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Start A Girl Scout Troop

Parents/guardians and community members make a key difference in the lives of girls by guiding them through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Leading a traditional troop is an incredible way to help girls empower themselves to make the world a better place! To get started, select the “I want to lead her troop” option when you join Girl Scouts.

At Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, we want leading a troop to be a great experience, which is why we'll support you every step of the way. We provide our leaders:

  • Convenient, online trainings that give you everything you need on your schedule.
  • Activity Plans to help you quickly and easily prepare for meetings.
  • Individual guidance from our Volunteer Support team.
  • Flexibility—leaders set the troop meeting times and locations convenient to their schedules.

Common Questions About Leading Girl Scouts

Many parents have at least a few questions before standing up to lead their girl’s troop. Here are a few of the most frequent questions we hear:

Do I Need to join Girl Scouts?

Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And, with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. 

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is chartered by Girl Scouts of the USA. We are a membership organization and dues are $25 annually paid to Girl Scouts of the USA. Financial assistance is available.

How Much Time Will I Need?

Being a Troop Leader actually fits into a variety of schedules. We recommend that troops meet twice per month. Troop Leaders choose the meeting day, time and frequency.

We provide our troop leaders with online meeting plans, so they can easily and quickly plan their troop’s activities.

I Don't Know How to Do the Things Girl Scouts Do.

You bring everything that you need to start leading your troop. We think if the girls are smiling and having a good time, the leaders are doing a good job!

We provide online meeting plans to guide you through each step of planning your troop’s activities. We also provide convenient, online training videos and resources to help you learn what you need. Don’t forget that you’ll also have an Assistant Leader who will bring complementary skills and experience to share.

Resources

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Answer Center
The Answer Center is a member support center, available via phone or email to assist parents, volunteers, staff and community members. 

 

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Program Boxes
Troops or individual volunteers/parents can check out Programs in a Box to help earn a badge, use as activities at troop meetings, enjoy at troop camp, or as a service project to work with a younger troop.

 

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Volunteer Toolkit
The Volunteer Toolkit is a digital resource that supports troop leaders and co-leaders, making the process of running a troop easier and more efficient.

 

What Support or Help Is There for Leaders?

Each troop is required to have two leaders, so you will have a partner to help lead and to share the fun. We encourage you to invite another parent or friend to serve with you, or we will work with you.

We provide online, in person, and on-demand trainings for our leaders that you can take on your schedule, and we provide detailed activity plans that make it easy to get meetings going. You’ll also have access to your own Community Engagement Manager for guidance.


Start Your Troop In 7 Easy Steps!
 
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Request a Troop

Complete the New Troop Request Form below. Once your request is submitted, you will be connected to our membership staff who will work closely with you to ensure a successful start to your new troop!

When a new girl or volunteer joins your troop, you’ll get an email notification with their contact information, allowing you to reach out and welcome them into your troop.

New Troop Request Form
Fill out my online form.

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Start looking for other adults to help!

A troop needs at least two unrelated, background checked adults (one of whom must be female) to get started. Troops can have more than two leaders and are encouraged to involve all adults. Additional volunteers can help with the Cookie and Treats & Reads Programs, as well as pitch in with snacks, field trips and other activities.

Parents of girls in your troop are prime candidates to help out, but adults from the community might love this opportunity, too. People tend to have the most fun with adults they know.


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Set up your new troop

Your leadership experience begins when you register and successfully complete a background check. You will receive a link via email to complete your background check once your registration is processed. 

After your membership is complete, it is now time to begin your training with the New Leader Course which is available online or in-person.  Learn more at girlscoutsem.org/training. At least one leader or assistant leader in your troop must complete the New Leader Course within 90 days of beginning your role.  We have additional trainings available to support many planned activities, like camping, canoeing and archery.  We offer a wide range of online and face-face trainings that empower volunteers with the knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver fun, safe and meaningful Girl Scout experiences. 

Need Help? Contact our Answer Center at 314.400.4600 or answercenter@girlscoutsem.org.

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Pick a Day, Time, and Location for Your Troop 

It’s a great idea to start thinking about how your troop will get together right away. You can start contacting potential venues now as you complete your registration and on-boarding to find a good meeting space. Keep in mind:

Most troops meet twice per month, but you can choose a schedule that works best for you and your meeting space needs to be a safe, clean and secure environment that allows all girls to participate. Good options include: schools, libraries, places of worship, community centers, local businesses or virtual (to learn more about our virtual resources, visit gsemtogether.org.

Choosing a Meeting Place

  • Cost—the space should be free to use. Availability—Be sure the space is available for the en tire length of the time you want to meet. 
  • Resources—Ask if tables and chairs come with the room and ensure lighting is adequate. 
  • Accessibility—Your space should accommodate girls with disabilities as well as parents with special abilities who may come to meetings.

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It's time to spread the word!

Now that you’ve registered, it’s never too early to start spreading the word about your new Girl Scout troop. While you complete your Girl Scout training in order to establish your troop, you can talk to your girl’s friends, your neighbors, and other families in the community to make sure that your girl will have a lively troop. As a bonus, more girls usually means more adults who will be happy to help you lead this troop. Our staff will work closely with you to help support the formation of your new troop!

To get started, troops need to have a minimum of five girls. At Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri we encourage troops to have at least 10-15 girls. However, we understand that every troop is different and we will work with you to create the best possible experience for both you and the girls in your troop!


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Get ready for your first troop meeting

Now that your troop is registered you can hold a parent meeting to discuss logistics and encourage other adults to get involved.

Next, review lesson plans by visiting the Volunteer Toolkit. Leaders gain access to the Volunteer Toolkit once they have completed their registration. The Volunteer Toolkit is a digital resource that supports troop leaders making the process of running a troop easier and more efficient. It includes a year plan and meeting agendas as well as badge curriculum, additional activities and community service ideas.


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Stay in touch

Your Community Engagement Manager is the Council staff member who will be in touch once you are registered. They can answer any questions and direct you to local volunteers and resources.

You are encouraged to attend neighborhood meetings and check your email for Council news and information. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter to stay connected to events and find other awesome volunteers to network and collaborate with.