How has the Girl Scout year come and gone!? I know, I can’t believe it either, but as we look forward to another year of Girl Scout fun, summer is the perfect time to level up our skills and get a jump-start on fall preparation. If you’re a lover of planning ahead (like me!), I’ve put together 5 resources that will help you get your trefoils in a row and learn something new, all before your first troop meeting:

1. Being an Ally 101

A blog post from In The Loop by Girl Scouts River Valleys

As volunteers who work directly with girls, we have the amazing opportunity to support our girl members and help them grow into strong, confident young women who change the world. In this role, there is so much that we can do stand in solidarity with our girls and let them know they’re not alone. Keep reading to learn more about how you can be an ally to the girls in your troop, the families you work with, and others in your community.

2. Keeping Your Troop Girl-Led

An online training from Girl Scouts of Northern California’s Volunteer Learning Portal

We all know that Girl Scouts should be girl-led, but sometimes it can be confusing to actually implement. This training from GSNorCal offers tips and strategies to help you place the decision-making power in the hands of your girls, whether they’re Daisies, Ambassadors, or somewhere in-between. Best of all, this training is quick and easy, making it the perfect thing to do when you have some downtime this summer!

3. How to Create a Strong Budget for Your Troop

A blog post from Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

The coming of the new Girl Scout year means it’s time for a new budget. And with all of the awesome events, camping trips, badges, service projects, and field trips your troop is planning to do this year, you’ll need a strong money management to make it happen. This blog post from Girl Scouts of Western Ohio outlines the step-by-step process for determining how much money your troop will need and coming up with a plan to earn it—all in 20 minutes or less.

(Psst—If you’re looking for more tips on budgeting, GSNorCal troop leaders shared their two cents on the topic in this blog post!)

4. The Ins-and Outs of Investitures

A blog post from In The Loop by Girl Scouts River Valleys

Is your group expecting to add a few new girls to your troop this fall? If so, an investiture ceremony is the perfect way to make your new members feel welcome. (And what Girl Scout doesn’t love a good ceremony!?) In this post, Suzannah, a GSRV team member, walks you through everything you need to know to host an investiture that’ll leave your girls and their families feeling all warm and fuzzy.

5. Making the Most of the Volunteer Toolkit

A tip sheet from Girl Scouts of Northern California

The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is GSUSA’s digital tool for managing troop communication, membership, and program activity plans. If you’re new to the VTK, this tip sheet is the perfect introduction: it lays out exactly what you need to know about how to access the VTK, manage your troop roster, send emails, select a year plan, and plan a meeting, all in 3 simple pages.

And there you have it—5 super quick-to-read resources that will help you prepare for your best Girl Scout year yet! Do you have any other volunteer-focused blogs, resources, or trainings that you love? Share them with us in the comments below!

Marissa VesselsMarissa Vessels—Marissa is a lifelong Girl Scout, Gold Awardee, and Marketing Manager at Girl Scout of Northern California. Though she’s originally from Southern California (Yay, Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council!), she moved to the East Bay to attend UC Berkeley and never looked back. One of her favorite things about Girl Scouting in the Bay Area is all the incredible hiking and camping options available to girls who love to explore the outdoors!

The Trailhead