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New Leader Resources

Welcome to GSNETX!

Thinking about becoming a Girl Scout Troop Leader or ready to get started? You will find everything you need for your first year here – action steps to get a troop started, ideas for meetings and more, where to do to get the support you need! As a new leader, check out your week by week to do list along with additional info and support you will need throughout the year!

Have questions?  We're here to help!  Contact us at newtroop@gsnetx.org.

New Leader Checklist: Getting Your Troop Off to a Good Start󠆳

Week 1
Get Registered as a Girl Scout Troop Leader

Volunteer link:  https://mygs.girlscouts.org/

Instructions on how to register with a troop number:

  1. Click on the Volunteer link above.
  2. Click the Volunteer button.
  3. Add your zip code.
  4. Complete all fields and membership.
  5. The GSNETX Recruitment team will contact you in within a couple of days.

Instructions on how to register without a troop number:

  1. Click on the Volunteer link above.
  2. Click the Volunteer button.
  3. Add your zip code.
  4. In the Position field choose Troop Leader.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the ?
  6. Fill out your contact information.
  7. Under Subject, choose "I have always wanted to be a troop leader."
  8. Complete membership.
  9. The GSNETX Recruitment team will contact in within a couple of days.
Complete a Background Check
  • Email invite will come from theadvocates@sterlingvolunteers.

Conditions Requiring Adult Membership Registration and Background Check: Any adults participating in Girl Scouts in the following ways must register with GSUSA and successfully complete a background check:

  • Taking responsibility for the safety of girls not in their family, including driving
  • Handling Girl Scout monies, including those funds involved in the GSNETX Cookie Program
  • Participating in overnights when girls attend without adults from their family
  • Serving as a Safety-Wise adult to meet adult-to-girl supervision ratios, as further defined in the Risk Management policy
  • Serving as Troop Camp Trained Adult or First Aider
  • Serving on a Girl Scout administrative team
  • Per GSNETX Policy & Procedures, page 4
Meet the Placement Specialists and Set Up Your Troop Profile

Information included in your Troop Profile:

  • Troop Meeting Location – Name and exact address
  • Meeting day of the week and which weeks of the month
  • Meeting start time and end time
  • Grade(s) of the girls in the troop
  • The school(s) name(s) of troop members
  • A short description of the types of activities the troop will do this year
  • Troop focuses, such as community service, creative arts, entrepreneurship, healthy living, life skills, outdoor activities, STEM
  • Languages that are spoken by members of the troop
This information is collected to keep track of our what our Girl Scouts' interests are and where they are located. This information is also used to help families find troops to join in their area.
 
Find your Placement Specialist by service unit number:

Tracey – tarnaud@gsnetx.org 
Service Units: 112, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 157, 158, 186, 403, 485

Jennifer – jpowdrill@gsnetx.org 
Service Units: 131, 141, 142, 160, 161, 163, 165, 174, 182, 183

Ashley – ajames@gsnetx.org 
Service Units: 101, 105, 108, 143, 147, 148, 170, 171, 184, 189, 483  

Mary – mabbott@gsnetx.org
Service Units: 173, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 368, 369, 372, 375, 377, 377, 379

Carrie – cbutler@gsnetx.org 
Service Units:  111, 123, 223, 404, 405, 406, 408, 409, 411, 412, 416

Sabrina – sterrazas@gsnetx.org
Service Units: 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 233, 234, 241, 242, 250, 251, 253, 263

Find a Co-Leader and Invite Girls to Join Your Troop

Tips for finding a co-leader:

  • Ask the troop parents/guardians/relatives.
  • Build a Troop Committee.
  • Ask a friend or co-worker who might be interested in working with girls.  Did you know that volunteers don’t have to have a daughter in the troop to volunteer.
  • Ask your Troop Support Coordinator if she knows any GS alums who might be interested.
  • Connect with others on social media, especially through your school’s or grade level groups.
  • Ask your service unit manager – they might know someone who’s waiting to find the perfect troop to volunteer with!

Inviting and Welcoming New Girls to Your Troop:

Make Every Girl Feel Welcome:

  • Tips for your first parent meeting  
  • Welcome each new member and her family to your troop in a special way – for instance, have each girl introduce themselves to a new member with the Girl Scout handshake or hold an investiture ceremony.
  • Make sure to include all girls at your school.
  • Help the girls to get to know all the members.
  • Group the girls differently at each meeting to discourage cliques.
  • Remind girls to live by the Girl Scout Law.
GSUSA Tips for Troop Leaders - This is a great collection of videos with tips!
Join the New Leader Academy and Find Out About New Leader Training

Join the New Leader Academy

Find Your Training Courses: A Step-by-Step Guide (PowerPoint)

- What training is required for new leaders?  Required Training is FREE and found in your gsLearn portal found inside your MyGS account on the hompage

    TR100 – New Leader Training (required)
    TR402 – Protecting Our Girls (required)
    GSUSA Daisy/Brownie/Junior Grade Level Essentials (all three are     optional, but strongly recommended)    

gsLearn – Log into your gsLearn account when you log in your MY GS     account. gsLearn will be listed on the left.

- Additional recommended training for the first year 

    CPR/First Aid Training  (required for field trips & camping)     
    TR301 – GSNETX Camping
  (required for camping or activities     involving fire)

    *Troop funds may be used to pay for these course fees. 

- How to find/sign-up for training:

mem_2022_gslearn_diagram
Meet Your Troop Support Coordinator

Your Troop Support Team

The Troop Support Coordinator provides guidance for troop leaders especially through their first year of participation and crucial bridging years. They are the first point of contact for inquiries from troop volunteers and serve as a liaison between these volunteers and GSNETX. 

Go to your Troop Support Coordinator for help with:

  • New and returning troop volunteers
  • Volunteer training, awards/recognition, Kick-Off event
  • Troop-to-troop transfers
  • Membership records for active members
Find your Troop Support Coordinator by service unit number:

Keilene – kmiller@gsnetx.org
Service Units:  131, 141, 142, 160, 161, 163, 165, 174, 182, 183

Tiffany – tbarnes@gsnetx.org
Service Units:  101, 105, 108, 143, 147, 148, 170, 171, 184, 189, 483

Monica – mfletcher@gsnetx.org
Service Units: 111, 123, 223, 404, 405, 406, 408, 409, 411, 412, 416

Hilary – hgrider-henk@gsnetx.org
Service Units: 173, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366, 368, 369, 372, 375, 377, 377, 379

Dawn – dburwell@gsnetx.org 
Service Units:  211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 233, 234, 241, 242, 250, 251, 253, 263

Elisha – eharrison@gsnetx.org  
Service Units:  112, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 157, 158, 186, 403, 485

Week 2
Complete New Leader Training

Your goal should be to complete New Leader Training before you meet as a troop. If that isn’t possible, it should be completed within two months of becoming a troop leader.

gsLearn – Log into your gsLearn account when you log in your MY GS account. gsLearn will be listed on the left.

Why is completing training important?

  • In order to build our girls into great leaders, we have to start with ourselves! We offer many free training opportunities to empower you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver fun, safe, and meaningful Girl Scout experience to the girls in your troop. 
  • Many courses can be found in gsLearn in your MY GS account. We offer a variety of ways to get trained. Courses can be taken through gsLearn, in-person, by webinar or through our GSNETX Learning Channel Community.
If you have questions about training opportunities, contact your Troop Support Coordinator or newtroop@gsnetx.org.
 
Discover the Ins and Outs of the Volunteer Toolkit

What is the Volunteer Toolkit?

The First-Year Troop Leader and the Volunteer Toolkit

Through the Volunteer Toolkit, troop leaders can:

  • Plan the troop’s calendar year
  • Email parents with one click
  • View the troop roster, renew girls’ membership, and update girls' contact information
  • View Daisy through Ambassador Journeys and badges (to plan for troop meetings), including prepopulated tracks for younger and older Multi-Level troop groups (K–5 and 6–12)
  • Customize meetings by troop year with other badge and Journey options
  • Explore individual meeting plans that show a breakdown of every meeting, including a list of materials needed and editable time allotments for each activity within a meeting
  • Record girls’ attendance at meetings and their badge and Journey achievements
  • Add council or custom troop events to the troop’s calendar
  • Enter the troop’s finances
  • Easily locate resources both national and local council resources, such as Safety Activity Checkpoints
  • See the VTK Finance Tab FAQ and find out about Troop Financial Reporting and more
Find Your Troop Bank and Submit the Opening a Bank Account Form
Meet with your Co-Leader and Plan a Parent Meeting
Find Your Troop Roster / Email Your Troop Parents, Hold the Parent Meeting

Volunteer Toolkit – This is the best place to find your Troop Roster, it shows:

  • Girl Name
  • Parent Name
  • Email
  • Phone

MY GS – You can see your list of troop members here and you can renew their memberships. If you click on each girl to edit you will find:

  • Girl Name
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Address
  • School
  • Language preferences
  • These things can be updated by you at any time
  • You will also find other info you cannot update
Contacting New Members of the Troop

Every time a new member is assigned to your troop, whether by GSNETX or by troop invitation, an email should be sent to the family welcoming the new member and her family to the troop.

Include the following info in the troop welcome email:

  • A warm welcome
  • A brief intro to the leaders (include a few things about yourselves)
  • A short description of troop activities and or troop goals
  • What is required for meeting attendance
  • Where meetings are held, the time period and meeting dates
  • Money – are there dues and how to pay them to the troop?
  • Needs for additional help with the troop
  • Info on uniforms and where to get everything needed

Sample Email Template to welcome new families to the troop

Email Template to welcome new families to the troop.
Week 3
Complete Your Bank Account Set-Up
  • Collect your troop start-up dues the troop opening deposit.
  • Ensure that your form has been approved.
  • Make an appointment with the bank and all account signers to meet at the bank with the needed identification.  The bank should have received the approval letter, but take a printout if you have one.
  • If your bank ask for official meeting notes, contact your troop support coordinator and ask her to forward a paper declaring who the signers for the bank account shall be (those listed on your form).
  • Complete all steps to open the account.
  • Most troops get checks and a debit card.
  • Register your account with GSNETX. 
Find out How to Hold Virtual Meetings
Virtual Meeting Planning Tools

Check out these tried-and-true resources from fellow troop leaders who successfully adapted their meetings for in-person-safe and virtual settings.

In-Person Activities during COVID-19

Virtual Meeting Facilitation

gsZoom

Plan and Hold Your First Troop Meeting
Week 4
Attend a Leader Meeting

Service Units

Definition of a Service Unit: A Girl Scout service unit is a community of volunteers and girls in a geographic area usually defined by a cluster of schools. The service unit (or SU) is an essential support system that organizes trainings, mentorship, girl programs, and membership support for volunteers, girls, and girl families.

What does that all mean? Basically, the SU is your connection to your Girl Scout council and GSUSA as a whole. They have the information and support you need to feel confident as a Girl Scout volunteer.

GSENTX is divided into 70 service units who are supported by the membership teams of recruitment, troop support and new leader engagement.

Service Units generally hold monthly meetings where they share information about upcoming events and new information from GSNETX and GSUSA with representatives from each troop. All troops must have someone present at each SU meeting to listen to these vital and useful updates and ask any questions they may have.

Each SU has a team of volunteers to help it run smoothly. Roles include Service Unit Manager, Registrar, Treasurer, Cookie Product Manager, Fall Product Manager, SU Recruiter and Troop Organizer, and more. Make it a point to learn what the volunteer in each role does—you might want to volunteer for a role yourself someday! If so, let your SU know.  There is always a need for volunteers at this level.

Leader Meetings

Service units usually hold a monthly leader meeting and every troop should be represented at these meetings.

Why?

  • To find out about upcoming events and activities
  • To network with experienced leaders - and make New Friends!
  • To connect with older girls who can help your troop
  • To connect with younger girl troops
  • To get suggestions about best practices
  • To find out new information from GSNETX and GSUSA
  • For upcoming membership campaigns
  • For training
  • For fall and cookie programs
  • And more!

Contact your service unit manager, troop support coordinator or the SU Volunteer Look-Up to find out when your service unit meeting are held.

If you do not have a service unit team or your service unit does not hold monthly meetings, you are eligible to attend a GSNETX staff-led Leader meeting held August through May on the last Tuesday of the month at noon or the last Wednesday of the month at 7 PM. These meetings will last an hour or less and will provide you with upcoming news about Girl Scouts and have time for questions/answers.

GSNETX-Led Virtual New Leader Meetings: 

  • Attend the Last Tuesday of the month at 12 PM, noon
  • Attend the Last Wednesday of the month at 7 PM
  • Meetings over Zoom

August 2021 (PowerPoint)
September 2021 (PowerPoint)
October 2021 (PowerPoint)
November 2021 (PointPoint)
December 2021 (PowerPoint)
January 2022 (PowerPoint)
February 2022 (PowerPoint)
March 2022 (PowerPoint)
April 2022 (PowerPoint)
May 2022 (PowerPoint)
June 2022 (PowerPoint)

New Leader Newsletters: 

September 2021
October 2021

November 2021
December 2021
January 2022New Leader Newsletter -_
     S'More Valentine Card
     Cookie Card
     Older Girl Cookie Card
February 2022
March 2022
April 2022

May 2022
June 2022

In-Person Events

August: Welcome to Girl Scouts  & Girl Scout Express
Location: JoAnn Fogg Service Center

October 23: All About the Cookie Program
Location: GSNETX Southern Sector Service Center

February 20: Girl Scout Traditions
Location: JoAnn Fogg Service Center

April 10: Discover the GSNETX Camps

Get Help Planning Your Troop Year in Girl Scouts

Need help planning your Girl Scout year? Contact kbrown@gsnetx.org and make an appointment with the New Troop Support Programs Specialist, Kelsey Brown.

  • Get help setting up the calendar in the Volunteer Toolkit.
  • Find out where to find fun GSNETX events/programs and how to register for them.
  • Get guidance on setting up an ebiz account and where to find it.
  • Find out how to plan your year and ensure you are delivering a Girl Scout Leadership Experience that is just right for your troop!

Additional Support for leading badges and your troop:

With Troop Leader Blueprint, find more...

  • Badges broken down to help you
  • Training and planning tools
  • Mupporting resources

Jumpstart — Jumpstart Girl Scouts in STEM is a great online aid for unplugged activates for girls, troop leaders and parents! [find under the STEM expandable menu]

Find Out All About the GSNETX Cookie Program
Keeping the Fun in Girl Scouts

Fun Troop Meetings


GSNETX Patch Programs

Give back to your community by participating in our patch programs. Each patch has downloadable curriculum that you can complete at home with your troop or family. (Multi-level programs available.)

Fun Beyond Your Troop Meeting

Camping

Girl Scout camping is a time honored tradition. Girls embrace the outdoors, learn outdoor skills, gain independence, and more. Start with a day camp, move to a backyard camp-out and onward to our camps!

More Info
Keeping the Fun in Girl Scouts
Fun Troop Meetings

GSNETX Patch Programs

Give back to your community by participating in our patch programs. Each patch has downloadable curriculum that you can complete at home with your troop or family. (Multi-level programs available.)

Fun Beyond Your Troop Meetings
More Girl Scout Ideas
Looking Forward to Camping

Girl Scout camping is a time honored tradition. Girls embrace the outdoors, learn outdoor skills, gain independence, and more. Start with a day camp, move to a backyard camp-out and onward to our camps!

Year End Celebrations – Coming Soon!
Planning for Next Year – Coming Soon!
Bridging – Coming Soon!
Year End To-Do List – Coming Soon!
  • Early Bird Spring Renewal – Coming Soon!
  • Year End Troop Financials – Coming Soon!
Download New Leader Handbooks

Daisy (PDF)
Brownie (PDF)
Junior (PDF)
Cadette, Senior, Ambassador (coming soon!)
Multi-Level (coming soon!)
Spanish (coming soon!)

 

 

Volunteer
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