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Getting Parents to Help

Parent involvement is an important part of any healthy Girl Scout troop.  Sometimes it can be difficult to identify parents to help or even make the ask for help.   The resources below can help you with this and much more.  

Holding a Parent Meeting

The first step in creating a successful relationship with your troop parents is to hold a parent meeting.  Parents will be more cooperative and helpful if they know what is going on in the troop/group.  Don’t depend on the girls to keep their parents informed. 

Parent meetings should be held annually, and as need as long as the troop continues.  Parent meetings should include the following:

  • Interaction Time: allow the parents to meet the leaders and volunteers who are involved with their girls. 
  • Troop Information: Troop details, Girl Scout program information and how their daughter is benefitting from the program, upcoming events, troop calendar, sign-up sheet with volunteer opportunities for the parents within the troop
  • Input: Question and answer time. 

Check out our Partnering with Parents Slides from the 2017 Volunteer Conference for a sample agenda, found on slide 9. 

Troop Agreement

A troop agreement can make your overall troop experience smoother and more positive.  Working together with your co-leaders, girls, and parents to develop the agreement will ensure that everyone is on the same page and buys in to the agreement.  Here are a few things that you may want to include in your agreement:

  • Timeliness: Agree to make arrangements with the leader if the girl will be late or miss a meeting/troop event.
  • Permission Slips/Paperwork: Agree to submit membership registration, Health Hisory, and Permission Slips on or before the deadline asked by troop leaders.
  • Money/Events: Agree to turn in all event registration/payments on or before the deadline asked by the troop leaders. 

Here is a Parent Agreement sample template that you can edit to fit your troop’s needs.  It’s a good idea to review this each year at your meeting and adjust it for the changing needs of your troop.  You may also want to post it at your meeting location when you hold parent meetings, on your troop website, or in email communications to keep it fresh in everyone’s minds.  

Recruiting Parents to Help Your Troop

Recruiting parents to help your troop will not only help split up the work, but will help keep parents engaged.  Circulating a sign-up sheet with open positions and a brief position description is one great way to recruit parents.  You can also have the parents fill out our handy Ways Adults Can Help Form to get an idea of the skills and interests your troop parents possess and match them up with tasks and jobs throughout the year. 

To hear from a volunteer who has had success in cultivating an active parent volunteer corp, check out this GSUSA blog posting, Recruit Parents to Help Your Troop.