side menu icon

Start a Troop

Parents and community members make a key difference in the lives of girls by guiding them through the Girl Scout experience. We want leading a troop to be a great time, and we’ll support you all the way. We provide our leaders:

  • Convenient, online trainings that give you everything you need on your schedule
  • Activity plans via the Volunteer Toolkit to help you quickly and easily prepare for meetings
  • Continual support from Community volunteers and staff partners
  • Flexibility—leaders set the troop meeting times and locations, and each troop is assigned two leaders to allow for flexibility and continuity

Common questions about leading Girl Scouts

Many parents have a few questions before standing up to lead their daughter's troop. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear:

How much time will I need?

Being a troop leader fits into a variety of schedules. We recommend that troops meet twice per month. Typically, troop meetings last approximately 90 minutes. Troop leaders choose the meeting day, time and frequency that best fits their busy schedule. 

We provide our troop leaders with online meeting plans via the Volunteer Toolkit so they can easily and quickly plan their troop’s activities. Current leaders report spending four hours preparing for and leading each meeting. Troop leaders also receive our monthly email newsletter, Troop Scoop, designed to provide leaders ideas and resources in a timely format.

I don't know how to do the things Girl Scouts do.

You already bring everything that you need to start leading your troop. We think if the girls are smiling and having a good time, the leaders are doing a good job!

We provide online meeting plans via the Volunteer Toolkit to guide you through each step of planning your troop’s activities. GSSJC provides convenient, online training videos and resources to help you learn what you need. Don’t forget that you’ll also have a co-leader who will bring complementary skills and experience to share. You'll also be put in touch with experiences leaders in your Girl Scout Community who can help guide you through your first year.

What support or help is there for leaders?

Each troop has two leaders, so you will have a partner to help lead and to share the fun. We encourage you to invite another parent or friend to serve with you.

We provide online, in person and on-demand trainings for our leaders that you can take on your schedule. We also provide detailed activity plans in the Volunteer Toolkit that make it easy to get meetings going. Plus, you’ll also have access to our dedicated volunteer and staff support team for guidance when you need.

Have a question not answered here? Contact us!

How to start a new Girl Scout troop

How exciting—you’re starting a new Girl Scout Troop! We’re here to make the process easy, so you can get to the fun parts as quickly as possible.

Step 1: Register and complete onboarding online

  1. Visit our registration page to begin the process. Click the Volunteer Today button to join Girl Scouts.
  2. On the next page, either type the troop number provided or search by ZIP code. Be sure to select the correct membership year! (10/1/18 - 9/30/19).
  3. Select the troop leader role for your desired troop.
  4. Become a member of Girl Scouts of the USA. National membership dues are $25, and financial assistance is available.
  5. Follow-up emails will guide you through completing your required background check and orientation.

Step 2: Start looking for other adults to help

A troop needs at least two unrelated adults to get started, and most leaders also look for additional help throughout the year. Troops can have more than two leaders, and they typically have additional volunteers to help with the Fall Product and Cookie Programs, as well as other adults to pitch in with field trips and other activities.

Parents of other girls in your troop are prime candidates to help out, but adults from the community might love this opportunity too. We can recruit online for your troop, but people tend to have the most fun with adults they know in real life.

Step 3: Pick a day, time and location for troop meetings

It’s a great idea to start thinking about how your troop will get together right away. You can start contacting potential venues now as you complete your registration and onboarding to find a good meeting space. Keep in mind:

  • Most troops meet twice per month, but you can choose a schedule that works best for you.
  • Your meeting space needs to be a safe, clean and secure environment that allows all girls to participate. Also consider places that are accessible for girls with disabilities. Good options include:
    • Schools
    • Libraries
    • Places of worship
    • Community centers and buildings
    • Local businesses

Step 4: Spread the word about your troop!

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 daughter’s friends, your neighbors and other families in the community to make sure that your daughter will have a lively troop. As a bonus, more girls usually means more adults who will be happy to help you lead this troop. 

In addition to your word of mouth efforts your troop will be listed in our online catalog, so you may have additional girls signing up that way.

Ready to get started?