Starting Your Troop

Recommended Resource: Volunteer Essentials

Volunteer Essentials is our guide to everything Girl Scouts. It is a publication from our council (Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana) and comes from our national organization (Girl Scout of the USA). Volunteer Essentials contains information on being a volunteer, our policies and procedures, and program information and standards.  It is to be used by all troops. Volunteer Essentials can be downloaded or accessed on our Leader Resources page. All troops are expected to take the Volunteer Essentials training (either e-course or in person). See our council training page for options.

Troop Meetings

Troops can choose to hold your meetings in many different ways.

  • Meeting days and times are up to the volunteer leadership team of the troop (the leaders, assistant leaders and troop helpers). If you as a leader don’t have a preference, you can wait until you get additional troop volunteers before coming up with a time that is mutually agreeable for all of you.
  • Meeting locations are also up to the leadership team. Many of our troops use their elementary schools either after school or in the evening. Some choose to meet in a leader or volunteer home. Others choose a public place such as a church or library.
  • Meeting content is determined by the leadership team for your troop.  You can learn about your particular level’s program and suggestions for meetings by taking your grade level training.

Reporting your meeting place is done once a year when you do the troop survey. The current link to report and/or update your meeting information is here.

Recruit Girls and Volunteers

You can work with our council recruiter (you will receive contact information in your Welcome Session) to recruit girls and volunteers for your troop. Some ways to do this:

  • Hand out flyers to interested families (our recruiter can print them and deliver them to the school)
  • Have the girls invite their friends
  • Host an informational meeting at your school (our recruiter can help you to set this up)

Open a Checking Account for Troop Funds

All troops are required to have a bank account for troops funds and to submit an annual finance report. Contact our finance manager at for options. Chapter 5 in Volunteer Essentials gives specific information about setting up and using accounts