This article provides leaders and volunteers with tools to facilitate a successful troops training. The 45 minute training can be facilitated by service unit mentors or service unit managers as additional resources to prepare new leaders for their upcoming Girl Scout year.
Introduce yourself and thank everyone for attending. State the agenda: “Today we will discuss what makes a successful troop, spend some time talking about troop leader relationships and family involvement, then practice planning with troop success in mind!” Find out who your audience is with the reflection question, “What brought you to Girl Scouts?”
Anatomy of a Successful Troop
Every year, Girl Scouts of the USA does a national survey to determine what the most successful troops have in common. The seven components of a successful troop are listed below. You can also view the Anatomy of a Successful Troop.
- 100 % of successful troops held a parent (family) meeting to begin the year
- Troop leaders know each other (or have a good relationship)
- Troop size is 8 – 12 girls
- Participate in a variety of activities (You do not have to do everything!)
- Go camping and/or spend time in the outdoors
- Troops are girl led!
- Do Take Action Projects as part of Journey Awards
Troop Leader Relationships
Having a solid foundation with your co-leader(s) is essential in creating a successful partnership. Building a good relationship with a leader partner is a little bit different than making a new friend or meeting a new colleague. There are specific pieces of information that will be helpful to making sure your troop runs smoothly and you and your co-leader(s) have a good relationship. This can also apply to troop volunteers—especially those that you work with frequently!
Family involvement is also key to troop success—and the more invested families are, the easier being a troop leader is.
- Hold a family meeting to start your year! We recommend three meetings per year: one start, one for cookies, and one to conclude your year.
- Clear expectations are essential in communication, finances, and time commitment.
- Ask for help!
- Communicate the “why” of Girl Scouts!
More Than One Right Way
When leading a Girl Scout troop, there are so many “right” ways to facilitate. By using the components above of what makes a troop successful, you have the tools to create a year of Girl Scouts that works best for your troop.
Thank everyone for attending. If time, allow for questions, if not, direct participants to where they can ask any remaining questions. As you are closing, encourage leaders to access troop leader resources available on Girl Scouts River Valleys website and through a New Leader Orientation if they haven’t already gone to a training.