School is back in session, and Girl Scouts across Arizona are getting ready to begin the new member year! Whether you’re a new or seasoned troop, here are a few tips to ensure a great start to your year.
Start with the GSLE (Girl Scout Leadership Experience) in mind! Hold an age-appropriate planning meeting to capture what kinds of activities and programming your troop would like to accomplish and participate in:
- Badges and Journeys
- Don’t forget GSUSA just announced 28 New Program Badges focused on entrepreneurship, math in nature, and digital leadership that emboldens girls to navigate a changing society and build the futures they want for themselves and the world.
- Council’s Own Badges and Patches include badges/patches like South Mountain Trails and the Wild Wonders Outdoor Experience patch program.
- Service projects and Take-Action projects
- Field trips
- Additional Awards – In addition to the High Awards, Girl Scouts can earn other awards like Community Service Bars, Counselor in Training, faith-based, and teen mentor awards.
- Product Programs
Product Program – gives girls the chance to step up and
shine and earn rewards along the way. Build entrepreneurial
skills, teamwork, and raise troop proceeds for the year. Sign
- Girl Scout Cookie Program – get ready for the iconic Girl Scout Cookie Program and be the first to sell the newest cookie, the Girl Scout Adventurefuls!
- Fall Product Program – gives girls the chance to step up and shine and earn rewards along the way. Build entrepreneurial skills, teamwork, and raise troop proceeds for the year. Sign up soon!
Once the girls have done their planning, hold a parent meeting to set the expectations and have everyone begin the year on the same page.
Hold a parent meeting. Use this meeting to build your Troop Committee for the year. This parent committee identifies support roles for parents and their responsibilities for the troop year. Ask parents to share talents and skills that can be helpful for the year and provide support by signing up for specific tasks.
- Have Girl Health History and Permission forms, Code of Conduct forms (page 3), Family Guide to Girl Scouts, and the 4 Her Promise forms on hand to share and review with parents. Examples of Troop Committee positions are on page three of the 4 Her Promise packet. Use these and create your own!
- T ip: Consider having the girls present for this meeting and share their excitement about the decisions they came up with in their planning meeting. Have the girls and parents sign the code of contact form together.
Re-commit to the Promise and Law. Plan an investiture and rededication ceremony at the beginning of the new troop year to welcome any new Girl Scouts and have returning Girl Scouts re-commit themselves to the Promise and Law.
Reconnect with each other by planning some team-building activities and games. For example, have the girls create a troop mural that captures their troop’s personality. Use the mural as a background for the troop to create their kaper chart.
Take a moment to read the Authentic Girl Scout Leadership booklet and use the information to discover how to lead from the inside out. Discover the magic of circles, the wisdom of reflection, the rites of passage ceremonies can provide, the value of co-generational communities, and DEI principles in Girl Scouts.