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Make the Ask! (Troop Leader Tips Series)

March 4, 2015

Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines Family

By Christin Murphy, Troop Support Year 1 and 2

As a new Troop Co-leader, I know you have great ideas of how to teach the girls the basics of the Girl Scout program, all while making it fun and exciting! But, do you find yourself getting bogged down with the basics of troop management, leaving little time for planning those awesome activities, events, and trips? Below you’ll find out just how managing a troop does not have to be a one-man show, but instead, a family affair!

You may be like me – the type that finds it easier to do it all yourself rather than trying to find someone to help or even take over the responsibility altogether. But, trust me, delegating tasks will make your experience as a Girl Scout volunteer more enjoyable and rewarding.

Do you know the number one reason why people don’t volunteer or offer their help? They were never asked! Just imagine that, a whole world of amazing helpers ready to pitch it! So, I encourage you to “make the ask”. When you ask, be specific. Tell them exactly what you need, like I need help making decorations for our cookie booth. Break large tasks down into smaller portions and ask each parent directly to take a piece of the bigger project.

Many troops only hold one parent meeting at the beginning of the year, however, holding several parent meetings throughout the year not only keeps parents informed, but allows you the opportunity to let them know what type of help you need. Have them fill out the Parent Volunteer Interest Survey where they can share their passions and expertise. You never know, you may have a parent that is involved in a local non-profit who could take the lead on a community service project or you might find that an extended family member is a chef and could whip up an activity for the legacy cooking badge. You could be sitting on a goldmine of talent and not even know it!

Do you ever think that since you are the leader, you need to lead every meeting? Not true! Feel free to share your Girls’ Guide to Girl Scouting or print out a meeting plan from the Volunteer Toolkit and ask one of your parents to lead a meeting. Not only does this provide you assistance, but allows the parent to feel more involved and see first-hand how Girl Scouts can help mold their daughter into a leader.

Have you thought of “making the ask” to the girls? After all, Girl Scouting is supposed to be girl led, so don’t miss the opportunity to give your girls a little bit of responsibility. Depending on the age of the girls, you could have them collect dues, help in planning an event or even take the lead on earning a badge. If your girls are still Daisies and Brownies, consider “making the ask” to an older girl troop in your area. I bet they would love to come teach your girls some camp songs!

So, what are you waiting for?! Make a list of what you need and then “make the ask”!

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