Letting Girls Lead
Many troops employ a democratic system of governance so that all
members have the opportunity to express their interests and feelings
and share in the planning and coordination of activities. Girls partner
with you and other adults, and you facilitate, act as a sounding board,
and ask and answer questions. Girls from Daisies through Ambassadors
will gain confidence and leadership skills when given the opportunity
to lead their activities, learn cooperatively as a group, and learn by
doing instead of by observing.
The following are some traditions troops have used for girl-led
governance, but these are just examples. National Leadership Journeys
offer examples of team decision-making, too.
- Daisy/Brownie Circle:
While sitting in a circle (sometimes called a ring), girls create a
formal group decision-making body. The circle is an organized time for
girls to express their ideas and talk about activities they enjoy, and
you play an active role in facilitating discussion and helping them
plan. Girls often vote to finalize decisions. If girls are talking over
each other, consider passing an object, such as a talking stick, that
entitles one girl to speak at a time.
- Junior/Cadette/Senior/Ambassador Patrol or Team System:
In this system, large troops divide into small groups, with every
member playing a role. Teams of four to six girls are recommended so
that each girl gets a chance to participate and express her opinions.
Patrols may be organized by interests or activities that feed into a
Take Action project, with each team taking responsibility for some part
of the total project; girls may even enjoy coming up with names for
- Junior/Cadette/Senior/Ambassador Executive Board:
In the executive board system (also called a steering committee), one
leadership team makes decisions for the entire troop. The board’s
responsibility is to plan activities and assign jobs based on
interests and needs, and the rest of the troop decides how to pass their
ideas and suggestions to the executive board throughout the year. The
executive board usually has a president, vice president, secretary, and
treasurer and holds its own meetings to discuss troop matters. Limit
the length of time each girl serves on the executive board so all troop
members can participate during the year.
- Junior/Cadette/Senior/Ambassador Town Meeting:
Under the town meeting system, business is discussed and decisions are
made at meetings attended by all the girls in the troop. As in the
patrol and executive board systems, everyone gets the chance to
participate in decision-making and leadership. Your role is to act as a
moderator, who makes sure everyone gets a chance to talk and that all
ideas are considered.
How parents decide to
transport girls between their homes and Girl Scout meeting places is
each parent’s decision and responsibility.
For planned Girl Scout field trips and other activities—outside the
normal time and place—in which a group will be transported in private
- Every driver must be an approved adult* volunteer and
have a good driving record, a valid license, and a registered/insured
- Girls never drive other girls.
- If a group is traveling in one vehicle, there must be
at least two unrelated, approved adult volunteers in the vehicle, one
of whom is female, and the girl-volunteer ratios in Volunteer Essentials must be followed.
- If a group is traveling in more than one vehicle, the
entire group must consist of at least two unrelated, approved adult
volunteers, one of whom is female, and the girl-volunteer ratios in Volunteer Essentials
must be followed. Care should be taken so that a single car (with a
single adult driver) is not separated from the group for an extended
length of time.
*“Adult” is defined by the age of majority in each state.
For more about driving, see see the "Transporting Girls" section of the "Safety-Wise" chapter of this handbook.
<< Previous Contents Next >>