Depending on the ages of your girls, you might take the lead in
guiding the structure and experiences of your troop. This includes 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 caregivers.
Use these questions to guide your conversation with your troop
committee volunteers or co-leader before discussing these topics with 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
- 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? Selecting a designated
meeting time is at the discretion of you and your co-volunteer(s). If
you choose to meet regularly, you will need to decide what day and
times work best for the girls, for you, for your co-volunteer(s), and
for other adults who will be presenting or mentoring. Will you meet
once per week, twice a month, or once a month? Is after-school best
for the girls? If yes, can your co-volunteer(s) meet at that time, or
will meetings work better in the evenings or on the weekends?
Where to meet can be a bit trickier: A meeting place needs to
provide a safe, clean, and secure environment that allows for the
participation of all girls. You might consider using meeting rooms at
schools, libraries, houses of worship, community buildings, childcare
facilities, or local businesses. For teens, you can also rotate
meetings at coffee shops, bookstores, and other places that girls
enjoy spending time. 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 meeting place.
The use of private homes and non-public places for meetings and
events is discouraged and should rarely occur. Contact Customer
Care with any questions. Girl Scouts wants to ensure girls,
adults, and assets are always safe and protected. Functions held at
private homes and residences are not protected under Girl Scouts
insurance, and the organization is not liable for any damage to
private property. Girl Scouts encourages the use of public spaces
covered by insurance and that have properly outlined safety measures
in place in case of emergencies that are in accordance with local and
Request for Certificate of Insurance
When reserving a facility, including a troop meeting space, or
in developing program plans with community organizations, volunteers
may be asked to provide a certificate of insurance to verify Girl
Scout liability insurance coverage. Volunteers may submit
the Request for Certificate of Insurance form. Certificates will
be mailed/faxed directly to the location within two weeks.
If a program provider or other organization requires the signing of
a Hold Harmless Agreement, a copy of it will be requested and reviewed
by one or more of the following: program and partnership manager,
director of regional services, or director of program and partnerships.
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
(or three for CSA) 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. There must be two troop leaders registered with
We do know that some
troops are multi-level and therefore activities need to be age
appropriate for each level and we recommend breaking the girls into
their different age levels during troop meetings. This will
sometimes require more adult volunteers to help manage the different
groups. Please contact your staff support person for more ideas and
support around multi-level troops.