Keys to Leading a Successful Troop – Part II

By Catherine Amoriello

Welcome to part two of our Keys to Leading a Successful Troop series!

This series is designed to provide guidance to new troop leaders or leaders who feel they are struggling leading their troop. All tips and information are based on feedback collected from our very best sources – some of the most successful troop leaders in Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania’s (GSHPA) council footprint.

The troop leaders featured in this series have experience leading troops with 12 or more girls and were identified as successful leaders by their Volunteer Support Coordinators (VSC). Their combined expertise revealed patterns and common revelations that we hope will help you unlock success within your own troop. For additional background information on this series, please visit Keys to Leading a Successful Troop – Part I.

In part two, we’re tackling topics like girl recruitment; how to keep parents/caregivers equally invested in the Girl Scout experience; and in times of doubt, who you can look to for support. Read on for our final list of troop leader tips!

Meet our Experts

Tip #1: Embrace the challenge of leading a diverse group of girls to find common ground as a troop.

Davina Dunlap’s Troop 51000 from Wyoming County.

All girls are different and it can be challenging to make decisions as a troop that brings a variety of personalities and opinions together. Take the time to understand each girl and help her find her place in the group. It’s also a great opportunity to teach the value of respecting other’s opinions and learning how to work together to reach a common goal.

From the Source

Tip #2: Word of mouth and girl-to-girl connections are the best way to bring in new girls to your troop.

If you’re looking to expand your troop, your Girl Scouts are your best recruitment tool. All you have to do is provide fun and engaging experiences for them and word will travel fast about all the great things your Girl Scout troop gets to do.

From the Source

Tip #3: The best way to keep parents/caregivers engaged with the troop is through clear, consistent communication.

Most troop leaders will agree parent/caregiver engagement is very important to keeping girls engaged in Girl Scouting. The first step is making sure parents/caregivers have all the information they need to help their girls thrive in Girl Scouts. From email, to instant messenger apps, to printed hand-outs, to social media, there are multiple avenues to ensure family volunteers are in the loop regarding what your troop is doing and planning.

From the Source

Tip #4: Lean on your fellow Girl Scout volunteers for support.

Patricia Baker, Jennifer McCarthy, and Mary Thompson’s Troop 52282 from Monroe County.

We know being a troop leader can be A LOT. But you aren’t in it alone, and nobody expects you to do it all! Girl Scouts has a network of volunteers willing to help you make a difference in the lives of your troop members. Your co-leader(s), parents/caregivers, Service Unit leaders, other local troop leaders, and community partners are there to lend a hand – don’t be afraid to ask for support!

From the Source

Tip #5: Take advantage of the multiple resources provided by GSHPA.

In addition to volunteer support, you have the support of the GSHPA council as well. A variety of resources are within reach through GSHPA’s website, your VSC, the Volunteer Toolkit, and so much more.

From the Source

Tip #6: When the going gets tough, remember that as a troop leader, you’re making a difference in the lives of others.

Julie Houck’s Troop 70595 from Lancaster County.

Being a troop leader is a commitment that comes with a variety of responsibilities. But inspiring girls and helping them realize their potential is a priceless reward.

From the Source

We are beyond grateful to all of the troop leaders who participated in this series. Because of their honesty and vulnerability, GSHPA was able to provide a wealth of information to help other troop leaders find their own success in building girls of courage, confidence, and character.

For more volunteer resources, visit GSHPA’s Volunteer Essentials webpage or reach out to your VSC.

Troop Leader Resources Mentioned

Do you have a troop leader tip that wasn’t shared in this article? Drop a comment below and share your insight with others!

Catherine Amoriello is a Marketing and Communications Coordinator specializing in writing and editing for Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania. Reach her by email at

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