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How To Start A Troop

Parents and community members make a key difference in the lives of girls by guiding them through the Girl Scout experience! At GSWNY, we want co-leading a troop to be a great time for you, which is why we'll support you every step of the way. 

We provide our troop co-leaders:

  • Convenient, online trainings that give you everything you need to know to get started on your schedule.
  • Activity Plans to help you quickly and easily prepare for troop meetings.
  • Guidance from our Volunteer Support team.
  • Flexibility—leaders set the troop meeting times, locations and frequency. 

Common Questions About Leading Girl Scouts

Many parents have at least a few questions before standing up to co-lead a Girl Scout troop. Here are a few of the most frequent questions we hear:

How Much Time Will I Need?

Being a Troop co-leader actually fits into a variety of schedules. We recommend that troops meet twice per month but once a month is also acceptable. Troop Leaders choose the meeting day, time, and frequency.

I Don't Know How to Do the Things Girl Scouts Do.

Even if you were never a Girl Scout as a child, you can still be a troop co-leader and rock at it! We provide online meeting plans to guide you through each step of planning your troop’s activities. We also provide convenient, online training videos and resources to help you learn what you need. Don’t forget that you’ll also have a co-leader who will bring complementary skills and experience to share.

What Support or Help Is There for Co-leaders?

Each troop has at least two co-leaders, so you will have a partner to help lead and to share the fun. We encourage you to invite another parent or friend to serve with you, or we will work with you and your community to help connect you with a co-leader.

We provide online, in person, and on-demand trainings for our volunteers that you can take on your schedule. You’ll also have access to our dedicated Volunteer Support team for guidance when you need and support from other co-leaders in your area who can share their experience, tips and ideas. 


Start your new troop in 6 easy steps!

1. Set up your new troop.
Complete the New Troop Request to notify us about your interest in starting a new troop and any important information about it. We will reach out to you very soon to help you get your new troop up and running in no time!

2. Start your volunteer onboarding process.
Visit GSWNY and click on Be a volunteer to start your registration as a troop co-leader, or contact us at or 1.888.837.6410 to help you get started. Once you are registered we will send you the link to our required background check and to the online trainings.

3. If possible, start looking for other adults to join you in the fun!
A troop needs at least two un-related background checked adults (one of whom must be female) to get started, and most leaders also look for additional help throughout the year. Troops can have more than two leaders, and they typically have additional volunteers to help with field trips, the cookie sale program and other activities.

Parents of other girls in your troop are prime candidates to help out, but adults from the community might love this opportunity too. We can recruit online for your troop, but people tend to have the most fun with adults they know in real life.

4. Pick a Day, Time, and Location for Troop Meetings.
Start thinking of a meeting location, meeting frequency (day and start time), meeting start date (when you plan to start holding meetings), and what grade level (or levels!) your troop will include. You can start contacting potential venues now as you complete your registration and on-boarding to find a good meeting space. Keep in mind:

Most troops meet twice per month, but you can choose a schedule that works best for you.

Your meeting space needs to be a safe, clean, and secure environment that allows all girls to participate. Good options include:

  • Schools
  • Libraries
  • Places of worship
  • Community centers and buildings
  • Local businesses

5. It's time to start spreading the word about your new troop!
It’s never too early to start spreading the word about your new Girl Scout troop. Even while you wait to complete your on-boarding and get a troop number, you can talk to your girl's friends, your neighbors, and other families in the community to make sure that your girl will have a lively troop. As a bonus, more girls usually means more adults who will be happy to help you lead this troop.

In addition to your word of mouth efforts, any open girl or volunteer spots will be listed in our online Opportunity Catalog, so you can reach additional girls that way.

6. Stay in touch.
Reach out to us at or 1.888.837.6410 anytime you have a questions, need support or are unsure about your next steps.

You should also like us on Facebook, check us out on Pinterest, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter to stay connected to council events and find other awesome volunteers.