You can make a difference in the lives of youth in your community. Be the one who brings people together by teaming up with friends or neighbors to start a Girl Scout troop. Girl Scouts is about fun, learning, and sisterhood, so if you’re organized, kind, and welcoming, you are ready to get a troop started!
Girl Scout troop leaders play the roles of cheerleader-in-chief, champion of kindness, and role model for what it means to lead with your heart. And along the way, they unleash their own confidence as they discover their leadership style and deepen their connection to their communities, just as their Girl Scouts do.
Parents and community members make a key difference in the lives of youth by guiding them through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience! Starting a troop provides you with flexibility as leaders set the troop meeting times, locations, and capacity based on their schedules. At GSNorCal, we want leading a troop to be a great time, which is why we'll support you every step of the way. We provide our leaders with:
What is the Process?
Click the “Start a Troop” button to answer a series of questions about your new troop.
Choose whether to become a traditional Troop, with a leader and assistant or co-leaders, or a Co-Op Troop, with all families working together to share the responsibilities.
Follow the prompts for other questions such as school affiliation, grade(s), meeting zip code, etc. If you’re not sure yet about meeting days and times, use your best guess or choose “TBD”; you can always update it later.
Once you have a processed background check, your Community Manager will reach out by phone and/or email to introduce themselves and schedule a time to chat. They are your go-to person at Girl Scouts of Northern California and will get you set with required trainings and other steps to get you started in your volunteer role.
Haven’t heard from them yet? Please let us know! Contact Us.
We have lots of resources to engage youth in your community to generate interest in your troop. Use our GSNorCal resources or reach out to your Community Manager for resources you can customize for your troop. Don’t forget to list your troop number to make it easy for them to register!
Don't forget to register any of your own family who plan to participate with the troop.
Before you start planning troop activities, you need to first meet the Girl Scouts and their families. The troop leadership team should organize a meeting that covers these essential topics:
Most importantly, have an amazing Girl Scout year! Don’t forget to follow Girl Scouts of Northern California on social media and join gsCommunity to get real-time updates on happenings in our council.
Common Questions about Being a Troop Leader
Your meeting space needs to be a safe, clean, and secure environment that allows all youth to participate. Good options include:
We value your time! Being a troop leader can be made to fit your schedule. Most leaders spend about three hours preparing for and leading meetings. We recommend meeting twice per month however, some troops choose to meet more or less frequently. Meetings can be planned ahead of time in the Volunteer Toolkit - our online planning tool full of extensive programs and activities that you can incorporate into your yearly plan.
Leaders are also encouraged to attend a monthly Service Unit meeting, typically one hour. Here, you will come together with other leaders in your community to network, share ideas and learn what’s new at GSNorCal.
If you are not sure you can commit that much time to being a leader, consider creating a Co-Op troop in which all families have a registered volunteer who helps on a rotational basis to facilitate meetings and outings.
Our Volunteer Toolkit gives you access to a whole year of Girl Scout fun by grade level. Year plans come with pre-populated sets of meetings that give you plenty of ideas for activities and all the resources you need at your fingertips. Your year plan is fully customizable. You can even track individual attendance and achievements!
You’ll have access to our dedicated Volunteer Support team for guidance. You will also be part of a network of local volunteers (Service Unit) who are available to support you. In addition, we provide online and in-person training for our leaders that you can take at your convenience. Finally, we encourage you to invite other parents, caregivers, and friends to co-lead with you.
It’s never too early to start spreading the word about your new Girl Scout troop! Even while you wait to complete your onboarding and get a troop number, you can talk to your child’s friends, your neighbors, and other families in the community to make sure that you will have a lively troop.
In addition to your word-of-mouth efforts, our recruitment team can help you with recruiting youth at your child’s school or community, and providing resources to help you spread the word.
While caregivers are not required to volunteer, we strongly recommend all adults be registered and background checked so they can support the leaders at meetings and events when necessary.
Studies show that the most successful troops have the full support and participation of the caregivers!