November 2016: Checklist for Success

Need a refresher from last month? Check out the October Checklist!

Need to download a copy of the November Checklist? Click here!

November At-A-Glance

Upcoming – For Girls, Troops, and Families

Fall/Winter Events:

    • Troops and Girl Scout families can view and register for events around the council from the Events Calendar on our website. You can also find program kits and field trips online!
    • Join us for the Pre-Show Dinner Party for Disney On Ice on November 25! With a uniquely designed Girl Scout Princess Adventure passport, girls will meet and mingle with Girl Scout sisters from near and far, sing-a-long with a live music performance during the pizza party, learn princess etiquettes, take a picture with a Disney character, and create her very own flower crown to wear for the evening!
    • Plan ahead for the holidays by registering for Winter Day Camp at Camp Tanglefoot on December 27. We’re gearing up for sledding, building snow-Girl Scouts, making snow angels, snow painting, songs, games, crafts, Girl Scout badge work, and a campfire with s’mores!

Program Aide Training:

    • Do you have Cadettes who would like to share their knowledge and develop leadership skills? Encourage them to sign up for the next Program Aide Training in Sioux City on November 5.

Volunteer Resources

Circle of Creativity:

    • Don’t miss out on attending a Circle of Creativity near you! Choose from 8 sessions scheduled across the council in November/December. At these unique events, you’ll connect with your fellow Girl Scout leaders, hear from GSGI staff and share best practices with each other.

Virtual Roundtables:

    • Our virtual Roundtables are held each month by conference call. Register for the date and time that works for you, and call in from work or home to chat with other leaders about ideas and best practices!
      • November 2 & 3  – Service Project Roundtable
      • November 8 & 15  – Junior Leader Roundtable
      • Check out the calendar for more sessions

Program Kits:

    • Did you know that we offer program kits (many of them downloadable) for you and your troop to use? We even have a brand new Juliette Heritage Patch program, just in time for Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday on October 31!

Volunteer Toolkit Enhancements:

    • The Volunteer Toolkit is a great resource to help you plan and prepare your troop year! GSUSA just rolled out a few exciting enhancements that make it even better, including support for multi-level troops, improved search functionality, and more flexibility in how you organize your meeting content and dates.

Girl Scout Q & A

Q: What forms do we need to complete for troop activities?
A: Always start with the Event/Activity/Trip Checklist for all of your planning steps! If you’re planning an event that falls into one of these categories, an application for activity approval is required before you start your journey.

  • Your troop or group will be away for one or more nights.
  • You’ll be riding horses.
  • You’ll be doing water activities, or swimming at a location without a staff lifeguard.

Learn more in our Bridge post about troop and service unit activities!

Q: What’s the deal with Girl Scout Activity Insurance?
A: Every registered Girl Scout is covered by a basic accident insurance plan. The plan is designed to help pay medical expenses if an accident occurs during a supervised Girl Scout activity. Additional insurance options are available for travel, events lasting more than 2 nights, and activities where non-members will be present.

Learn more in our Girl Scout insurance guide on the Bridge!

Jump-Start Your Motivation at “Circle of Creativity!”

Whew, it seems like the year just started, but we’re already well into planning a new year, and the Cookie Program is coming up in just a few months. Need a boost to get you through? We want to help, with our Circle of Creativity events – designed with you in mind! At these unique events, you’ll connect with your fellow Girl Scout leaders, hear from GSGI staff and share best practices with each other.

Just like our Circle of Success events from this summer, you’ll get the chance to customize your experience with 3 rounds of break-out sessions, each with options suiting almost any volunteer role (see below for more info).

Locations are spread around the council – eight in all – so find the one nearest you and register for a day of Girl Scout fun!

What types of sessions will be available? Here’s a roundup of the options you’ll have for your breakout sessions:

Color Me Program

Join our program staff as we play a chocolaty game while getting to the heart of what girls like, what they want, and what they need to be successful Girl Scouts. From trips and council events, to service unit events and online registration — we’ll talk about it all & give you a fun takeaway!

Parents to Volunteers: Savvy and Creative Ways to Encourage Involvement

Do you want better parent involvement in your troop?   Do you struggle with getting parent help at your meetings?  Come and learn new strategies for getting parents more involved and sharing their talents/careers/activities with the girls.  We also look forward to hearing about your successes.

Pins, Petunias, and Poems…Oh My! – Appreciating Your Outstanding Volunteers

Everyone likes a little recognition! Learn fun, inventive ideas to recognize those outstanding troop leaders and volunteers in your life.  We will also discuss how to improve the nominations for the council-wide awards – such as Outstanding Leader and Rookie of the Year – using the stories you already know.

Rallies, Contests, and 100 Years of Cookies!

During this session, volunteers will share ideas on how to run a successful Cookie Rally, and learn more about contests and promotions for this year’s Cookie Program. We’ll also talk about Troop 100 in celebration of the 100th anniversary of girls selling cookies!

“Speed-Meeting” for Service Unit Managers

Unsure of who the volunteers are in your neighboring areas? Not sure how you can connect? This session is made for our Service Unit Managers (SUM) to help you get to know other SUMs in your region – quickly & effectively! At the end, we’ll take time to discuss some service unit support measures for this year, and take suggestions about how we can improve our efforts.

Spring into Spring Celebrations

Join us as we look at creative ways to celebrate the Girl Scout holidays that happen each spring.  From World Thinking Day to Court of Awards, we will discover new resources and share ideas.  Come prepared to awaken the excitement of spring in your troop!

Traditions: Incorporating Songs & Games

Whether you’re new to Girl Scouts or a returning volunteer looking to get back to the roots, this session is for you! Learn traditional and modern Girl Scout songs and games with our staff. We’ll then work together to consider how you can introduce them into meetings and events with your girls.

What’s New with Cookies!

We’ll give an introduction to the program, review what’s new for the 2017 year, and even have you sample the newest treat – the Girl Scout S’mores™ cookie! This session is for new and returning volunteers alike. (Note: This is not a full training on the program, simply a sneak peek.)

Still need convincing? Here are three more great reasons to attend Circle of Creativity:

  1. Many opportunities for prizes and surprises!
  2. Connect with a new Girl Scout sister from outside of your community.
  3. Spark a new idea or two to incorporate with your troop!

We hope to see you at Circle of Creativity soon. Also, don’t forget to mark your calendar for our council-wide “Circle of Excellence” event on Saturday, April 22 to recognize and appreciate all volunteers!

October 2016: Your Checklist for Success

Need a refresher from last month? Check out the September Checklist.

Need to download and print a copy of the October Checklist? Click here!

October At-a-Glance

Upcoming – for Girls, Troops, and Families

  • Circle of Excellence:
    • Each spring, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa celebrates our volunteers at the annual Circle of Excellence event. We want to make the next event epic, and we need your input. Please take our survey to tell us what you think would make a great event! This survey is open to both volunteers and families.
  • Travel:
    • Did you know that the council and GSUSA offer trips for girls in grades 4 and up? Check out our Travel page for more information – our Chicago trip for girls completing grades 4 or 5 this year is open for registration!
  • Fall/Winter Events:
    • Troops and Girl Scout families can view and register for events around the council from the Events Calendar on our website. You can also find program kits and field trips online!
    • Don’t miss out on these two new programs – each with a special patch and bag included:
      • October 14: Science Explorers – An evening of side-by-side learning at the Science Center of Iowa for both girls and adults led by STEM experts.
      • October 29: Incredible Women in Science – Take a tour through the DuPont Innovation Center and enjoy a series of hands-on experiments with women scientists at DuPont Pioneer.
  • Program Aide Training:
    • Do you have Cadettes who would like to share their knowledge and develop leadership skills? Encourage them to sign up for the next Program Aide Training in Council Bluffs on October 8.
  • Fall Product Program:
  • Juliette Product Program Participation:
    • Does your Juliette want to sell Fall Product? Let us know by filling out the Juliette Parent/Guardian Agreement Form. (Juliettes are individually registered Girl Scouts, an option for girls who choose not to join a troop or cannot find a troop that works with their schedule/location.)
  • Summer of Service Wrap-up:
    • Troops and girls that completed a Take Action project or helped in your community this summer, please complete the Summer of Service Form by November 1. We want to hear how girls are making a difference!

Volunteer Resources

  • Fall Leader Retreat:
    • Register for the annual Fall Leader Retreat by October 2. Get all of your trainings done, network with other volunteers, and have a blast at Camp Sacajawea October 7-9!
  • First Aid/CPR:
    • Time to renew your First Aid/ CPR Certification? Check out the following opportunities.
  • Virtual Roundtables:
    • Our virtual Roundtables are held each month by conference call. Register for the date and time that works for you, and call in from work or home to chat with other leaders about ideas and best practices!
      • October 5 & 13 – New Leader Roundtable
      • October 18 & 27 – Brownie Leader Roundtable
      • Check out the calendar for more sessions
  • Volunteer Agreements:
    • If you are a Troop Leader, Troop Product Manager, Service Unit Manager, or Service Unit Product Chair, be sure to submit your Volunteer Agreement Form. Product volunteers, once your agreement is complete, you’ll receive an email with your login for Nut-E, so you can manage your troop or service unit’s Fall Product Program!
  • Troop Catalog Update Form:
    • Have you completed a Troop Catalog Update Form, showing your troop’s meeting information for the year? We’d also love to know if you’ve got room for a few new members! Girls are waiting, all across the council.
  • Troop Finances:
  • Planning Your Parent Meeting:

Your 2016 Fall Product Program Guide

This post will be your one-stop Fall Product Program resource! You’ll definitely want to bookmark this page — we’ll continually update the post with the most up-to-date information to help your 2016 Fall Product Program go smoothly.

Kick-Off the Program with Drake Women’s Volleyball

Registration is open for the first-ever Fall Product Program Kick-Off on Saturday, October 1!  Activities will include: Zip to your Goal, CEO by Design, Sample What You Sell, “Show Your Spirit” Nail Salon, and on court activities led by Drake Athletes before you watch the game!

The women of Drake Volleyball know about setting goals, working as a team and making decisions just like girls do in Girl Scouts.

Families and troops can register online now!

Getting Set Up for the Fall Product Program

We need just you to complete just a few short steps to ensure you’re ready for the 2016 Fall Product Program. Links to agreements and trainings are below to help you get started.

Fall Product Program Resources

This is your one stop shop for all things Fall Product. Updated guides for the 2016 program will be listed here so you get everything you need in one place!

Shout Outs – Links to all Shout Out Product Program Newsletters will be added to this Bridge post.


Fall Product Program Rallies

Program Guides

  • Troop Product Manager Guide – This guide includes a calendar of important dates, details on the program, and other helpful information to help troop volunteers manage the Fall Product Program.
  • Service Unit Product Chair Guide – Containing information for service unit volunteers, this guide includes a calendar of important dates, details on the program, and other helpful information to help manage the Fall Product Program.
  • Family Guide – This guide includes information to help families support their Girl Scout in the Fall Product Program, including goal-setting recognition details, a calendar of important dates, and helpful resources.
  • Juliette Guide – This guide is designed to help Juliette (independently-registered) Girl Scouts and their parents/guardians manage their program.


Nut-E is the website where you will manage all aspects of product and recognition ordering. You can access Nut-E at – once you have submitted your agreement form (see above), are registered as a volunteer and have a valid, current background check, you will be uploaded into Nut-E and emailed your login information.

Access the Online Program


Girls and families can use the button above to set up their online store for the Fall Product Program.

Troops can also use the button above to set up their online account to be able to track their girls’ orders and design their own MyPatchCreation™. (Remember, if your troop has a total of at least $225 in online sales, the Troop Product Manager will actually be able to receive the MyPatchCreation™ they designed!)

And More-

Remember, is your portal for all the information you may need for a successful Fall Product Program!

Keep an eye out for more great information and resources soon. Happy Fall Product Season!

2017 Cookie Rally Planning Guide

While the 2017 Cookie Program is still a few months away, we wanted to give service unit event planners the resources you need to prepare a super fun Cookie Rally for your community! This post will be your one-stop Cookie Rally shop – check out the great resources below and links to our activity Pinterest page (which will be updated even further) for activity ideas to customize your rally.

What is a Cookie Rally? Learn more here!

How do I plan a Cookie Rally for my service unit?

Step 1: Let us know you’re planning to have a Service Unit Rally by submitting the Cookie Rally Event Request & Patch Order Form. To ensure you receive cookie samples and recognitions before your event, please submit this form by November 18, 2016.

Step 2: Check out our step-by-step planning guide to help you iron out all the details of your rally!

Step 3: Choose the activities girls will complete during your rally! We’ve collected suggestions from cookie bakers and volunteers, as well as cool ideas from outside our council and put them all on our Cookie Rally Pinterest board. Feel free to pick, choose, and customize the best activities for your area.

Step 4: Host your rally! Collect feedback using the Girl Evaluation Form and keep these to help you plan for next year.

Step 5: Send us feedback using the Cookie Rally Evaluation.

Cookie Rallies are a great way for girls to come together and learn all about goal setting and other business skills before they become a part of the biggest girl-led business in the world. If you have any questions about holding the best rally ever, email us at or give us a call at 800-342-8389!

It’s Back to Troop Time – Let’s Get More Girls Involved in Girl Scouting!

It’s Back to Troop time and your recruitment team is charged and ready to go! We have some new resources for you this fall as you welcome more girls into Girl Scouting.

How to Talk About Girl Scouts

You – our amazing volunteers – are our biggest advocates! To support you in your efforts to bring Girl Scouts to more girls, we’ve developed this “How to Talk About Girl Scouts” presentation to help you feel more confident in planning and facilitating recruitment events. It walks through what to expect, what to bring, and some ideas on what you can say during your event.

New Flyer Options

When you select Recruitment Flyer Order Form in the Forms section of our website, you’ll see we have simplified your options and given you the ability to preview before you order! Here’s a look at the style options you’ll be able to choose from when you order:

flyer style.png

How Can We Help?

Remember, your Recruitment Team is always a call or email away for additional support!

Do you know of a school event where Girl Scouts should have a presence? Contact your Recruitment Manager with the details.

Here’s to a fabulous Girl Scout year!

Find Your 2016 – 2017 Shout Out Newsletters : Your Product Program Resource

Shout Out! Newsletters are your weekly resource for Product Program news! Need to glance at a previous edition? Use the links below:

2016 Fall Product Program: 

Do You Know Someone Who Wants to Receive the Shout Outs?
All volunteers can subscribe to the email list using this simple sign-up form! If you know someone who isn’t receiving the Shout Outs, send them this link to get them signed up.