You’re free to structure the parent/guardian meeting in whatever way
works for you, but the following structure works for many new
- As the girls and adults arrive, ask them to sign in. Hand out
registration forms and any other paperwork, including a one-page
- Open the meeting by welcoming the girls and adults. Introduce
yourself and other co-volunteers or helpers. Have adults and girls
introduce themselves, discuss whether anyone in their families has been a
Girl Scout, and talk about what Girl Scouting means to them. Welcome
everyone, regardless of experience, and let them know they will be
learning about Girl Scouts today. (If you’re new to Girl Scouting,
don’t worry—just let everyone know you’ll be learning about Girl
- Ask the girls to go with the adult or teen in charge of their activity and begin the discussion.
- Discuss the information you prepared for this meeting:
- All the fun girls are going to have!
- When and where the group will meet and some examples of activities the girls might choose to do
- That a parent/guardian permission form is used for
activities outside the group’s normal meeting time and place and the
importance of completing and returning it
- How you plan to keep in touch with parents/guardians (a
Facebook page or group, Twitter, email, text messaging, a phone tree,
or fliers the girls take home are just some ideas)
- The Girl Scout Mission, Promise, and Law
- The Girl Scout program, especially what the GSLE is and what the program does for their daughters
- When Girl Scout cookies (and other products) will go on
sale and how participation in product sales teaches life skills and
helps fund group activities
- The cost of membership, which includes annual GSUSA fee,
any group payments (ask Manitou Council), optional uniforms, and any
resources parents/guardians will need to buy (such as a girl’s book for a
- The availability of financial assistance and how the Girl
Scout Cookie Program and other product sales generate funds for the
- That families can also make donations to the council—and why they might want to do that!
- That you may be looking for additional volunteers, and in which areas you are looking (be as specific as possible!)
- If you’ve distributed paper registration forms, collect them.
- Remind the group of the next meeting (if you’ll have one) and
thank everyone for attending. Hold the next meeting when it makes
sense for you and your co-volunteers—that may be in two months if
face-to-face meetings are best, or not at all if you’re diligent about
keeping in touch with parents/guardians via Facebook, Twitter, text
messages, email, phone calls, or some other form of communication.
- After the meeting, follow up with any parents/guardians who
did not attend, to connect them with the group, inform them of
decisions, and discuss how they can best help the girls.
Creating an Atmosphere of Acceptance and Inclusion
Girl Scouts embraces girls of all abilities, backgrounds, and
heritage, with a specific and positive philosophy of inclusion that
benefits everyone. Each girl—without regard to socioeconomic status,
race, physical or cognitive ability, ethnicity, primary language, or
religion—is an equal and valued member of the group, and groups reflect
the diversity of the community.
Inclusion is an approach and an attitude, rather than a set of
guidelines. Inclusion is about belonging, about all girls being offered
the same opportunities, about respect and dignity, and about honoring
the uniqueness of and differences among us all. You’re accepting and
inclusive when you:
- Welcome every girl and focus on building community.
- Emphasize cooperation instead of competition.
- Provide a safe and socially comfortable environment for girls.
- Teach respect for, understanding of, and dignity toward all girls and their families.
- Actively reach out to girls and families who are traditionally excluded or marginalized.
- Foster a sense of belonging to community as a respected and valued peer.
- Honor the intrinsic value of each person’s life.
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