Arranging a Time and Space for Girl-Led Meetings
When to meet is at your and your co-volunteers’ discretion: It may just be one time for this particular group of girls. Or, if you meet regularly, what day and times work best for the girls, for you, for your co-volunteer(s), and for other adults who will be presenting or mentoring? Once per week, twice a month, or once a month? Is after-school best? Can your co-volunteers meet at that time, or will meetings work better in the evenings or on the weekends?
Where to meet can be a bit trickier: A meeting place needs to provide a safe, clean, and secure environment that allows for the participation of all girls. You might consider using meeting rooms at schools, libraries, houses of worship, community buildings, childcare facilities, and local businesses. For teens, you can also rotate meetings at coffee shops, bookstores, and other places girls enjoy spending time.
Here are a few points to keep in mind as you consider meeting locations:
- Cost: The space should be free to use.
- Size: Make sure the space is large enough to hold all the girls in the group while engaged in a variety of activities.
- Availability: Be sure the space is available at the time and day you want to meet, for the entire length of time you plan to use the space.
- Resources: Determine what types of furnishings (table? chairs?) come with the room and ensure that the lighting is adequate. A bonus would be a cubby of some sort, where you can store supplies.
- Safety: Ensure that the space is safe, secure, clean, properly ventilated, heated (or cooled, depending on your location), free from hazards, and has at least two exits that are well-marked and fully functional. Also be sure first-aid equipment is on hand and that girls and adults with disabilities can safely enter and exit the space.
- Facilities: Sanitary and accessible toilets are critical.
- Communication-friendly: Be sure your cell phone works in the meeting space.
- Allergen-free: Ensure that pet dander and other common allergens won’t bother susceptible girls during meetings.
- Accessibility: Be sure the space can accommodate girls with disabilities, as well as parents with disabilities who may come to meetings.
If this is your first time asking for a Girl Scout meeting place, here are a few speaking points to get you started: “I’m a Girl Scout volunteer, with a group of ______ girls. We’re doing lots of great things for girls and for the community, like ____ and ______. We’re all about leadership—the kind that girls use in their daily lives and the kind that makes our community better. We’d love to hold our meetings here because ______.”
Girl Scout Group Size
Girl Scout groups are large enough to provide a cooperative learning environment and small enough to allow for development of individual girls. It is recommended that group sizes, when possible, are as follows:
- Girl Scout Daisies: 5-12 girls
- Girl Scout Brownies: 10-20 girls
- Girl Scout Juniors 10-25 girls
- Girl Scout Cadettes: 5-25 girls
- Girl Scout Seniors: 5-30 girls
- Girl Scout Ambassadors: 5-30 girls
Adults and girls registering in groups of less than five girls and /or two approved, unrelated adult volunteers at least one of whom is feamle, will be registered as individual Girl Scouts to more accurately reflect their status and experience. Individual girls are still welcome to participate in Girl Scout activities and events.
Request for Certificate of Insurance
When reserving a facility, including a troop meeting space, or in developing program plans with community organizations, volunteers may be asked to provide a certificate of insurance to verify Girl Scout liability insurance coverage. Volunteers may submit the Request for Certificate of Insurance online form, found on the council website. Certificates will be mailed/faxed directly to the location within two weeks.
If the facility also requires that volunteers or girls sign a “Hold Harmless Agreement” or other liability waiver, the waiver should be sent to regional service center for review by the director of regional services before signing.