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Troop Leader

How to become a Leader

Thank you for joining the millions of Girl Scout volunteers nationwide who are building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. We couldn’t do it without you.

As soon as you sign up, please get in contact with a recruiter, so you have some help navigating the new troop/new leader progression.

To be a Leader, you must be a registered member, you must complete a live scan background check, and you must complete your necessary online and in-person training.

How to get started:

If you want to be a Leader, we strongly recommend contacting our customer care by phone at 800-822-2427. They will be able to transfer you to a recruiter who will be able to give you more information about the position.

You may also contact them by email at If you contact them by email, make sure to include your preferred contact information so our recruiters can properly assist you.

First Steps:

  1. Contact our Customer Care Team: 800-822-2427 // Once contacted, they will give your information to the recruiter for your surrounding area.

  2. Recruiter will contact you and be able to give your more information about the volunteer leader role.

Meet Your GSCCC Staff Membership Team

  1. Recruitment Team (REC)

    a. Call 800-822-2427 and ask to talk to a Recruitment Specialist about signing up you and your daughter in Girl Scouts. Recruitment Specialists help you sign up and will be able to put you into an existing troop, or help you start your own troop as a leader.

  2. Volunteer Support Manager (VSM)

    a. Volunteer Support Managers provide the new leader training and support volunteers with questions or concerns relating to their volunteer role.

  3. Customer Care Team (CCT)

    a. Customer Care Specialists are our volunteers’ best friend. They can answer most questions and know who the experts are for more complicated questions or issues. Always feel welcome to call or email our customer care team.

Start Your Troop Leader Training

  1. In order to become a Girl Scout Leader, GSCCC requires the New Troop Leader Training (Foundation 1) on gsLearn to be completed online to ensure that girls receive the best possible program.

  2. Once your online training is completed, all leaders are required to complete the New Leader Training (NLT) with a Volunteer Support Manager.

  3. All volunteers are required to complete California's Mandated Reporter Training. California's Child Abuse Neglect and Reporting Act (AB-506) designates that volunteers that work with children be trained. Please log into your gsLearn account to complete the 635: Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training. See our AB-506 section for more details.

Background Checks

  1. All Girl Scout volunteers are required to complete a background check if they are going to be consistently working directly with the girl scouts.

    a. All Leaders are required to get a Live Scan . See our AB-506 section for more details.

    b. For other volunteer positions not directly working with the girls are required to get, at least, the Basic Background Check. Please contact our customer care to ask for that link. NOTE: Members get this background check for free, but they don’t need it if they completed a live scan.

Meet Your Service Unit

  1. Service Unit (SU)

    a. The Service Unit is a local group that supports leaders, made up of other Girl Scout volunteers in your community with support from council staff. They are an amazing source of information for you as a new leader!

    b. Service Unit meetings are a great opportunity to meet experienced Girl Scout volunteers and new volunteers such as yourself! Troops should be represented by at least one volunteer at Service Unit meetings. Your Volunteer Support Manager will let you know who is on the Service Unit team for your troop and when and where the Service Unit meetings are held.

  2. The VSM will be introducing you to the SU once you complete the NLT with them.

Schedule a Parent Meeting

  1. Prep beforehand! This is an opportunity for you to work with the families to decide when and where you will hold troop meetings (such as, homes or public buildings), decide about collecting troop dues (how often and how much), and to make a list of simple troop rules.

  2. You may invite a member of your Service Unit Team or local staff to attend to answer parent questions you may be unsure of.

  3. Girl Scouts is a partnership with families, volunteers, and staff working together to provide an amazing Girl Scout Leadership Experience for the girls. Recruit adults to help with the leadership and support of the troop! Encourage each family to register at least one adult as a volunteer. This will help ensure that families are engaged in the success of the troop and will provide leaders with the support they need.

  4. After the meeting, send information that was discussed and decided on to each parent, and update your “Meeting details” in MyGS (location, meeting day, time, frequency).

  5. See some resources from GSUSA to help you have a successful Parent Meeting: Kickstart Your Troop Year with Tried-and-True Tips for Your First Parent Meeting.

Hold Your First Troop Meeting

  1. Here’s the meeting where you get to break the ice with getting to know one another. You might have a fun activity for the girls, so they get meet each other in a fun way!

  2. This will also be your chance to see what your girls want to explore and learn in their girl scout experience. Help them plan out their girl scout year!

  3. Please check out the program levels on our Troop Leader Blueprint section to see the different types of petals (for Daisies), badges and journeys each program level can earn throughout the girl scout year!

  4. See some very helpful resources from GSUSA to help you get started:

a. Ready, Set, Troop Meeting! Top Tips for Your First Meeting

b. How to Plan the Troop Year Ahead (While Keeping it Girl-Led!)

i. Some Tips:

1. Step Back and Let Your Girls Take the Lead

2. Seven Tips for Creating a Space for Girls to Speak Up

Set Up Your Troop Bank Account

  1. There must be at least two troop volunteers (usually both leaders), along with the Service Unit Treasurer (SUT) on the bank account.

  2. Once the leaders finish the NLT, the VSM will be working with the Service Unit Treasurer (SUT) in order to get the bank account authorization form completed. Once completed, the leaders that will be on the bank account will be working directly with the SUT to schedule a meeting with the bank (of their choice) in order to open their account. All bank signers must be present at this scheduled meeting.

  3. All Girl Scout Troops need to set up a troop bank account with one of the three approved banks: Wells Fargo, Union Bank, or Mechanics Bank. Troop leaders must have council approval before setting up the account and use the Bank Account Certificate of Authorization. All these banking options may have different ways to set up and change accounts, varying fees, and online access procedures.

    a. All troops should receive a debit card for their bank account.

Healthy troops have at least 10-12 girls. You may have girls in your community ready to join the troop, or we have girls waiting to join one! If you need help recruiting girls to join your troop, contact your Recruitment Specialist.

And just like that you are ready to get started as a new troop! Stay in touch by liking us on Facebook and following us on Instagram and Twitter to stay up-to-date on upcoming council events and find other amazing volunteers. Looking for more fun content? Check out our PinterestYouTube, or blog!

New Leader FAQ

Do I have to be a parent to be a troop leader?

No! We welcome all interested adults, ages 18 and older, to apply as Girl Scout volunteers. Girl Scouts is volunteer-driven, and we need all hands on deck. We currently have Girl Scout leaders who are community leaders, senior citizens, college students and others who don't currently have daughters who are Girl Scouts.

How much time does it take to be a leader?

A typical troop leader devotes an average of 10-30 hours per month to Girl Scouts. Enlisting the help of families from the beginning allows the troop to be more active while sharing work among many volunteers. The troop, with the leader’s guidance, decides how often and when meetings will take place. Troops can meet weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly – after school, in the evenings, or on weekends.

How long am I committed to being a Girl Scout leader?

A leader is appointed for one year. We encourage leaders to extend that year if they desire.

I wasn’t a Girl Scout, what do I need to know?

Training is provided to help all new leaders understand the Girl Scout philosophy, policies and procedures. Training covers materials and information needed to begin troop meeting and activities. 

Is volunteer training provided?

Yes! Web-based, self-study and face-to-face trainings are available throughout the calendar year and council geography.

Will someone be helping me start a Girl Scout troop?

As a volunteer, you can count on help from a variety of people. Staff from your area will be available to answer questions, help recruit girls, and assist with finding a meeting place if needed. Local volunteers from your community, organized into a service unit, are also key to getting your troop off the ground. Regular service unit meetings are held throughout the school year, so there are many opportunities to meet other Girl Scout volunteers in your area as well as interface with your membership specialist.

The annual membership fee for Girl Scouts is $25/person. The membership fee goes directly to Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) at our national headquarters, where it is used for program development, activity insurance and management to support councils. The annual fall product program and Girl Scout Cookie program support troop finances, and all troops are strongly encouraged to participate in these programs to generate troop funds.

It is very common for troops, not just new troops, to have troop dues. The frequency of these dues and the amount is entirely up to the leaders and the parents. For example, a new troop may agree to have a monthly $5 troop due, which each household would pay at the first meeting of the month.

Who decides how many girls are in a troop?

As designated by GSUSA, a healthy troop size is typically 10-12 girls. These troops tend to continue from year to year and have enough families to support a fulfilling Girl Scout Leadership Experience for the girls. However, troop size is often determined by the size of the meeting space and the number of adults working with a troop.

Does Girl Scouts run background checks on volunteers?

Yes. Protecting our girl members is a top priority, and screenings and background checks are integral parts of our due diligence process and procedure. See our Background Checks section on our website for more information.

Do I have to become a registered Girl Scout to volunteer?

Yes, all adults who work directly with girls on a regular basis must register as Girl Scout members. NOTE: Financial assistance is available for adults who serve in key volunteer roles, and it is their first year as a member.

Where can I find information and materials on what to do with girls?

The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a great place for leaders and girls to plan their Girl Scout experience. “Girl led” is one of our core values that makes Girl Scouts unique. Using the VTK, girls are empowered to choose their own activities and programs with the guidance of their adult leaders. GSUSA publishes nationally consistent materials for troops to use. These materials help troop leaders direct troop activities, while also ensuring that girls get the full benefit of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

There are many roles that adult family members can play in assisting troop leaders. Adult volunteers can help with regular meetings, organize the fall product or cookie sales, drive girls to and from field trips, serve as First Aid/CPR trained adults on trips, manage the troop treasury, etc. If you can ask, families will help! We recommend that at least one adult from each family register as a Girl Scout member and volunteer.

Why do I have to take Mandated Reporter Training?

Under the California's Child Abuse Neglect and Reporting Act (AB-506), any volunteer that works directly with children for "more than 16 hours per month or 32 hours per year" is required to be a certified mandatory reporter. Please see our AB-506 section on our website for more information.