I have been leading my daughter’s girl scout troop for 2 years now, I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful support team.
The 2 women who began my daughter’s troop in Kindergarten, were a mom who had no idea what she was in for, and a wonderful mother of 4, 3 girls & a boy, who already lead her 2 older daughters’ troops and stepped up to lead her youngest. When the girls started 1st grade, the first mom backed out, and the second stayed on but needed help…that’s where I came in. My co-leader is a wonderful woman, and similar to myself with 4 kids, a job, and many activities. She is a wealth of knowledge and an awesome support system. I have taken over most of the main planning and operations, but she’s there when I need her and to help me remember to have fun!
Over the last 2 years I have learned a lot about how to operate a troop, and manage all the families…
signupgenius.com is GENIUS! this lil site is my savior! Create an account, add your group – enter all emails 1 time! then anytime you need a rsvp for an event, create a signup, with all the times, and details – also set up to send reminder emails (this is by far my favorite part) then it emails an invite…and you get responses as people respond. A-Mazing
the girl scout materials provided by the national GS program are well um…not my first resource. I usually take a look at the official materials to see requirements, but then it’s off to the ol’ brain…and well google. I enjoy “using my resources wisely” and using others leaders ideas and past experience.
at each level of GS they teach us leaders that it is to be “girl-led” well I think a lot of leaders aren’t quite sure how to handle this. we are just finishing 2nd grade, we do a lot of voting – we also do brainstorming where the girls come up with options, some of these are quite amazing. at times our girls have wanted to “feed the world” and “clean hi-ways” gotta love their ambition!
keep your parents close, but don’t wear them out. during our meeting we have parents drop-off for two reasons 1-parents can get other stuff done, and 2- there aren’t distractions for the girls with parents chatting or siblings playing. however our parents like to help on field trips, or one meeting craft projects.
don’t over do it! GS leader is only a volunteer position…the payment is the experience and memories. when you need help -ask. when you need supplies -ask for donations. when you don’t want to do something -opt out. you are allowed to be human! I once had a mom try to guilt me into making a special trip to pick up her daughter, in the past I probably would have just done it…but I have learned you have to draw the line. I offered to drive girls to and from a field trip, but drop off at my home or our meeting place…not a 30 min drive one-way. Sorry.
if you need assistance, let girls or their family prepare a badge to earn. do you have a family that does dance? let them do plan the dancer badge. how about a doctor/paramedic? let the family prep the Safety Award or First Aid badge. this allows you to have a break from prepping everything and it also gets the families involved. plus the cherry on top is the girl can lead her troop to earning a badge…the ultimate “girl-led”
and always remember to have FUN – and take pictures 🙂