1. Set Clear Expectations Ahead of Time
How can you get the most out of a trip if you don’t know where you are going? Sure, you might have some fun along the way, but you will miss so many opportunities (plus be more stressed) if you don’t have a clear destination in mind. The same applies to planning your Girl Scout year.
Try these few tips to chart a smart course ahead, and to decrease potential friction between parents and volunteers:
- Try sending an email, or text to all your parents and volunteers asking them what they want their daughter to get out of this Girl Scout year. Miscommunication is one of the leading causes of conflict, and an easy way to avoid future tension is to lay everything out in the open.
- Do they want their daughter to focus on the outdoors? STEM? Career exploration? You will never know unless you ask, and once you have a feel for what the troop as a whole is expecting, you will be planning as a community rather than a lone wolf.
- If you are the troop leader, let the parents and volunteers know what is expected of them. How often do they need to provide snack? Who needs to be available transportation? If the adults are going to be put on a schedule, perhaps make a chart letting each parent know what dates they are responsible for the next semester.
- If you are a parent, engage in open communication with your troop leader. Trying to make the girls and adults happy is no easy task, and they need you to voice your opinion. That being said, try to be flexible, and supportive of your leader as he or she plans for the group as a whole.
2. Get the Girls Involved
In the tip before, we talked about getting the other parents and volunteers involved, and you may be thinking, “That’s great, but there is no way that I can make everyone happy!” And you don’t have to, because ultimately, Girl Scouts is about letting the girls lead and choose their own paths.
- Once you have spoken to the parents and volunteers about what they are hoping their daughter gets out of this Girl Scout year, compile their suggestions, along with your own, and match the suggestions up with programs and badges.
- Whether you just write the programs and badges down on a piece of paper or print out photos that represent them, have the girls vote on which programs or badges are most appealing to them.
3. Use Your Resources
Whether you are new to Girl Scouting, or bleed green because you’ve been with us so long, getting help and learning more is never a bad thing. So check out our resources coming up that will help you plan the best Girl Scout year yet:
Volunteer Kickoff– This event takes place right as the Girl Scout year kicks off in early August. Council staff facilitate key learning sessions that will help you plan, lead, and grow. Bonus: Attending the Volunteer Kickoff gives you first dibs on the new FOCALPoint!
The Volunteer Resource Fairs– Ever wonder what there is to do in your area that is Girl Scout friendly? Look no further! The resource fairs offer local vendors who either offer programming for Girl Scouts or offer discounts for the girls in green.
The FOCALPoint– Our programming for the entire year offered in print and digital. The FOCALPoint will makes its’ debut at the Volunteer Kickoff and will be available after.
G.I.R.L. Talk– Our weekly eNewsletter that comes out every Wednesday will catch you up on everything important going on in the council. If you aren’t subscribed already, click here to subscribe.
What planning tips do you have that we don’t have here? We would love to know so we can share them with your fellow volunteers! If you have a suggestion, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!