Category Archives: Organization



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.


Troop Handbook


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…..

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.

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.

Take part in discussing plans and activities.
Help make plans and decisions.

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.

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

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

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.


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

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 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

● 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

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 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


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 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:
● Bridge to Brownies Award
● Membership Star with green disc
● Brownie Girl Scout Wings
● Bridge to Juniors Award
● Membership Star with yellow disc
● Bridge to Cadettes Award
● Membership Star with white disc
● Bridge to Seniors Award
● Membership Star with red disc
● Bridge to Ambassador Award
● 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
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
● Gold Award Pin (Silver is then moved to the right side of vest or sash)
● Bridge to Adult Pin


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
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.



Due to repeated requests, I have uploaded many of the forms that I use on a regular basis. I will double-check to make sure none are missing and will add them as soon as I can. There are specific ones I use for camping and I will place them here as well as in the camping section.


ADULT CHECKLIST – This is where I keep track not only that forms were turned in, but when certain ones expire.



GIRL SCHECKLIST – This is how I keep track that each girl has turned in the forms as needed.






REUSEABLE PERMISSION I found a reusable permission slip on another Council’s website. To get my Council to approve it I had to change the Council information on the front and have parents put a date when they signed on the back. It has saved me not only a tremendous amount of paper, but because they are already filled out, it takes less than a minute to get signed.


ceremonies worksheet

I hope this is helpful in having a great year!!!

Traveling Files


At Girl Scout meetings I found that it was becoming difficult to remember which girl took home paperwork, who left theirs behind on the table, which girls were present at a given meeting and to bring forms for new girls. My solution was to create a hanging file system that I could easily carry to every meeting.

I have about 8 hanging file, one for each level and category. In the back I keep extra folders.

Hanging files and folders for each level and category.

The file in front has a folder for all paperwork I need to send off to Council and a folder for my co-leader.

First File

I have a hanging file for every level. If you only do a 1 level Troop then you can divide folders by patrols. There is 1 folder where I keep forms girls fill out when they earn a badge at home.

Level Files

Information that girls need for Troop positions are kept in a separate file. This includes thank you cards, stamps, notebook, treasurer’s report and activity forms.

Troop Positions File

In the back are the folders for me. I have all the paperwork i need for new girls and parents. I always keep catalogs, even outdated ones. If nothing else they give parents a good idea of the uniform items I describe in the Troop handbook. I also have a folder to hold papers we use at meetings, or extra copies I have made of something. I go through this folder every few months and get rid of outdated items.

Other Folders

In the very front of the box I keep a notebook. When girls arrive they sign in on a new page. I used to use individual sheets every month but this is much simpler. After a meeting I can quickly job down what was accomplished and can reference it if there are any questions about who has earned a badge or missed an announcement. I have “sign here” stickers i place on papers that go home and need to be returned. There are fliers about Girl Scouts I can hand out. The protective sleeve holds sheets for every level that describe all the awards girls can currently earn at a given level. This is a great tool to show parents as well as the girls.

I sort all papers before meeting day and put them into each girl’s file. This way I do not have to remember who has what. Each girl or parent is responsible for checking their own file when they arrive or leave. Girls bring 3 ring binders they can put the papers in to take home. To make that easier I prepunch all papers for them.

The file is on a small table by the door. On the same table is the notebook the girls sing in on, as well as sign up sheets for future events/field trips and our dues can.

Please let me know if you have any questions!!

Getting activities organized – Milk Crates


I am involved in several things with my kids and church. However the thing I have the most responsibility for is a Girl Scout Troop. All the papers and information can begin to take over if one is not careful. Milk crates are cheap and can hold a lot of items in a portable container.

I have 1 crate that holds all the inserts for badges girls can earn. Each hanging folder is a general subject where I place any information that can help with those badges. I keep contact information, snack ideas, games, crafts,brochures and the badges themselves in the correct folder. If I find something that fits a topic, it is easily slipped into the hanging file. While mine are related to Girl Scouts, the same idea can be used for anything.

Each tab is a subject. Some hanging folders have files within them to separate the information. I include newspaper articles, information found online, resources from agencies as well as non profits, Boys Life and even National Geographic. Organizing them here means I don’t forget I have them and I keep a huge mess from forming.

Tabs: Animals, Art, Birds, Citizenship, Conservation, Cookies, Crafts, Emergency, Fashion, First Aid, Food, Girl Scouts, Health/Nutrition, Hike/Camp, Invent/Design, Mae Own, Money, Performances, Photo, Plants, Service, Science, Self Improvement and Sports


Each tab is for a different Journey as well as Girl Scout traditions that apply to all levels. Because the Journey books are thin, they fit into the hanging folders quite easily. It is also a great place to keep magazines that I only use when dealing with the specific subject. If I don’t want the entire magazine I can staple the article together.

Tabs: Bridging, Thinking Day, TAP info, WOW, Quest/Teamwork, Get Moving/Energy, aMaze/Relationships, Sow What/Gardening, Fishing, Scrapbooking, Transportation, Holidays/Seasonal.

Journeys & Other Basics

This is my Daisy level crate because they earn awards differently. Each hanging folder is assigned to a Petal where I keep the papers specific to them. One of the things I keep is picture books for each Petal. This crate has extra room so I keep specific items behind the files that relate to this level only.

Tabs: Petals/Uniform, Cookies/$, Crafts, Awards, Center, Each Petal has own file, Garden Journey, 3 Cheers

Daisy level

Take a peek inside the hanging folders. None of them are the exact same, they hold things I have found here and there related to the topic.


Workbook I found online, info from local noxious weed control board, poster, gardening tips, badge inserts


Info from Modern Woodsmen, Consumer handbook, toy money, bank statement, local contact information


Brochures, booklets, Boys Life

Honest and Fair

Story book, coloring page, ideas found online, Journey plan. Everything relates to the subject of the Petal.

I can add and remove items as needed or just grab a single file and go. I hope this helps you organize your life a little better. What will your milk crate be about?