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For Troop Leaders

Troop leaders are at the heart of Girl Scouting. They pull together meeting ideas, camping gear, craft supplies, parent volunteers, and girls’ dreams, and magically turn all of those into the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. If you’re a troop leader, thanks for everything you do!

Check out What Girl Scouts Do for more information about programs and activities (including badges and Journeyshighest awards, civic engagement, and more). If you're brand new, check out the new leader page, too.

Find more info on engaging girls and families, troop management, safety, troop finances, and product program in Volunteer Essentials.

Working with Girls

Plan Meetings

Volunteer Toolkit: Plan troop meetings with ease and have more quality time with your troop by using the Volunteer Toolkit. It’s a web app for busy troop leaders. Access it on your phone, tablet, or computer. The Volunteer Toolkit includes:

  • meeting plans for each troop level
  • activity printables
  • digital Journeys
  • meeting scripts, and
  • built-in emails that are time-savers for communicating with families.

Get started: From any page on our website, select the My GS/VTK tab. Enter your username (Girl Scout email) and password. Choose the Volunteer Toolkit option. Once you’re in, choose the Explore tab to browse meeting options with your troop. Select one and you’re ready to go! Customize your year plan anytime by adding or removing activities. Want to learn more? See our cheat sheet or get to know the Volunteer Toolkit tabs.

You must be a registered Troop Leader or Assistant Leader with a current Girl Scout membership to view the Volunteer Toolkit. Need help? Contact

Find an appropriate meeting place. Many troops meet at schools, libraries, recreation center, places of worship, or even our Girl Scout properties (see the Reserve Meeting, Outing, or Camping Space section) GSUSA recommends against meeting at private homes. In some areas, however, public spaces are not available. If you must host at a home, request an exception in advance.

Find Girl Scouts Events and Happenings

Visit the Events page for upcoming activities and training options that empower you to do more with your troop.

Check out the happenings page for your program level, and read the monthly Volunteer Voice email newsletter for tips, highlights, and ideas.

Reserve Meeting, Outing, or Camping Space

Need a place to hold a special meeting? Want to do an outdoor activity like archery or the adventure zone? Is your troop ready to camp, or would they like to experience our art or nature center? We’ve got a property for you! Check out our Property Resource Guide to learn more. When you’re ready, reserve a property.

Check Out Games and Equipment

Need jump ropes, hula hoops, microscopes, GPS devices, coding kits, games, or camping equipment? We’ve got you covered. View our Equipment Catalog to learn what items we stock and how to check them out. Then check availability at our Resource Center locations. 

Connect with a Community Partner

We’ve teamed up with community partners to provide Girl Scouts with things to do like special events and learning and service opportunities—all based on the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Add to troop activities by scheduling a workshop, signing up to volunteer, or attend a special event.

Head Outdoors

Weekend Campouts: Join other San Diego Girl Scout troops for a weekend of camping, teambuilding, and fun at one of our council properties. Campouts are arranged by grade level and run by camp staff. Campouts include Adventure Weekends, Brownie Sleepovers, He and Me, and She and Me options.

Independent Troop Camping: Venture up to our camps in Julian for your next outdoor adventure, or camp at one of our city properties. You’re in charge of your experience! Explore camp, pack your day with activities, or just kick back and enjoy quality time with your troop. 

Adventure Zone: Girls test their courage and build confidence in a safe, supportive environment. Girls in 2nd grade (Brownies) and older can participate in all ground and low-element activities. Fourth graders (Juniors) and older can participate in all activities, including the 40-foot climbing tower. Certified staff oversee Adventure Zone activities.

High Ropes Challenge Course: Located at camp Whispering Oaks in Julian, this course lets girls test their courage and build confidence in a safe, supportive environment. Girls tackle the course, cheer on their friends, and receive the support of their team. Current 4th graders (Girl Scout Juniors) and older are eligible to participate. Certified staff oversee High Ropes activities.

Art and Nature Centers: The Art and Nature Centers at our Balboa Campus provide a space for girls to explore the world as they put their knowledge and skills to the test. Girls work individually and collaboratively to learn more about art, culture, nature, the environment—not to mention themselves! 

Hiking/Backpacking: Designed for individuals, our three-step wilderness progression safely takes girls and adults out of the campground and into the woods. 

Outdoor Resources: Whether you're looking to explore your backyard or the backcountry, Girl Scouts outdoor badges and Journeys will strengthen girls’ outdoor skills and ignite their interest in environmental stewardship.

Summer Camps: All girls are welcome at our summer day camps and sleepaway camps.


Help your troop or girl explore potential STEM careers through STEM badges and Journeys, activities, and community partner events. Check out more STEM resources. Contact our STEM program specialist at or 619-610-0813.

Travel Near or Far

Travel offers girls a unique experience that allows them to discover new places, appreciate other cultures, and expand their understanding of the world and themselves. To begin, travel is as simple as a local field trip but can progress over time to domestic and even international locations. Preparing for travel by goal setting, planning, and earning funds builds skills that last a lifetime! Learn more about Girl Scout travel options.

Find More Girls for Your Troop

A standard troop has 12 girls. If you need more girls, open your troop using the Troop Catalog request form. Girls and families can then find and join your troop as they browse available troops in their area  Need help or have questions? Contact

Guide Girls through a Girl Scout Journey

Girl Scout Journeys: Help your girls learn leadership by working on a Girl Scout Journey. Every Girl Scout grade level has a series of Journeys that help girls explore and connect with their community, discover their passions, and make the world a better place by taking action. When girls complete a Journey, they:

  • Learn about themselves, their community, and important topics
  • Identify a problem they want to do something about
  • Come up with a creative solution that will make a difference
  • Create a team plan to make that solution a reality
  • Put their plan into action
  • Talk about what they learned—and what they can’t wait to do next
  • Celebrate their success as they earn their National Leadership Journey awards

Help Girls Choose a Journey:

  1. Visit the Award and Badge Explorer.
  2. Select your troop or girl’s grade level.
  3. Select “Journeys” as your topic.
  4. Select Create a PDF to share Journey options with girls.

Find Journeys and Get Started: All Journeys are available in a digital format in the Volunteer Toolkit. Classic Journeys are available in book form in the Girl Scout shop.

Note: Troop leaders and co-leaders have access to digital Journeys in the Volunteer Toolkit. Parents and other volunteers helping girls can request digital Journey curriculum by contacting

Help Girls Learn Skills by Earning Badges

Earning badges helps Girl Scouts build confidence as they try new things and increase resilience as they work through obstacles. Girl Scouts also learn to take the lead in their own lives and in their communities. Simply put: badges help girls grow! Learn more or find badges by program level.

Lead Girls Through Highest Awards

The Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards are Girl Scouting’s highest awards. Working through the highest awards challenges girls to grow in areas of leadership, teamwork, goal setting, and analyzing and solving issues in their community.

As a Girl Scout troop leader, it’s very rewarding to know that you’ve set girls on the path of community leadership and personal success by guiding them though the highest awards. You can take Bronze and Silver Award training in person or online at Older girls sign up for Gold Award training after meeting pre-requisites. Questions? Contact

Participate in Cookie and Fall Product Programs

When girls participate in product programs, they fund life-changing experiences and adventure. They also develop essential life skills—goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics—all while soaring in confidence and practicing leadership the Girl Scout way to lift one another up and change the world, together. Learn more.


Working with Families

Partner with Parents

We know that support from troop families and clear communication between leaders and parents are key to a successful troop. Set a tone of partnership! After all, you and parents have the same goal—an amazing Girl Scout experience for girls. Remember that over time, you’ll become a troop family and that rewarding friendships may form not just for the girls, but for you, too.

Use these resources to connect with troop parents, get help with the troop, and keep parents in the know about Girl Scouts:

Volunteer Toolkit: Use the Volunteer Toolkit to connect to troop parents with ease.

  • When you select a year plan, parents can see meeting activities and resources, allowing them to help out with troop activities, shop using the materials list, or help a girl who is behind.
  • Email the whole troop or send out built-in meeting summaries and reminders with the click of a button.

Parent Meeting Packet: Find tips for running a smooth parent meeting, a sample meeting agenda, and a customizable letter to introduce yourself and provide important troop info.

4Her FlyerTroops excel when parents are part of the fun. Use the 4Her Flyer to ask parents for four hours of their time. Girls earn a patch when parents pitch in. Parents receive a certificate of appreciation. Read the 4Her Leader Sheet to learn more and celebrate 4Her troop helpers with a 4Her certificate.

Girl Scouts San Diego Family Connection (Spanish): Share this guide with parents and help them learn about the many ways Girl Scouts benefits girls. Copies may be picked up at Girl Scout San Diego council locations. 

Family Cookie Guide (new link coming soon): When cookie season rolls around, this guide helps families understand the why’s of the Girl Scout Cookie Program and how the program benefits girls. (español disponible pronto)

Financial assistance: Let parents know that Girl Scouts is for every girl. Financial assistance is available to cover first-year membership fees, uniform pieces, and some activities.

Trained to Lead: Wear your Trained to Lead patch with pride and collect charms with each training you complete. Show parents that you’re “trained to lead.”

Help Parents with Financial Assistance

All girls can participate in Girl Scouts. Financial assistance is available to help pay for items like these:

  • First-year Girl Scout membership fees (subsequent year fees can be paid with troop funds)
  • Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting or girl Journey book
  • Basic uniform pieces
  • Local service unit events
  • Council-sponsored events (i.e., STEM events, Incredible Race, etc.)
  • Council-sponsored sleepaway and day camps

Adult members may also apply for assistance to cover training fees, startup costs for books, and some uniform pieces. See Financial Assistance for applications and more info.


Training and Resources

Volunteer Essentials

Volunteer Essentials is your go-to handbook for all things Girl Scouts including things to do with your troop and chapters on safety and troop finances. Use the links in the table of contents to quickly find the topics you need. Or download it as a reference.

Volunteer Essentials is updated each year. Check back once a year for the current version.


The safety of Girl Scouts—both girls and volunteers—is very important. Visit our Safety page to find resources to keep girls safe during routine troop activities and more advanced outings.

Training: Beyond the Basics

Troop leaders and assistant troop leaders take Getting Started with Your Troop and Mandated Reporter Training to begin. But learning doesn’t need to stop there. Learn ways to work with Girl Scouts based on their age in our program-level trainings. Enrich your troop’s experiences by learning and sharing outdoor skills. Or, become certified to teach your girls archery. Learn how to have a travel adventure with Troop Tripping. Or help your girls learn leadership by taking Bronze and Silver Award training. Learn more about training options

Connect with your service unit: This group of Girl Scout volunteers is working to support troops in your neighborhood. Service unit volunteers act as mentors, answer questions, and provide learning and troop activities. Monthly meetings are a great place to connect. Contact if you need your service unit contact info.

Get Recognized for Your Training

All adult volunteers can display their training accomplishments with pride with the Trained to Lead patch and charms. Charms are available for most courses.

Extra Help

Conflict Resolution:  Working with parents and other volunteers is rewarding, but sometimes challenging. Need help? Take the Conflict Resolution and Prevention course in our online learning portal. Log in at . Enter your username (Girl Scout email) and password. You’ll find the course on the library tab.

If you’d like to discuss an issue in person reach out to your service unit team or your council troop support specialist. Need contact info? Email

Differences of opinion, disagreements, and conflicts are inevitable parts of life. When they are handled constructively, they can actually enhance communication, improve relationships, and achieve a higher quality result or outcome. Volunteer Relations Consulting Group, LLC and GSSD have developed this GSSD Volunteer Relations℠ Conflict Management Roadmap for Volunteers in order to provide the highest quality Girl Scout Leadership Experience for all girls and adults.

Group management and virtual tips and tricks videos: Check out these ten short videos made for troop leaders by our experts on the Girl Scout Outreach team. Videos include: First Day Basics: Creating a Plan and Establishing Rules; Attention Getters and Ice Breakers; Team Building Games; Virtual Team Building Games; Songs; Splitting into Groups; Transitions and Brain Breaks; Daisy Tips and Tricks; Brownie Tips and Tricks; and Junior Tips and Tricks.

Can’t find what you're looking for? Use our new, interactive Troop Support tool to get the help you need.