Community partners and local experts can inspire your Girl Scout troop to try new things—but that’s not the only reason you’ll want to team up with them! If you’ve got more questions than answers about a Cybersecurity badge or if shopping for camping gear feels overwhelming, you can lean on local partners to help you navigate new territory and boost your confidence in the process.
Check with the Girl Scout council or service unit. GSCI is building the “bridge” to help volunteers find the expert help they need for all the extraordinary new badges. We will soon be launching the “bridge”. Look for the announcement soon!
Need more ideas? Ask around at your next service unit meeting! Your service unit volunteers likely have some local recommendations or know of fellow troop leaders who’ve arranged similar guest speakers, events, or badge workshops.
Look within your troop community. You might be surprised by just how much talent you already have in your group! With enough notice and some guidance on how to best work with the girls, troop families are usually happy to share their skills.
Look to the parents of the girls in your troop. In addition to special skills and talents, many parents speak several languages, practice different religions, and have various cultural traditions that we’ve used to accomplish badges. Additionally, many parents have unique skills within their careers to help you.
Reach out to first-degree connections. Think about who you interact with in your daily life: your girl’s school, your colleagues, fellow volunteers at other service organizations… What special skills might they be willing to lend to your troop?
Talk to local businesses and nonprofits. You’re all invested in making your hometown a better place, so don’t be afraid to reach out and see how you might team up. Bonus: you might be surprised by how many local businesses are willing to offer your troop free or discounted programs!
Check your local event listings. “Turnkey” community events are an easy way to save planning time while engaging your troop. “When our botanic garden announced its Bug and Insect Festival, the event was a natural for earning the Bugs badge,” explains Denise. “This well-organized festival included opportunities to touch all sorts of insects and learn from experts. The girls had a great time and learned a lot!”
And once you find the right local expert(s) or community partner(s)? Your troop can build important community relationships with them.