From toolkits and guides to regular contact with experienced people,
you’ll have all the support you need to be a Girl Scout
volunteer. Here’s a list of some important resources you’ll want to
The Volunteer Toolkit
The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a customizable digital planning
tool for troop leaders and co-leaders to easily manage their troop
year-round and deliver easy, fun troop meetings. Accessible via
desktop and mobile devices, the VTK saves you time and energy all year
long, so that you can focus on unleashing the G.I.R.L (Go-getter,
Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl, ensuring she has every
opportunity she deserves to build a lifetime of leadership, success,
Girls have more fun when they can shape their own experiences, do
hands-on activities, and work together as teams. With the VTK, girls
and leaders can explore meeting topics and program
activities together, and follow the fun as they plan their Girl Scout year.
Through the Volunteer Toolkit, troop leaders can:
- Plan the troop’s calendar year and meeting schedule.
- Email parents/caregivers with one click.
- View the
troop roster, renew girls’ membership, and update girls' contact
- View meeting plans for Journeys and badges,
including suggested tracks for multi-level groups (K–5 and
- Customize meeting agendas to fit your unique
- Explore individual meeting plans that show a
breakdown of every step, including a list of materials
needed, editable time allotments for each activity within a
meeting, and printable meeting aids.
girls’ attendance at meetings and their badge and Journey
- Add council or custom events to the troop’s
- Submit troop’s finance reports (depending on the
- Easily locate both national and local
council resources, such as Safety Activity Checkpoints.
Parents and caregivers can:
- View the troop’s meeting schedule and individual meeting plans
to stay up to date on the badges and Journeys they are working
- Renew their memberships, and update their contact
- View their Girl Scout’s attendance and
- See upcoming events the troop is planning or
- Easily locate both national and local council
resources, such as the Family Hub.
- View the troop’s
finance report (depending on the council’s process).
Get started by visiting clicking My GS in the navigation bar.
The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting
What does it mean to be a go-getting Girl Scout? It’s all
in The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting. These grade level-specific
binders will help you break it down for your girls. It’s part
handbook, part badge book, and 100 percent fun!
Safety Activity Checkpoints
Safety is paramount in Girl Scouting, and this resource—Safety Activity Checkpoints—contains everything
you need to know to help keep your girls safe during a variety of
exciting activities outside of their regular Girl Scout troop meetings.
Tips for Troop Leaders
When you’re looking for real-world advice from fellow troop
leaders who've been there, this
volunteer-to-volunteer resource on the Girl Scouts of the USA
website has what you need for a successful troop year.
Girl Scout Volunteers in Your Community
Remember that Girl Scout support team we mentioned? You’ll find
them in your service unit! Troops are organized geographically into
service units or communities. You’ll find a local network of fellow
leaders and administrative volunteers ready to offer tips and advice
to help you succeed in your volunteer role.
Customer Care Contacts
Questions? Need help resolving an issue? We’ve got you! Reach
out anytime by either clicking on the “Contact Us” form at www.gsmists.org or email
. During business hours, Monday – Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 5:30
p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. you can reach a
customer service specialist by calling 844-476-4787 (844-GSMISTS).
In the Know – A bi-monthly e-mail for Troop Leaders,
Co-Leaders, Service Unit Team Members, and Adult Learning
Facilitators. This newsletter provides council updates regarding
policies, membership, programming, and other pressing council information.
Shore Shout-Out – A monthly programming e-mail newsletter sent
to Girl Scout members and their families with featured programs and
You and your troop are doing amazing things, share your story! If
your troop is earning awards, learning something new, serving the
community or other exciting work, you can let council know by emailing
email@example.com. We are always looking
for ways to showcase the awesome troops in our council.
Whether you’ve already been actively promoting Girl Scouts in your
local media or are new to the process, we’re excited to have you tell
the Girl Scout story in your community. You, as a local contact, are
an important link to local media reporters and editors. We need your
help to promote more Girl Scout events and opportunities in your
community. Most local community newspapers, blogs and websites are
hungry for stories. Don’t be shy about talking up a girl’s
accomplishments, a community service project or anything else that
shows the strong ties Girl Scouts have to their communities.
Before reaching out to media, touch base with Manager of Marketing
and Communications Krystan Krucki, at firstname.lastname@example.org, to see if there is any
additional information that can be included in your media pitch. For
example, if you are promoting a science event, she can provide you
with information like how over 160,000 Girl Scouts participate in STEM
programs annually. She may also have materials that you can customize
for local media.
Important: GSUSA-Led Media Outlets. Girl Scout volunteers are
encouraged to work with local media, but there are some media outlets
that should not be approached. These media outlets are highly visible
with large-scale audiences (like network television networks,
nation-wide magazine publications and nation-wide online media sites)
are included in GSUSA strategic marketing and communications plan, and
must be approached only by national staff. If you have a local story
to be elevated to national news, contact Krystan Krucki, at
email@example.com to discuss.
So, what kinds of things should you pitch to your local media?
Reporters are busy, so make sure that your story has merit and is
worth their time before contacting them. While we all like to see Girl
Scout stories in the media, the best ones show the public why Girl
Scouting is important in the local community and why it’s important to
support Girl Scouting by becoming a member or with their financial support.
- Local Events
- Awards and Honors
- Cookie Sale
- Service Projects
Be sure to include specific details about the story and photography
from events (after ensure girls/parent have given permission)
The media loves to cover stories about youth and to feature youth in
photos, which gives Girl Scouts many opportunities for news coverage.
First and foremost, Girl Scouts must always protect our girls. Please
follow these guidelines when working with media and youth:
- Ensure that any girl featured in media promotion has a minor
photo release signed by a parent or that her parent/guardian signed
the photo release on her registration form.
- Even if you
know that a girl or girls have submitted photo releases, always get
parental permission before involving girls in media promotion.
- Once photo releases have been obtained, you must also be careful
to respect the privacy of our girls. In general, for girls under the
age of 18, we do not use last names in any media story. First names
and last initials are our standard practice. However, media like
using full names, so if they request this, a full name may be used
after parental permission has been granted.
- Be sure that
girls are comfortable talking to and working with the media. Girls
should never be pressured or made to feel uncomfortable. Talk with
the girls before to make sure they understand what types of
questions the reporter might ask and how an interview would be set
up so they know what to expect.
- Make sure an adult is
present at all times when a girl is being interviewed. If she
becomes uncomfortable, anxious, or confused, the adult can step
If you are successful in getting a story or photo placed in your
local media, there are several follow-up steps to take:
- Make note of the reporter’s name and contact information so
that you can contact them again for future stories.
for an online version of the story and copy its link location. If
you place a multimedia story (radio or television, for instance)
it’s okay ask the media outlet how to get a copy of the story.
- Show off your success! Please contact Krystan Krucki at
firstname.lastname@example.org with your media successes. We love to brag about
your good work! If you have advance notice that a story is running,
give us a heads-up so we can tell others to watch for it.
- Very occasionally, the way a reporter presents information comes
across as negative. If you see this happening, please contact
council so we can discuss next steps.
- Finally, give
yourself a big pat on the back! Securing placement for stories takes
creativity and effort on your part, plus a bit of luck amidst a busy
news cycle. Getting the Girl Scout story out there helps the public
see how important Girl Scouting is to local girls and the local
community, which can translate into increased girl membership, adult
volunteers, financial donors and other community supporters.