Parents, Volunteer Experience, Volunteers

Planning Your Year the Girl Scout Way

Through Girl Scouts, girls can do anything. And with so many options, planning your year can feel overwhelming. Don’t worry, if you follow these simple steps and use our resources to help you and the girls it will take some of the stress out of this process.

1. Assemble Your Team: The first step to anything in Girl Scouts is putting together a team and exploring options. So make your first troop meeting a planning meeting, bring your Program Event Guide, badge books, and the important dates from page 4 of your Program Event Guide, spread them out and start flipping through and discussing with the girls what Girl Scout Journeys and Badges they would like to earn and what events/activities/trips they want to do. Need a basic outline before your troop customizes their year? Here are some great outlines complete with activities for earning badges and Journeys awards for the DaisyBrownie, and Junior levels. Don’t forget that troop parents have great connections and are great resources for guest speakers, badge workshop helpers and much more. Check out this post about Simple Ways to Transform Parent Engagement and start using those parental connections!

2. Prioritize: It is really important to teach the girls how to differentiate between things they “really want” to do and things that “would be fun if possible”. Make a list of all the things the girls want to do, then take a vote for the most popular, and choose the top 10 things to accomplish for the year from that list. Then tally up the next 10 most popular and those can be extra activities for the troop if one of their “really wants” doesn’t work out. Don’t forget to add trips into your badge and Journey activities. Need trip ideas? Here are some Popular Troop Trip Destinations.

3. Create a Budget: One of life’s great lessons is learning to live within a budget so after the girls make their plan have them start creating a budget to match that plan. Be sure to include proceeds from things like the Fall Sale and Cookie Program. Help the girls make the connection between their “plan” and the work that will go into obtaining the funds needed to make that plan a reality.

4.  Expect Change: Just as great novels go through many drafts before publishing, great troop plans will go through lots of edits before the year is done. Be ready, and prepare the girls too, for things to interfere or for unanticipated road blocks to occur. This is where that list of “would be fun if possible” comes in handy. If the trip to Savannah needs another year of fundraising to accomplish, maybe that shorter day trip to Cedar Point can happen this year. Having plans that span multi-years is a great way to build excitement and reinforce important life skills.

As Karen, a Girl Scout volunteer and alumna, says in this video: there are no limits when you’re a Girl Scout. What can’t you wait to do with your troop this year?