropriate outdoor experience
  • Attend or hold an end-of-year celebration or event to celebrate what they’ve accomplished
  • Learn resilience, risk-taking, confidence, and other crucial life skills at summer camp

Not sure where to start? That's where the Volunteer Toolkit comes in! Explore readymade meeting plans and supply lists, and customize where you want to fit your unique leadership style and troop needs.

Explore Our Resources and Join Our Community

Whatever you want to learn, we’ve got a resource for that.

  • Ready to learn about what leading a troop looks like? Our Leader's Guide to Success has got you covered!
  • Looking for program information? Check out the Event Calendar and our Camp Guide.
  • Want to be prepared for our business-skill-building Cookie Program? Learn how to kick your year off by earning your entrepreneurship badges.
  • Excited to connect with your new Girl Scout community? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter to learn about council events and meet other awesome volunteers.
  • Stoked about even more tips, tricks, and resources? Bookmark gsLearn (and dive into those trainings!), explore the Volunteer Toolkit and get to know our volunteer resources and forms.

 

Congratulations, you are ready to hold your first Girl Scout meeting! Happy trails to you and your lucky new Girl Scouts—and we're with you every step of the way!

Questions? Our Membership team is here to support you whenever you need it. Just email customercare@girlscoutssoaz.org or call 520-327-2288 and we'll spring into action.

Get Started!