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Want to join Girl Scouts in the fall? Hit the ground running with these tips!

July 11, 2016

Join Girl Scouts

By Shellie Culler, Recruitment Director

Did you know that the majority of Girl Scout troops start in the fall? It’s back to school and back to troop time, which is exciting, but can also be overwhelming! To help families kick their fall into high gear, here are some tips that will make joining a Girl Scout troop a smooth process…which makes being a Girl Scout even more fun!

When is the best time to look for a troop?

RIGHT NOW! Girls can join troops year-round, but families have the best chance of reserving the troop of their choice by registering early. Girls new to Girl Scouts can register as early as July 1 and browse our online troop catalog for meeting and troop options. Selecting your troop prior to school starting not only checks one thing off your to-do list, but also gives your girl something to look forward to as she starts the school year. Additionally, registering early ensures that your girl doesn’t miss a moment of fun! Many troops start meeting in August and September and finding your troop sooner rather than later allows your girl to participate in early meetings, become acquainted with leaders and fellow Girl Scouts, and start planning her best year ever!

How do I register my girl to be a Girl Scout? How do I find a troop?

GO ONLINE! To start the registration process and to find troops online, you’ll want to utilize our online troop catalog. The online catalog lists troops with available openings and families can search by zip code or troop number to find troops near you or a specific troop. If you know of a Girl Scout troop in your neighborhood or school, you can also register for that troop online. It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s fun! If you can’t find a troop that works with your family’s schedule, simply check the “unsure” option. This will let our Girl Scout representatives know to reach out and help you find the solution that works best for your family.

Always dreamed of leading your own troop? Want to be a part of your daughter’s experience? Help us empower and guide the next generation of female leaders! You can register as a Volunteer by adding your membership along with your daughter’s or by visiting our adult registration page and selecting your volunteer role. We’ll follow up and help you get on boarded.

What happens after I get registered?

Your troop leader will reach out to welcome you! Once your daughter is registered, your troop leaders will be notified by email with your contact information. This makes it super easy for them to communicate with you about the upcoming troop year. They will let you know what your daughter needs prior to the first troop meeting as well as when the first troop meeting and parent meetings will take place.

Most troops do not meet over the summer, so expect to hear from your troop leader in August or September once the troop is starting back up. If you’re new a troop leader, you’ll start to receive notifications about girls who are joining your troop. We recommend reaching out and welcoming them as soon as possible and to let them know the date of your first meeting. Additionally, a Girl Scout staff member will reach out to new troop leaders to schedule training and welcome them to the organization.

I hope these tips help set you and your family up for success this fall. Just remember to follow my motto! The sooner you get started, the sooner the Girl Scout fun begins!

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Remembering Girl Scout Barbara Stiles

July 7, 2016

barbara stiles

By: Paige Burnett, Girl Scout volunteer

When asked to name someone who embodies the Girl Scout Promise and Law and overall ideals of our Movement, one name quickly came to mind. Barbara Stiles. Barbara, who passed away in June, was a lifelong Girl Scout. She was everything a Girl Scout should be – honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considering and caring, and so much more. It’s an honor to write about her Girl Scouts career and how she impacted our local Girl Scouts and council.

Barbara Stiles began her life career with Girl Scouts as a staff member with Girl Scouts of the USA staff and then later joined the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), where she worked in Japan to bring together American occupying forces and Japanese Girl Scout troops. She then spent 30 years serving all over the world as a Girl Scout. It was an amazing adventure and one she always spoke of fondly.

I was fortunate enough to first meet Barbara in the mid-90’s. I was planning a World Thinking Day meeting for my then Girl Scout Junior Troop #208 when another volunteer, Barbara Schliebe, suggest I call Barbara and see if she would be interested in participating. Barbara had been on the International Committee and was instrumental in the planning and building of Our Cabaña in Mexico, a program that allows members to explore Mexico and its cultures and traditions.

Barbara graciously agreed to come to our meeting, and arrived with a bag full of international “swaps” acquired over a long career as a professional Girl Scout. She held the Girl Scout Juniors’ rapt attention talking about her world adventures in Girl Scouting and finished by asking the girls questions about WAGGGS and Girl Scouts — any girl that tried to answer was rewarded with a pin or a patch or a swap. The adults in the room were hard pressed not to waggle their own hands in hopes of a chance to be similarly rewarded. It was such a fun experience and a special memory we all carry with us.

I have had the privilege of maintaining a friendship with both Barbara and her twin sister over the last twenty years. The twins have shared a house on Gimghoul Rd in Chapel Hill for nearly 40 years. Their spring garden, identified by “The Garden is Open” sign in their front yard, has become well known near and far over the last 25 years – Girl Scout troops were especially welcome. They were always eager to learn of what the girls were doing and where they were traveling with Girl Scouts. Bernice and Barbara loved a Trefoil cookie, and more recently, Lemonades!

It is hard to be sad at the finish of such a long life, well lived. Barbara will forever be remembered as a generous and gracious Girl Scout who always made time for others. I am proud to have been her Girl Scout sister and her friend.

I am eager to celebrate Barbara Stiles and reminisce once again on this incredible Girl Scout at a public memorial this fall. In the meantime, as her family requested in her memorial, I will be making a donation in her honor to the World Foundation for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, Inc., in the Interest of Our Cabana and Kusafiri. I hope you will join me.

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