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Steps to Starting a Troop

The New Leader Handbook is intended to help you get started with your new Girl Scout troop! Below you’ll find a basic new leader checklist that walks you through how to start your Girl Scout troop. Consider this page your quick reference guide to the first steps for becoming a troop leader.

1. Create an account on MyGS, register and choose the volunteer role for Troop Leader

You should be able to check off these steps already.

  1. Complete your background screening online (you will receive a link from Asurint after you choose the volunteer role of Troop Leader)
  2. Receive a clearance email from Customer Care (print/save for your records)
  3. Purchase an Adult Girl Scout annual membership through your MyGS

Completion of this process takes just a few days. For questions regarding your application status, contact Customer Care at CustomerCare@GirlScoutsOC.org

Reminder: Troop Leaders must be approved as volunteers (they must successfully complete a background screening and complete required training starting with New Leader Orientation).

All troops must have “a minimum of two adult volunteers, who are not related by blood or marriage or living in the same household, one of whom must be female, must be present at all Troop meetings”. Policies & Standards, page 11     

2. Start your required training
  1. Girl Scouts 101 (online)
  2. New Leader Orientation (in-person)
  3. Level Training: Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Sr/Amb (in-person)

Additional training is available for camping, travel and specialized activities.

Register for trainings by viewing the calendar at girlscoutsoc.org and for online opportunities visit www.gsoclearning.com             

3. Decide on a troop meeting place and time & update MyGS Account
Decide the following details:
  1. Meeting place:
  2. Date(s):
  3. Time:

Schedule your troop meetings for when you are available. As much as possible, you should take into account family needs, scheduled events, religious holidays, and availability of your meeting place. Troops meet at many locations, including schools, churches, local community centers and Girl Scout Program Centers (Anaheim, Laguna Beach, Seal Beach and Yorba Linda). If the location you select requires a Facility Use Application or a Certificate of Insurance, please fill out your troop information and send to GSOC-Attn: Facility Operations 9500 Toledo Way, Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92618.

View the Safety Activity Checkpoints to learn more about safety and responsibilities for you, parents and guardians, and the girls: Responsibilities, Approaching Activities, and Be Prepared.

NEVER sign any form or contract requiring you to assume liability. 

For more information on contracts, see Policies & Standards page 5     

4. Hold your parent/ guardian meeting

Meeting place: __________________________

Date:__________________________________

Time __________________________________

The parent/guardian meeting should be held at least two weeks prior to your first Girl Scout meeting. For more information and ideas on what to cover in your parent meeting, refer to the agenda in the full handbook (page 14-15).

5. Attend your service unit meeting and contact other volunteers

Your service unit will be the best source of information for you as a new leader. At the meetings, you will meet service unit team members and experienced leaders who will be able to answer your questions about activities. You will also meet new leaders like yourself!

Service Unit Name & Number: ____________________________

My Service Unit Manager/Coordinator-HR is: _________________

  • Their email is: ____________________________
  • Their phone number is: ____________________

My Service Unit Level Consultant is: ________________________

  • Their email is: ____________________________
  • Their phone number is: _____________________

Meeting Details:__________________________________Day, time, location)

Asked to be added to your service unit’s communication (email list, website, Shutterfly, etc.).

More information on page 18 of the New Leader Handbook.

6. Get to know your resources
  • Volunteer Essentials Resource Book (available at girlscoutsoc.org under Forms & Docs) providing an in-depth source of information from GSUSA and GSOC
  • Safety Activity Checkpoints (available at girlscoutsoc.org under Forms & Docs) providing guidelines for physical and emotional safety of the girls
  • Journey books and The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting
  • Girl Scouts of Orange County girlscoutsoc.org- Take some time to look through the website for an abundance of resources and leader help.
  • GSOCLearning www.gsoclearning.com

My log in user id is: ____________ Password __ _________

  • MyGS (link at the top of girlscoutsoc.org) updates troop meeting information for interested girls and families.

Login to your MyGS account under Member Profile, select Troops tab, and click on the View/Edit Troop Information link at the bottom of the page. Use MyGS to add a member and to register. MyGS user id is your email address. My password is: __________________

The Volunteer Toolkit provides a troop roster, yearly plans, meeting plans, and resources for troop leaders. In MyGS click on Volunteer ToolKit in the drop down.

7. Set up a troop bank account
  1. Create an account at www.GSOCLearning.com our training website.
  2. Watch “Using Resources Wisely Troop Financial Training” online at www.gsoclearning.com

All Girl Scout troops must have a troop bank account. Troops cannot sell cookies or other products without a bank account. Your troop may contribute through start-up funds, dues, product programs, money earning projects (see Financial Guidelines). It is important to know what your bank requires to open a Girl Scout account: 501c3 IRS Determination Letter, Girl Scout Articles of Incorporation, and Authorization Letter.

See page 9 in the New Leader Guide for detailed instructions.

8. Fill your troop with girls
  1. Have at least five girls in your troop to start meeting. Recommended troop size is 12 girls.
  2. If you are still looking for girls, contact Customer Care CustomerCare@girlscoutsoc.org

 

You did it! Now let’s get organized!