Posts Tagged ‘Troop Leaders’

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Top 10 Tips for Girl Scout Troop Leaders

October 7, 2014

By Christy Philemon, Recruitment Director

Girl Scouts - NC Coastal Pines Troop Leader

The start of a new year is often a time when many set new goals and resolutions for the year ahead. As we kick of the new program year here at Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines, we thought we’d share the top 10 tips for troop leaders to help you get a fresh start for the year ahead. Drumroll please…

10. Rain or Shine, always have a back-up plan. Regardless of whether it’s an activity for a troop meeting or a volunteer on standby to be a chaperone, having a back-up plan is important to keep the fun going!

9. Get your troop parents involved. You don’t have to do everything on your own. Seriously. Encourage others to get involved and ask to parents to help with activities, lead a special meeting, and join their girls on events or trips.

8. Track your money wisely. The Annual Financial Report is a simple spreadsheet that works wonders. It will help you track your troop’s finances throughout the year. And the best part – at the end of the year, your report is already completed. J

7. Be prepared. A Girl Scout is always prepared – and organized! And did you know Trapper Keepers are back in? No matter your folder, be sure to keep all appropriate forms on hand at all times necessary in whatever fashion fits best for you.

6. Attend Service Unit Meetings. Get social with other volunteers and troop leaders while you learn what’s happening in your local area. These meetings are usually held monthly and are intended to provide support for all leaders in your area, so take advantage.

5. Schedule early. Scheduling your meetings in advance will help both you and your families plan their calendars accordingly. And be sure to involve your girls in planning!

4. Have fun! Regardless of whether you and your troop waiting for a meeting to start, working on a badge, or completing a service project, always keep the energy alive and exciting. Girl Scout songs are a fun way to pass a car ride and engage girls in a time-honored Girl Scouting tradition.

3. Never hesitate to ask for help! Girl Scouts promise to help people at all times – and this includes our adult Girl Scouts as well. Your membership director and service unit manager are always available for help, and other volunteers as well.

2. Set a goal to achieve with the girls. The goal can be something like selling a certain amount of cookies to earn enough money for a trip or everyone completing activities during a meeting in order to earn a badge.

And our #1 Top Top is:

1. Be Flexible. Realize that no matter how well organized or well planned, unexpected things will happen that take you off course. And that’s ok. No matter the path, know you are helping to guide and support girls as they develop new skills and grow into strong, confident leaders.

Building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place may not always be a simple task, however, sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. We hope you these little tips help you and your girls follow the fun and have a great Girl Scout year!

Want to get in on all the fun? Become a Girl Scout volunteer and use event code 367F22 when registering to be entered to win an iPad!

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Back to Troop: How to Find Perfect Space for your Meetings

August 22, 2013

By: Elizabeth Cooper, Leader of Girl Scout Troop #1493

Girl Scout BirthdayWhen I became a Girl Scout Leader of my own troop, one of the challenges I faced was finding an appropriate meeting location.  That first year our troop met at three different sites, each site a different day and time, before we found a permanent meeting space at a local church.  And all that was before our meetings broke for the winter holidays!

Even though parents understood the reasons, each move was causing an upheaval to their schedule.  As you can imagine, this was not the way I wanted to start my new troop.  For any new leaders, there will be challenges to finding the “perfect space,” but I do believe there are many great spaces are out there for troop meetings.

In addition to my role as troop leader, I also serve as the Service Unit Manager of Area 36 in Cumberland County.  I make it part of my mission to find locations for new troops or for those looking for a new location to meet.  Troops in our local service area meet at local parks and recreation centers, at local libraries, at churches and faith organizations, and at local community centers.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you look for that great meeting space:

  • The location must be free to use, in both cost and availability
  • You want a place that will be accessible for all levels of mobility
  • Two, clearly marked accessible exits
  • Consider level of privacy for security reasons — you do not want strangers tromping through your meeting space, this make your girls vulnerable safety wise, so a location that has room off to the side, or class room space is best.

I have also learned that it is important to maintain contact with the locations that donate meeting space for our troops.  Stopping by is a great way to learn what is happening in the local community, to ask if their service projects Girl Scouts can assist with and give back, and ensure the troops at those sites are they representing Girl Scouts appropriately.

This will be my fourth year leading the troop, and I am pleased to say that we have not moved again since the church opened their doors to us.   In fact, the church has increased the Girl Scout presence and hosts five Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines’ troops covering all the levels on Tuesdays, which winds up being very helpful to parents of sisters who are at different grade levels.

Remember, the key is to finding that perfect space is to reach out to your community.  This is an opportunity to become a part of your community, develop a partnership while showing the girls and the community what we can do when we work together.

For any seasoned leaders out there, where have you found those perfect meeting spaces? And what special things have come from the partnerships you have with your meeting sites?

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