What is a Multi-level troop? A Multi-level troop is a troop with a combination of Girl Scouts of different grade-levels. Multilevel troops are fairly common within Girl Scouts of Louisiana-Pines to the Gulf. Reasons of formation for such troops vary depending on the place of the school’s information night to the availability of leaders within a specific community.
When a parent/guardian is asked why she agreed to be a leader of any troop, often the answer is because of his/her daughter, not the arrangement of the group. Girl Scouting is, indeed, a place to create a Girl Scout Leadership Experience that exceeds a moment, but as leaders you are challenged to mentor, lead, manage and be great among other things. Not to worry! Here is are few things to remember for your troop.
1. Look at how the positives outweigh the challenges
Managing a multi-level troops has its challenges, however, the benefits are worth it. With a combination of older and younger girls, younger girls can learn from older girls and older girls gain self confidence when helping younger girls. If your troop consists of girl from multiple grade levels, as well as multiple schools each girl scout has the benefit of making new friends, stepping outside of the comfort zone and understanding different aspects of those situations.
2. Divide and Conquer
Troops ranging from only 12 girls to 36 girls of multiple grade levels has its benefits. The key is multiple co-leaders willing to be trained for specific grade levels. Having certain adults take ownership of each grade level allows for more than two people to be completely responsible of the troop. This type of arrangement does not mean that the troops will not have moments to share, it’s just a different set up of timing. All grade levels are together for an opening/closing ceremony, announcements and reminders, then divide up into age levels with one co-leader working with each group at meetings.
3. Girl Scout Law – “Use your resources wisely”
Say it with me, “Volunteer Toolkit” or commonly referred to as the VTK. By now, you have most likely heard this term as an existing or new troop. It’s an online app to help you plan and manage your Girl Scout year. It has lots of meeting plans for Daisy, Brownie, and Junior troops as well as admin tools and new content for all program levels. Make the resources work for you and your troop!
If your response is it is not user friendly, look below for the work around of multi-level troops.
- If you are a multilevel troop, when you go to Year Plan Library you will have the option of “Create your Multi-Level Troop Year Plan”.
- Click Create Your Year Plan and then choose what age levels you want (Daisy, Brownie and/or Junior).
- Once age levels are selected, you can choose between Badge, Journey, Award Earning, Intro and Closing.
- Choose your meeting plan type(s) and click View Meeting Plans.
- Choose the meeting plans you want. Make sure if a badge has two meeting plans (part one and two) that you choose both meeting plans.
- Click Add To Year Plan to add your meetings.
- To combine meetings on one date (this way you can have your Daisy, Brownie and/or Junior meetings on the same date), you need to click on the colored meeting date box for the date you want to combine meetings. Find your meeting date and click on the calendar icon. This will open a box with the choice to Change Date/Time, Cancel Meeting or Combine Meetings. Choose Combine Meetings and click on the meetings you want to combine. Click Continue and use the calendar to choose the date for those meetings to occur. Click Save and when you view your Year Plan, you will see multiple meetings on that date.
The Volunteer Toolkit is an added resource for new and returning volunteers. There isn’t a right or wrong way to use it—so log in, take a look around, and see what you think!