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Back to Troop: Preparing for Take Off

September 4, 2013

By: Alison H., Leader of Girl Scout Troop #13

SAMSUNGAs the sun slowly sets on glorious summer vacations and “back to school” sales arrive in every retail venue on the planet, Girl Scout Leaders across the nation start preparing for another fun-filled year of scouting activities.  Yes, it’s time to kick the tires and light the fires and get back to troop!

Having spent 22 years serving in the US Air Force, I prepare to lead a year of Girl Scout just like our pilots, who must complete numerous checklists prior to cranking their jet engines for flight.  Here’s a suggested checklist to use prior to cranking your own Girl Scout Leader engines:

  1. Confirm your troop meeting venue – location and day(s)/time(s).
  2. Log into C.O.R.E.  — if you haven’t done this in a while, you’re in for a pleasant surprise with a new “look and feel” of the site.
  3. Update your own personal troop roster (I use Excel myself) since C.O.R.E. likely won’t have new additions listed initially.
  4. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork… make copies of those TP106 and TP105 forms for your parents to fill out… you know you got to have ‘em!  Or even better send parents soft copy, fillable forms so they can save and reuse with minor changes each year.
  5. Set or re-establish your troop expectations – I hand out and go over our troop list of “Girl Responsibilities” and “Parent Responsibilities” at the first meeting of every year .
  6. Dust off your personal certifications (CPR/AED, First Aid, Lifeguarding, Boating, Outdoor Skills, Event Director, etc.) and see what volunteer training you need to plan for this year.
  7. Establish and collect dues, and re-acquaint yourself with troop financials to start the new season off on the right foot.
  8. Peruse numerous program and event guides, including the new Girl Scouts Can Do Anything guide, this year’s Lead On or GO! Magazine, for an idea of what is being offered for your troop level and when.
  9. If a Journey is in your future this Girl Scouting year, get a head start in your own adult guide.
  10. Sign up to volunteer, help out, or even lead, various activities in your own Service Unit such as Camporees, Overnights, Parades, Cookie Rallies, Thinking Day…  the list here truly is ENDLESS here!

Now you’re ready to ignite the spark, pull chocks, and taxi to the end of the runway.  Relax and enjoy the flight ahead this Girl Scout year!

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