The Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a digital tool for troop leaders. Affectionately called the “Administrative Assistant”, Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) makes it easier for leaders to manage troops, plan meetings, download meeting plans, and engage parents/guardians and girls! This article for troop leaders discusses how to get the most out of this tool.
Who can access the Volunteer Toolkit?
All troop leaders registered for 2017-2018 and placed in an active troop has full access to the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) functions. Daisy, Brownie, and Junior leaders are especially encouraged to give VTK a try!
Parents/guardians also have partial access VTK—they can view their child’s information and meeting plans.
Accessing the Volunteer Toolkit
Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) can be used from any computer or electronic device with internet capability. The tool can be accessed our main website or our volunteer microsite by clicking the “MY GS” tab in each site’s top navigation. Then, you’ll login with your email address and member community password.
Once logged in, you will see options to manage your troop. If you manage more than one troop, you will see drop down tab located above the Finance tab that allows you to switch back and forth between your troops.
Primary Volunteer Toolkit Features
Manage Your Troops
Daisy through Junior-level leaders have access to multiple full-year plans, including one year of Girl Scout badges and a choice of 6-7 Girl Scout Journeys. These pre-made plans provide everything you need to get started. You can set your meeting calendar to include locations, dates, and times. You can customize activities, delete ones that your girls don’t want to do, and replace them with new ones. The VTK also allows leaders to keep attendance and track the badges each girl earns.
Although the Cadette through Ambassador-level badge and Journey program resources are not currently loaded in the VTK, older girls and their leaders can use the “Create Your Own Year Plan” function to plan meetings. Older girl badge and Journey program resources will be available in VTK soon.
Communicate with Troop Families
Since it is connected to the Girl Scout member registration system, the VTK allows all leaders to manage troop contacts and communicate with families. You can easily generate customized emails that tell families what to expect at each meeting. The email is sent from a “no reply” address.
Navigating Through the Volunteer Toolkit
The following five tabs make up the Volunteer Toolkit.My Troop
- Click on a girl’s name to see detailed information like her address, birthday, and phone number.
- You can see a list of awards, badges, and attendance in each girl’s record.
- Click on email contacts to email all the families in your troop.
Features for All Troop Levels
Organize Troop Meetings
- The petal/badge and Journey Year Plans are organized by 15 meetings in default order. You can drag-and-drop these to reorder them.
- Use the Specify Dates and Locations tab to set your meeting dates/times and troop meeting location.
- Under Calendar, you can set meeting dates, frequency, and times (make sure to add in any holidays that will change your regular meeting times). Click “Update Calendar” to save your changes.
- Under Location, you can add your meeting location and address. Click “Add” to save your changes.
- To combine troop meetings, you can organize multiple meetings on the same date.
- Click on the troop meeting date in your year plan.
- In the pop up box, click on the calendar and choose to combine meeting dates.
- Choose one date for both meetings and click save.
Look for Milestones in orange to remind you of upcoming dates for council events, product sales, and other important dates you need to know.
Customize Activities For Indoors and Outdoors
In each meeting where there are outdoor links, you will see an evergreen tree symbol you can click on to see a choice between doing the activity inside or outside. Depending on what you choose, the activity will be customized to the setting (and if you choose to do the activity outside, the tree turns green).
Features for Daisy, Brownie, and Junior Leaders
Daisy, Brownie, and Junior leaders logging into the VTK for the first time, will have multiple options under the Year Plan library:
- 6-7 Journey Year Plans
- one plan for petals or badges
- one “Create Your Own” Year Plan
Features for Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador Leaders
Cadette through Ambassador leaders will only see the “Create Your Own” Year Plan, as badge and Journey program resources are not yet available for these grade levels. Using these tools, girls can be more involved in planning their troop year.
Features for Multilevel Leaders
Multilevel troops will have a choice of Daisy, Brownie and/or Junior levels to choose activities for. In the Year Plan Library, multilevel leaders will have the option of “Create your Multi-Level Troop Year Plan”. The multi-level experience, also includes three STEM year plans just for Multi-Level troops, in addition to the “Create Your Own Year Plan”… where a troop can select from all content for Daisy, Brownie and Juniors.
Using Create Your Year Plan
- Choose what age levels you want (Daisy, Brownie and/or Junior).
- Once age levels are selected, you can choose between Badge, Journey, Award Earning, Intro and Closing.
- Choose your meeting plan type(s) and click View Meeting Plans.
- Choose the meeting plans you want. Make sure if a badge has two meeting plans (part one and two) that you choose both meeting plans.
- Click Add To Year Plan to add your meetings.
Combining Meetings on One Date
Combining meetings on one date allows multilevel leaders to have their Daisy, Brownie and/or Junior meetings on the same date.
- Inside the Year Plan tab and click on the green-colored meeting date box for the date you want to combine meetings.
- Find your meeting date and click on the calendar icon. This will open a box with the choice to Change Date/Time, Cancel Meeting or Combine Meetings.
- Choose Combine Meetings and click on the meetings you want to combine.
- Click Continue and use the calendar to choose the date for those meetings to occur.
- Click Save and when you view your Year Plan, you will see multiple meetings on that date.
- Choose a meeting by clicking on the colored meeting date box. You must specify your meeting dates and location under the Year Plan tab to see your Meeting Plans.
- In each meeting you will see:
- Overview – Click on the overview to see a quick summary of the meeting you are viewing.
- Activity Plan – Gives you details of each meeting’s activities.
- Materials List – Tells you everything you need for that meeting.
- Edit/Send Meeting Email -Gives you a scripted email for families that you can edit as needed to remind them of what the girls will be doing at that meeting.
- Record Attendance and Achievements – This is where you can keep track of what badges girls have earned and who was at each meeting. It is populated into each girl’s information in the My Troop tab.
- Meeting Aids – Includes worksheets, songs, and other types of reference materials you will need for meeting activities. If there are outdoor components to the meeting, you may also see videos to help you get girls outdoors.
- Meeting Agenda – Lists all the activities for the meeting with the recommended times for each activity. You can change the order of activities by “dragging and dropping,” or delete activities by clicking on the activity title. You can also edit the times allowed for each activity. Activities with an outdoor component will have an evergreen tree you can click on to get girls outside with the activity.
- Add Agenda Item – This is where you can customize your meeting by adding additional activities (like celebrating Juliette Low’s Birthday) to customize your troop meeting.
- Your Opinion Matters! – For meetings with an outdoor component, take the time to do a quick survey to let GSUSA know what you thought about the activities. This will help them to continue to improve VTK with your input.
- Add a Note – You can leave notes to the other leaders in your troop to see. Parents cannot view notes.
- Select Year Plan to return to your troop’s year plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you get started. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Contact us with any additional questions.Why can’t I register for programs, camp, etc. through the VTK?
Older girl troops can still use the VTK to communicate with families and plan meetings with the Create Your Own Year Plan function.
Additional resources for older girl troops will be rolled out in the future. Look for the new Outdoor Journeys available in pdf format in VTK in mid-August.
- As noted above, you cannot access council events or resources found on our websites inside of VTK. VTK is an additional tool that is separate from the GirlScoutsRV.org and Volunteers.GirlScoutsRV.org websites.
- There is no Year Plan in the VTK for the It’s Your World Journey series for Brownie and above. Refer to the adult Journey guide or River Valleys activity plans.
- Financial tracking. Continue to access troop financial forms from our website.
- Information on Highest Awards, bridging, safety awards, and additional badges and awards are not included in the VTK. Refer to the Girls’ Guide to Girl Scouting or the troop leader section of this website.
- Parents/guardians can log in to their online account using the MY GS tab on our website and view parts of the VTK, although they cannot make any changes.
- Using the Troop tab, parents can view their girl’s membership, but cannot see other girls’ information.
- They can view the Year Plan and Meeting Plan, and search for resources.
- Parents/guardians can use their online account to make changes to their Girl Scout’s information (contacts, membership, family profile), but cannot change the troop information.
Summary of Resources
- Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) – Digital tool for troop leaders accessible through MY GS (Member Community).
- GirlScoutsRV.org/Events – Register girls for programs and learning opportunities (not found in VTK).
- Camp.GirlScoutsRV.org/Register – Register girls for summer camp (not found in VTK).
- Troop Leader Section – Find information on Highest Awards, bridging, safety awards, and additional badges and awards (not found in the VTK).