As an adult volunteer, it is important that you keep up to date with your Girl Scout training for leaders. No matter what level of scouts you guide, there are required classes that leaders must to take.
Why Take Girl Scout Leader Training?
Even though the majority of leaders are already parents, there are different developmental milestones at each level. If you are the leader for your oldest child, you have not yet gone through the social, developmental and emotional growth of that child. There are enormous differences between a kindergarten Daisy and a sixth grade Cadette.
For example, there is a 7.5 year age difference between my two daughters. I have already experienced all the joys and thrills of young adolescence, middle school, and high school with my older daughter.
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Because I already have parenting experience with girls, I know what to expect. Armed with this knowledge, I will be doing my best to circumvent any of the pitfalls that I know come with girls who are in the fourth grade, the age of my Junior Girl Scout troop.
Another reason to get training is to follow the safety guidelines established by the GSUSA. You cannot simply take your troop on a camping trip. You need to take the required outdoor courses and abide by the Girl Scouts of the USA guidelines. This is not only for the safety of your girls, which is of the utmost importance, it also insures that you are not personally liable if anything happens to any of the girls while under your care.
What are the Required Leader Training Courses?
There are training classes for leaders at each level. Councils across the country call them by different names, so you will need to check your council’s website for the exact title of your required coursework.
You can check out YouTube for various Councils and their training videos. Yours might have a new one uploaded and ready for you to view.
Girl Scout Leader Training Online
The GSUSA recognizes that leaders have busy lives. One way they help new volunteers is with online scout leader training. There are different online leader training courses available at their website. You will need to register each course and get a password in order to take the online training classes.
When Should I Take Girl Scout Leader Training?
Every level of Girl Scouts has it’s own unique leadership coursework. Typically, if you are a new Daisy Girl Scout leader, you will take your training class as soon as you sign up to lead a troop.
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For Brownie, Junior and older girls, there are separate leadership training classes to take at each level. While it is optimal to take them at the beginning of the scouting year, it is not always possible. In my area, local training for my level is spotty. I was a Brownie leader for an entire year before the required coursework was given locally. I am happy to volunteer my time, but I refuse to drive an hour each way for a one hour training class.
If you are unsure of what courses you are required to complete, ask your contact person on your Service Unit team. She can guide you and let you know exactly classes are necessary for you to continue meeting safely with your troop.