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How to Start a Troop

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How to Start a Troop

Girl Scouts is a wonderful place for girls to grow and find optimism, joy and purpose. We are grateful for your interest in making this possible for your girl and other girls in your school or community.

Our team wants to support you and make the troop formation process as easy as possible. You’ll have all the support you need from us, including: 

  • Convenient, online training, available on your schedule that will prepare you to start and lead your new troop with confidence!
  • Resources to help you quickly and easily prepare for meetings.
  • Individual guidance, support, and mentorship from our GSNorCal membership staff, as well as experienced Girl Scout volunteers in your local community.

If you want to speak with us in person, we are ready to help. Please email us at or call us at 800-447-4475, ext 3093. 

Ready to get going? Here's how:

1. Create a Troop

Think about your troop’s meeting location, frequency, time, start date, grade level(s), and school/community affiliation (if any). Don’t worry if you don’t have all the details when you request your troop number but the more information you provide, the easier it will be for families to find and join your troop. You can always make updates later.

Membership Fees

All girls and adult volunteers involved in your troop will need to purchase a Girl Scouts membership. Financial aid is available

Annual Membership
(valid 10/1–9/30)
Girl Membership: $40
Adult Membership: $25

2. Complete Your Background Check

Once your membership is submitted and your payment is received, you will receive a second email with instructions to complete your electronic background check. Electronic background check fees run about $11.75 (varies by DMV), and financial aid is available.

3. Launch Your Troop

After you complete your membership and your electronic background check is approved, your troop will be set up and displayed in our online Troop Catalog and you will receive your new troop number. Girls and adults who are looking for a troop in your area will see your troop displayed in the troop catalog and will be able to join.

While your troop is forming, get familiar with our resources like the New Leader's Guide to Success and start your online training to learn more about launching your new troop.

New Troop Leader Training Path

Learn everything you need to know to get your new troop started by taking our New Leader training course. New troop leaders are required to complete the New Troop Leader course and the steps in the training path below.

4. Build Your Troop
Connect with Your Service Unit

Your Service Unit is made up of a team of local volunteers in your area who will help you as you get your new troop started and will connect you with other troop leaders in your area! Service Units hold regular meetings to keep troop leaders up-to-date with local happenings and will help you stay connected with other troop leaders like you!

Recruit Girl Members & Adult Volunteers

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 girl’s friends, your neighbors, and other families in the community to make sure that your girl will have a lively troop. As a bonus, more girls usually means more adults who will be happy to help you lead! Before you host your first official meeting, you should aim to recruit at least 8 girls and 1 or more additional adult volunteers (who are not related to you) to create a thriving Girl Scout troop.

The girl and adult recruitment process should take about 4-6 weeks and, in addition to your word of mouth efforts, our Membership Development team will support you with recruiting girls, hosting parent information nights at your girl’s school, and providing customized resources to help you spread the word.

We’ve created a few downloadable tools to get you started:


Girl Invite Slip - A customizable slip to invite prospective girls and share troop information.


Join My Troop Facebook Cover Image - Update your Facebook Cover Photo to let your friends know your troop has open spots available.


Join My Troop Facebook Profile Image - Use this image on Facebook as your profile picture.


Join My Troop Facebook Post Image - Use this image on Facebook to post about your troop.


Join My Troop Fillable Flyer - A customizable flyer to add a description of what makes your troop special!


Instructions: Girl & Adult Registration Steps - A customizable instruction sheet to let interested parents and girls know how to register and join your troop.

5. Start Your Online Training

Everything you need to know to get your new troop started is covered in our convenient, learn at your own pace, online New Troop Leader training. Make sure to create a new account when you first login in and bookmark the page for easy return access! Download the New Troop Leader Training Path document for easy reference.

6. Open Your Troop Bank Account

All troops will need to open and maintain a troop bank account to manage troop income and expenses. You will need two adult signers on your troop bank account (troop leader and troop treasurer). All signers must be registered members with a completed and approved electronic background check on file. When you have your two signers in place, you'll want to complete the Bank Account Creation Packet to open your bank account. Learn more about the how to complete the packet by viewing the Troop Bank Account Creation Packet video.

7. Get Ready for Your First Meetings
Hosting Your Parent Meeting

After you've completed your training, but before your first troop meeting, invite your troop families to their first parent meeting, where you'll set the tone for the year, recruit troop volunteers, collect safety forms (everyone needs an Annual Permission and Girl Health History to get started), and talk details about troop dues, Girl Scouts, and the awesome activities you'll do this year.

Psst—If you're not comfortable hosting your own parent meeting, our Membership Development staff can help!

Planning Your First Girl Only Troop Meeting

As you start to plan the year together, remember: Girl Scout troops can do anything, from camping and high adventure to arts and crafts, to science and engineering activities! It’s important to put your girls and their needs and interests first, but having a well-rounded Girl Scout experience will not only introduce your girls to a wide variety of skills and experiences, it will encourage healthy risk-taking, open minds, and strengthen sisterhood.

To get the full Girl Scout experience, we encourage all troops to:

  • Meet at least once per month during the school year to form a tight-knit troop
  • Choose badges or activities from a variety of skill-building areas
  • Hone their entrepreneurial skills by starting a troop cookie biz through the Girl Scout Cookie Program
  • Explore the great outdoors through an age-appropriate outdoor experience
  • Attend or hold an end-of-year celebration or event to celebrate what they’ve accomplished
  • Learn resilience, risk-taking, confidence, and other crucial life skills at summer camp

Not sure where to start? Check out our sample meeting ideas for each month.

8. Explore Our Resources and Join Our Community

Whatever you want to learn, we’ve got a resource for that.

Join our Online Communities!

Congratulations, you are ready to hold your first meeting!
Happy trails to you and your lucky new Girl Scouts—and we're with you every step of the way!

Plus, if you start a new troop before December 31, you'll recieve a fun patch and a $10 coupon to spend at the Girl Scout shop!

  • Submit troop number request form
  • Complete MY22 registration and select Troop Leader role
  • Complete background screening
  • Complete New Troop Leader module
  • Get your rewards!

Have questions or want info specific to your area?

Across Northern California from Gilroy to the Oregon border, we are starting troops, hosting free events to introduce new families to Girl Scouts, and are here to help you and your girl learn more about the Girl Scout experience. Complete the form below to connect with our local staff in your area, email us at, or call us at 800-447-4475, ext. 3093. We're here to help!

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