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
- 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 other places they
- Which components of the uniform will families need to
purchase? Which uniform components will the troop provide for each
- 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 and decisions girl-led? Use the Volunteer Toolkit
to help you through this process by exploring options for activities
and reviewing the meeting plans and resources lists.
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
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?
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 talking 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 Service Unit Manager
and team or your Volunteer Support team for help with a troop meeting place.
If your group or troop can’t meet in
person or hold a traditional meeting, there are so many ways to bring
the power of Girl Scouting home! Meeting virtually can be a fun,
engaging option for your troop.
setting up a virtual meeting, you’ll want to:
- Partner with troop families to make sure the girls are safe
- Select a meeting platform that allows families who
may not have internet access to call in.
- Think about
logistics: work with the girls to set up ground rules; consider how
you’ll incorporate in-person meeting traditions in your virtual
space and how you’ll keep the meeting on track.
- Talk with
families on how
to keep activities girl-led if your girls will be completing
them from home.
And don't worry if your girls want to use a web or social platform
you’re not as familiar with, because you’ll learn alongside them!
You’ll also find lots of inspiring badge activities and tips on Girl
Scouts at Home.
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. Though the ideal troop size is 12
girls, groups should be no fewer and no more than:
- 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 girls’ schools, using social media to reach
families in your community, or including your troop in your council’s
Opportunity Catalog or Troop Catalog.
Please contact Customer Care at 856-795-1560 to open your troop on
the catalog. Check out our Marketing in Motion page for marketing and
recruiting materials for adding new girls to your troop.