Being a Girl Scout troop leader can be very rewarding. It’s a great way to get more involved with your daughter for little cost. You will need to join Girl Scouts and there is a yearly fee, but it is typically less than $40. This is so small if you compare it to other mother daughter organizations such as National Charity League.
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“The work of TODAY, is the history of TOMORROW and we are its makers.”– Juliette Jordan Low
Great Reasons to be a Girl Scout Leader
1. Get More Involved with Your Daughter
I was a troop leader for 6 years and loved having the opportunity to spend time with my daughter doing “non-mom” activities. Let’s face it, raising kids is hard and sometimes it’s difficult to find time to have new experiences with your daughter. Girl Scouts is a perfect environment to have those new experiences. Time goes by faster than you think and in a blink of an eye your daughter will be moving out of your home and moving on with the next phase of her life.
My two daughters are now in college and both were in Girls Scouts. One started Girls Scouts in elementary school as a brownie and the other didn’t start until high school. However, they both grew from the experience and it was a positive topic of discussion that counter balanced some of the not so fun topics that generally arise with kids.
2. Guide Troop on which Badges to Earn
I enjoyed helping the girls decide which badges to earn for the year. Some badges are more interesting than others and I could make sure we chose badges that would be engaging and fun. I welcomed the girls input as well of course. Girl Scout badges provide a unique opportunity for girl to learn about different topics. There are several different categories of badges such as STEM, Outdoors, Life Skills and Entrepreneurship.
If you are the troop leader, you can help guide them towards badges that will most benefit the girls in the troop. In my opinion, some badges are more impactful than others, so it is nice to be able to give some input.
3. Help Guide Troop on Journey for the Year
Each year in Girls Scouts there is an opportunity to have the girls get involved in a bigger project. These projects are called Journeys and they are designed to be more than a community service project. They help the girls think critically about an issue and create a Take Action project that helps resolve the issue. Obviously, the girls should vote on which Journey they want to take. However, as a leader you can help guide them on which Take Action projects would be the most achievable in your own community.
4. Guide Troop on Girl Scout Cookie Program
As our troop got older (Cadettes, Seniors & Ambassadors), they were less interested in cookie sales. Mainly because the girls were so busy with school and extracurricular activities. So as a troop we scaled back on cookie sales. Some girls were more interested in cookie sales than others, so I made sure we were flexible to each girls desired involvement.
If you are the troop leader, you will have some influence on how the girls will sell cookies. I know when I was troop leader, I did not have time to be involved in booth sales, consequently we did not do them. The girls sold to their circle of friends, family, co-workers only. However, if you love the idea of booth sales, then go for it!
In our Council, we had a minimum amount of cookies that each girls had to sell to be be eligible to use the cookie proceeds toward their Gold Award. So make sure you are aware of any restrictions that might exist on using the proceeds as you go through each cookie selling season.
5. Helps You Understand Your Daughter
Sometimes as a parent we think our kids are the only ones that act a certain way or have certain feelings. When you are a Girl Scout troop leader, you get to see first hand whether or not other girls of the same age are dealing with similar issues. It helps when you can understand that your daughter is going through something that is typical for that age group.
You might even want to address some of the typical issues during a troop meeting. For instance, you might choose to focus some of the troops attention on certain life skills badges. If your daughter is a Cadette, there is even a Journey that helps girls navigate cliques, build solid friendships and learn good interpersonal skills.
6. Encourage Girls to fulfill Leadership Roles
I loved this part of being a troop leader. I throughly enjoyed watching the girls take on leadership roles and if they needed help I was always available to support them. A Troop leader for a Some girls just need a little bit of encouragement to take on a leadership position and Girl Scouts is a perfect environment for that type of experience.
When the girls enter high school it is important that they take on more responsibilities. They can be a project leader for a Journey or community service project, they can maintain a budget, take meeting minutes, follow parliamentary procedure, etc. I wish I had done more of this with our troop. I tended to do most of these tasks, but I highly encourage you to give some of it to the girls. They can put it on their college applications!
7. Help Foster Positive Friendships
In our troop, it was a rule that every girl was treated kindly and with respect. I wanted the troop to be a safe space for the girls. They didn’t have to be best friends, but they did need to be encouraging and positive towards each other. Some of my daughter’s best friends were from our Girl Scout troop. In fact, one even became her college freshman roommate.
8. Engage More with Your Daughter
Being a Girl Scout leader provides a perfect platform to have engaging talks with your daughter. We spend so much time running them around to different activities, reminding them to do homework, and pestering them to do their chores. It’s nice to have a topic to discuss that is different and interesting.
Once I became a leader, I tried to always ask my daughter’s opinion when it came to the different badges, Journeys and meeting ideas. Then after the meetings or activities, I would get her feedback. What went well? What didn’t go well? What could I have done better? I believe she appreciated being asked. I may not have always agreed with her assessment, but I always took it into consideration.
9. Ensure the Meetings and Activities Work with Your Schedule
This is one big benefit to being the leader. All meeting and activities have to work with you and your daughter’s schedule. You don’t need to have any concerns of conflicts with extracurriculars, work or school. If you want only one meeting a month or every other month, you get to choose what works best for you and your family.
Of course, you need to take into consideration that needs and schedules of all of the girls in the troop. However, it must work for you. You might choose to have one in person meeting and one virtual meeting each month. The beauty is you get to make the final decision.
10. Encourage Girls to Believe in Themselves
By being the troop leader, you get to model what makes an effective leader. I was in Girl Scouts as a child, but my troop leader was not cut out for that role. Unfortunately, she was somewhat of a bully. It made me think I would never put my girls in Girls Scouts.
However, when my youngest said she wanted to join a Brownie Troop right after we moved to a new school, I couldn’t say no. It was a perfect way to meet new friends. After a few years of being in the troop, I volunteered to be the leader and truly enjoyed the next 6 years.
I was able to be the leader that I wished I had for this group of girls. Let me be clear though, I’m confident that I made some mistakes along the way. You likely will make a few mistakes too, but that’s okay. We need to show girls, how to be strong and confident young women. This comes through when you believe in them. I cared about them accomplishing the badges and Journeys and make sure we successfully made it to the next step each year.
This post is all about reasons to be a Girl Scout Troop Leader
If you have a daughter that is interested in Girl Scout or maybe already in Girl Scouts, I highly encourage you to consider helping out in a leadership role. Being a Girl Scout troop leader is a rewarding experience that will give you the opportunity to have a positive impact on the young women leaders of tomorrow!
“Girl Scouts is where I became acquainted with the idea that women can do anything”– Lisa Ling
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