Hosting a Parent/Caregiver Meeting
What Is a Parent and Caregiver Meeting?
It’s the first meeting you have to start each troop year—whether you
are a new or returning troop. It is valuable for all troops.
Why Hold a Meeting?
Kicking off each year with a parent and caregiver meeting sets the
troop up for success. Outlining clear expectations, building a team,
and engaging parents in the Girl Scout experience is a great way to
start off on the right foot. When parents are involved, leaders have
support, the troop has a plan, and girls' benefit! The meeting
- Parents understand what Girl Scouting can do for their
- Parents and leaders identify ways they will work as a
team to support the troop.
- Parents and leaders agree about
what the troop pays for and what families pay for
- You fill key troop positions—you never know
which parent will make an awesome assistant leader or troop cookie
- Parents know how the troop will communicate things
like upcoming events or schedule changes.
- Parents learn
about uniforms, books, and other important basics.
Check out our step-by-step guide and “Parents &
Caregivers Meeting Outline” on the Volunteer Toolkit.
This 60–90 minute meeting will make all the difference in the year ahead.
For even more tips on working with troop families, check out Girl
Scouts’ Tips for Troop Leaders hub.
Build a Team
committee volunteers are the extra set of eyes, ears, and hands
that help the troop safely explore the world around them. Depending on
your troop’s needs, they can play a more active role—for instance,
someone can step up as a dedicated troop treasurer—or simply provide
an occasional helping hand when you need to keep a meeting’s activity
If a parent or caregiver isn’t sure if they can commit to a
committee or co-leader role, encourage them to try volunteering in a
smaller capacity that matches their skill set. Just like your young
Girl Scouts, once troop parents and caregivers discover they can
succeed in their volunteer role, they’ll feel empowered to volunteer again.
Get and Keep Parents/Caregivers on Board
Make the Ask(s) - The main reason people don’t take
action is because they were never asked to in the first
place. That’s why hearing one out of three Girl Scout parents say no
one had communicated expectations around involvement with their girl’s
troop is so troubling. Parents may have many talents,
but they’re certainly not mind readers! If you’re nervous about
getting turned down, don’t be. Sure, a few parents might be unable to
lend a hand, but the helpers you do get will be worth their weight in
gold. And just because someone wasn’t available a month or two ago
doesn’t mean they won’t be free to help now. Loop back, follow up, and
Make Sense of “Why” - Explain that not only does the
whole troop benefit with extra help from parents and other caregivers,
but also that girls feel a special sense of pride in seeing their own
family member step up and take a leadership role. Getting involved can
strengthen the caregiver/girl bond and is a meaningful way to show
daughters that they are a priority in their parents’ lives.
Make It Quick and Easy - Everybody’s got a full plate
these days, so instead of starting conversations with a list of tasks
or responsibilities that parents and other caregivers could take on
(which can be intimidating!), ask how much time each week they might
be able to dedicate to the troop, then go from there. For instance, if
a troop mom or dad has 15 minutes each week to spare, they could
organize and manage the calendar for troop snacks and carpools. If a
grandparent has one to two hours, they could assist with leading the
troop through a specific badge on a topic they’re already comfortable
with. For more ways parents and other caregivers canhelp outwhen faced
with a tricky schedule, check out the Family Resources tab in the
Helpful Articles and Advice
GSUSA Article: How
to Keep parents and caregivers on board
GSUSA Article: Recruiting
parents to help
Communicating with Parents/Caregivers
Communicating with parents/caregivers consistently and
effectively can make both your life and theirs much easier! There’s no
one right way to communicate with troops, so you’ll have to do some
asking to find out what works for your group. It’s best practice to
collect all parent/caregiver contact information, and emergency
contact information, at your Parent/Caregiver meeting. You might also
want to have them indicate their preferred method of communication
(email, text, phone call, etc.). Troops have also had success with:
- Email – The Volunteer
Toolkit allows you to create and send emails to all
parents/caregivers. You can also add in your meeting plans, and
notes to indicate things like whose bringing snack, or if girls need
to bring something with them to the meeting.
groups – Private Facebook or other social media groups have been
a successful place to share troop information, and gives
parents/caregivers a forum to ask questions and share their photos
or special Girl Scout moments. To protect the privacy of girl
members, be sure to keep your group private and closely monitor the
- Group Apps – There are a multitude of group apps like Remind,
GroupMe, WhatsApp, Shutterfly, SimplyCircle, etc.