Why start a troop?
Most girls join a local troop or group for fun and friendship, but they also find out about building character and self-esteem and serving their communities —the core qualities of Girl Scouting. In Girl Scouts, girls find a safe place to grow and share new experiences, learn to relate to others, develop values, and contribute to society. Volunteering as a leader will make this possible!
Who can start a troop?
Girl Scout volunteers are a diverse group — you may be a parent, grandparent, college student or a responsible adult at least 18 years old (female or male, who have passed the necessary screening process) looking for an opportunity to make a difference in a girl’s life.
What are the steps to become a leader or co-leader?
- APPLY: Complete an online volunteer application and criminal background check at the Apply Today section of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington website.
- WELCOME CHAT: You will be contacted by a volunteer welcome advisor or a member of our staff to set up a welcome chat to provide information on your new position and answer questions.
- REGISTER: Get registered as a Girl Scout member.
- LEARN: Complete Girl Scouting 101 and a Getting Started course. There are additional learning opportunities you can participate in at your leisure for more resource assistance. See the adult learning progression chart for more information.
- BUILD: Your Troop Program Manager (staff member) will be in touch with you and your co-leader to assign you a troop number, instruct you on how to register the troop and open a troop bank account and connect you with your local volunteer support network.
What do I need to form a troop?
In order to form a new troop, you need a minimum of two unrelated adults who don't live under the same roof and five girls. You are welcome to gather girls from your neighborhood or school to form a new troop. Your Troop Program Manager or Troop Placement Coordinator (local volunteer) can help you form a troop with girls we have on our waitlist.
What is the time commitment?
How often you meet is determined entirely by your troop’s interests and schedule. As the leader of a troop, you have the authority to determine the meeting time and location. Some troops meet weekly, biweekly or once a month; it’s up to you to determine the time you’re able to give.
There is also a monthly leader meeting run by volunteers in your service area that you or a representative from your troop should attend. These meetings are held to provide additional information about troop activities throughout the service area and other council updates.
How is my troop formed?
- After completing the steps above your Troop Program Manager will be in touch with you to confirm that you’ve taken Getting Started.
- You will be given directions on how to get everyone in your group registered and we can provide you with girls from our waiting list, if you wish.
- Once all girls and adults have purchased their membership you will send the Troop Program Manager a roster indicating the names of all members in the troop.
- Your Troop Program Manager will assign you a troop number, create your troop in our database, and give you instructions on how to open a troop bank account. You will also be connected with your local service unit for future support.
What are some different leadership models?
- Leader and Assistant Leader model: You and another unrelated adult work together to run the troop.
- Co-operative model: Each parent takes a month and plans meetings for that month. Works best to have one person to manage communication and calendar.
- Rotational model: A leader and co-leader serve for one year. The following year the co-leader steps up and a new co-leader steps in.
- Whichever model is used it’s highly recommended to involve ALL parents in troop responsibilities. Each parent should offer at least one contribution to the troop: treasurer, snack parent, communicator, driver, event planner, outdoor specialist, cookie parent, etc.
Who is here to support you?
- Service Unit Team: Team of volunteers in your area that help with new troop start up, plan events, manage product sales and help to keep Girl Scouting going throughout the year.
- Troop Placement Coordinator: Volunteer who organizes information nights and guides adults to form new troops.
- Service Unit Manager: Lead volunteer in the area who manages the service unit, assures that troops are supported and recruits and supports the service unit team.
- Troop Program Manager: Council staff person who supports service units and troop program
- Community Development Manager: Council staff who supports girl and adult recruitment for troop pathway as well as series, events, travel and camp.
- Parents and Guardians: are generally expected to support the troop. There are many roles they can take on, such as Troop Treasurer and Troop Cookie Manager.
What resources are available to me?
Detailed Instructions on how to lead a troop come from our leadership courses.
- Girl Scouting 101: Learn more about volunteering with Girl Scouts and the basics of the new Girl Scout Leadership Experience.
- Getting Started: Participants learn the basic knowledge needed to get started with their troop, including:
- The elements of a meeting
- Parent meeting and communicating with parents
- Recommended content of the first few meetings
- Available support options and resources
- Basic information about safety and troop finances
- Leadership Courses: Leadership workshops support leaders and advisors as they begin working with girls. Participants learn about the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and how to effectively implement it in all girl activities and planning.
Have more questions?
Request more information and a Community Development Manager will be touch with you.