Your one-stop-shop for the most commonly asked questions and key volunteer resources.
Getting Started as a Troop
Training for Volunteers
GSEMA’s online learning platform, gsLearn (accessed via single sign-on through your My GS login), is continually updated with new volunteer trainings, documents, resources, videos, and more! Whether you’re a new or returning leader, a service unit team member, or a friends and family network volunteer, there’s something here for you.
First year as a leader? You should begin your learning with the New Leader Orientation, the Essentials course for your program level (Daisy, Brownie, Junior, or Cadette), and Financing the Fun. After that, there are lots of courses to explore as your leadership adventure continues.
Second year and beyond? After completing your first-year learning courses, you can explore opportunities for returning leaders like Going Places with Girl Scouts, Outdoor Basics, Stepping-Up for bridging leaders (Daisy–Junior), Stress Management courses for every Girl Scout level, and so much more!
First Aid/CPR Trainings. Volunteers can sign up for in-person First Aid/CPR certification and/or recertification courses, Youth Mental Health First Aid, and Wilderness First Aid through our Program Catalog.
Outdoor Skills. Ready for adventure? Learn more about Archery, Canoeing (Small Craft Safety), and other outdoor adventure facilitator opportunities on our Outdoor Adventures page.
Need help? Contact Customer Care at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Planning Troop Meetings
Sample year plans. Check out our sample year plans below for an overview of ways to combine GSEMA programs, national Girl Scout events, and troop-only activities for a fun Girl Scout experience, whether you're meeting in person or virtually!
Meeting on Private Property
GSEMA’s Meeting Place Policy, as detailed in Volunteer Policies and Procedures , allows exceptions for Girl Scouts to meet on private property on a limited basis. Review and complete the online application to request permission for Girl Scouts to meet outdoors and indoors, provided the space can reasonably accommodate the Meeting Space Guidelines.
Use of backyard equipment (outdoor cooking, play structures, or other equipment) requires a GSEMA approved first aider and additional council approval is required for swimming pools and other high-risk activities to ensure that Safety Activity Checkpoints are met. Please see our safety page for details. (Note: use of outdoor trampolines is not permitted, as defined on page 13 of the Safety Activity Checkpoints.)
Need more resources? Use the Troop Leader Blueprint to help keep your troop going strong with specially adapted badges, Journeys, and activities for virtual and safe in-person meetings, as well as other guidelines and resources. We’re here to support you as you help your troop thrive!
Start building your custom year plan today! You can use the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) to create your troop’s custom year plan, communicate with troop families, and make running a troop easier than ever. Log in now to get started, and check out our user guide for technical help.
Annual Troop Checklists
Use our quick and easy Annual Troop Checklists below to help you remember important annual tasks for successfully wrapping up and beginning each troop year!
Fall Back-to-Troop Checklist
Consult this checlist when your troop is getting ready for the next troop year in September-October.
- Renew yourself and your troop, if you haven’t already; confirm volunteer-to-girl safety ratios; and ensure that volunteer background checks are up to date in My GS.
- Read the “Back to Troop” September edition of Troop Scoop, an email newsletter from your Volunteer Support Specialist, which includes important fall updates and announcements.
- Complete your annual Online Volunteer Agreement.
- Welcome new Girl Scouts to your troop by updating your troop's listing in the Opportunity Catalog.
- Confirm your troop's meeting location and, if needed, complete the annual Meeting on Private Property Application.
- Questions? Check Volunteer Essentials, your encyclopedia to Girl Scout volunteering, or Volunteer Policies and Procedures.
Complete these steps by June 30 each troop year.
- Renew yourself and your Girl Scouts during our Early Bird Renewal season to earn thank-you incentives!
- Submit your Annual Troop Financial Report.
- Celebrate your Girl Scouts and all that you have accomplished together as a troop this year with an end-of-year party or awards ceremony. Check with your local service unit to see if there’s a town-wide celebration.
- If your troop is bridging to the next level, check out the Girl Scout Bridging Guide for celebration ideas and awards to earn.
Beyond Troop Meetings
Fall Product and Cookie Programs
Navigating the World of Virtual Girl Scouting
Are you thinking about having your troop meet virtually this fall? Check out our Quick Start Guide for tips from GSEMA staff and other troop leaders who’ve had success running virtual meetings.
Ready to get started? You can use your preferred technology platform to run your virtual meeting, or email email@example.com to request use of a GSEMA Zoom for meetings longer than 40 minutes. No matter what you use, make sure you follow these basic safety guidelines.
- Review the Safety Activity Checkpoint for virtual meetings before hosting online gatherings with girls.
- Volunteer-to-girl safety ratios should always be followed. At least two approved volunteers should act as co-hosts within the meeting, so they can take turns presenting and doing technical support (such as monitoring the chat or helping girls troubleshoot their technology).
- Meeting links, IDs, and passwords should only be shared with registered meeting attendees.
- The waiting room is enabled for all meetings. Participants must wait for a host to begin a meeting.
- Participants should sign in with their first name and last initial only.
- All attendees are muted when entering the meeting, and video is off by default.
- Private chat is disabled. No links or files may be shared in the public meeting chat.
Looking for ideas on what to do during virtual meetings? Check out Planning Troop Meetings!
Troop Scoop Emails
Troop Scoop (January 2023)
Troop Scoop (December 2022)
Troop Scoop (November 2022)
Troop Scoop (October 2022)
Troop Scoop (September 2022)
Troop Scoop (August 2022)
Troop Scoop(July 2022)
Troop Scoop (June 2022)
Troop Scoop (May 2022)
Troop Scoop (April 2022)
Troop Scoop (March 2022)
Troop Scoop (February 2022)
Troop Scoop (January 2022)
Troop Scoop (December 2021)
Troop Scoop (November 2021)
Troop Scoop (October 2021)
Need help? Contact Customer Care at firstname.lastname@example.org or
844-306-4736 (please leave a message).