Volunteer Starter Guide
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Ready, Set, Change Lives!
New Troop Co-Leader Checklist
How to Become a Girl Scouts Volunteer
THE COMMITMENT: 1 year of making a meaningful, life-long difference in the lives of girls by serving as a troop Co-Leader.
1. Complete a Membership Registration & Criminal Background Check
Help ensure the safety of our girls.
- Go to your gsdakotahorizons.org and choose Volunteer/Volunteer Today.
- Follow the directions sent by e-mail to complete your membership form and background check online. You will receive a welcome e-mail when your background check is approved.
2. Start Your Troop Leader Training
Learn about your new role and the essentials of Girl Scouting.
- Log in to Member Community “My GS” and watch the “Welcome to Girl Scouts” video.
- Take online New Leader Orientation.
- Spend time reviewing Volunteer Essentials and Safety Activity Checkpoints
- Familiarize yourself with the national program for your troop’s age level.
3. Review the Volunteer Toolkit and Other Resources
The Volunteer Toolkit includes everything you need to plan and implement your Troop year.
- Learn about the Volunteer Toolkit with these helpful online videos.
- Access the Volunteer Toolkit through your MyGS login. Your username and password is the same as the Member Community.
4. Recruit Parents to Participate
Introduce and welcome parents/adult volunteers to the Girl Scout experience and their responsibilities. Parent involvement is key to every troop and enhances the girl’s experience.
- Build your troop leadership team.
- Schedule your first parent meeting. You can use the sample parent meeting agenda included in your welcome packet as a guide.
- Use the Parent Involvement Form and Meet my GIRL form to collect information from parents.
- Parent meetings are recommended 3 times per year: fall, January (in preparation for cookie season), and end of school year.
5. Prepare for and Schedule Your First Troop Meeting
Each Girl Scout meeting provides an opportunity to explore new worlds and learn new skills. Meeting regularly allow the girls to create friendships and complete projects.
- Set your meeting place and time, and communicate this info to parents.
- Review troop meeting safety information provided in Volunteer Essentials.
- Update your troop meeting information in MyGS.
6. Open a New Troop Bank Account.
All troop funds must be placed in a troop bank account. Funds are used by the troop as a whole to provide a well-balanced program.
- Follow the council process - How to Open a New Bank Account.
- Follow the troop finance policies at all times. This includes the submission of the Bank Account Confirmation/ACH Form upon opening the new account and annually by October 1, and submission of the Troop Finance Report annually in June.
7. Participate in Council Product Sales Programs.
During each of the product sale programs, girls have the opportunity to develop five key skills—Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics – and help raise funds for the troop’s adventures!
- The Fall Sale Program is in early fall and is an opportunity for the troop to sell nuts, chocolates and magazines that are delivered just in time for the holidays. There are flexible ways for girls to participate including in-person and online selling options.
- The Cookie Sale Program is in February-March and girls have the opportunity to run their own cookie business with both online and in-person selling options.
8. Attend Service Unit Meetings and Connect with Other Volunteers
Service Units provide local support to troop leaders and are a great source of information on Girl Scout programs and events in your community, county, or area.
9. Have FUN!
Don’t forget to relax and enjoy the experience! You are creating memories and cultivating friendships that will last a lifetime!
We’re here for you! Contact us by phone at 800.666.2141 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org