Fall is nearing.
Soon the leaves will be turning brilliant hues.
The air will get crisper.
The kids will be going back to school.
And Girl Scouts Season will be upon us.
And I want you to have the best Girl Scout year ever. I want it to be smooth sailing and easy peasy. Nothing gives me more joy (aside from a pumpkin spice latte) than to call and check in with leaders and hear that everything is going great.
And the number one (NUMBER ONE!) thing you can do to start this Girl Scout year out right is to host a fall family meeting.
Even if this is your tenth year in Girl Scouts.
Even if you talk with all of the parents of the girls frequently.
Take the time to meet and discuss the following:
1. Meeting Logistics
Schedules and availability change throughout the year, especially in the fall (and especially as girls get older). What worked for people last year may not necessarily work this year so it’s important to check in on how last year’s location/time/day of the week/length/frequency worked and if any of those elements need to change.
2. Financial Update
This doesn’t need to be lengthy or very involved but it’s good to touch on where the troop is at financially, especially if it’s a year in which there are going to be some larger expenses (new books, new uniforms, trips or events, etc.) If you’re a troop that usually collects dues it’s good to re-evaluate the due amount for the new year to make sure that it still fits with your needs as a troop.
I recognize that we are skipping a few seasons ahead and many returning Girl Scouts are still defrosting from last year’s coldest cookie season EVER (you girls seriously rock!). But I strongly encourage you to check in at your fall meeting about cookies (and the fall product sales). Communicate deadlines, expectations, goals, and get questions answered early. Fun fact: Girl Scout parents whose troops held a cookie family meeting reported a more successful cookie program experience.
4. Roles and Responsibilities
With a new year often comes transitions and you may find yourself with more or less hands on deck than the year before. It’s really important that you are clear with parents about where the troop needs support in the coming year and how they can help to make the year as successful as possible.
5. Hopes and Dreams and Wishes
Get PUMPED! Girl Scouts is about exploring- about trying new things and having FUN! And between planning and coordinating and snack schedules and activity plans it’s easy to forget why everyone is there in the first place. Turn the focus to hopes for the year to come- talk about ideas for field trips, speakers, projects, trips, events, and activities. Hear from the parents and girls what they liked about last year and what they’re looking forward to this year.
I want to hear from you experts out there! What are things you cover in family meetings that help your year run smoothly?