Depending on the ages of your girls, you might take the lead in
guiding the structure and experiences of your troop—from how and when
meetings are held to how the troop communicates, from steering
girl-led activities to setting financial expectations. You’ll make
these decisions collaboratively with your volunteer team or co-leader,
as well as with input from the girls and their parents and caregivers.
Use these questions to guide your conversation with your troop
committee volunteers or co-leader before discussing these topics with
parents and caregivers.
- When will we meet and for how long? How frequently should we
schedule troop meetings?
- Where will we meet? Your meeting
space should be somewhere safe, clean, and secure that allows all
girls to participate. Some great meeting space ideas include
schools, places of worship, libraries, and community centers. If
working with teens, consider meeting at coffee shops, bookstores, or
another place they enjoy.
- Which components of the uniform
will families need to purchase?
- Will our troop be a
single-grade level or facilitated as a multi-level troop with girls
of many grade levels combined into one troop? If multi-level, how
will we make sure they each get an age-appropriate experience?
- How will we keep troop activities girl-led? Use the Volunteer
Toolkit (VTK) to help you through this process by exploring options
for activities and reviewing the meeting plans and resources
- How often are we going to communicate to troop
families? Which channels will we use to keep families in the loop?
Effective communication will help set expectations and clarify
parent/ caregiver responsibilities.
- Will our troop charge
dues, use product program proceeds, and/or charge per activity? How
much money will we need to cover supplies and activities? What
should our financial plan look like?
Choosing a Meeting Place
What makes a great meeting space? It depends on your troop, but
here are a few considerations as you visit potential spaces:
Cost: The space should be free to use.
Size: Make sure the space is large enough for the whole group
and all planned activities.
Availability: Be sure the space is available for the day and
the entire length of time you want to meet.
Resources: Ask if tables and chairs come with the room and
ensure that the lighting is adequate. A bonus would be a cubby of some
sort where you could store supplies or a safe outdoor space for activities.
Safety: Potential spaces must be safe, secure, clean, properly
ventilated, heated (or cooled, depending on your location), free from
hazards, and have at least two exits that are well-marked and fully
functional. Also be sure first-aid equipment is on hand.
Facilities: It goes without saying, but make sure that toilets
are sanitary and accessible.
Communication-friendly: Check for cell reception in the
potential space and whether Wi-Fi is available.
Allergen-free: Ensure that pet dander and other common
allergens won’t bother susceptible girls during meetings.
Accessibility: Your space should accommodate girls with
disabilities as well as parents with disabilities who may come to meetings.
Need a few speaking points to get started? Try:
“I’m a Girl Scout volunteer with a group of [number of girls] girls.
We’re doing lots of great things for girls and for the community,
like [something your group is doing] and [something else your troop is
doing]. We’re all about leadership—the kind that girls use in their
daily lives and the kind that makes our community better. We’d love to
hold our meetings here because [reason why you’d like to meet there].”
Stuck and need additional support? Contact your council or your
service unit support team for help with a troop meeting place.
Girl Scout Troop Size
The troop size “sweet spot” is large enough to provide an
interactive and cooperative learning environment and small enough to
encourage individual development. Research has shown that the ideal
troop size is 12 girls; recommended group sizes, by grade level, are:
- Girl Scout Daisies: 5–12 girls
- Girl Scout Brownies:
- Girl Scout Juniors 10–25 girls
Scout Cadettes: 5–25 girls
- Girl Scout Seniors: 5–30
- Girl Scout Ambassadors: 5–30 girls
A Girl Scout troop/group must have at minimum five girls and two
approved adult volunteers. (Double-check the volunteer-to-girl ratio
chart to make sure you’ve got the right amount of coverage for your
troop!) Adults and girls registering in groups of fewer than five
girls and/or two approved, unrelated adult volunteers, at least one of
whom is female, will be registered as individual Girl Scouts to more
accurately reflect their status and program experience. Individual
girls are always welcome to participate in Girl Scout activities and events.
Registering Girls and Adults in Girl Scouting
Every participant (girl or adult) in Girl Scouting must
register and become a member of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). GSUSA
membership dues are valid for one year. Membership dues cannot be
transferred to another member and are not refundable.
Preregistration for the upcoming membership year occurs in the
spring. Girls are encouraged to register early to avoid the fall rush.
Early registration allows for uninterrupted receipt of forms and
materials from the council, helps girls and councils plan ahead, and
gets girls excited about all the great stuff they want to do as Girl
Scouts next year. Girl Scout grade level is determined by the current
membership year beginning October 1.
Lifetime membership is available to anyone who
accepts the principles and beliefs of the Girl Scout Promise and Law,
pays the one-time lifetime membership fee, and is at least 18 years
old (or a high school graduate or equivalent).
Adding New Girls to Your Troop
Growing your troop is a great way to share the power of the
Girl Scout experience and there are many ways to get the word out, like
hanging posters at your girl’s school, using social media to reach
families in your community, or including your troop in your council’s
Opportunity Catalog or Troop Catalog.
Contact GS-TOP Customer Care at 800.582-7272 or firstname.lastname@example.org to
request information about marketing and recruitment materials for
adding new girls to your troops and how to list your troops in the
troop opportunity catalog.