Welcome to my blog! I started it when I was a new Girl Scout leader and needed some kind of organized "to-do" list. I decided the best way to keep things organized was to start a blog. So here it is! My oldest troop has since bridged up to Juniors, and I've taken on a Daisy troop as well, so I will continue updating with new Juniors information and additional Daisy stuff too. My hope is to continue to update with every level as my troops advance. But we'll see.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope it's helpful!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Brownies: Planning Ahead for Fall -- Parent Handout and Uniform Info

So we're halfway through summer break, and it's been great! Our troop does not meet in the summer, and that's fine with me. My parents prefer this (and so do I -- it's nice to take a break!). I did give parents and girls the option of a troop activity over the summer, but only had one slight nibble in response, so I did not plan anything.

Each year, I give my parents a handout at registration. For those who choose Early Bird registration, they receive the handout either before or at the first troop meeting. Since it's typically returning Brownies who register early, this is information they already have.

I'm pasting a version of the handout below. As with anything else here, feel free to take what is useful, adjust what's needed, and toss the rest.

While GSUSA has set rules in place for some things, many councils vary on specific rules/guidelines. When in doubt, ALWAYS check with your council. Ditto with service units. Please be sure to check on these ahead of time before communicating the info to your parents.

Some troop leaders have a Parent Contract, and/or a Parent Meeting. But I use this handout in lieu of that. My parents would prefer a long handout to a meeting. ;) Some parents prefer a face-to-face meeting and a short list to take home instead. As always, it is up to you and your parents. Do what works best!

More info to follow on actual planning for the year. We are just getting started! :)

EDIT: Highlighted items are for blog readers, and were not included in the handout to parents.

Welcome to Brownie Troop _________

Welcome to Girl Scout Brownies! Whether your daughter is returning or new to Girl Scouts, she will have a wonderful time in our troop, and we're looking forward to another great year with all of our girls!

Please let us know ASAP if your child has any allergies, special needs, or requires additional accommodations in any way. We are more than happy to make sure all the girls' needs are met and everyone has a safe and wonderful time.

Contact Troop Leader here: __________________________________________________________


Registration is $___ per child and $___ per adult. If you want to register as an official volunteer, you must be a registered adult member (the difference between a member and volunteer is an additional form, and a background check). Please contact the Troop Leader for information on financial assistance.

We will be meeting on these days ___________ at ______________. Take-Home sheets detailing what we worked on will be included in your daughter's backpack after every meeting, and posted on the Shutterfly site. Earned badges, patches, permission slips, etc., will also be placed in the folders.

If there is no school scheduled for the day, the troop meeting is also canceled (this applies to holidays, snow days, etc., even if childcare is open).

Please plan to pick up promptly at __________. If there is an emergency or you will be delayed in picking up your daughter, please contact Troop Leader _____________________________ or Co-Leader _____________________________. Please store these numbers in your phone in case of emergency.

Any changes in pick-up should be communicated directly to the Leader, not via girl. This will help reduce confusion/miscommunication. Thank you for your cooperation.

All girls must be signed out when picked up. If someone other than the parent/guardian will be picking up your child, please notify me beforehand.

Disruptive visitors (children or adults) will be asked to leave the meeting room. We appreciate your support. Everyone is to follow troop rules and GS Law at meetings and events (insert your troop rules here).


In addition to regular troop meetings, our Service Unit, ________________________, will be hosting regular events for the troops every month during the school year.

These are fun and often free or very low cost events. Fun patches are typically given for event participation. SU Events are not required but attendance is encouraged. If your child participates in any SU events, we ask that you volunteer to help with at least one event. Thank you!


Our troop has a Shutterfly website we use for calendar, pictures, sign-up sheets, etc. This website is private. Only parents/guardians may have access. Emails will be sent out on a regular basis regarding upcoming events, troop meeting reminders, sign-up slots, etc. The website address is _____________________________________________.

Please be sure to always check your email. This is our primary form of communication.

Once you have registered your daughter, please email me at ___________________________, so I can add your email to the Shutterfly access list.

Please adjust your email spam settings to allow Shutterfly to send you emails, as our site auto-sends weekly updates. You may also adjust subscription email settings on the site via your Shutterfly account.

Please do not send GS-related communication, money, or forms via your child's teacher or school. We ask that you bring them directly to the meetings or drop them off/mail to the Troop Leader directly. Please wait until end of meetings before handing in any forms or money.


Our goals this year are to review last year's badge work/accomplishments, allow the girls to choose a Troop Crest and decide upon troop focus/direction, as well as choose which badges we will work on. We will also participate in cookie sales, Service Unit events (including camp), all while having a lot of FUN in the process! 

Girl Scouts helps girls learn the confidence and skills to be leaders and strong women, but we understand not everyone is comfortable with taking a leadership or attention-focused position. We tailor meetings so ALL members are comfortable and engaged. In addition, we strive to allow as much of a “girl-led” approach as is realistic for this age, so we will continue to encourage the girls in making decisions regarding troop activities and goals. Every year the girls advance in Scouting, the opportunities for leadership and responsible continue to increase. 

Please note, while we do work on many badges and patches as a troop, I strongly encourage the girls to work on things independently, if they wish to do so. There are many badges (retired and current) and fun patches the girls can do on their own. Please contact me if your daughter is interested in working independently. I'm very happy to help. Patches and badges earned as a troop are paid for with troop funds. Independent work is paid for by individuals.


A wonderful way for our girls to see leadership and involvement in action is to be a volunteer yourself! This year we already have several roles filled, but need volunteers for other, equally vital roles. We are very happy to work with you, and appreciate the help!

Please note, all parents/guardians are expected to provide snacks for at least one meeting, even if you cannot attend as a volunteer. Snacks are to be something healthy (crackers, fruit, etc.) and juice boxes (not juice pouches, please, as they are messy and not as easily recyclable) or water. Snack sign-up sheet will be posted on the Shutterfly site. If you cannot bring snacks at our meeting time, you may drop them at my house ahead of time. Just let me know if you need to do so.

Also, if you cannot volunteer for a position at this time, but have supplies you'd like to donate or can help in other ways, please let us know. We welcome Volunteer Dads, Grandmothers, etc., too! Please note, if you will be handling troop funds, driving any Girl Scouts, or attending camp with your child, you must be a registered volunteer. All drivers must have appropriate car restraints for the girls based upon age and height, as we are required by GS to comply with state laws. 

If you can, please sign up for one (or more) of the open slots (*indicates adult membership and volunteer registration required):

*Leader: ___________________________

*Co-Leader (assists Leader primarily during meetings and with event planning and organization, as well as assisting with cookies, etc. This role also provides financial transparency for troop purchases, bank account, etc.): ___________________________

*Cookie Volunteer #1 (stores cookies at her/his house, assists with sorting and distributing, including counting and receiving payment and issuing receipts. Cookies must be stored in cool, dry, pet-free area of the home. Leader/Co-Leader will be present on cookie day to assist): ___________________________

*Cookie Volunteer #2 (assists with picking up and delivering cookies to Cookie #1's house on delivery day): ___________________________

*Cookie Volunteer #3 (ditto): ___________________________

Snack Volunteer (calls or texts upcoming Snack parent before each meeting): ___________________________

*First Aid/CPR Volunteer (must have CPR/First Aid training and/or be willing to attend training and be certified): ___________________________

*Camp Volunteer (helps coordinate camp outing; serves as backup in case Leader/Co-Leader is unable to attend. Must be able to attend half-day camp training in addition to camp outing itself. You do not have to sign up now simply to attend camp; this is a backup role and in case of emergency primarily): ___________________________

*Meeting Volunteers (able to attend meetings on a regular/rotating basis to assist Leader[s]):




Troop dues this year will be $__________ per child, initially. This money pays for craft and activity supplies, badges, patches, and printer ink/paper. Snacks are not included in this, as we all take turns providing them. Dues are to be paid by the second troop meeting please, unless other arrangements have been made. Please contact me if you need financial assistance. This money should last us until cookie season in March. If not, we may ask for an additional donation at some point, but hopefully not. It depends upon what the girls choose to work on this year.

Checks should be made out to Troop __________ and given to the Troop Leader at the end of the second meeting (please do not send it in with your child, as checks can get lost in backpacks). Thank you!


While we ask for parents to sign up as volunteers and/or help out in meetings, we understand not everyone is able to do so. However, the girls are still at an age where parental support is a necessity. We rely primarily upon email communication, and all event and troop information is readily available via the Shutterfly site. We will only text in case of an emergency or last-minute change. Please respond to requests sent via email in a timely manner, and abide by RSVP deadlines. Some events may require parent/guardian attendance, or siblings may not be allowed.

A parent/guardian of each girl will be required to attend a Cookie Sale meeting in winter. This is the only mandatory parent meeting we plan to have. If you choose not to participate in the troop's cookie sales, you will be financially responsible for your daughter's participation in end-of-year event as chosen by the girls. (CHECK WITH COUNCIL FOR APPROVAL; SOME REQUIRE TROOP FUNDS PAY FOR EVERYONE REGARDLESS OF PARTICIPATION) Financial aid recipients are expected to participate in troop cookie sales (DITTO). Contact me if you have any questions.


Please fill out a health form for your daughter AND for you (or other guardian who plans to accompany your child to an event or meeting), as well. We need one copy of each.

Please be sure to include emergency phone numbers for you both, as well as pertinent health history/medication information.

It is very important that we have these on hand in case of any emergency. Both the Troop Leader and Co-Leader are bound by strict confidentiality regarding the information in these forms. Having these forms on hand helps ensure the safety and health of not only our children, but our volunteers as well.

Health forms are to be turned in by the second troop meeting.


See last page for information. The Council shop is located at ___________________________. All girls are expected to keep their vests in good condition, updated with patches/badges, and wear or bring to every troop meeting. If you need assistance with uniform purchase or patches, contact me.


Whew! And that's almost it for our informational welcome. We know it's a lot to take in and may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you're new to Girl Scouts, but we appreciate you taking the time to read through this. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help, and always welcome feedback. And whether you're able to help out a lot or a little, we appreciate the help and support! We look forward to seeing you and your daughters, and to all of us having another wonderful year!

- ________________________(Leader) and ______________________ (Co-Leader)

Girl Scout Promise:

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

Girl Scout Law:

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.


Leader –
Co-Leader –
Cookie Mom #1 –
Service Unit –
Council –
Troop Website –
School Website –
GSUSA Website –


If your daughter does not already have her vest, please take this sheet to Council shop and purchase the following:
  1. Vest (note: vest holds more patches than sash; if you purchase a sash, you may need to purchase a second one later on) 
  2. Brownie Insignia Tab 
  3. World Trefoil (WAGGGS) Pin
  4. Brownie Membership Pin 
  5. American Flag Patch 
  6. Council ID Patch Set 
  7. Brownie Troop Numbers: ___________ 

See below image for details. Call me if you have any questions – ____________________. 


And that's it for our parent handout! It's long, but again, my parents prefer this to a meeting. So it's entirely up to you. But hopefully it touches upon the major points and there may be some info there you can use.

Also, the image above may not work for your troop, You can simply print out the image from this link and include it with your list of items to buy:

Next up: Choosing Badges/Patches and Troop Crest!


  1. Thank you for sharing the forms you used! I am a new Daisy Leader this Fall and didn't know what should be included in the forms! You made it easy for me so thank you!

  2. You are amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing all of your great ideas and forms. I was just getting started planning my leaders meeting and this is so helpful.

  3. lol, you just saved me an eternity! thx

  4. Thank you. I'm a new Daisy leader too and didn't even know I needed to send out one of these. Drafting ours now!

  5. Thank you for all the time you have invested into sharing ALL this great information!

  6. Did you have any parents who could not afford the vest and the other items you asked them to get?

    1. Yes, and in those cases one of two things happens: 1. Either council will pay for it (this requires the parent going to the council shop and filling out paperwork for financial assistance, which some parents are hesitant to do -- others are fine with it. And our council has a "rule" that they will only do this for the girl's first year. Subsequent years are to be paid for by the troop, out of product sale proceeds. Ask your council for details, as this process can vary), or 2. I go down to the council shop and use a troop check to buy the vest and starter patches, pins, etc.

      We always have girls whom I think of as our "Scholarship" girls. No one by myself and my Co-Leader knows who these girls are (that's the way it should be). I do ask the parents to either donate time to the troop (which ALL are more than willing to do if they are able), or to participate in cookie sales (which I cannot require, but I do encourage, since this is where the money comes from to pay for the vests, etc.). I have never had a parent take issue with this request. In fact, oftentimes these are some of our top cookie sellers. :)

      But it's not just vests. It's membership fees, troop dues, and event costs that are covered, based upon need. And if we have an expensive activity but troop funds are starting to run low, our service unit ALWAYS steps up and pays for the girls who need it.

      We always do everything possible to ensure all girls have the same opportunity regardless of financial status.

      That's the Girl Scout Way. :)

      P.S. I communicate this to all parents at the beginning of the year, so no one feels singled out. Everyone is aware that if vests or activities are not affordable, then the troop can cover the cost. However, I have had situations where the parent could not afford, but was not receptive to the child's way being paid for by the troop (I think it's just a pride issue, which is understandable). In those rare cases, I have managed to find ways to make it happen without anyone feeling singled out. But in the end, it is up to the parent. And if a parent resists, then I try to find a way to change the activity so that it is equally affordable for ALL (so that parent doesn't feel embarrassed).

      That's very rare though, in my experience. Most folks are happy to have some help, and more than happy to help out so they feel it was "earned" so to speak. In my mind it's not just following the GS Law. It's being neighborly too. We are all here to help each other out. So that's what I try to do.


Thank you for visiting my blog! Please respect Girl Scout Privacy guidelines and do not leave any identifying information regarding a troop or its members, as this is a public site.

Also, I am happy to respond to comments posted on my blog, but I am unable to respond via personal email. This helps protect not only my own information, but that of my girls.

Anyone is welcome to use the templates I post here. I will always do my best to acknowledge my sources for any artwork or information I post, but I am human and may miss something along the way. Regardless, I strive to ensure that my blog's purpose and all its posts are in accordance with the Girl Scout Law in every way. The purpose of this blog is to assist new leaders based upon my own experience as a volunteer, and is not in any way intended to replace or subvert any information in official Girl Scout leadership training.

Thank you!