What Leaders Want Parents to Know
Troop leaders have many roles in Girl Scouts. They are cheerleaders, guides, organizers, troubleshooters, and mentors for their troop. Under their leadership, our girl members are developing life skills, building confidence, and making impacts (and friendships!) that will last a lifetime. Girl Scouts doesn’t happen without them!
As parents, you may not always see all of the time and effort your daughter’s leaders put into her Girl Scout experience or know how best to support your leader. And parent support is a key component to a successful troop! To help our parents understand the role of a leader and also what they can do to help, we asked some of our veteran leaders to share with us what they want parents to know. Here are their answers:
We need you!
“I need the parents to know that I need them. We have to work together to make this a great learning experience for the girls.”
“I am always willing to take any help offered. If you find an activity or want more done, please offer.”
“Girls often really enjoy their parent’s involvement. At the beginning of the year, we decide on something special for our parent volunteers. Some troops have made Green Angel pins. After an event or meeting, they make a big deal about the child presenting a pin to her mom (or dad!). We have made cards, given patches, or cooked a mom’s dinner as part of a cooking badge. We have also done a Mom and Me trip to Kalahari and all loved it! Most parents will follow through so they don’t disappoint their daughters. Some troops even ask families to take on a badge to teach during the year. We’ve had 3 moms who are nurses and 1 doctor, so we have done several field trips to hospitals and clinics and even a Council’s Own Nursing badge.”
We are volunteers!
“Without their time, talents and resources Girl Scouting would not be available. We spend a lot of time attending training and preparing / leading meetings. Successful Girl Scouts have a team effort among leaders, girls AND parents working in partnership where parents can help in many ways. As a parent, you can’t complain about lack of something in the troop if you aren’t willing to be part of the process. Other organizations ask for a lot more help and often money, so why not give in some way to your daughter’s troop? Be willing to register and be background checked to help with the troop.”
We communicate in many ways!
“Communication is key! Look for emails or Facebook messages from your troop to see what is happening. There might be last minute needs or changes. Find out what is the best way to communicate with your leader. Some don’t text or Facebook. Some send out monthly newsletters. Even better, offer to help the troop with these roles 😊 Be the photographer for events and publish to your troop’s private Facebook group or teach the girls how to make a scrapbook with all the photos from your year.”
“I will text, post on Facebook page, and email. I don’t have time to call all parents. Please respond to the way you said is best for you.”
“Leaders are encouraged to have mandatory parent meeting explaining these expectations — beginning of the year and to prep for Cookie season are great times. If parents don’t want to commit to anything, leaders can skip the things that take the most time away from programming roles. In other words, if you don’t have a Fall Product Sales chair, then you don’t do Fall Product Sales. Parents can pay out of pocket for things.”
We set deadlines for a reason!
“Deadlines are important. If money is needed by a certain time, it’s to get supplies, venue, etc. and please don’t have me chasing you for it. I hate when a girl misses an event, but I also want to teach them responsibility.”
We do it for (and with) the girls!
“I always want parents to understand that I plan meetings, outings and trips based on what the girls want to do. We are girl-led. I throw in a healthy dose of what I think is important in Girl Scouting (i.e. community service, Girl Scout traditions, etc.). I am always surprised at what the girls are willing to try! Even my own daughter surprises me. When the girls go through the program guide, they light up when they see all of the opportunities they never knew were out there. I am definitely forced out of my comfort zone to make sure the girls get what they need out of this experience.”
“Your girls are a big part of my life. I have learned to love them all. I do what I do because your girls deserve the best.”
Thank you to all of our troop leaders for sharing with us. We could not build girls of courage, confidence, and character without you!
Want to know more about volunteering with your daughter’s troop? Talk to your Girl Scout leader or check out different ways to volunteer.