Quick Start for Junior Troop Volunteers


 

 

The 10 Essential Elements for Troops

As a Girl Scout volunteer, you can use the 10 Essential Elements to partner with girls and their families, whether your troop meets for a few months or over the course of a year. Click here for a one-page handout that lists the Essential Elements and their definitions.

To support you in the important work you do with girls, we’re offering the following resources for each Essential Element.

Many of these resources are pulled directly from the Adult Guides for the National Leadership Journeys. The Journeys are the core leadership development curriculum for Girl Scouting. There are three Journeys—with a book for girls to enjoy and an Adult Guide for volunteers to use—for each Girl Scout grade level.

The Junior Journeys are: Agent of Change, Get Moving! and aMUSE. Be sure to get your own Adult Guide, which includes step-by-step instructions for each session as well as helpful tips for guiding girls.

1. Welcome Families to Girl Scouts of the USA

2. Show Girls They Belong to a Big Sisterhood

3. Guide Girls to Develop as Leaders

4. Empower Girls to Take Action in Their Communities

5. Support Girls to Build Skills Through Proficiency Badges

6. Expand Girls’ View of the World

7. Celebrate with Ceremonies and Traditions

8. Use a Girl-Friendly Approach

9. Encourage Girls to Earn and Learn Through the Cookie Program

10. Inspire Girls to Continue Growing Through Girl Scouts

 


1. Welcome Families to Girl Scouts of the USA

Take time—on the phone, online, or in life—to tell grown-ups what Girl Scouting does for girls and why it matters! When they know how important Girl Scouting is, they’ll be more ready to pitch in to help.

Find Out What Juniors Do 

Read The Girl Scout Junior Experience. You can print this colorful map to show families or you can scroll over the map for informational pop-ups.

Give girls and grown-ups copies of the What Juniors Do handout.

Play the “Juniors Help Historic Building Save Energy” video to show how Juniors can take action to make the world a better place.

Find Out How Juniors Become Leaders

National Leadership Journeys are our core leadership development program. They help girls at each level develop leadership skills. Make copies of the What to Pack for the Journey handout to give grown-ups an overview of what girls do on a Journey.

Use the Welcome Letters below to introduce families to what girls will learn on each Journey. Use the Family and Friends Checklist for each Journey to let families know, session by session, what their Junior is doing on the Journey and how they can support her at home.

Agent of Change

Welcome Letter for Agent of Change.

Family and Friends Checklist for Agent of Change.

Get Moving!

Welcome Letter for Get Moving!

Yes, I want to assist the Juniors as they Get Moving!

aMUSE

Welcome Letter for aMUSE.

Family and Friends Checklist for aMUSE.

 


2. Show Girls They Belong to a Big Sisterhood

Girls love to know that they are part of something big and that they can have an impact on the world—and Girl Scouting is huge! The Movement includes millions of girls who all share an important mission—making the world a better place.

Of course, younger girls often think that Girl Scouting is only their individual troop.

To share the excitement of the big network they’ve joined, show Brownies Our Girl Scout World map, Girl Scout Councils map, and the list of USA Girl Scouts Overseas. Talk about the hundreds of thousands of other Brownies—just like them—around the country. Then add the millions of older Girl Scouts in the United States and other countries. Finish by talking about the millions of Girl Guides, our sisters around the globe, who share our values and mission.

Use the activities below—taken from the Journey Adult Guides—to show girls that they belong to a big sisterhood.

Agent of Change 

This Opening Ceremony helps connect girls to one another and to Girl Scouts all over the world.

Get Moving! 

When girls share their energy pledge in the Good for Us, Good for the Planet activity, remind them how much energy would be saved if their 10 million Girl Scout and Girl Guide sisters united in this pledge.

aMUSE

Point girls to the online Inspiring Women Timeline, where they can read about Girl Scout alumnae who have changed the world. They can add them to their Logs and Leaders list as a reminder of how they now belong to a sisterhood of Girl Scout leaders through the years.

 


3. Guide Girls to Develop as Leaders

Girl Scouting wants every girl to know how to be leader in her own life and in the world around her. Remind girls (and their families!) that they can be leaders by posting this sign to direct them to your meeting place.

Post this sign in your meeting room or on the door—it will remind Juniors and their families of the leadership skills they’re developing.

When you guide girls on a National Leadership Journey, they will experience the three keys to leadership: Discovering Self, Connecting with Others, and Taking Action in the world.

Click on the links below for Journey session descriptions and awards information from the Adult Guides.

Agent of Change 

Read Sample Sessions at a Glance for a description of the sessions in this Journey.

Read Awards Along the Journey for a description of the awards Juniors can earn.

Get Moving! 

Read Snapshot of the Journey for a description of the sessions in this Journey.

Read Awards Along the Journey for a description of the awards Juniors can earn.

Point girls to the “Girl Scouts Get Moving” video, where Juniors created a video for their energy-saving project.

aMUSE

Read Snapshot of the Journey for a description of the sessions in this Journey.

Read 3 Leadership Awards for a description of the awards Juniors can earn.

On this Journey, girls act out different roles. Point them to the online Be the Director interactive video game, where they can change actors’ roles and costumes as part of creating their own movie.

 


4. Empower Girls to Take Action in Their Communities

Girls want to know they can make a difference in the world around them—which is what you’ll help them do as you guide them on the Take Action project that they do as a part of each Journey.

To find out how other Juniors are helping their communities, check out the online Map It! tool, where girls can post their Take Action and Bronze/Silver/Gold award projects.

Girl Scouts often do both community service and Take Action projects. Both kinds of projects help communities in different ways. To complete a Journey, girls need to do a Take Action project (which some organizations call service learning). Click here to download the Community Service and Service Learning: What’s the Difference? handout to find out more.

Each Journey Adult Guide includes sections to help volunteers guide girls on their Take Action projects. Click on the links below to download pages taken from each Journey’s Adult Guide.

Agent of Change

Use Building Consensus: Fist-to-Five to help girls learn how to make group decisions.

Use the Take Action Project Checklist to guide girls as they plan their Take Action projects.

Get Moving!

Use the Planning Time: Innovate Worksheet and Innovate Checklist to guide girls to a successful completion of their Take Action project.

aMUSE

Use the Speak Out! Project Planner and Sign Up Sheet to help girls plan their Take Action project.

 


5. Support Girls to Build Skills Through Proficiency Badges

Girls are proud to say, “See what I can do now!” when they learn something new. Girl Scout badges focus on building new skills.

Check out the Anatomy of a Badge to learn how the National Proficiency badges are put together.

Go to the online Badge Explorer to see what topics are covered at the Junior level.

Print out the Juniors Awards Log to show girls and their families the awards Juniors can earn.

Tell girls about the fun they can have with Make Your Own badge—and let families know that this badge helps girls “learn how to learn,” a key 21st-century skill. Explore the online Make Your Own Badge site, where girls can create and order a badge that shows what they’ve learned. (If you have access to a computer in your meeting space, you can show girls and their families the badges other Girl Scouts have created. If not, you can print out a screen grab or suggest they check out the site at home.)

 


6. Expand Girls’ View of the World

As girls explore new ideas, go to new places, and meet new people, their understanding of the world—and of what is possible for them— grows. You can help Juniors by taking them on field trips, inviting guest speakers to meetings, or guiding them in activities that help them learn more about the world.

The Journey Adult Guides include ideas for field trips, guest speakers, and activities that give girls a bigger view of the world. Click on the links below for sample pages from each Journey’s Adult Guide to get you started.

Agent of Change

Use Detours Along the Journey to get ideas for field trips and activities tied to the Journey theme. Share the ideas with Juniors and see if they have any to add!

Get Moving!

Get ideas for outdoor adventures that promote courage, strength, and confidence—and include the Journey’s energy theme with Juniors and the Great Outdoors.

aMUSE

Use these pages from the Adult Guide as a springboard for field trip, guest speaker, or activity ideas (going to a music or dance performance, visiting a museum exhibit of story quilts, taking in a play, or inviting an author or book illustrator to speak at a meeting).

 

7. Celebrate with Ceremonies and Traditions

Girl Scouts enjoy taking part in time-honored traditions and ceremonies. They also like to make up ceremonies that are especially meaningful to them (in fact, creating brand-new ceremonies is a Girl Scout tradition!).

The Journey Adult Guides include information on beloved traditions and ideas to help girls create new ceremonies tied to Journey themes. Click on the links below for sample pages from each Journey’s Adult Guide to get you started.

Agent of Change 

Use Girl Scouts Traditions and Ceremonies and Ceremonies, Step by Step to help girls plan their own celebrations.

Get Moving!

Use Girl Scout Traditions and Ceremonies to share Girl Scout traditions like the Girl Scout sign, handshake, and friendship circle.

aMUSE

Check out the box “Girl Scout Days to Celebrate” on the Girl Scout Traditions and Ceremonies, then ask girls what kind of celebration they’d like to create for Founder’s Day, World Thinking Day, or the Girl Scout Birthday.

 


8. Use a Girl-Friendly Approach

In Girl Scouting, it’s not just what you do with girls, but how you do it that makes the experience fun and meaningful. Girls have fun when they can shape their own experiences, do hands-on activities, and work together as teams. Help make this happen by using Girl Scouts’ Three Processes: Girl Led, Learning by Doing, and Cooperative Learning.

Find Out More About the Three Processes 

Watch the “How to Have Fun with Purpose with Girls: 3 Processes for Girl Scout Volunteers” video (in English and Spanish) to learn about the Three Processes and how to use them while guiding girls. You can also print the transcript here.

The Junior Journey Adult Guides include information about how to use the Three Processes with Junior-age girls. Click on the links below to find out more.

Agent of Change 

Want to find out what the Three Processes look like for Juniors? Download What + How: Creating a Quality Experience.

Get Moving!

Want an example of how to help Juniors handle conflict resolution (a key part of cooperative learning)? Download Seeing Processes and Outcomes Play Out.

aMUSE 

Want to help Juniors learn to make decisions in a cooperative way? Use this Ads Assume… activity.

 


9. Encourage Girls to Earn and Learn Through the Cookie Program

When girls take part in the largest girl-led business in the world (aka the Cookie Program), they earn funds for their Girl Scout activities. They also learn 5 Skills—Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics—that will help them in business and in life.

As girls learn to run their own business through the Cookie Program and become more interested in entrepreneurship, show them the It’s Your Business—Run It video series online.

Find Out More About the 5 Skills 

To learn more about the 5 Skills, download What to Do First: 5 Skills for Girls.

To find out more about how the 5 Skills help girls develop as leaders, download The 5 Skills and Girl Scout Leadership Outcomes handout.

Tell Families About How the 5 Skills Help Girls 

Share the “What Grown-Ups Need to Know” video with families to help them guide their girls as they earn and learn.

Print copies of My Cookie Business poster so girls and their families can keep a record of what they did and learned during the Girl Scout Cookie Program.

Tell Girls About the Awards They Can Earn 

Click here to download the Girl Scout Cookie Activity Pin requirements.

Show girls and their families the Junior Awards Log to find out if girls want to start thinking like a business owner by earning their Cookie Business badges.

Get Tips on Safety 

Click here to download a list of Safety Tips.

 


10. Inspire Girls to Continue Growing Through Girl Scouts

Girls are more likely to stay involved in Girl Scouts when they know what lies ahead. Let second-year Juniors know about the exciting opportunities they’ll have to learn new things, meet new friends, and make the world a better place when they become Cadettes.

Find Out What Cadettes Do

Print The Girl Scout Cadette Experience colorful map to get girls and their families excited about the Cadette adventures in store for them.

Use this Ladder of Leadership handout to show girls and families how they progress through Girl Scouting.

Give girls and their families copies of the What Cadettes Do handout.

Use the National Leadership handout to show girls and families our leadership program and our badges for Cadettes.

Show girls the online resources for BFF (Be a Friend First), an anti-bullying series based on the aMAZE! Journey.

Encourage girls to go online and play the Be the Director interactive video game that supports the MEdia Journey.

Show Girls and Families How Cadettes Lead 

Use the Mentoring Awards handout to show how Cadettes can take another important step in leadership development by acting as mentors for younger girls.

Help Girls Bridge to Cadettes

Print out the bridging requirements to share with girls and their families, then celebrate with Juniors as they bridge to the next level of Girl Scouting—Cadettes! 

Get More Ideas Online 

Keep checking out the ForGirls.GirlScouts.org website, where you’ll find an ever-growing collection of activities, games, and videos you can share with girls.

Follow the Girl Scout Juniors Pinterest board for more ideas about creating a fun and meaningful Junior experience.