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Online Support for Volunteers

Welcome to the great adventure of Girl Scouting! Thanks to volunteers like you, generations of girls are learning to be leaders in their community and around the world. Below are links to a few of the most important resources you’ll need to inspire tomorrow’s leaders. Visit our Forms and Documents page for more documents and information.


Resources and Training

Getting Started

THE COMMITMENT: One year of making a meaningful, life-long difference in the lives of girls by serving as a leader on the Troop Leadership Team.

Step 1: Get Signed Up

  • Complete your membership form.
  • Complete your background check online using the link provided in a separate email after you register. (Background Checks are required for all positions, except Troop Family and Friends.)
  • You will receive a welcome email when your background check is approved (could take a few days). 

Step 2: Start Your Troop Leader Training

  • You'll receive a welcome email with a link to view the Welcome to Girl Scouts video. After viewing the Welcome to Girl Scouts video, you will receive a separate email with log in information and link to our on-line training system to take New Member Orientation (required) and Leadership Essentials (optional, strongly encouraged) trainings.  If you do not receive the email with the link for the two trainings, contact us at 800-582-7272 or customercare@g-top.org.
  • Check our Event and Adult Learning Calendar for Journey courses offered for your grade level.

Step 3: Review Volunteer Toolkit and Other Resources

Go to www.gs-top.org and choose “My GS”. From the dropdown menu, select the Volunteer Toolkit. Your username and password is the same as the Member Community.

Additional Resources

Step 4: Schedule a Parent Meeting

Step 5: Prepare for and Schedule Your First Troop Meeting

Step 6: Attend Service Unit Meetings and Connect with Other Volunteers

Service Unit information was provided in the Your Troop is Ready to Meetemail. You can also receive SU information by contacting Customer Care: 800-582-7272 or customercare@g-top.org

New Leader FAQ

Must I be a parent to be a troop leader?
No. We welcome all interested adults, ages 18 and older, to apply as Girl Scout volunteers. Girl Scouts is volunteer-driven, and we need everyone's help. We currently have Girl Scout leaders who are community leaders, senior citizens, college students and others who don't currently have daughters who are Girl Scouts.

How much time does it take to be a troop leader?
The troop leader decides how often meetings take place, as well as when meetings take place. Troops can meet weekly, bi-monthly or monthly; after school, in the evenings or on weekends. 

How long am I committed to being a Girl Scout leader?
A leader is appointed for one year. We encourage leaders to extend that year if they desire.

I wasn't a Girl Scout, what do I need to know?
Training is provided to help all new leaders understand the Girl Scout philosophy, policies and procedures. Training covers materials and information needed to begin troop meeting and activities. In addition, a council e-newsletter keeps volunteers up-to-date and we're sharing ideas and fun on Twitter and Facebook

Is volunteer training provided?
Yes! Web-based, self-study and face-to-face trainings are available throughout the calendar year and council geography. Register for trainings.

Will someone be helping me start a Girl Scout troop?
As a volunteer, you can count on help from a variety of people. Staff from your area will be available to answer questions, help recruit girls and assist with finding a meeting place, if needed. Local volunteers from your community, organized into a service unit are also key to getting your troop off the ground. These local volunteers are often great examples of the good things that Girl Scouts accomplish. Regular service unit meetings are held throughout the school year, so there are many opportunities to meet other Girl Scout volunteers in your area, as well as interface with your membership specialist.

How much does it cost to join Girl Scouts, and where do finances come from to start a troop?
The annual membership fee for Girl Scouts is $25/person. The membership fee goes directly to Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) at our national headquarters, where it is used for program development, activity insurance and management to support councils. The annual fall product program and Girl Scout Cookie program support troop finances, and all troops are strongly encouraged to participate in these programs to generate troop funds.

Who decides how many girls are in a troop?
Troop size is often determined by the size of the meeting space and the number of adults working with a troop. The recommended size a troop at each age level is as follows: 5-15 Daisies, 10-25 Brownies, 10-30 Juniors, 5-30 Cadettes, and 5-30 Seniors and Ambassadors. 

Does Girl Scouts run background checks on volunteers?
Yes. Protecting our girl members is a top priority, and screenings and background checks are integral parts of our due diligence process and procedure.

Do I have to become a registered Girl Scout to volunteer?
Yes, adults who work with girls as troop leaders or co-leaders must register as Girl Scout members. Registration is easy with our online system. Financial assistance is available. 

Where can I find information and materials on what to do with girls?
Girl planning makes Girl Scouts unique. Girls are empowered to choose their own activities and programs with the guidance of their adult leaders. GSUSA publishes nationally consistent materials for troops to use. These materials help troop leaders direct troop activities, while also ensuring that girls get the full benefit of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. 

What help will parents give?
There are many roles that parents can play in assisting troop leaders. Parents can help with regular meetings, organize the fall product or cookie sales, drive girls to and from field trips, serve as First Aid/CPR trained adults on trips, manage the troop treasury, etc. If you can ask, parents can do it!

Volunteer Essentials
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Volunteer Essentials 
Volunteer Essentials is just that – an essential guide to all things   volunteering. Think of it as your Girl Scouts encyclopedia. All the legal, procedure, and policy guidelines are outlined here for you in one handy document. Get a print copy from your service unit!

View the Volunteer Essentials handbook.

Volunteer Toolkit (VTK)

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.

 

Through the Volunteer Toolkit, troop leaders can:
  • Plan the troop’s calendar year.
  • Email parents with one click.
  • View the troop roster, renew girls’ membership, and update girls' contact information.
  • View Daisy through Ambassador Journeys and badges (to plan for troop meetings), including prepopulated tracks for younger and older Multi-Level troop groups (K–5 and 6–12).
  • Customize meetings by troop year with other badge and Journey options.
  • Explore individual meeting plans that show a breakdown of every meeting, including a list of materials needed and editable time allotments for each activity within a meeting.
  • Record girls’ attendance at meetings and their badge and Journey achievements.
  • Add council or custom troop events to the troop’s calendar.
  • Enter the troop’s finances (depending on the council’s process).
  • Easily locate resources both national and local council resources, such as Safety Activity Checkpoints

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What About Parents?

  • Parents can now access the Volunteer Toolkit to see what their girl’s troop or group is doing (e.g, meeting information and which badges and Journeys she is working on).
  • Parents can also view the troop’s finances (depending on the council’s process).

Log in today! Click on My GS in the upper right-hand corner to get started.

Safety Activity Checkpoints
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Safety Activity Checkpoints 
From archery, to hayrides, to skateboarding, we have a convenient checklist for you to follow to make sure girls have fun and stay safe at the same time. Safety Activity Checkpoints are lists of all the things for you to remember (and check off) when preparing for an activity with the girls in your troop.

View Safety Activity Checkpoints.

The Trail Guide