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Volunteer Trainings

Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore (GSMISTS) is committed to upholding the standards of GSUSA in that all volunteers are trained based on the role they serve. Our council is proud to offer training and events that empower volunteers with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to deliver fun, safe, and meaningful Girl Scout experiences.

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Running a Troop

These trainings are intended for troop leaders and assistant troop leaders. These trainings, except for Level Specific Trainings, are available in gsLearn. gsLearn is accessed by logging into MY GS. After logging in to MY GS, you’ll see three options: Volunteer Toolkit, Member Profile, and gsLearn. Click on the third green box to enter gsLearn. If you have any difficulties accessing or using gsLearn please contact customercare@gsmists.org.

Troop Management Learning Path

This training gives you information on how to manage your troop. It is specific to GSMISTS. While this training is required for new troop leaders, we encourage veteran leaders to participate in it annually for updates. The Learning Path contains the following trainings, in order of required completion:

  • GSUSA Successful Leader Learning Foundation 1
  • GSUSA Successful Leader Learning Foundation 2
  • Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) Tutorials
    • Setting Up Your Year Plan
    • Meeting Plan Overview
    • Setting Meeting Dates, Times, and Location
    • Customize Your Year Plan
  • GSMISTS Troop Management Training Session 1: Troop Finances
  • GSUSA Successful Leader Learning Foundation 3
  • GSMISTS Troop Management Training Session 3: Troop Organization
  • OPTIONAL: GSUSA Successful Leader Learning Foundation 4

The Troop Management Learning Path is on your gsLearn Dashboard.

Volunteer Toolkit Tutorials

The Volunteer Toolkit is your official source for delivering easy, fun troop meetings year-round! This fully customizable digital planning tool is accessible on any computer, tablet, or mobile device and provides you with Girl Scout program content, award requirements, and other resources.

Modules include tutorials on how to:

  • Setting Up Your Year Plan
  • Meeting Plan Overview
  • Setting Meeting Dates, Times, and Location
  • Customize Your Year Plan

The Volunteer Toolkit modules are on your gsLearn Dashboard.

Successful Leader Learning Series

Confident leaders are prepared leaders, and this online learning series provides all the info you need to get started as a troop leader. The Successful Leader Learning Series contains four modules and provides general information, not specific to GSMISTS.

  • Successful Leader Learning Series Foundation 1: The Girl Scout Way
  • Successful Leader Learning Series Foundation 2: The Girl Scout Leadership Experience
  • Successful Leader Learning Series Foundation 3: Well Being and Development
  • Successful Leader Learning Series Foundation 4: Understanding Troop Operations

The Successful Leader Learning modules are on your gsLearn Dashboard.

Level Specific Trainings

These courses teach adult volunteers about Girl Scout grade level programs.

  • Daisy
  • Brownie
  • Junior
  • Cadette-Senior-Ambassador

Trainings are for leaders of the current Girl Scout level or bridging into the next level.

These are offered in-person or as Zoom meetings. Visit our Event Calendar to find upcoming opportunities.

Highest Awards

These trainings are open to all registered Girl Scout members with an approved background check on file. 

Highest Award Overview

During this training you will:

  • Learn about the various awards available for older girls
  • Learn how to differentiate between the various categories of awards
  • Learn the difference between a service project and a take action project
  • Gain a basic understanding of the steps for earning the highest awards and when girl specific training is available or required for an award

This training is for troop leaders who will be guiding their Junior and Cadette level girls through these awards.

Offered in-person or as Zoom meetings. Visit our Event Calendar to find upcoming opportunities.

Bronze Award – Troop Leader Training

The Bronze Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve.

This training prepares the troop leader to guide the girls in her troop through the process of earning the Bronze Award, including pre-requisites, identifying a root cause, planning and implementing the project, and final paperwork.

Offered in-person or as Zoom meetings. Visit our Event Calendar to find upcoming opportunities.

Silver Award – Troop Leader Training

The Silver Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Cadette can achieve.

This training prepares the troop leader to guide the girls in her troop through the process of earning the Silver Award, including pre-requisites, identifying a root cause, planning and implementing the project, and final paperwork.

Offered in-person or as Zoom meetings. Visit our Event Calendar to find upcoming opportunities.

Virtual Troop Meetings

These trainings are intended for troop leaders and assistant troop leaders. All of these trainings are available in gsLearn. gsLearn is accessed by logging into MY GS. After logging in to MY GS, you’ll see three options: Volunteer Toolkit, Member Profile, and gsLearn. Click on the third green box to enter gsLearn. If you have any difficulties accessing or using gsLearn please contact customercare@gsmists.org.

Virtual Troop Meeting Resources

Virtual Safety Basics: In this 10-minute module you will learn ways to help keep you and your girls safe during a virtual troop meeting. 

Facilitating Virtual Meetings: In this 15-minute module you will learn some tips and tricks to facilitating virtual meetings with your girls.

Getting Started in Zoom: In this 12-minute module you will learn how to schedule and set up Virtual Troop Meetings in Zoom. Both paid and free accounts are reviewed. Free account information begins at 8:20.

Virtual Meeting Playbook: Developed by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, the Virtual Meeting Playbook is a comprehensive guide to help you facilitate engaging and fun troop meetings online.

GSUSA Facilitating Great Virtual Meetings: In this course, you’ll learn about how to create and facilitate an engaging virtual troop meeting. You will: explore the main reasons for hosting virtual troop meetings; learn how to transfer current troop meeting practices to a virtual space; discover techniques and tips to create engaging virtual experiences; and learn how to keep virtual meetings safe. This course will take approximately 24 minutes to complete.

GSUSA Zoom Meetings for Troop Leaders: Collection of Zoom produced instructional videos.

First Aid/CPR Certification

This training is open to all registered Girl Scout members with an approved background check on file. 

First Aid/CPR Certification

It is best practice that you have an adult volunteer certified First Aid/CPR accompany your troop anytime you leave your regular meeting location. For many activities (see Safety Activity Checkpoints for additional information), GSMISTS requires that at least one adult volunteer be First Aid/CPR certified. 

GSMISTS offers Red Cross and American Heart Association opportunities throughout the year.  Visit our Event Calendar to find upcoming opportunities.

You can take advantage of First Aid/ CPR training offered by organizations such as:

  • American Red Cross
  • National Safety Council
  • EMP America
  • American Heart Association
  • American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI)
  • Medic 

First Aid/CPR training available entirely online does not satisfy GSMISTS requirements. Such courses do not offer enough opportunities to practice and receive feedback on your technique. If taking a course not offered by one of the organizations listed in the previous paragraph, or any course that has online components, get approval from your GSMISTS Volunteer and Girl Experience Coordinator prior to enrolling in the course.

Outdoor Trainings

These trainings are open to all registered Girl Scout members with an approved background check on file. 

Troop Camping Preparation (TCP) Home Study

The Troop Camping Preparation Home Study is required for the following:

  • Indoor Camping Trip – Troop will be sleeping in cabins or similar enclosed structure with access to flush toilets. They will be cooking in a kitchen or meals will be provided. A campfire will not be built.
  • Backyard Camping Trip – Located at a volunteer’s house (Permission to Meet in the Home Application and Approval Form has been approved by GSMISTS). They will be using the home’s bathroom and will be cooking in a kitchen. A campfire will not be built.

The Troop Camp Preparation Home Study is a pre-requisite for Troop Camping Skills.

This training is available in gsLearn. gsLearn is accessed by logging into MY GS. After logging in to MY GS, you’ll see three options: Volunteer Toolkit, Member Profile, and gsLearn. Click on the third green box to enter gsLearn. If you have any difficulties accessing or using gsLearn please contact customercare@gsmists.org.

Troop Camping Skills

This training is required for a troop to participate in the following activities:

  • Building a campfire
  • Cooking outdoors
  • Sleeping in tents or cabins at an established camp or campground with safe running water. Troop will have access to flush or pit toilets.

This in-person training is typically offered in the spring and summer.

Archery

The training provides the necessary tools to maintain high level safety on and off the range and will prepare Girl Scout troop leaders and adult volunteers to teach beginning archery programs to a variety of ages and abilities.

This in-person training is typically offered in the fall and spring. Visit our Event Calendar to find upcoming opportunities.

Small Craft Safety

This training is required when a troop participates in kayaking and canoeing on flat, inland water.  A minimum of one adult volunteer must complete Small Craft Safety.

This in-person training is typically offered in the spring/early summer. Visit our Event Calendar to find upcoming opportunities.

Lifeguarding

A certified lifeguard is required for swimming and other activities near/in water.

This in-person training is typically offered in the summer. Visit our Event Calendar to find upcoming opportunities.

Day Camp

This training covers planning, delivery, and evaluation of Girl Scout program in a day camp setting.

This training is required for volunteers who are their Service Unit’s Day Camp Director.

Training occurs in February.

Other Opportunities

OTTERS, OWLS, and ARF – Adult Resource Weekends

Each weekend has its own name: OTTERS (Outdoor Togetherness To Enjoy Real Sisterhood), OWLS (Outdoor Weekend Learning Spectacular), and ARF (Adult Resource Fun).

These opportunities give volunteers from around GSMISTS the time to gather for sisterhood. Volunteers can enjoy the chance to talk, brainstorm and share with others. A variety of training opportunities are offered during each weekend.

Adult Resource Weekends are held in-person, throughout the year - OTTERS in the fall, OWLS in the winter, and ARF in the summer.

Zippy Tips

These are quick informative tips on a specific topic that are usually shared during Service Unit meetings.

Tips for Troop Leaders

Tips for Troop Leaders, from GSUSA, supports both new and returning troop leaders as they encourage their girls to grow into the leaders they were born to be!

Interested in Training Others?

GSMISTS Adult Learning Facilitators (ALFs) are a group of dedicated volunteers who help to ensure all of our volunteers receive the training they need. ALFs write and deliver trainings that allow volunteers to acquire knowledge, skills and resources needed to deliver the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Interested in learning more about becoming an ALF? E-mail customercare@gsmists.org for more details.