Depending on the ages of your girls, you might take the lead in
guiding the structure and experiences of your troop—from how and when
meetings are held to how the troop communicates, from steering
girl-led activities to setting financial expectations. You’ll make
these decisions collaboratively with your volunteer team or co-leader,
as well as with input from the girls and their parents and caregivers.
Use these questions to guide your conversation with your troop
committee volunteers or co-leader before discussing these topics with
parents and caregivers.
- When will we meet and for how long? How frequently should we
schedule troop meetings?
- Where will we meet? Your meeting
space should be somewhere safe, clean, and secure that allows all
girls to participate. Some great meeting space ideas include
schools, places of worship, libraries, and community centers. If
working with teens, consider meeting at coffee shops, bookstores, or
other places they enjoy.
- Which components of the uniform
will families need to purchase? Which uniform components will the
troop provide for each girl?
- Will our troop be a single
grade level or facilitated as a multi-level troop with girls
of many grade levels combined into one troop? If multi-level, how
will we make sure they each get an age-appropriate experience?
- How will we keep troop activities and decisions girl-led? Use
the Volunteer Toolkit to help you through this process by exploring
options for activities and reviewing the meeting plans and resources
- How often are we going to communicate to troop
families? Which channels will we use to keep families in the loop?
Effective communication will help set expectations and clarify parent/
- Will our troop charge dues, use
product program proceeds, and/or charge per activity? How much money
will we need to cover supplies and activities? What should our
financial plan look like?
Choosing a Meeting Place
What makes a great meeting space? It depends on your troop, but here
are a few considerations as you visit potential spaces:
Cost: The space should be free to use.
Size: Make sure the space is large enough for the whole group
and all planned activities.
Availability: Be sure the space is available for the day and
the entire length of time you want to meet.
Resources: Ask if tables and chairs come with the room and
ensure that the lighting is adequate. A bonus would be a cubby of some
sort where you could store supplies or a safe outdoor space for activities.
Safety: Potential spaces must be safe, secure, clean, properly
ventilated, heated (or cooled, depending on your location), free from
hazards, and have at least two exits that are well marked and fully
functional. Also be sure first-aid equipment is on hand.
Facilities: It goes without saying, but make sure that toilets
are sanitary and accessible.
Communication-friendly: Check for cell reception in the
potential space and whether Wi-Fi is available.
Allergen-free: Ensure that pet dander and other common
allergens won’t bother susceptible girls during meetings.
Accessibility: Your space should accommodate girls with
disabilities as well as parents with disabilities who may come to meetings.
Need a few talking points to get started? Try:
“I'm a Girl Scout volunteer with a group of [number of girls] girls.
We’re doing lots of great things for girls and for the community, like
[something your group is doing] and [something else your troop is
doing]. We’re all about leadership—the kind that girls use in their
daily lives and the kind that makes our community better. We’d love to
hold our meetings here because [reason why you’d like to meet there].”
Stuck and need additional support? Contact your council or your service unit support team for help with a troop
If your group or troop can’t meet in person or hold a traditional
meeting, there are so many ways to bring the power of Girl Scouting
home! Meeting virtually can be a fun, engaging option for your troop.
Before setting up a virtual meeting, you’ll want to:
- Partner with troop families to make sure the girls are safe
- Select a meeting platform that allows families who
may not have internet access to call in.
- Think about
logistics: work with the girls to set up ground rules; consider how
you’ll incorporate in-person meeting traditions in your virtual
space and how you’ll keep the meeting on track.
- Talk with
families on how to keep activities girl-led if your girls
will be completing them from home.
And don't worry if your girls want to use a web or social platform
you’re not as familiar with, because you’ll learn alongside them! Girl
Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts offers many options to girls and
troops to meet and participate virtually. Check out our Girl Scouts at Home page to learn more about
using GSEMA Zoom rooms for meetings, safety protocols, and activities
Girl Scout Troop Size
The troop size “sweet spot” is large enough to provide an
interactive and cooperative learning environment and small enough to
encourage individual development. Though the ideal troop size is 12
girls, we recommend that groups be no fewer and no more than:
- Girl Scout Daisies: 5–12 girls
- Girl Scout Brownies:
- Girl Scout Juniors 10–25 girls
Scout Cadettes: 5–25 girls
- Girl Scout Seniors: 5–30
- Girl Scout Ambassadors: 5–30 girls
A Girl Scout troop/group must have at minimum five girls and two
approved adult volunteers. (Double-check the volunteer-to-girl ratio chart to make sure
you’ve got the right amount of coverage for your troop!) Adults and
girls registering in groups of fewer than five girls and/or two
approved, unrelated adult volunteers, at least one of whom is female,
will be registered as individual Girl Scouts to more accurately
reflect their status and program experience. Individual girls are
always welcome to participate in Girl Scout activities and events.
Registering Girls and Adults in Girl Scouting
Every participant (girl or adult) in Girl Scouting must register and
become a member of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). GSUSA membership
dues are valid for one year. Membership dues cannot be transferred to
another member and are not refundable.
Preregistration for the upcoming membership year occurs in the
spring. Girls are encouraged to register early to avoid the fall rush.
Early registration allows for uninterrupted receipt of forms and
materials from the council, helps girls and councils plan ahead, and
gets girls excited about all the great stuff they want to do as Girl
Scouts next year. Girl Scout grade level is determined by the current
membership year beginning October 1.
Lifetime membership is available to anyone who
accepts the principles and beliefs of the Girl Scout Promise and Law,
pays the one-time lifetime membership fee, and is at least 18 years
old (or a high school graduate or equivalent). Volunteers with ten or
more years of service can become lifetime members at the discounted
young alum rate.
Adding New Girls to Your Troop
Growing your troop is a great way to share the power of the Girl
Scout experience and there are many ways to get the word out, like
hanging posters at your girls’ schools, using social media to reach
families in your community, or including your troop in your council’s
Opportunity Catalog or Troop Catalog.
We recommend a minimum of 12 girls per troop to provide a diverse,
interactive experience for all. We understand there may be
circumstances that make this impractical or challenging. If you would
like to request a specific troop size, please complete this online form or contact your Volunteer Support
Specialist to discuss the options.