Troop Handbook

Standard

I love being a leader but sometimes things happen that I wish could have been avoided. A Troop handbook is designed to do just that. By setting out all the details in advance, you can be sure there are no misunderstandings and that that things run smoother. Always look it over at the end of each year to see what you would like to change.

Troop handbook 2012

The Girl Scout Mission
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

The Girl S Scout Motto
Be prepared.

Girl Scout Slogan
Do a good turn daily.

The Girl Scout Promise
On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

The Girl Scout Law
I will do my best to be: Honest and fair Friendly and helpful, Considerate and caring, Courageous and
strong, and Responsible for what I say and do, And to: Respect myself and others, Respect authority,
Use resources wisely, Make the world a better place, and Be a sister to every Girl Scout.

During your years as a Girl Scout you should be given the
opportunity to…..

LEARN THE GIRL SCOUT WAY
Know and understand the Girl Scout Promise.
Be invested into Scouting and be rededicated each year.
Plan an investiture for new Scouts.
Know the Girl Scout insignia and what they mean.
Know and use the handshake, slogan, motto and quiet sign.
Understand the meaning of the WAGGGS Pin.

EXPLORE THE MEANING OF CITIZENSHIP
Learn about our flag – its history and symbolism.
Plan and Participate in a flag ceremony.
Share her heritage (religion, culture, traditions and ways of living).
Learn ways to respect the rights of others.

HELP MANAGE HER TROOP
Take part in discussing plans and activities.
Help make plans and decisions.

LEARN AND ACHIEVE
Participate in at least one activity from each aspect of Girl Scouting.
Take short trips to gain new experiences.
Receive recognition (badges, patches or pins) for accomplishments.

EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS
Have several outdoor meetings/activities.
Take a hike.
Cook outdoors.
Have an overnight experience.

EXPRESS HER CREATIVITY
Make something for herself or others.
Act out stories, songs, and situations.

SHARE IN THE GIRL SCOUT COMMUNITY
Do activities with other Girl Scouts.
Participate in Service Unit and/or Council sponsored events.

Girl Scout terminology

The levels of Scouting: Girl Scouts is a global organization dedicated to enriching girls’ lives around
the world. Where does your daughter fit into this worldwide organization? As a member, she can
participate in scouting at a number of levels.

WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts): The worldwide organization
that has members in over 100 countries around the world. Girl Scouts of the USA is one of the
members of the association.

GSUSA (Girl Scouts of the USA): This is the national organization for Girl Scouts.

Council The local organizing body which acts as a liaison between the national organization and
troops in our area. The Council also raises funds to support local programming and owns/operates
Camp 4 Echoes.

Service Area/Unit: The Council is divided into service areas/units based on geographic
location. Each service area may serve multiple troops. Every month Service Unit meetings are
held and parents are encouraged to attend.

Troop: The group of girls that meet once a week.

Age level: There are six age levels in Girl Scouting: Daisy {K – 1st Grade) , Brownie (2nd – 3rd
Grade) Junior (4th – 5th Grade), Cadette (6th – 8th grade), Senior (9th – 10th grade) and Ambassador
(11th – 12th grade)

Important Events and Ceremonies

Bridging: The process for girls leaving one level of Girl Scouting and moving on to the next.

Court of Awards: A ceremony in which girls and/or adult volunteers receive awards. Awards
include proficiency awards (Try-its, etc), event patches, earned patches and other awards.

Founder’s Day: October 31, the birthday of Juliette Low.

Girl Scout Week: The week containing the Girl Scout Birthday. Girls are asked to wear their
uniforms to church and school throughout the week.

Investiture: A special ceremony to welcome a Girl Scout where she receives her Girl Scout pin
and officially makes her Promise for the first time. This is usually done soon after a new troop
forms or when a girl joins an existing troop.

Rededication: A ceremony where Girl Scouts reaffirm their dedication to the Promise and Law
done at investiture.

Thinking Day: February 22. The birthday of both Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, designated as
a day to think about Girl Scouts and Guides worldwide.

Other

Eight Basic Skills: Skills such as dressing for the weather, fire building and knots that a Girl
Scout should know before going camping.

Flag Ceremony: Any ceremony including or honoring the flag.

Friendship Circle: A symbolic gesture in which Girl Scouts form a circle by clasping each
other’s hands. It is often used as part of a closing ceremony.

Girl Scout Sign: Three middle fingers of right hand raised shoulder-high with thumb over little
finger, given when saying the Promise or when doing a Girl Scout Handshake.

Kaper Chart: A chart showing all jobs available and who is responsible for each job.

Safety-Wise: The publication put out by GSUSA detailing safety practices that should be
adhered to. Has been replaced by Checkpoints.

Sit Upon: A waterproof cushion to sit on outside..

SWAPS: Small Whatchamacallit Affectionately Pinned on Somewhere. Also: Share With A Pal.
These are as a small, handmade crafts that usually symbolize the theme of an event. Girl Scouts
also exchange SWAPS through the mail. These are not intended to be worn on the uniform.
Some girls will pin them on a hat to wear, others pin on a wall hanging and other keep in a safe
box.

Buddy System: A safety system where two or more girls stay together and watch out for each
other. Girls are expected to follow this at all times. Any girl who repeatedly goes off on her own
will have to call her parents to be picked up.

Code of Conduct – the girls will help to create a code of conduct that will guide our Troop
through all meetings and activities. Each girl will get a say in what should be in the code as
well as be required to sign her agreement to follow the code.

Allergies – PLEASE if you child has any allergies that could require medical care be sure it is
written on her health form. This would include any food allergies as well as chemical.

Medications/Health is sues – If your daughter is taking any medication on
a regular basis include it on the health form and di s cus s it with our first aider. While they
may not need it to be administered at regular meeting s, plan ahead for extended trips out
of town
or overnight events.


WELCOME TO TROOP

Welcome back to the 2012-2013 Girl Scout year. If you have not yet sent in your registration form
please do so asap as girls are not allowed to attend Service Unit and Council events until they are
registered If you no longer have your form please get one from Kristine. Troop dues for this year will
be $1 a week. The weeks when there is no meeting there will be no dues required. Girls may bring their
dues each week or pay in advance. If we do well enough with the Fall product sales there will be NO
dues required.

Donations are gladly accepted in any form. We can always use craft items such as paper, glues,
crayons, colored pencil s, marker s, paint s etc. Postage stamps, envelopes,
printer paper, Financial donations are accepted as well and are a good tax deductions for
businesses. Most importantly is your time.

Parent Sign up
A troop is successful if they have the support of parents. One way to support our girls is to serve as a
Parent Volunteer. This can be mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunts or uncles. Our current Volunteer
needs are:
Co-leader – You must be registered and have a background check (at no charge)
§ Money Earning Selling hot chocolate at the winter lighting ceremony – Car wash in the summer
months – Fall Product in October – Christmas wreaths
§ Cookies: Working a cookie booth – Paperwork – Cookie inventory – Money You must be
registered and have a background check (at no charge)
§ Camping: Chaperon camping trip – provide equipment – Drive You must be registered and have a
background check (at no charge)
§ Field Trips: Chaperones – Drive – Suggestions/contacts You must be registered and have a
background check (at no charge)
§ Fir st Aider First Aid & CPR training is required- will also be in charge of the first aid box. While
I am certified it would be nice to have a second first aider on out of town trips. You must be registered,
have a background check (at no charge) and be certified in first aid/CPR.


Form Check-list

Every year all forms must be completed again in order to be current. It is nice when as many parents as
possible fill out the transportation forms so that you can volunteer to drive at any time. There is no cost
for filling out the form. However you must be a registered adult with a background check to drive.

Opportunity Fund
This is a service provided by our Council so that no girl misses out on opportunities due to financial
hardships. It can be used to pay for registrations, uniforms, summer camp and Council sponsored
events.

Cookies
● Every year Girl Scouts sell a variety of cookies. This is done by approaching friends or family,
going door to door or working at a cookie booth. The Troop will set up places, dates and times
in conjunction with the other Troops in the area. If you have a place that you think would be a
great spot it needs to go through the Service Unit Cookie manager first. Just let Kristine know
your idea and she will try to get it approved.

● Cookie sales help the Troop in a variety of ways. Girls learn about business and are able to earn
badges, pins and patches. Girls also receive incentives. If a girl would prefer she can ask for more
Cookie Dough in lieu of those incentives being offered. The Troop receives a portion of each box sold
and that money is used for things such as buying awards, paying for camp outs and crafts.

● Cookie Dough is awarded based on the amount of boxes a girl sells. Each girl is given a
percentage of the cookie booth sales that she works. After cookie sales are completed a card is
printed in the girls name with the amount that she earned. It is very important you do not lose
these cards. They are only good for 2 years so while you can save the money for future events,
make sure you use it before it expires.

In order to use the cookie Dough write the date in the first column, the event or item you are
paying for in the second column, and the girls must sign the next column. This is to help them learn
how to budget their money and keep track of it. I do however suggest that parents hold onto the
cards in a safe place. If you are not using all the Cookie Dough then make a copy of the card and
send that in with your registration or order. A staff member will then send a receipt you attach to
the card. If you are spending the entire amount you can just send in the whole card.
Cookie Dough can be used to purchase any Council Sponsored event or item in the Girl
Scout store. All Council sponsored events will be marked in the Troop calendar with an asterisk like
this. *Lock In. This includes summer camp. If you have any questions please let me
know.


Camping and other Overnight Events

In the binders girls will develop lists of items they should try to own to take on overnight activities.
There will also be a list of items that they are asked to leave at home. These include items such as
ipods, cell phones and other electronic devices. I will always have a cell phones as will most chaperons
if parents need to call for any reason. This list is a good source for gift ideas for the girls. Do not feel
you have to get the most expensive item for camping. For example, each girl should have her own
dishes and utensils for meals. Goodwill is a good source for plastic dishes and silverware that you do
not care if they get lost or damaged. The Troop also doe shave some items the girls can borrow.

What does each girl need
● Each girl should have a vest or sash on which to place her awards. These can be purchased
online at girlscoutshop.com You can also purchase them at the Council store located in downtown
Spokane. To complete the uniform wear khaki shorts, pants or skirt and a plain white top.
When the girls officially represent Girl Scouts at an event the uniform is required. \
● For any girl who wishes to earn badges outside of our meetings I suggest purchasing a
guide book. Another option is to let me know which one they would like to work on and I can loan you
the inserts that I have.
● I ask that every girl brings a 2” binder to every meeting. In it we will have a calendar which will
be updated for the girl’s use. All papers will go home in the binder for parents to see. It will also
serve to keep track of any badge activities that a girl may have missed. Parents can also check the
hanging files for papers.
● Each girl must be registered for the new year. The cost has increased to $12. This provides
insurance for all Girl Scout activities. This registration is valid from October 1 through
September 30. Girls must be registered Girl Scouts in order to attend meetings, camps, and
special events unless otherwise noted.
● Occasionally we may serve a snack. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOUR CHILD HAS ANY
FOOD ALLERGIES

AWARDS

FUN PATCHES
Fun Patches are souvenirs and reminders of fun Girl Scout events. They are placed on the back of every
vest or sash. Some girls may fill up that area and suggestions I have heard for other places to put them
would be a blanket, bag or wall hanging.

BADGES
Badges all go on the front of sash or vest, starting at the bottom. Every girl will earn badges at Troop
meetings and activities. All girls are welcome and encouraged to earn them on their own as well. In the
hanging files I will always have a form for girls to fill out when they have completed a badge. Badges
come in 6 shapes for each level.
What girls do in other activities and school DO COUNT!!! As girls fill out the forms they will
connect what activity they did to the badge. Activities do not need to exactly what is stated in the
requirements. As long as the girls follow the intent of the badge and put forth the effort, other activities
can be counted.


What Bridging is All About

Bridging is an activity held to let girls be recognized and welcomed into another level of Girl
Scouting. A bridge crosses a gap and makes it easy to get from one side to another. So it is in Girl
Scouting. Through bridging, girls who move from one membership grade level to
another have something to help ease the jump. There are a number of differences between
the six levels of Girl Scouting. Bridging is designed to emphasize the continuity in the Girl
Scout program, to introduce girls within each grade level to what lies ahead, and to give older
girls a sense of personal responsibility for younger girls. Bridging from Brownies to Juniors is
also referred to as “Flying Up.” Bridging Ceremonies typically take place toward the end of
the school year.

These insignia are traditionally presented to girl s a s they bridge:
Brownies
● Bridge to Brownies Award
● Membership Star with green disc
● Brownie Girl Scout Wings
Juniors
● Bridge to Juniors Award
● Membership Star with yellow disc
● Bridge to Cadettes Award
Cadette
● Membership Star with white disc
● Bridge to Seniors Award
Seniors
● Membership Star with red disc
● Bridge to Ambassador Award
Ambassador
● Membership Star with navy disc
● Bridge to Adult Award
These insignia are moved from their current program level to the new level.
All others stay on
their current uniform.
Brownies and Juniors
● World Association Pin
● Membership Stars
● Brownie Wings
● Girl Scout Pin
● Bronze Award until Silver Award is earned (Bronze Award is then moved to right side of vest or
sash)
Cadette vest or sash Senior vest or sash
● The vest/sash is the same so you add to it; nothing is removed
● The Silver Award is moved to the right side of vest or sash when Gold Award is earned
● World Association Pin
● Girl Scout Pin
● Bronze Award until Silver Award is earned (Bronze Award is then moved to right side of vest or
sash)
● Gold Award Pin (Silver is then moved to the right side of vest or sash)
● Bridge to Adult Pin


Communication

As girls join our troop or information changes, the troop directory will be updated accordingly. Parents
may choose to limit the information provided by opting-out. However, all girls names will be listed in
the directory as members of our troop.

● I will sometimes use emails to send information home to parents. If you do not check your
emails on a regular basis let me know so that if it is time sensitive I will call you. If it is okay
for you to receive a text message on your cell phone let me know. Text messages will NOT be
sent without prior permission.

● A Troop calendar will be available for each girl in her binder, The calendar will list all Troop
events, as well as several Council events. For a complete list of Council events go to gsewni.org
and click on the Program tab and then choose Calendar.

● Newsletters will be sent home both via email and in the girls’ binder. It will include information
about upcoming activities and well as what badges they are currently working on.

● Each girl will have a binder/folder in which she will bring home any papers that parents need to see.
Please make sure they are showing them to you.

● Phone calls will be used as little as possible. When listing your home phone, cell phone and/or
work phone please mark which is the best to contact you at. If you can receive a text message
then please let me know.

About keepingiteasyandsimple

I have been married for 20 years and have 3 children. My oldest is 20 and currently in the National Guard. My daughters are 15 and 11 and involved in everything. I believe life is difficult enough, that we can find ways to make the everyday just a little easier and perhaps even more simple. I love to cook, shop and make things with the kids.

2 responses »

  1. Hey there! I just found your blog and I love all the Girl Scout tips and tricks you have! I’m going to share your blog with the new leaders I work with here in Michigan, thanks for all your great work, keep it up!
    -Ana

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