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Girl Scouts of ne kansas & nw missouri

courage confidence character A guide for new Troop Leaders



New Troop Leader Thank you for saying YES and helping girls become leaders of tomorrow – and today! Your generous commitment gives girls an opportunity to discover new skills, connect with others locally and globally and take action to make a difference in the world as a part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. As you give girls the gift of your time and mentorship, you will also benefit in knowing the important role you played in their leadership journey!

Online Resources for You This publication provides you a short overview of getting started as new troop leader including your application process, training opportunities, planning for your first meeting with parents and girls, additional resources to check out and Girl Scout jargon and traditions. Just as a map guides your path to new places, think of this resource as your Girl Scout map to help you navigate to even more resources and support! Resources referred to often in this publication include: Troop Leader Central ( – your portal to information including the interactive calendar for girl program opportunities, adult training, safety resources, fillable forms, the Brand Center and so much more! Volunteer Essentials – (the 2013-2014 version will be available in September) – this e-publication is available to download in chapters outlined by topic area. Safety Activity Checkpoints – safety guidelines for activities in Girl Scouts from camping to traveling. Girl’s Health History and Other Troop Forms – there is some paperwork necessary with leading a troop.


Troop Leader Central is a convenient short cut to all the online resources you’ll need. Check it out at

Your Service Unit

Service Unit Manager: Phone:

Communication with your Service Team is essential. Service unit meetings are the place for you to find out what is happening in your area and receive information on council program and events. It’s also a great opportunity to network with new and experienced troop leaders. The service team consists of a member of the council staff and her administrative volunteers:


New Leader Consultant: Phone: Email:

School Recruiter:

Your Checklist to Success


1: Make sure you have completed the volunteer


2: Identify your assistant leader. For support

Membership Manager (Council staff):

application and background check.


in identifying someone, work with your School Recruiter or Service Unit Manager.


3: Complete your training. 4: Contact your New Leader Consultant or

Our service unit number: My troop number:

Membership Manager.

Training On-line and face to face training opportunities exist. Here are a few trainings to connect with: • •

• • •

Girl Scouting 101 – provides an overview of Girl Scouting from traditions to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. One registered adult in a troop must be certified in First Aid/ CPR, from any nationally recognized certification program. This individual is needed during all activities that involve risk. We recommend American Red Cross, American Heart Association, National Safety Council and EMP America as First Aid facilitators. Camping 101 – prepares you take your girls troop camping in buildings. Camping 102 – prepares you to camp in a more primitive setting; sleeping in a tent or permatent and cooking over an open fire. Service Unit Trainings – Specialized training on various topics is facilitated from time to time during service unit meetings.


Code of Conduct for Volunteers By accepting a volunteer position, you have a responsibility to Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri and to your fellow volunteers and girls to adhere to certain rules of behavior and conduct. The purpose of these standards is not to restrict your rights, but rather to be certain that you understand what conduct is expected and necessary. When each person is aware that he or she can fully depend upon fellow volunteers to follow the rules of conduct, then our organization will be a better place to volunteer for everyone.

property or at any function where girls are in attendance. In addition, performing volunteer duties while under the influence of illegal drugs and/or alcohol is prohibited. The use of alcohol may be permitted at councilapproved functions with the prior approval of the CEO.

• Respect the mission of Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri. • Manage conflicts or difficulties in an appropriate manner. Contact your New Leader Consultant or Service Unit Manager to voice your concern and receive support. • Respect your meeting site and the properties of the council. • Honor confidentiality of volunteers and girls. • Be willing to take part in orientation and training sessions to enhance your leadership skills. • Demonstrate respect for the guidance, direction and decisions staff and/or their designated appointee provide to support your role as a volunteer. • Treat staff, volunteers, girls and members fairly and without discrimination. • Dress appropriately for your volunteer position and/or activity girls will be taking part in. • Hats and t-shirts with political views or harmful logos are not permitted during Girl Scout meetings and functions.

Possession of firearms by adults in any Girl Scout activity or in any way affiliated with a Girl Scout program activity where children are present, shall not be permitted.

Girl Scout volunteers may not consume or use alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs, or be under the influence of same at any council-owned


Adults who accompany troops or groups must not smoke in the presence of minors at Girl Scout activities. Smoking is not permitted on council-owned sites.

This list is not exhaustive and may not cover every situation or provide you with a set of absolute standards.

Child Abuse Reporting Anytime volunteers have reasonable cause to believe that a Girl Scout minor may have been abused or neglected, they may file a report with the appropriate state’s department of children and family services. Girl Scout volunteers are considered permissive reporters, and although not required by law to file such reports, are encouraged to do so. Volunteers are required to report to the corporate office any time a report has been sent to the department, or anytime there is reasonable cause to suspect that child abuse or neglect of a Girl Scout minor has occurred.

Troop Management As the Troop Leader (01), you have the ability to perform many functions for your troop: • Update Troop Meeting information • Update Troop Members’ contact information • Print a Troop Roster • Email Troop Members • Re-register returning Troop Members NOTE: For new girl members, Parents/Guardians must complete a paper membership form from the website, complete information on girl and provide a signature for approval. Although the system provides you the ability to register new girl members, you must have written permission and membership form from parents/guardians to complete the process.

Getting into Girl Scouts’ Guides To help troop leaders facilitate the Girl Scout program, we provide “Getting Into Girl Scouts” guides for Daisy and Brownie leaders. The guides can help you navigate Petals/Badges or a Journey. Each outline includes a list of supplies needed, opening / closing, activities related to the petal/badge or Journey and sample emails that can be sent to parents after each meeting. We encourage you to visit the Daisy and Brownie age-level pages to download your guide.

If you have more than one troop, you will be able to perform these Troop Management functions for all of your troops.

Journeys Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting Girl’s Guides to Girl Scouting are age-level handbooks include badge-earning activities. These guides are designed to complement Journeys with activities that build specific skills for which girls earn badges. Daisy Girl Scouts can earn Petals. Each Petal has specific activities and is related to a part of the Girl Scout Law. Daisies can also earn leaves for Financial Literacy and for learning more about the Cookie Program. Brownies through Ambassadors can earn badges related to art, first aid, athletics, citizenship, financial literacy, cooking, environmental stewardship, business and more!

Girl Scout Journeys are leadership experiences that incorporate the Girl Scout Leadership Model into fun, thematic series. Each journey is tied to some of the Girl Scouts’ 15 national outcomes for girls. These outcomes are integral to the “DiscoverConnect-Take Action” philosophy of leadership. There are three Journey series available. Journeys are generally divided into six to twelve sessions and consist of one to four awards that can be earned throughout. They are fully customizable by girls and volunteers. In partnership with girls, volunteers can add outings, celebrations and explorations that suit the Journey’s theme and the girls’ interests. Journeys can be stretched over a Girl Scout year or done over the course of a few weeks or months. While Journeys offer plenty of choices for girls, facilitator guides will provide a road map with suggested programming ideas. Learn more by visiting your Girl Scout age level page on our website.


Building Your Troop:

Planning a Parent Information Meeting Now that you have completed all the steps in becoming a new leader, it’s time to meet with girls and their parents. The Parent Information Meeting is the perfect introduction to Girl Scouting.

Parent Meeting Outline 1. Introductions A. Leader/Co-Leader(s) name and contact info B. Parent introductions C. Troop basics • Time of meeting (start/end time, BE ON TIME!) • Place of meeting • Troop and Service Unit Number

2. Troop Program A. Share the Mission B. Share the GS Leadership Experience: Discover, Connect and Take Action 1. Girls Guide to Girl Scouting 2. Journeys C. Troop Support • Running a quality Girl Scout troop requires the involvement of ALL parents • Parent Involvement Form – download and print the form at D. Program Grade Levels: • Girl Scout Daisy K-1 • Girl Scout Brownie 2-3 • Girl Scout Junior 4-5 • Girl Scout Cadette 6-8 • Girl Scout Senior 9-10 • Girl Scout Ambassador 11-12 E. Plans for the Girl Scout year • Permission slips when and why used F. Product Sales Program • Cookie Program (Winter/Spring) • Magazines, Nuts & Chocolates (Fall) • Girls learn new skills and earn recognitions, troop earns dollars, council dollars support service to girls and volunteers

3. Who Pays for What


A. Girls/Parents: • GSUSA National Registration Fee of $15.00 membership dues sent to national office. Financial aid available for membership. • Insurance coverage • All adults who assist with field trips, overnights or working directly with girls must complete volunteer application, background check and become a registered adult member. The safety of your daughter is our priority. • Troop Dues • Books / Uniform B. Troop • Program supplies • Troop equipment • Service projects • Trips (depends on how much a troop can afford) • Transportation

4. Thank you A. Thank parents for coming in support of your Girl Scout troop! *Note: Additional support materials including an overview of the mission and Girl Scout Leadership Experience can be found in Volunteer Essentials.

Make sure your parents know: 1. Your troop number. 2. Your service unit number. 3. Troop meeting place/time. 4. Your contact information.




Girl Records to record achievements,

badges earned and community service hours for each girl. Be sure to write important accomplishments to keep track of them over time.

Troop meeting set up: Keep troop meetings flexible and fun! Remember the following:


during troop meetings, field trips, activities, and extended travel.


Girl Health Histories: Keep these available


Now, the fun begins! Refer to Volunteer Essentials for troop meeting ideas. What to take to the first meeting:




Your First Troop Meeting

Spin the inside wheel each meeting







Start up activity – a short activity for early

arrivals – song, game or a simple craft.

OCT 15

Opening – Assigned by patrols or using

the *kaper chart. This could include a flag ceremony, a game, special song or poem, the Promise/Law or have the girls share something that has happened since the last meeting.

Business – this can be conducted at every

meeting, once a month, or as needed. Depending on girls’ ages, they may conduct this portion of the meeting, which may include attendance & dues, discussion of plans or decision making time for troop.

Activity – At least half of your meeting time

should be an activity, which might include working on a badge or Journey, having a guest speaker, conducting or practicing a ceremony.

Clean up – Girls are responsible for cleaning

up their troop meeting site. Use the *kaper chart to assign a group to clean.

Closing – Assigned by patrol or the *kaper chart. Provides a definite end to the meeting. This could include a song (Taps, Make New Friends, etc.), a flag ceremony, a game or poem or the friendship circle and squeeze.

OCT 31

Zebras: Christina Stephanie Brooke

Penguins: Jessica Taylor Sabrina

Polar Bears: Deena Lizzie Sofia

Songbirds: Brittany Daniela Hayley

*kaper charts are essentially a list of job assignments for girls to help manage their troop. They can be arranged by patrol, small group, or individual and can include as many or as few jobs as you need. You can also draw names for kapers, keeping track of who has done the job already until everyone gets a turn.

Special Activities Council outdoor and community partner programs can complement your troop’s Girl Scout experience. Use the interactive calendar at to see all the opportunities available or plan your own local outing. Be sure to follow guidelines on Trip and Travel or obtain Parent Permission forms before you go.


Troop Finances Girl Scout bank accounts are required. For the step by step process on setting up your new account, please refer to your Troop Banking informational packet inside your Troop Packet. There is a bank account information card that you turn in at the beginning of the year and a year-end financial report you turn in at the end of the troop year. Troop finances help pay for Girl Scout activities. Plan with your girls and see what kinds of activities they would like to participate in during the year. Talk about how much those activities will cost and how you will pay for them. You must receive council approval to participate in fundraising efforts beyond the annual product sales programs. Council sponsored product sales include the Cookie Program in late winter / early spring and the Magazine, Nut & Chocolate Program in the fall. In addition to troop funds from product sales, some troops ask for additional funds from families (troop dues). Before you ask for dues, be sure to plan the year with your girls. There may be strong commitment to product sales making additional dues unnecessary.


Troop Finance checklist: Step 1: Identify at least two adult members to be signers on the troop account. Step 2: Identify at least one signer from the Service Unit team. Step 3: Turn in the Bank Account Information card to the Membership Manager.

Money matters. Find all the Troop Finance forms and info you’ll need at

Girl Scout Safety

Resources to Help Guide Your Safety Plan • As you plan your troop ‘s safety plan, Chapter 4 of Volunteer Essentials is your first point resource. • Safety Activity Checkpoints should be consulted before undertaking any activity. You can download by activity topics listed alphabetically. • Parent permission slips are necessary every time you meet outside of your regular meeting place and time, whether a field trip to the fire station or an overnight camping trip. You should carry these forms with you on the activity. • You should also obtain and carry a Health History form for each girl at all times. • Events that include overnights not on council property, trips out of council boundaries and high risk/sensitive topics require additional council approval at least six weeks prior to the activity. • Every registered girl and adult member is covered by a basic secondary accident insurance plan designed to help meet the costs of medical care of accidents occurring during any approved, supervised Girl Scout activity that does not last more than two consecutive nights. Longer events or planned, supervised and age appropriate activities for tag-alongs require the purchase of additional insurance. Refer to the emergency procedure/insurance purchase information in your troop packet to help guide you.


Girl Scout Jargon & Traditions We use a lot of funny terms in Girl Scouting. Here are some definitions. badges: symbols earned by brownie through ambassador Girl Scouts indicating increased knowledge and skill in a particular subject. These are found in their age levels’ Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting. Additional badges in conjunction with the Journey program are also provided.

Girl Scout birthday: March 12 marks the anniversary of the first troop meeting of Girl Scouts in the US in Savannah, GA, in 1912.

bridging: activities designed to emphasize the continuity of the Girl Scout program, to introduce girls within each age level to what lies ahead, and to give older girls a sense of personal responsibility for younger girls. Bridging requirements are found in the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting for each age level.

Girl Scout Promise & Law: principles of conduct to which Girl Scouts subscribe

buddy system: a safety practice that requires two girls of equal ability in an activity (e.g. swimming, hiking) to keep watch over the other.

Girl Scout sign: the official Girl Scout greeting. It is always used when the promise is made or repeated. The right hand is raised shoulder high, palm forward, with the three middle fingers extended and the thumb holding down the little finger.

Court of Awards: a troop ceremony where girls receive recognition for their accomplishments in the form of patches, badges, pins and certificates. Court of Honor: a planning group in troops that use the patrol system of government, composed of patrol leaders, troop officers and leader(s). Daisy Girl Scout circle: a form of troop government that encourages girls to share ideas, listen to one another and helps make troop decisions. day camp: daytime camping on a site staffed by volunteers and approved by the Girl Scout council. Girls of all ages camp together. Overnight camping is optional; day camp generally lasts three to five days. friendship circle: a symbolic gesture, often used as a closing ceremony, in which girls form a circle by clasping hands and passing a gentle squeeze around the circle.


Girl Scout handshake: a handshake made with the left hands while making the Girl Scout sign with the right hand

Girl Scout shop: a retail shop, located at headquarters and online, in which official Girl Scout uniforms, equipment, accessories, and publications can be purchased.

Girl Scout week: celebrated each year during the week of March 12th, the Girl Scout birthday. The Sunday of that week is Girl Scout Sunday. Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA): the corporation chartered by the US Congress to direct and coordinate the Girl Scout movement. insignia: emblem, buttons, badges, pins and other official forms of recognition that may be worn on the uniform by registered members of the Girl Scout movement. investiture: a special ceremony that welcomes new members, girls or adults, into the Girl Scout family. Journeys: experiences that incorporate the Girl Scout leadership experience into fun, thematic, customizable activities. Each journey is tied to some of the Girl Scouts’ 15 national outcomes.

Juliette Gordon Low: founder of the Girl Scout movement in the US in 1912. Born October 31, 1860 in Savannah, GA. (Daisy) kaper chart: a chart showing the job or assignment for each girl on any given project. Leader: an adult member who meets regularly with a troop to help them achieve the purpose of Girl Scouting. A troop leader for teen girls is called an advisor. Lord & Lady Baden-Powell: the founder of the Scouting movement and his wife, who served as the World Chief Guide. Membership Manager: a professional Girl Scout staff member who is responsible for organizing and maintaining troops in a specific geographic area. patches: an emblem signifying either participation in Girl Scout activities or completion of a specific set of activities. patrol: a group of girls with a leader. patrol system: a form of troop government for Junior and Teen troops. It is a representative form of government composed of patrols and a Court of Honor. petals: recognition program for Daisy Girl Scouts. Each petal earned represents understanding part of the Girl Scout Law. The Daisy Center is earned when girls memorize the Promise. STEM: a science, technology, engineering and math program available for girls at each program level. Many STEM activities are conducted by the council at the Camp Tongawood Program Center.

program consultant: an individual who shares his/her interests and special abilities with a troop by advising or instructing leaders or volunteer day camp staff.

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS): The international organization of Girl Guide/Girl Scout associations. Organized in 1928.

quiet sign: Raising the right hand over the head is a traditional means of obtaining silence at Girl Scout meetings. As others see a raised hand, they raise theirs and become quiet.

World Thinking Day: February 22, the birthday of both Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, celebrated as the day in which Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world think of each other and exchange greetings.

resident camp (established camp): Girls of different age levels register individually for a camping experience of between 4 and 10 days in duration at permanent camp sites owned and operated by the Girl Scout Council.

World Trefoil pin: A pin with a gold trefoil on a blue background, worn by all members of the World Association of Girl Guides and ­Girl Scouts.

safety activity check points: a GSUSA publication found on the council website detailing national program standards for Girl Scout activities. service unit: a designated grouping of troops in a geographical area. service unit manager: the volunteer administrator of the Service Unit. sit-upon: a camp craft that provides girls with a clean, dry spot to sit. sponsor: an organization or institute that supports a troop in specific ways (i.e. providing troop meeting place, supplies, volunteers). swaps: Tokens of friendship exchanged by girls at events. trefoil: The official emblem of the Girl Scout movement in the US, registered in the US Patent Office by Girl Scouts of the USA.


Building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Troop Leader Central

8383 Blue Parkway Kansas City MO 64133 (816) 358 8750


is a convenient short cut to all the online resources you’ll need. Check it out at

Courage Confidence Character - A guide for new Troop Leaders  
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