I could not keep track of which girls had received which papers because they had missed a meeting. Or I would find one sitting on the table and had no clue who left it. I had no clue how to solve the problem then I read online how another leader used hanging files for all paperwork. I loved the idea and was willing to give it a try. 4 years later it still works.
What you need:
A file box. Get the size that works for you now, plus allows room for growth. I have a Sterelite but you can even use a milk crate. I like having a handle on top as it makes it easier to carry.
Hanging files. These are the green files with the metal prongs on the side.
Manilla folders. These are the yellow folders that have tabs.
Because I have a multi-level Troop, I have a hanging folder for each level. If you only have 1 level, you can do a hanging file for each Patrol. The Daisy files go in front and progressive get higher. I also put stickers on each one so they go back into the correct section. Each level has their own sticker.
Each girl has a folder with her name on it. All her papers go into that folder. I sort papers before the meeting and parents and girls can check out heir folder as they come or go. If a girl has missed a few meetings, everything will be in her folder when she comes back.
I also create a folder for my co-leader as well as the cookie mom. There is also a folder labeled COUNCIL and anything I need to mail to Council goes in there. I keep a few envelopes in there ready as well.
Each hanging file has a folder with forms the girls fill out if they complete a badge at home. While the new badges all have the same process now, some of my girls are still working on old ones. Girls or parents can grab forms as needed.
There are 2 hanging files that hold the following folders. New Adult and New Girl hold all the papers I need to hand to a new member such as registration and health forms. I have had girls show up that I never knew were coming and that is why I began keeping a couple with me at all times.
I keep all my old catalogs and new ones to show parents what the uniform pieces look like. In the same folder I have copies of where to put items on a vest, sash or apron. They can either have me order them but it is nice to hand something to a parent if they are going to do it themselves.
I always have extra forms if a parent wants to register for a Council event.
I try to make 1 or 2 extras of all papers I hand out, just in case, and keep those in a folder marked Meeting Papers.
In the front of everything I keep stickers, the Troop record boon where girls sign in and we take notes, recruitment fliers,and print outs for every level showing what girls can do/earn in Girl Scouts.
All those items that don’t fit into my hanging file case (such as my leader’s binder) I set in my milk crate on wheels. This means loading my van up before and after a meeting goes very quickly and the girls in the Troop can help.