How to Get Parents Involved
We’ve all been there. Although you love seeing the girls faces when they learn and try new things, sometimes you wish you could get their parents to help with either planning or leading troop meetings. Well, you’re not alone. Here are some quick tips or reminders that will help encourage your parents to stay engaged in troop activities. • Schedule more family activities where the parents are invited to participate and be active in their daughter’s troop/group. • Assign a specific job/duty to parents who stay during the meeting. Some ideas might be: o Snack duty o Crowd/noise control o Update files/paperwork o Prepare things needed for the next meeting o Run an errand/pick up something at the last minute • Also, assign some of the troop duties to these parents. Ask them to be an assistant leader, first aider, troop camper, badge work coordinator or guest speaker. Some may just be waiting to be asked. • Parents might enjoy presenting a special program for the troop using their individual expertise.
Parent Engagement: Words of Wisdom “Sometimes parents don’t want to do the planning, but they will do the activities. The leader can put out a calendar with what the girls will be working on and give to the parent. Let each parent decide which activity they would be most comfortable in doing. The leader would need to give them the activity sheet ahead of time so they can be prepared.” – Regina Zaragoza, Volunteer Experience Manager “Set expectations from the beginning. Any time a new girl joins, have a conversation with the parent and let them know that a requirement for being part of their troop is for the parent to be involved in some way, even if that’s just agreeing to help transport girls when needed or provide snacks for a few of the meetings. Setting the expectation of involvement from the beginning and holding parents accountable to that expectation is critical.” – Brittney Coulter, Volunteer Experience Manager
“Parents: be your daughter’s role model! Parents with a professional career in science can help with STEM projects. Those with careers in money management (CPA or accounting background) can be the troop treasurer. Enjoy the outdoors with your daughter by being the troop’s camp trained volunteer. Keep the Girl Scout tradition going by learning songs and games. Enjoy planning activities? Be your daughter’s troop event coordinator.” – Sandra Johnson, Volunteer Experience Manager If you continue to face challenges with parents, call your troop mentor, a member of your Community Leadership Team or your Volunteer Experience Manager for additional assistance.
Miracle Clark shares why she’s a troop leader With a smile on her face Miracle Clark stepped into a sometimes intimidating role. Armed with bravery and no experience, she set aside the pressures of work and homelife to become a Girl Scout volunteer and troop leader. She is not only an integral part of her daughter’s life, but the lives of girls she serves. Miracle, a department manager for Walmart, started her Girl Scout troop leader journey two years ago, when she registered her daughter to be a Daisy. "Girl Scouting is a family tradition and I have first-hand experience in knowing the value in joining. When I heard that there wasn’t a troop in my area, I knew I could change that," Miracle said. Miracle believes that Girl Scouting has strengthened the bond she has with her daughter, because they get to do more things that they would normally not go out and do, like camping. She herself has experience in the Girl Scout program from childhood. She grew up in this local council and reached up to Cadette level. “My mother was my troop leader, and my grandmother was her troop leader. “My daughter Zoe is the fourth-generation Girl Scout and I’m a third-generation troop leader. I guess it runs in the family," said Miracle.
As a volunteer, Miracle has also learned new skills, including patience and how to keep seven-year-olds focused on a task. Most importantly, she understands that the time she is spending with these girls will positively impact their lives. “My favorite thing about being a troop leader is how rewarding it is to see the girls progress every year and how they learn and try new things,” said Miracle. “I would tell new volunteers that it is hard in the beginning but if you stick it out it gets easier and the girls will always remember these memories you are making with them.” July/August 2019 l The Golden Link
Activities and news stories about Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council