Remember that every council has slightly different rules and regulations, and everything you read online that is general for all of USA should always be double checked with your local council rules and regulations.
When and where to meet for Troop Meetings can be difficult to decide.
As a leader (and with your co-leader), first decide how often you have time to meet. Typically, troops meet:
- Once a week
- Every other week
- Twice a month
- Once a month
As a leader, if you cannot spend enough time to plan and prep a meeting every week, cross that option out. (Most troops meet every other week or twice a month.) Take the options you do feel you can plan and prep for and let your parents vote for which option works best for them at the First Meeting.
Day of the Week
As a leader (and with your co-leader), look at your schedule and pick out which days of the week you have available to meet. If it’s only one day a week you are available, then that is the day. If you have a few days available, discuss with your co-leader which day would work best for both of you and set that day as the one you will start with.
When you are recruiting troop members, make it clear meetings will be on that day of the week.
Trying to vote on a day on the First Meeting could lead to several families that expected to have a troop suddenly unable to attend your troop meetings and can be difficult for them. Better to have at least the day of the week chosen before you start that First Meeting. The First Meeting will be the same day of the week as your troop meetings will be, so if families make it to that, they should be able to make it to troop meetings. If a family cannot typically make that day of the week, they need to find a different troop that fits their schedule.
If you ever need to change the meeting day, either it must be a unanimous vote – OR – you let families know that your schedule has changed and cannot make the current meeting day. This means the meeting date must change or you need someone else to step up to be a leader instead of you. If someone can, you let them take over the troop and you find a new troop that fits your schedule. If no one can, you let them know that any family that cannot make the new meeting day, you can help them work with the community/service unit to find a new troop that fits their schedule.
Like the Day of the Week, decide which time is best for you and your co-leader to start meetings before your First Meeting. Common times are:
- After School
- Late Afternoon
- Early Afternoon
- Late Afternoon
Find out what time of day you and your co-leaders are available on the day of the week you have chosen and pick a start time.
When you are recruiting troop members, make it clear what times the meetings will start. You can let them know that adults will vote how long the meetings will be at the First Meeting if that is something your troop is going to vote on at the meeting.
Typical Troop Meeting durations are:
- One hour
- 90 minutes
- Two hours
Some things to keep in mind:
- Your meeting might start at 6:00pm, but usually parents are still dropping off girls 10-15 minutes into the meeting. You can start the meeting on time, but most plans allow an “Opening Ceremony” or “Opening Exercises” to allow time for girls dropped off late arrive before the actual activity starts. Openings usually consist of greeting the girls, reciting the Girl Scout Promise and Law, having announcements, etc.
- When using a meeting plan from VTK, they usually assume you have 90 minutes available. Most badges in the VTK take 2 of those meetings to earn.
- Troops that meet once a week often use a one-hour meeting time and just break up the 90 minute meeting plans over the course of 2-4 meetings.
- Some troops really like just doing a badge in a meeting and while Daisies do not need Two hours to earn a badge, most Brownie and above badges need a Two hour meeting to do a badge in one meeting comfortably. Some Brownie badges can be done in a 90 minute meeting, but they will be rushed to fit all 5 requirements in. The badges that are simpler, most troops that meet for Two hour time periods will earn two of those simple badges in one meeting, if possible. Most troops that use the Two hour time period will meet on the weekends. Some troops will even do a Two and a half hour meeting time to allow enough time for the drop-off and pick-ups.