It’s that time again – a new year for Girl Scouts! October 1st was the start of a new year for scouting, and it’s time for parents to get prepared. Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines council covers all of the Triangle, and there is a lot of great information on their website, in addition to a few tips and tricks I’ve learned as a Girl Scout Leader and mom volunteer for the past several years.
If you haven’t joined, but are looking into it, I would recommend looking at the Girls Scouts – NC Coastal Pines website and checking out the ABOUT tab, as well as the activities listed. They’ll give you the purpose, background, and expectations of Girl Scouts, as well a snapshot of activities that your daughters are able to participate in. I would also recommend checking what troops are in your area, to see if there is a troop that aligns best with your goals for having your daughter join.
You also need to decide if you would like to register as a Girl Scout to volunteer. When parents register (moms and dads!), the council does a background check as a precaution, since you will be around minors. You can go to the council website to see the list of volunteer roles if you are interested in participating.
If you’ve already joined, and need help getting everything together for the year, here’s a quick checklist I run through with my Girl Scout families at the beginning of each year:
Make sure to make a note of the first meeting date.
- The first meeting is usually when you receive calendars, troop dues info, fill out forms, etc. Make sure to clear out that time to attend with your daughter. Normally, this is the only Girl Scout meeting you can attend unless you register as a volunteer. Background checks must be completed to sit in during meetings.
Check your daughter’s level – Daisy, Brownie, Junior, etc.
Once you have your daughter’s level now on to purchasing the appropriate uniform. Sashes instead of vests will save you a few dollars. Also, make sure you purchase the appropriate insignia and put it in the appropriate place. Most Girl Scout troops take care of earned badges and patches, but insignia and uniforms are the responsibility of the parents.
Decide how to volunteer or support the troop.
- Girl Scout troop leaders are completely volunteering jobs – so we need parents! Even if it’s just contributing bottled water, poster board or helping to carpool to events. Parents help troops thrive! If your troop does fundraisers, decide if you would like your daughter to participate, because let’s be honest – you will be doing work too!
Develop relationships with the Girl Scout Leaders, other parents, and the girls.
- You will spend a good amount of time with all of these people, so being able to work well together is a plus!
Make sure you’re ready for the commitment
- Girl Scouts is a learning experience. They need to be on time. They need to come regularly, not every single meeting, but often enough that the experience is worth it!
Girl Scouts is an awesome experience! When you get your calendar for the year, make sure you are making time for meetings, events, and volunteer opportunities. Also, troop leaders welcome your ideas – so bring them!
I always tell parents;
Girl Scouts is what you make it – so make it remarkable!