Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting

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1 Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 1 Copyright 2013

2 Table of Contents How Do I Get Started? 3 How Will My Troop Volunteers and I Share Leadership? 5 How Do I Register My Troop? 7 What Is the Annual Fund? 8 What Does a Girl Scout Year Look Like? 9 What Is a Typical Troop Meeting? 11 How Do I Prepare For a Day Trip? 13 How Do I Handle Troop Finances? 15 What Is an Investiture? 17 The Girl Scout Promise On my honor, I will try: To serve God* and my country To help people at all times And to live by the Girl Scout Law The Girl Scout Law I will do my best to be Honest and fair, Friendly and helpful, Considerate and caring, Courageous and strong, And responsible for what I say and do, And to Respect myself and others, Respect authority Use resources wisely, Make the world a better place, And be a sister to every Girl Scout. What Happens at the End of the Year? 19 What Is a Parent Meeting? 20 Parent Meeting Resources For the most accurate and complete information about Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta policies and procedures, refer to Volunteer Essentials, available on *Girl Scouts of the USA makes no attempt to define or interpret the word God in the Girl Scout Promise. It looks to individual members to establish for themselves the nature of their spiritual beliefs. When making the Girl Scout Promise, individuals may substitute wording appropriate to their own spiritual beliefs for the word God. 2 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

3 How Do I Get Started? As a volunteer, your most important role is to be excited about everything this opportunity affords you: a chance to partner with girls and an invitation to play a critical role in their lives. 1 Complete your volunteer application Go to to submit your volunteer application online. All troop volunteers are required to undergo a background check; be sure to follow the link at the end of the volunteer application to request this screening. You ll receive an confirmation when your background check has been cleared. 2 Become a member of the Girl Scout movement Experience the benefits of belonging to the largest girl-serving organization in the nation. Purchase your membership online at 3 Sign up for training The following classes make up our Core Curriculum for Troop Leaders and Assistant Leaders. They will prepare you to share the Girl Scout Leadership Experience with your girls; you can sign up for all of them when you register as a member. 4 GS101 online video course (45 min) Mandated Reporters: How to Recognize and Report Child Abuse online, self-directed (45 min) GSGATL102 Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Orientation webinar (1 hr) GSGATL103 New Leader Training (3 hours) GSGATL104 Money Management online/home study course (30 min) Girl Led Remember why we exist - to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Learning by Doing Give yourself - and your girls - time to grow as a group. Learn as you go through your first year. Meet your local support team Your local service unit will reach out to you once your application is approved to guide you through the rest of the process. They will help you connect with experienced leaders, stay involved and stay organized. 5 Cooperative Learning You are not in this alone! Reach out to other volunteers for advice, look for other training options, get new ideas from your SUD. Get Started with your Troop It s time to take action and get started with your girls! Schedule an introductory meeting with your troop parents, and let them know how they can support you and your girls on your leadership journey. From your very first troop meeting, you ll be helping girls discover who they are and connect with each other, and before you know it, they will be taking action to make the world a better place! Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 3 Copyright 2013

4 My Information My Service Unit Director: My Service Unit: Phone: Meeting place and time: My Membership Specialist Website/Social Media: Phone: My Troop Leadership Team: Phone: Application Submitted Background check cleared EBiz account created Username: ID number: Accepted volunteer position ( ) Volunteer Portal login: Username: gsgatlvn\ Met with service unit director (SUD) Met with troop leadership team Completed Training (enroll through ebiz) Girl Scouting 101 Mandated Reporters GSGATL102 Orientation GSGATL103 New Leader Training GSGATL104 Money Management Met with troop parents First Troop Meeting Volunteer Helpline: sg atl.org Date: Date: Date: Password: Date: Password: Date: Date Date: Date: Date: Date: Date: Date: Date: Membership Reg istration assistance: sg atl.org 4 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

5 How Will My Troop Volunteers and I Share Leadership? Your service unit team may introduce you to other adults who will help you get your troop started. With good communication and a little planning, you and your troop leadership team will deliver and model the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to your troop! Communicate Keep the lines of communication open between you and your volunteers. Don t make assumptions be clear about who is doing what. Don t forget to communicate troop updates and information with your troop parents. Cooperate Split responsibilities: who will attend SU meetings? Who will keep up with forms/paperwork? Who will send updates to parents? Who will coordinate meeting activities? Remember the Girl Scout Law be honest and fair, considerate and caring when dividing troop responsibilities. Delegate Encourage parent participation. Ask a parent to serve as Troop Treasurer; Day Trip Coordinator; Supplies Manager; First Aiders; Camping Adviser. See How Can Parents Help? on page 23. Use your resources wisely: who has local contacts to assist your troop with a meeting place, day trip, or special guest? Discussion Starters What sort of things should troop volunteers discuss before meeting with parents for the first time? Girl Led Keep focused on what is best for the girls, even if that means trying something new or different. When will the troop meet? o How often? o Where? Who will manage official council records (registration, bank information, finances)? How will you communicate regularly with parents? What are your expectations for parent participation and financial support? (including troop dues, books/uniform purchases, and chaperoning) In case of emergency or last-minute changes, who will be the primary contact? Learning by Doing Don't try to figure it all out in advance. Be flexible enough to change things up as you go if need be. Cooperative Learning Share each other's strengths and weaknesses. Have confidence in your troop volunteers and yourself! Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 5 Copyright 2013

6 How Many Volunteers Do I Need? Girl Scout groups work best when they are large enough to provide a cooperative learning environment, and small enough to allow for development of individual girls. In an effort to make troops fun for girls, easier for leaders, and still meet the goals set by Girl Scouts of the USA, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta has established a minimum troop size for starting new troops. Program Level Minimum for new troop Girl Scout Daisies (grades k-1) 8 Girl Scout Brownies (grades 2-3) 10 Girl Scout Juniors (grades 4-5) 10 Girl Scout Cadettes (grades 6-8) 5 Girl Scout Seniors (grades 9-10) 5 Girl Scout Ambassadors (grades 11-12) 5 The table below shows the minimum number of adults needed to supervise a specific number of girls. These ratios were devised to ensure the safety and health of girls for example, if one adult has to respond to an emergency, a second adult is always on hand for the rest of the girls. 6 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

7 How Do I Register My Troop? Use this checklist if you are starting a brand new troop to help you take care of the paperwork. Receive Troop Number Your troop number will be given by the council to the volunteer who has agreed to take the 01 leadership position. If you have not received a troop number within seven days of your application approval, contact your Service Unit Director. Hold a Parent Meeting Use the Parent Meeting Resources beginning on page 21 to help you plan an initial meeting with your troop parents. Collect Registration Forms Collect Girl and Adult Registration Forms for each member of the troop, including leaders and parents wishing to support the troop. If financial assistance is required, be sure to fill out the shaded section on the right-hand side of the form. Parents volunteering with the troop must register as members. Ask Parents to Volunteer Parents who will assist the troop on an ongoing basis either working directly with girls or handling troop funds must become approved volunteers and registered members. This includes: Drivers/Chaperones Treasurers Meeting assistants Cookie Managers Due to the personal information requested on the volunteer application/background check, parents may want to submit their own directly to the council at Collect Fees Use the form on page 25 to assist you in collecting the correct amount. Make checks payable to the troop. Open a Troop Bank Account Complete GSGATL104 Money Management training, then ask your Service Unit Director for a Troop Bank Authorization form to open a bank account for your troop. Refer to Volunteer Essentials, Managing Group Finances, for more information about opening a troop account. Deposit all funds received from parents into your new account. Submit Forms/Fees to Your Service Unit Use the Membership Registration Summary as a cover sheet for your membership registration forms. Use the chart on page 27 to help you keep track of the fees you have collected. Submit membership forms, membership dues, Annual Fund donations (with the names of the contributing families), and service unit dues to your service unit registrar Keep health history forms and contact information for your troop records Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 7 Copyright 2013

8 What Is the Annual Fund? The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Annual Fund offers a way for parents, family members and friends of Girl Scouts to contribute directly to our council s efforts to serve girls and support volunteers in our area. The Annual Fund helps to support essential council services like: Volunteer Background Checks Council Leadership Program Development Maintenance for Camp Facilities and Equestrian Programs Regional Meeting and Training Facilities Scholarships for Gold Awardees Financial Assistance for girls and adult volunteers Annual Fund contributions are fully tax-deductible, and are the only financial contributions parents make directly to the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. Parents, volunteers, and friends are asked to make a financial contribution each year to support the council s work here in the greater Atlanta area. Girl Scouting helps girls do extraordinary things. Your support of the Annual Fund is essential to our ability to deliver a life-changing program for our girls. It not only changes their world -- but the whole world. How does my troop contribute to the Annual Fund? Troop leaders are asked to give parents the opportunity to make a contribution every year when they renew their daughter s registration. Troop leaders can: Invite parents to learn about the ways they can partner with Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Show them how investing in girls makes a difference in the world: Share your story why you believe in and support Girl Scouting for your family Distribute donation forms to your parents (available on page) Ask parents to make a contribution 8 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

9 What Does a Girl Scout Year Look Like? Most troops meet during the school year August through May. Your troop can meet year round, or January through June, or take a break during the spring whatever works for your girls. Keep these important dates in mind while you are planning! October 1 September 30 beginning and end of the Girl Scout membership year. Register before September 30 for the upcoming membership year. October 31 Juliette Gordon Low s birthday. Celebrate with a birthday party where the troop receives the gifts, or play one of Juliette Gordon Low s favorite games. February 22 World Thinking Day. Celebrate by learning more about your sisters in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts all over the world. March 12 Girl Scout Birthday. Celebrate by inviting new girls to your troop to share the fun of Girl Scouting. April 22- Leader Appreciation Day (part of Volunteer Appreciation Week). Celebrate knowing that we (and your girls!) appreciate all you do! How to Plan Your Troop Year 1 Start with your meeting dates. Work with your troop leadership team to establish the dates for your first month or two of meetings, or a regular schedule for the year. Be sure to note school and religious holidays, and any personal conflicts you might already be aware of. 2 Ask your girls. Take time in the business portion of your meeting to find out what activities your girls are interested in. Offer suggestions to complement the Journey you are taking; listen during group activities to find out what your girls enjoy most. Invite older girls to share their own ideas and decide as a group on trips and service projects. Girl Led Let girls offer their suggestions and have a say in activities they want to include in their year. Learning by Doing Make sure activities have a handson component. Let girls put their discoveries into practice! 3 Cooperative Learning Balance your activities. Include a variety of activities to support the Girl Scout Leadership Experience: attend a service unit event, take on a community service project, explore the world outdoors, visit a local business. 4 Make sure activities meet the needs of the group and give girls the opportunity to plan as a team Keep it simple. Don t try to fit in every opportunity that comes up. Focus on having fun with your Girl Scout Journey, and look forward to adding something new or different next year! Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 9 Copyright 2013

10 Troop Year Planning Calendar Use this sample calendar to start your planning for the year. Insert your troop and service unit meeting dates, and pencil in some events or day trips you want to plan with the troop. August September October Back to School Treats and Keeps Sale begins Treats and Keeps Sale ends 31 Juliette Gordon Low s Birthday November December January Treats and Keeps deliveries Cookie Program Begins February March April Cookie Booth Sales 12 Girl Scout Birthday 22 Leader Appreciation Day 22- World Thinking Day Cookie Program Ends May June July Last Day of School Girl Scout Resident Camp and Day Camp 10 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

11 What Is a Typical Troop Meeting? In a typical 90-minute meeting Closing Premeeting Pre-Meeting: while girls are arriving Cleanup Opening Opening: official start of meeting Business Business: announcements, treasurer's report, decisionmaking/voting Activity: What girls are discovering today, how they are connecting to each other and taking action in their community Activity Cleanup: Check your kaper chart Closing: official end of the meeting Before the meeting Use the Troop Meeting Planner on page 12 if necessary to help you get organized Make sure all participating adults understand their role Send reminders to girls/adults if needed Gather necessary supplies During the meeting: Have fun with your girls Encourage the girls to do things for themselves Remember to save time for reflection and a closing ceremony After the meeting: Thank parents and other adult helpers Take a moment to reflect with your adult troop team. What worked? What would you do differently next time? Follow up with girls/parents to remind them of decisions made and information for next meeting Girl Led Do girls have a say in choosing what activities, songs, or games they do? Learning by Doing Does everyone get a turn? What will they take home to share with their family? Cooperative Learning What can they work on as a team? Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 11 Copyright 2013

12 Troop Meeting Planner Date What are we going to do? List Journey session or Skill-Building Badge: Pre-Meeting Activity Supplies: Girl Leader: Adult Helper: Opening Ceremony Supplies: Girl Leader: Adult Helper: Business attendance dues treasury balance: $ Activity Announcements: Decisions to make: Supplies: Girl Leader: Adult Helper: Cleanup Supplies: Girl Leader: Adult Helper: Closing Supplies: Girl Leader: Adult Helper: Follow-up Reminders to send for next meeting: 12 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

13 How Do I Prepare For a Day Trip? Refer to Volunteer Essentials, Trips, Travel and Events for more information about traveling safely with your girls. 1 Let girls lead. Guide girls in activities and trips that are age-appropriate and affordable, but be sure to give them the opportunity to share their voice. Ask the girls: what do you want to learn about the ocean at the aquarium? What can we do to be helpful at the park? What do you want to ask the firemen about being brave? 2 Stay Safe. Check your Safety Activity Checkpoints on (under For Volunteers > Safety Activity Checkpoints) to see if your trip will require extra help (such as a lifeguard) or extra insurance (for an overnight trip). Be sure you have appropriate transportation arranged. Make sure your girls are ready for this trip: do they know the buddy system? Are they nervous or excited about going? Girl Led Does the trip support a Journey, Petal or Badge the girls have chosen? Learning by Doing What activities are planned when you arrive? Cooperative Learning Use the buddy system to stay safe and promote teamwork. 3 Make sure the troop can pay for it. It s fine to ask parents for a contribution, but cost should never be an obstacle for your girls. Your troop treasury (and your trip budget) should be able to accommodate girls (and chaperones) who might need a little extra financial assistance. 4 Line up parent volunteers. Check Volunteer Essentials to see how many adults you should bring on your trip more adult chaperones are required for day trips than for regular troop meetings. Remember that all parent drivers and chaperones must be approved volunteers and registered members. 5 Make time to reflect. Don t let the trip end when you get back into the car to go home. Ask the girls to think about their experience what was your favorite part? What did you learn that you didn t know before? If we could go again, what would you do next time? Reflection is an important tool for girls to connect their experience to their values. Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 13 Copyright 2013

14 Day Trip Planner See the Trip Planning Matrix in Volunteer Essentials for more information about overnight trips, high-risk activities and cruises or international travel. Note that some activities may require additional training. What s a High-Risk Activity? Archery Climbing walls Skiing Backpacking Activities with horses Swimming Boating Rafting Tubing Challenge or adventure courses Riflery/gun safety Before you go checklist Safety Activity Checkpoint for activity has been reviewed for age/program level Is council approval required? Date approved: Is extra insurance required? Date paid: Is extra training required for volunteers? Date taken: Contact person/phone at trip site: Troop emergency contact (an adult volunteer not in attendance on the trip) Name: Phone: First aider in attendance? First Aid kit on hand? Health forms for all girls/adults? Correct girl/adult ratio in attendance? Drivers and chaperones.. Girls Are approved volunteers? Are registered members? Are listed on Driver s Log? Are aware of emergency plans? Have reviewed the Checklist for Drivers in Volunteer Essentials? Have turned in a signed permission slip? Are dressed appropriately? Understand their responsibility for safety? (use the buddy system, use appropriate behavior, know what to do if they become separated from the group) 14 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

15 How Do I Handle Troop Finances? 1 Recruit an Adult Troop Treasurer Invite a parent to serve in this important role to help girls manage their finances. They should be willing to work with Girl Treasurers to ensure that the girls are learning how to keep financial records and understand what their treasury is for. Adult Troop Treasurers must be approved volunteers and registered members of the Girl Scout movement. Girl Led Do girls choose a troop treasurer or take turns serving? Learning by Doing Do girls contribute to recordkeeping? 2 Open a Troop Bank Account Use the Troop Bank Account Authorization form Cooperative Learning (available from your Service Unit Director or Membership Specialist) to open an account at a local bank. (Your service unit volunteers may be able to suggest a bank that offers free checking!) Two adult signatures are required on Girl Scout Troop bank accounts both adults must be approved volunteers and registered members. 3 Do girls work together to set and meet their financial goals? Keep Receipts and Bank Statements It s important to model good financial stewardship for your girls. File receipts in a coupon book, or have your girls help you make one. Save your bank statements in a folder or binder, and share them with your girl treasurers. Let them see how their balance changes with the dues they contribute, the results of product sales, and the cost of their activities. 4 Help Girls Account for Their Money Make sure your troop has a Girl Treasurer who works with your Adult Treasurer to keep up with income and expenses. Daisies might rotate their treasurer every meeting, while Juniors or Cadettes might elect a Troop Treasurer to serve for several months or more. 5 Prepare Troop Finance Reports Twice a Year Frequent finance reports are a great way to show girls their progress toward a financial goal, and an important tool to communicate with troop parents. Girl and Adult Treasurers together can present a finance report at the beginning and end of each year. Your final finance report for the year should be turned in to your local service unit by June 15. Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 15 Copyright 2013

16 How Much Does Girl Scouting Cost? *Costs vary by council, the following information is a guideline for Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. Use this chart to help your troop families understand the costs associated with Girl Scouting. No girl should be denied membership in a troop due to inability to pay any or all of these fees. Item Cost Goes to Due Membership $15 per person GSUSA Annually Service Unit Dues $3-$5 per girl* Local service unit Annually Annual Fund donation $50 per girl** GSGATL Annually Troop Dues Determined by troop (No more than $2 per meeting; see Volunteer Essentials, p. 105) Troop Treasury Determined by troop Uniforms and books Varies Badge and Sash Varies Troop Start-up Fee No more than $25 per girl (determined by troop; see Volunteer Essentials, p. 105) Troop Treasury One-time fee, only when starting a new troop Financial assistance available *Check with your Service Unit Director for the amount in your area **Suggested amount make the contribution that best fits your family s resources Girl Prog ression Troop Finances Ambassadors Daisies Collect Dues at meeting Present treasury balance to troop Brownies Collect and count dues Present treasury balance Juniors Collect and count dues Use a ledger to add dues and subtract expenses Present treasury balance Cadettes Collect dues With adult help, prepare deposit slips With adult help, balance bank statements Present balance Seniors Collect dues With adult help, maintain checkbook register With adult help, balance bank statements Collect dues With adult help, maintain checkbook register With adult help, balance bank statements 16 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

17 What Is an Investiture? A welcome to Girl Scouting, in which members are invested into the Girl Scout Movement, meaning that they understand and accept the Girl Scout Law. A tra dition in Girl Scouting, in which members make the Girl Scout Promise and receive their membership pins. A ceremony in which members celebrate becoming a Girl Scout. Girls work together with adults to plan the ceremony, invite their families, and share their excitement about Girl Scouting. When should we invest girls? When a girl is new to Girl Scouting When they can make the Girl Scout Promise When they understand (as much as possible for her age) and agree to live by the Girl Scout Law When girls have helped to plan their ceremony Do we have an investiture every year? Girls are invested only once, but they can celebrate their commitment to Girl Scouting with a rededication ceremony in subsequent years Girls can renew their promise as they grow into an increased understand of the Girl Scout Promise and Law When new girls join an existing troop, the girls may plan a combined Investiture/Rededication ceremony What pins are girls given? Girls should receive the appropriate membership pin for their program level: the Girl Scout Daisy Pin, the Girl Scout Brownie Pin, or the Contemporary or Traditional Girl Scout Membership Pin. Girls may also receive the World Trefoil Pin, which shows that Girl Scouts in the USA are part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. (Some troops prefer to award the World Trefoil Pin at a ceremony in honor of World Thinking Day in February, to show their understanding of their world sisterhood but girls are entitled to wear the World Trefoil Pin as soon as they become members of GSUSA.) Girl Led Do girls take part in planning the ceremony? Learning by Doing Does each girl have a role to play during the ceremony? Cooperative Learning Do girls work together in planning and celebrating? Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 17 Copyright 2013

18 Ceremony Planner We are planning a Girl Planners: Adult Planners: ceremony We are having this ceremony to: Welcome new girls to Girl Scouting Renew our Girl Scout promise Present awards we have earned Bridge to the next level Celebrate We will open the ceremony with: A song A play or skit Poems we find or write Our own thoughts or the thoughts of others A flag ceremony Other: For the main part of the ceremony, we will: We will close the ceremony with: A song A friendship circle Poems we find or write Our own thoughts or the thoughts of others A flag ceremony Other: Date of ceremony: Start time: End time: We will invite: Families School principal Teachers Religious leaders Community leaders Things we need for our ceremony (and people or places that might have them): 18 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

19 What Happens at the End of the Year? You ve made it to the end of the year! Congratulations! And thank you for your hard work! Many troops or groups reduce their activities once school is out for the summer. Since spring is such a busy time, here is a checklist to help you remember all the necessary things to do at the end of the troop year. Host a bridging activity and inform the girls about the next level in Girl Scouting. Guide parents to renew their daughter s and their membership online through the online portal. Renew prior to June 30 to qualify for incentives. Encourage parents to make a contribution to the Annual Fund when they renew. Plan an end of the year court of awards ceremony with families invited to recognize the girls achievements. Recognize the individuals and organizations that helped the troop during the year. Check out the council recognitions page on the website (under For Volunteers > Volunteer Recognitions) Pick up the badges, patches, pins and membership stars for your awards ceremony. Remember to order early especially if you have a large troop. Talk with the girls and their parents about day camps in your area or one of the resident camps. Complete the Troop Finance Report (available on under Forms), ensuring balances match the bank statements. Give the Finance Report and a copy of the corresponding bank statement to your Service Unit Director by June 15. If you are reflecting a surplus in your treasury to roll over to next year, have you discussed with the girls a goal for these funds? Troop funds can be used to pay for membership dues for the girls and the troop s adult leadership. If you do have a surplus of $100 or more, submit a program plan along with your final troop finance report (see Volunteer Essentials, Managing Group Finances). Ask parents what roles they might consider undertaking to help lead the troop next year. Discuss with the girls whether to plan at least one get together over the summer. Lots more to do during the summer time without school and sports conflicts. Identify girls who are either bridging to a different level or not returning to the troop. Share these names with your membership specialist or service unit troop organizer. Could they be invited to participate as individuals, join an interest group like Gamma Gamma Sigma or join another troop? If troop leadership is changing or if the troop is disbanding, please follow steps on the Transition in Leadership form (available on under Forms in the Membership category). When you make it to the end of this list, celebrate your efforts for a job well done! Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 19 Copyright 2013

20 What Is a Parent Meeting? A parent meeting is your opportunity to share the excitement with your troop parents, give them the information they need to join, and encourage them to get involved. The resources beginning on page 19 will help you plan and carry out your parent meeting, and your service unit team will help you with any questions you may have. An effective parent meeting will answer the following questions for new and prospective Girl Scout parents: Who? Offer a brief introduction of yourself and your troop leadership team. Remember they will be leaving their daughters in your care on a regular basis. What would you want to know about your daughter s troop leaders? What? What is Girl Scouting? What does Discover, Connect, and Take Action mean? How do girls earn badges? Encourage your parents to view the Girl Scouting 101 video session available at Where/When? Let the parents know the nuts and bolts of troop meetings when and where, how often, and what are the expectations for the parents. What tasks do you need help with? What troop roles can they take on to help? How Much? It s hard to put a price tag on the benefits of Girl Scouting, but there are a few fees necessary to get girls started. Remember that cost should never be a barrier to Girl Scouting financial assistance is available for key items. Why? Let your parents know why you ve decided to volunteer what Girl Scouting means to you. When you share your excitement with them, they will catch your enthusiasm! 20 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

21 Parent Meeting Resources Sample Parent Meeting Ag enda page 22 use this as a reminder for what to cover in the meeting and a tool to help you keep on track. How Can Parents Help? page 23 you can use this form to find out what skills and interests your troop parents can share with your girls Troop Committee Position Descriptions page 24 this sheet describes the different roles your parents can take on to help the troop. Encourage everyone to sign up for one. Reg istration Fees a nd Dues page 25 use this worksheet to make it easy for parents to write one check for troop fees. Checklist for Parents page 26 If any parents are not prepared to turn everything in at your meeting, highlight the outstanding items on this sheet and give it to them as a reminder. Checklist for Troop Lea ders page 27 use this form for yourself to keep track of which families have completed the necessary items What Is the Annual Fund? page 8 share this information with your parents to answer their questions about the Annual Fund and encourage their participation Look for the following additional resources at (under For Volunteers > New Leader Resources) Hea lth History Form keep this form on file with your troop records. You (or your First Aider) should have a copy of this form for each member of the troop (girls and adults) who is in attendance at meetings or day trips. Getting Started With the Girl Scout Lea dership Experience share this flyer with your parents as you describe the Girl Scout program to them. Badg e and Sash Shopping List your parents may find this list useful to shop for their own supplies. Check off the items you are asking parents to purchase. Annual Fund Donation Form distribute this to your parents to encourage them to show their support to our council. Financial Assistance Form use this form if any families in your troop request financial assistance for membership dues. Turn it into your service unit with the completed Membership Registration Form Membership Reg istration Form (girl and adult) use this form for any parents or girls who are unable to register online or who are requesting financial assistance. Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 21 Copyright 2013

22 Sample Parent Meeting Agenda A typical parent meeting lasts 45 minutes to one hour. You may want to request parents attend without their daughters, or plan for a volunteer to offer an activity to engage the girls while their parents learn all about their new troop. Welcome/Introductions (5 min) Introduce yourself and any other Girl Scout adults present. Invite parents to introduce themselves. Girl Scout Leadership Experience (5-10 min) Explain the Girl Scout Mission (building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place) and the three keys to leadership (Discover, Connect and Take Action). Explain how the troop leaders will engage girls in activities that are Girl Led, where girls will learn by doing and learn cooperatively. Encourage parents to view Girl Scouting 101 (at so they understand everything your troop has to offer. Nuts and Bolts (15-20 min) Provide dates and times (or a fixed schedule) for at least the first few meetings. Have parents complete the health history form for their daughters (find it at on the Forms page). Be sure parents understand how to register their daughters ($15 membership fee). Review and discuss other associated costs: troop dues or start-up fee, SU dues, and Annual Fund contribution (as agreed upon by troop leadership in advance). See Registration Fees and Dues on page 25. Girl Led Plan for a parent or volunteer to do an icebreraker activity with the girls while the parents talk business. Review supplies for girls: uniform, Journey books, Girl s Guide to Girl Scouting. Parent Support (15-20 min) Ask parents to review/update their contact information Invite parents to contribute their skills and time to enhance the troop experience. Distribute the How Can Parents Help? sheet on page 23 or provide a sign-up sheet with specific responsibilities 22 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013 Learning by Doing Put yourself in your troop parents' shoes: what would I want to know about my daughter's troop and troop leader? Cooperative Learning Ask a member of your service unit team to help you with any items you are unsure of. Remind parents that the troop cannot meet without the required number of adults in attendance. Direct parents to the volunteer application at

23 How Can Parents Help? More adult involvement creates a more exciting Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Get involved, and make a difference in the lives of girls! Adult s Name Girl s Name Phone I would like to (please check all areas of interest): HELP THE TROOP Help at one or more Manage Help with the cookie sale meetings Chocolates/Magazine sale Communicate with troop Help with troop Help manage the troop members & parents fundraising budget Provide a meeting place Provide childcare Drive on trips and outings Provide occasional snacks Help for a hike, cookout, or Provide a place for for meetings trip outdoor activities Be a camping adult (or be Provide space for storage, Be a first aider (or be willing to become one) equipment willing to become one) Other TEACH THE GIRLS Healthy Living STEM Financial Literacy Environment Leadership Cooking Math Goal-setting Nature My career Nutrition Robotics Budgeting Animals My culture Sports Science Entrepreneurship Gardening My hobby Fitness Computers Banking Photography Teamwork First Aid Camping skills Other SPONSOR: I belong to an organization/agency that might be interested in sponsoring a troop or event. Let s talk! Best time to reach me: Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 23 Copyright 2013

24 Troop Committee Position Descriptions Use these suggestions as a starting point to ask your parents for help or create your own! Troop Cookie Manag er: Works with the troop leaders and girls to manage the Cookie program for the troop. This position is most active between January and March. The Troop Cookie Manager must be an approved volunteer and registered member. Specialized training is required. Troop Treats a nd Keeps Manager: Works with the troop leaders and girls to manage the Treats and Keeps program for the troop. This position is most active between August and November. The Troop Treats and Keeps Manager must be an approved volunteer and registered member. Specialized training is required. Troop Trip Coordinator: Plans events and day trips beyond the regular troop meeting and coordinates transportation for girls to events and trips away from the troop meeting. The Troop Trip Coordinator must be an approved volunteer and registered member. Troop Driver/Chaperone: Provides transportation and accompanies girls on trips and events away from the troop meeting. Troop Drivers and Chaperones must be approved volunteers and registered members, sign the Troop Driver Log, have a current driver's license, insurance, and a car that operates safely with seat belts for every girl. First Aider: Any chaperone accompanying the troop who has CPR/first-aid certification approved by Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. First Aiders must be approved volunteers and registered members. Troop Treasurer: Works with troop leaders and girls to keep an accounting of troop income and spending, prepare annual finance reports, and may be one of two Girl Led required signatures on the troop bank account. The Troop The troop volunteer's primary role is always to support and guide girls in Treasurer must be an approved volunteer and registered making smart decisions and changing the world for the better. member. Specialized training is required. Troop Annual Fund Chair: Works with the troop leaders and troop parents to support the council's Annual Fund campaign, and encourages and collects Annual Fund donations. The Troop Annual Fund Chair must be an approved volunteer and registered member. Specialized training is offered. Troop Camper: Works with girls and troop leaders to provide outdoor learning experiences for girls. The Troop Camper must be an approved volunteer and registered member. Specialized training is required. Learning by Doing Let parent volunteers take ownership of their role. Encourage them to belong to the troop with their daughters. Cooperative Learning Let parent volunteers know that your council and service unit can support them in their roles as well. 24 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

25 Registration Fees and Dues Item Cost per girl Cost per parent Membership $15 membership fee goes to GSUSA for program development and insurance. $15 $15 Service Unit Dues Like most Service Units, our Service Unit requests a small amount per girl to help support Service Unit activities. $ n/a Annual Fund donation $50 donation to Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta s Annual Fund to help support Girl Scouting locally. Annual Fund donations are tax-deductible. Every family that contributes $50 will receive a patch for their daughter! $50 n/a It costs about $325 a year to support each girl who participates in Girl Scouts and we rely on family giving to help bring Girl Scouting to Atlanta. Your donation supports background checks on volunteers, ongoing volunteer training, maintenance of GSGATL s five camp properties, the equestrian program, materials and scholarships for Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awardees, and local programming, such as the STEM Expo and Robotics Program. This is a small amount compared to the cost of many other extracurricular activities and your contribution to Girl Scouts is an investment in something close to home and your heart: your girl. Total payable to troop $ $ Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 25 Copyright 2013

26 Checklist for Parents Troop leaders: Highlight the items you need your parents help with. Troop parents: Return this form with completed information to the troop leader by. Register myself as an adult member (required for troop volunteers) (form attached) Register my daughter as a girl member (form attached) Submit an adult volunteer application (required for troop volunteers and chaperones). Be sure to complete the background check request at the end of the form. Forward confirmation of background check approval to: Date: Turn in Health History form for all members (girl and adult) (attached) Make a donation to Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta s Annual Fund (attached) Turn in payments: Service unit dues Troop dues Troop startup fee Purchase uniform/books by Watch Girl Scouting 101 For help with volunteer applications or training : sg atl.org For help with membership reg istration: sg atl.org 26 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

27 Checklist for Troop Leaders Use this to keep track of which families have turned in the necessary items. Troop dues/ Name (use separate line for girls and parents) Phone Registration complete SU Dues Annual Fund startup fees Health form Volunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting 27 Copyright 2013

28 How Do I Know We re Making a Difference? Girl Scouts has identified fifteen outcomes behaviors and attitudes you can look for in your girls that show you how they are growing in courage, confidence, and character. When you see girls showing the outcomes below, you know that Girl Scouts is making a difference. Share these with your troop parents so they can see the difference too! Discover Girls develop a strong sense of self Girls develop positive values Girls gain practical life skills Girls seek challenges in the world Girls develop critical thinking skills Connect Girls develop healthy relationships Girls promote cooperation and team building Girls can resolve conflicts Girls advance diversity in a multicultural world Girls feel connected to their communities, locally and globally Take Action Girls can identify community needs Girls are resourceful problem solvers Girls advocate for themselves and others, locally and globally Girls educate and inspire others to act Girls feel empowered to make a difference in the world 28 V olunteer s Guide to Girl Scouting Copyright 2013

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