Results tagged “Leader Tips” from GSSA Leader Blog: The Virtual Volunteer

We do our best to keep you informed of news and opportunities available to our Girl Scouts -- either here, in the GSSA Weekly e-newsletter, and through our Facebook page. Only the Facebook page can offer late-breaking news, so here's a suggestion to make sure you always know the latest:

Go to our Facebook page ( and Like our page.  If you have already hit the Like button, just select it again, and you will see this dropdown menu:

Then click on Posts in News Feed and choose the "See First" button (then click Done):


Then click on Notifications and choose the "See First" button (then click Done):
and that's it!

Now you'll see all the latest opportunities for your Girl Scouts from GSSA.  Easy-Peasy!

2009???????10 was a fantastic year for the girls. We had fun and educational programs throughout southern Alabama and are planning many more this year.


We encourage you to register your troop early for the coming year (download the Spring Registration Packet for all the details). This helps take some of the chaos out of the fall when many other things are happening. It also entitles you and your girls to special treats, including:

????         A tote bag with brand new Girl Scout logo is available to the first 75 leaders who register 75% of their troop.

????         Day o' camp is at the end of resident camp this year, so many of the resident camp staff will be at the program.

????         Discounted water park tickets


If you're going to register for the 2010-2011 membership year, you may as well get all the perks by registering early!  


Below are the new tote bags - they'll be available in July once we can put on the brand new logo.


Troops planning overnight trips or camping excursions (on non-council property) need to complete the Overnight Trip/Camping Application form. 


And, don't forget that ALL adults who chaperone, drive or stay overnight must be registered members and have an approved Volunteer Application on file with the council.


Questions? Contact Cheryl Miller at 800.239.6636, ext.2302, or


Inspired by the best-selling book from Pulitzer-prize winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky LIVE will feature musical performances, celebrity commentary, and the world premiere of Woineshet, a powerful short film directed by Academy Award???? Winner Marisa Tomei.


With Half the Sky LIVE, audiences can watch the pages of Half the Sky come to life onscreen as Woineshet chronicles the story of a teenaged Ethiopian girl who struggles with and ultimately triumphs over sexual violence and discrimination. To learn more about the film, find your local theater, and purchase tickets go to Half the Sky Live (  This is showing in Mobile!


  • In honor of International Women's Day, CARE will present Half the Sky LIVE on Thursday, March 4, 2010 at 7:30p.m., in select movie theaters nationwide.
  • Volunteers with older girls (13-18) can celebrate International Women's Day by taking them to watch Half The Sky LIVE. CARE, in partnership with Girl Scouts, will be providing an accompanying discussion guide for leaders to use for post discussion.


Thanks to CARE, GSUSA has 20 FREE double passes to issue to volunteers who plan to attend the event at their local participating theater (in Mobile). Volunteers can simply submit their stories on how they are spreading the word on global girls' issues within their troop or in the community. We know our volunteers are amazing and we would love to hear it! Please submit stories to The first 20 volunteers to do so will receive a complimentary ticket (one ticket per theater.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The registration window for February - July programs opens December 15.  We already have some great programs planned and are adding new ones often.  In fact, we just added four today!  These are really cool programs that will fill up quickly, so even though it's hard to focus with the holidays upon us you might want to take a few minutes to check these out.


Find all of the top picks for Leaders and Volunteers on our Online Shop!


Since many of you will soon be registering for the 2009-10 membership year (to take advantage of all of the perks!), here's some helpful tidbits for filling out registration forms:

On each Adult and Girl Registration Form there is a little box at the bottom of the form on the right.   You do  not have to check anything for category, but please put the council code (307), the troop number (4 digits) and the service unit number (3 digits) on every form.


On the Girl form, the Emergency Contact should be someone other than the parents, who can be contacted in an emergency if the parents are not available.       


On the Adult forms, the position codes are listed in the right hand column of the form. Please put the correct code for adults:

01 for Troop Leader, 02 for Asst Leader, 03 for  Troop Committee Member, etc.  Only adults who complete the leader training courses should be listed as 01's or 02's.  Most parents are going to be listed as 14, which is Member. Some adults may have more than one position if they are a troop leader and also serve in another position.


If you have any questions about Early Registration, contact Lindsey Spear at 800-239-6636, ext: 1102. 


Think you might like to become familiar with archery? The Bowhunters of Alabama are offering beginning archery classes at their upcoming tournament on Saturday at the Alabama Nature Center. While this class won't certify you for archery for Girl Scouts, it will provide an interesting introduction to the skills used in Archery. Who knows, you might want to become certified for your next Camporee!


You know those mysterious single socks that show up in the dryer?  Here's a craft that is a triple win -- your troop moms get rid of single socks, your girls get an easy and fun craft, and shelter kitties (or pet cats) get a toy they will actually play with.

All it takes are socks, polyester fiberfill and catnip.  You can read the step by step instructions here!

There are many veterans who are hospitalized, and they are of all ages. Some do not have families, and getting a card from a Girl Scout Troop would mean so much! Cards for any holiday are welcome. The link below provides guidelines and dates.

This is an inexpensive yet very meaningful craft that any age level can do and provides comfort, support and appreciation for the men and women who have served our country. Here's the link:

A "trip" is when your troop/girls go anywhere beyond your normal meeting place.  If you are planning a trip with your troop, please remember that troop leaders must complete the Venturing Out training that is available online.  (


Always follow the Safety Wise rules for the trip/activity and make sure you have Permission Forms, Girl and Adult Health Forms, emergency contact info, a list of your registered and approved adult volunteers/chaperones and/or drivers, a map for every driver, etc. (see pg.54 and the index of Safety-Wise.)


Who needs to be registered and who needs to be approved?

See page four of the Leader Notebook  (


Camping Adventures Overnight (Auburn), previously scheduled for Mar. 7-8, is rescheduled to Mar. 21-22.

This event is for adult volunteers with little or no outdoor camping experience, who want to learn all about troop camping basics in a low-key and fun environment.  Participants are welcome to bring their daughters (additional fee and min. age apply.)

Contact Cheryl Miller,   or  334.312.0433, to obtain the pre-requisite home study quiz (Preparing for Troop Camp/First Outings).


It can be a little scary to be in charge of the troop checking account, especially when the cookie money comes in.  Just remember a few important points:

  • your troop must have a checking account
  • debit cards are NOT allowed
  • checks must have 2 signatures
  • 3 names must be on the checking account (1 of them being a member of the SU team)
  • keep all your receipts and bank statements (and old checks, if your bank returns them)
  • keep your records up to date, in case there is a random review of your account 

Your troop needs to have a Troop Bank Account form on file with the council so they know where your account is held.  If you have any questions about this, please call the council.

There is lots more good information in the Policies and Procedures document found on our web site.  Check it out, and if you have any questions or concerns, give the council a call!

Are you a Wal-Mart or Sam's employee? 

When you volunteer 25 hours over a six month period (a little over 4 hours a month) for the Girl Scouts as a troop leader, service unit team member, cookie chair (or in any other capacity), Sam's or Wal-Mart will give $250 to Girl Scouts on your behalf!

I hear you asking "Will Sam's or Wal-Mart do this for me more than once?"  The answer is "YES!"  They will donate $250 every six months that you, as their employee, volunteer the required amount.

Please ask your store manager or community relations manager for the form to fill out. 

How nice is that?  And thank YOU for making it possible! 




What do I do if a girl needs help paying for her membership, dues, uniform, event fees, etc.?

 Start by completing the Financial Assistance application that is located under Forms & Resources on our website.  Before sending this form to the council office, please make sure that parents or guardians complete both sides of the Financial Assistance form, including the blank for their "individual" contribution.  Then, the form should be given to the troop leader so she can indicate the troop's contribution and send the form on to the Service Unit Manager to do the same.  Please be mindful that asking for financial assistance can be embarrassing and all requests should be handled respectfully and discreetly.  In most cases, it is not necessary for the girls to know about the request or the arrangements. 

In our SU and in our troops, leaders are encouraged to collect enough dues, seek out sponsorship funds, or set aside a little money from product sales, to use for financial assistance requests.   Our Service Unit also keeps a few extra badge books and sashes around that people pick up at thrift stores or donate, just so we can offer these resources in such instances.

Once the form has been completed by the individual, the troop leader, and the Service Unit Manager, it should be sent to Tonya Howard in Montgomery. 

Cheryl Miller
Volunteer Liason


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