Between Girl Scout meetings and all of your kids’ other activities (plus, oh yea, family time), attending a monthly Girl Scout service unit meeting may seem out of the question. But remember, being a troop leader isn’t a solo activity, and as you continue to grow with Girl Scouts, these service unit meetings will become even more valuable! Led by local volunteers, service units create a tight-knit sense of community within specific geographical regions, providing personal assistance and helpful resources that every Girl Scout volunteer should take advantage of.

With that in mind, here are five reasons why you should attend your area’s service unit meetings:

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1. You’ll have the opportunity to network with other volunteers!

Take an hour or two to leave the house, meet your fellow Girl Scout volunteers, and most importantly, make new friends. Once you find another troop that can go on a field trip with you, help you with a badge activity or bridging ceremony, or discover a sister troop at your school, you’ll be glad you left your house. We all need to meet other strong individuals who share a common bond and there’s no better place to do that than at your service unit meetings!

2. You can lend a hand and put your skills to good use.

The service unit team is always looking to add new members—passionate volunteers with great ideas who want to contribute to the success of the service unit for the benefit of the girls. Attending these meetings will give you an idea of how you can offer your expertise to the team. Maybe you’re a tech wizard who can help keep your service unit connected via Facebook, social media apps, or email newsletters. Or perhaps you’re a savvy businesswoman with a huge net of local connections who can offer a space for meetings or an opportunity for girls to meet influential community members. Think about your skills and what you can bring to the team, then get involved!

3. You can learn (or teach) something new.

Service unit meetings are interactive, giving veteran troop leaders the opportunity to pass along ideas and teach Girl Scout traditions, like songs, craft ideas, ceremonies, and skills. Was your latest camping trip a huge success? Tell your story and share your best practices! Did you work on a badge that was super fun and the girls got a lot out of it? Share it—or have your girls come and talk about it. Leaders of all experience levels are always looking for new ideas to bring back to their troops to keep things fun and fresh!

4. You can get your troop involved in volunteer or money-earning activities.

Service unit meetings are a great place for your troop (especially an older girl troop) to practice ceremonies they’ve been learning. You can open the meeting with the Girl Scout Promise and Law and a flag ceremony and close the meeting with a fun game and the friendship squeeze. Service unit meetings also sometimes need child care and, if you have older girls who are First Aid certified, this would be a great opportunity for them to give back to the service unit team. They could even charge a nominal fee and raise money for a trip or outing!

5. You’ll stay updated with what’s happening at the Service Unit, Council, and National level.

From announcements involving upcoming events and workshops to tips for fall product sales or Girl Scout Cookie sales, a lot of information is shared at service unit meetings. These meetings will ensure you know everything that’s going on—that way you’ll be able to help your troop stay active in the community, participate in local events, and discover new opportunities to grow!

With members spread across 19 different counties from Gilroy to the Oregon border, our council covers a huge chunk of Northern California, but with the help of our service units, our volunteers and leaders can receive the special attention they deserve. So the next time you’re debating on whether or not to go to your next service unit meeting, just do it, because these dedicated volunteers are here for you—to help you and your girls have the best experience possible.

Angela BorchertAngela Borchert—Angela just completed her seventh year as a Girl Scout leader in Vacaville/Travis Air Force Base service unit. She leads Juniors and Cadettes and loves the wide range of activities and interests that both groups have and the challenges they provide her along the way. Girl Scouts have helped her embrace glue guns and dirt while taking her on her first kayaking adventure. She’s been camping more times in the past five years than she has in her entire life thanks to Girl Scouts!

The Trailhead