Can we all just take a moment and be thankful that GSUSA and all of our local Councils are now able to register girls and adults online? I can remember the stacks and stacks of paper registrations I had to deal with as a Placement Specialist the year before it went live in my Council. At least 5″ of quadruplicate forms. And then each new Troop Leader was handed a stack at least 1/2″ thick.
But it’s not that way anymore. However, even with online registration, Troop formation is still not an automatic thing. Unless your Service Unit/Community manages to get all of their new Troops formed at Rallies, then the Registrar and Placement Specialist will have some work to do after the Rally sorting girls into new and existing Troops.
One of the main goals for any Placement Specialist or Registrar or Recruiter (whichever your area uses) is – believe it or not – to place EVERY GIRL in a Troop. If we had our way, every girl who wanted to be a Girl Scout who be placed in a Troop. The problem comes in the forms of well meaning parents and Troop Leaders.
Parents whose daughter has to be in THIS Troop, because well, those girls have been friends forever and their Troop sounded like they had so much fun last year, and of course I can’t be the Troop Leader for a new Troop. *sigh*
Troop Leaders who will take girls from THIS elementary, but not THAT one. Troop Leaders who say their Troop is closed until their best friend’s daughter wants to join. Troop Leaders who think they can only handle 6 Brownies in their Troop. Troop Leaders who are finished after Juniors, but their girls would really like to continue on to Cadettes. *sigh*
How to be kind to your Placement Specialist as a Parent
- Be very clear on the days and and times when your girl will be available for Troop Meetings. These can range from once a month to once a week, depending on the Troop.
- Be very clear on how flexible you are.
- Know whether you want your girl in a single level or multi-level Troop. Here’s a post which compares them.
- Know how you want to volunteer to help your Girl Scout’s Troop. In my Community, girls with guardian who volunteer at Rally Night get placed before girls whose guardians are “too busy” to help in any way. Girls whose guardian volunteers to be Troop Leader get first dibs, of course.
- Understand that the older your girl is, the harder it will be to place her. As Troops get older, they start closing to newcomers because they have started planning bigger activities, that require bigger budgets. It is not fair to accept new girls halfway through saving for that big trip – not to the girls who have already been working towards their goal.
- Give the Placement Specialist a method of contacting you that you will actually check and respond to. If she/he is going to go through the effort of trying to find a home for your girl, the least you can do is take the effort to respond to her. They are not going to spam your main email account. They don’t have time for that nonsense.