A year ago, on January 24, 2017, we published our first blog post on The Trailhead welcoming you to Girl Scouts of Northern California’s official volunteer support blog. And wow what a year it has been!

In the last year, with the help of our passionate guest writers and dedicated staff members, we’ve published over 100 blog posts packed full of tips, resources, ideas, and inspiration! Whether we’re covering the cookie sale, camp, awards, badges, STEM activities, travel opportunities, crafts, cooking, or another Girl Scout tradition, we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. Thanks to you, our volunteers, who take the time to read our posts, but more importantly, take the time to make the Girl Scout experience possible with your endless amounts of energy and enthusiasm, The Trailhead is still going strong!

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So to celebrate this heartwarming milestone (and get us excited for another year of awesome content), I’ve put together this blog post to look back on 10 of our favorite, best performing posts from the last year:

1. How to Plan an Investiture Ceremony

Oh investiture ceremonies, the timeless tradition that formally welcomes new members (girls and adults) into the world of Girl Scouts. In this post, Marissa shares the three key elements that every investiture ceremony should include as well as some examples to help leaders get started on planning their very own ceremony to best suit their girls’ interests.

2. How My Daisy Troop Earned All 11 Petals in 1 Year

With over 16,000 views, Liz’s post on how her Daisy troop earner all 11 petals in 1 year is our most viewed blog post! By sharing her troop’s ambitious goal and a detailed outline of their year, Liz inspired countless of other leaders dream big and work hard (even when they’re leading a group of energetic little ones).

3. How to Boost Cookie Sales with a Girl-Led Booth Design

This post just screams “Girl Scouts”! From exposing girls to a novel learning experience to keeping the activity girl-led, run, and organized, Jessica’s breakdown of the scientific design process encourages girls to think like engineers (all while preparing for the Girl Scout Cookie season). Trust us, more brilliant STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) content is in our future.

4. 20+ Outdoor Activities for Girl Scouts

As Girl Scouts, we try to get out and about as much as we can, which is why we have outdoor-themed badges for every age-level. Because sometimes girls just need a little fresh air… like how leaders sometimes need a little inspiration for their next troop meeting. With that in mind, Marlene suggests over 20 activities to help girls earn their outdoor badges as well as creative ideas for troops who don’t have easy access to nature.

5. How to Recruit Parent Volunteers for Your Troop

We all know parents are some of the busiest people around, but Richel’s tried-and-true tips were so helpful that even GSUSA recognized her post and repurposed her content into their own blog post. This post is a reminder that as a troop leader, you don’t have to do everything on your own, because as Richel points out, a positive attitude and a little extra communication effort can go a long way.

6. How to Spot the Difference: Community Service Projects vs. Take Action Projects

Some of our best performing posts are the ones that answer our members’ frequently asked questions or concerns. We all know Girl Scouts do a lot of great projects, but if your girls are working on a higher award, like the Gold Award, it’s important for them to know the difference between community service projects and Take Action projects. Courtney, our Older Girl Leadership and Awards Program Coordinator at GSNorCal utilized everyday language and relatable examples to help thousands of readers better understand the differences between the two.

7. How to Plan a Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony

Finishing up a year of Girl Scouts and moving to the next level is definitely worth celebrating, making this post perfect for both new and longtime leaders alike. Shannon shares everything from the basics behind this meaningful milestone to several tips to help leaders put their own twist on the traditional Girl Scout ceremony.

8. How I Learned to Lead a Multi-Level Troop

Being a troop leader is already an impressive accomplishment, but leading a multi-level troop is an entirely different challenge. Girl Scouts offers girls the best leadership development experience in the world, because we keep in mind the fact that each age-level requires a different kind of care and attention. In this post, Angela shares how she organized her dynamic troop of Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (now Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes) to help other leaders who may be going through the same experience.

9. Tips for Keeping Your Older Girls Engaged

Since the age of Girl Scouts range from 5 to 18, we know how important it is to cover all age-levels on the blog. We also know that as girls grow up, their priorities may change. From juggling school work and college prep to friends and extracurricular activities, Lia shares some tips for keeping older girls involved in Girl Scouts.

10. How to Sell More Girl Scout Cookies: Tips from a 2,000+ Box Seller

Personally, one of my favorite blog posts on The Trailhead, but also a fan favorite with over 10,000 views. To be honest, when I was in high school selling Girl Scout Cookies, I was just working towards my ambitious goals (while my mom took countless photos of course). I never thought my years of selling cookies would one day transcribe into a blog post that would help other Girl Scouts reach their sales goals too. But really, that’s what The Trailhead is all about though—volunteers and staff members, sharing their knowledge and experiences in order to inspire and support their Girl Scout sisters.

Remember, The Trailhead is for you, our wonderful volunteers. Because, here at GSNorCal, we’re constantly working to create content that is relevant and helpful to our volunteers, so you and your girls have the best Girl Scout experience possible. As I said in our very first blog post, “Whether you’re a new volunteer or a longtime troop leader, we’ll provide content that guides you down your desired path—wherever you hope to go, we want to help you get there!” That statement is still 100% accurate, so don’t forget to let us know in the comments section what your favorite blog post was and what topics you’d like us to cover next!

Leah TakahashiLeah Takahashi—Leah is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Girl Scouts of Northern California, where she creates content, plans blog posts, and promotes all things Girl Scouts in all formats digital. Leah joined Girl Scouts at the age of 5 and has been a part of the organization ever since (shout out to Troop 31213 – woot woot). During her younger Girl Scout days, Leah did everything from selling thousands of Girl Scout Cookies to serving as a National Delegate at the 2011 Convention and even earning her Gold Award in 2012. She may be young, but she’s got plenty of Girl Scout experience under her belt and is excited to share it with you.

The Trailhead