8 Easy Steps to Start a Troop

Thank you for joining the millions of Girl Scout volunteers nationwide who are building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. We couldn’t do it without you! Becoming a new leader doesn’t have to be an intimidating process, here we’re broken down how to start your troop in eight easy steps!

Camp16_NM_Trails_10820_A (1)

1. Sign Up!

Register as a new member.
• Complete your background check online.
• Keep a lookout for a welcome email once your background check is approved. (Background check clearance can take as long as two weeks in some counties, however it is typically 24 – 48 hours.)

2. Start Your Troop Leader Training

• In order to become a Girl Scout Leader/Volunteer, Girl Scouts require GS101 to be completed online to ensure that girls receive the best possible program.
• Review your Volunteer Toolkit! The Volunteer Toolkit provides a troop roster, yearly plans, meeting plans, and resources for troop leaders.
• If you’re interested in additional training, check out our Face to Face Courses, Beyond Meeting Courses, or Stepping Out.

Cookie17_14136 (1).jpg

3. Meet Your GSCCC Staff Membership Team

We are here to help!
• Recruitment Specialists recruit new members and help with troop formation.
• Placement Specialists assist with registration, background checks, and updating troop information.
• Volunteer Support Managers provide new leader training and support volunteers with questions or concerns relating to their volunteer role.
• Customer Care Specialists are our volunteers’ best friend. The can answer most questions and know who the experts are for more complicated questions or issues.

4. Meet Your Service Unit

• Your Service Unit is a local group that supports leaders, made up of other Girl Scout volunteers in your community with support from council staff. They are an amazing source of information for you as a new leader!
• Service Unit meetings are a great opportunity to meet experienced Girl Scout volunteers and new volunteers such as yourself! Troops should be represented by at least one volunteer at Service Unit meetings. Your Volunteer Support Manager will let you know who is on the Service Unit team for your troop and when and where the Service Unit meetings are held.

5. Add Girls!

• Healthy troops have at least 10-12 girls. You may have girls in your community ready to join the troop, or we have girls waiting to join one! If you need help recruiting girls to join your troop, contact your Recruitment Specialist.


6. Schedule a Family Meeting

• Prep beforehand! This is an opportunity for you to work with the families to decide when and where you will hold troop meetings (public buildings highly encouraged), decide about collecting troop dues (how often and how much), and to make a list of simple troop rules.
• Invite a member of your Service Unit team or local staff to attend to answer parent questions you may be unsure of.
• Girl Scouts is a partnership with families, volunteers, and staff working together to provide an amazing Girl Scout Leadership Experience for the girls. Recruit adults to help with the leadership and support of the troop! Encourage each family to register at least one adult as a volunteer. This will help ensure that families are engaged in the success of the troop and will provide leaders with the support they need. The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) has information about how adults can help under the “Meeting Overview.”
• After the meeting, send information that was discussed and decided on to each parent, and add your meeting day, time, and location into the MyGS portal.

7. Hold Your First Troop Meeting

• Once you have met with your Service Unit for an introduction meeting, you’re ready to meet with your troop! The Volunteer Toolkit has excellent resources for Troop Leaders, including meeting plans.
• Looking for more information? Check out this video!


8. Set Up Your Troop Bank Account

• All Girl Scout Troops need to set up a Troop Account with one of the three approved banks: Wells Fargo, RaboBank or Union Bank (formerly known as Santa Barbara Bank and Trust). Troop leaders must have Service Unit approval before setting up the account and use the Bank Account Certificate of Authorization.

And just like that you are ready to get started as a new troop! Stay in touch by liking us on Facebook and following us on Instagram and Twitter to stay up-to-date on upcoming council events and find other amazing volunteers. Looking for more fun content? Check out our Pinterest, YouTube, or blog!