Think your service unit meeting is just one more obligation on your jam-packed calendar this month? Think again!
Your service unit team—on-the-ground Girl Scout volunteers who work directly with your council—is your go-to for advice and extra support. Monthly service unit meetings, whether virtual or in-person, are a collaborative space where you can meet fellow troop leaders, exchange ideas, and get answers to your most pressing questions. Definitely something you don’t want to miss!
“In a short period of time, you can get answers to all those questions that are not quite listed on any guides or webpages you might have been referred to,” says Silvia LaFalce of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. “No matter what the question, there is always another leader or service unit team member who knows!”
“As a leader of a troop whose members are all on financial aid, I find service unit meetings to be the best place to find folks who can loan me materials, donate supplies, or even sponsor my girls’ participation in events,” says Lindsay Hayden, who is also from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. “Because I regularly attend meetings, my girls got to go to a service unit camp, free of cost, because a sister troop stepped up to sponsor us.”
As most service unit volunteers have seen, some common questions inevitably pop up at certain points during the year: how to tackle troop budgeting or registration issues at the start of the membership year, how to best communicate with families in the fall, or how to manage all things cookie in the winter.
Though these troubleshooting questions are essential, don't be afraid to bring up other topics with the team. You know the ones—the questions you’re almost afraid to ask because you don’t want to look silly or that you don’t have it all together. The truth is, you’re never alone in your struggles and joys as a troop leader, and the sisterhood you’ll build with your fellow volunteers will be, as Karen Freundlich of Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey says, “the support and inspiration you need to embrace your role as leader, role model, and volunteer.”
Here are four questions/comments your service unit team wishes you’d bring up.
Adds Silvia, “The service unit depends on the feedback from the troops, especially the newer ones! Service unit teams tend to be formed from more experienced leaders whose girls are now older, and hearing back from those Daisy and Brownie leaders can shape the decisions the team makes, the events that get planned, and even the training that is offered.”