May 2016: Your Checklist for Success

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

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

Early Bird Registration

As a Girl Scout troop leader, you’ve already seen firsthand how Girl Scouting can change girls’ lives and brighten your whole community. Sign your troop up early (by June 30) for another fun and rewarding year, and you’ll all earn special incentives along the way – why wait?

Here’s how to get started:

  1. View all the Early Bird details here – including how you can earn a hedgehog t-shirt!
  2. Log into MyGS!
  3. View your troop members in the “Troops” tab – you can even print that page if you want a roster on-hand.
  4. Select “Renew” for renewing members, and “I’ll Decide Later” for anyone not sure about next year.
  5. Pay for memberships online with a debit or credit card.
  6. Update your troop meeting and location information right in MyGS!
  7. You’re all set for another year of helping girls dream big, try new things, and grow into the leaders of tomorrow!

Troop/Service Unit Finance Report

Girl Scout councils are required by Girl Scouts of the USA and the Internal Revenue Service to make sure that proper records of funds are kept on file. To help keep these records complete and accurate, troops and service units need to fill out a Troop/SU Finance Report each year.

This required form is due by June 30, 2016. Failure to do so may result in a financial restriction on leadership roles by volunteers. Please note: you must submit a copy of your most recent bank statement with the form.

Thank you for helping us maintain proper records of Girl Scout finances!

Girl Scout Cookie Program

Congratulations on another great Girl Scout Cookie Program! You support the budding entrepreneurs who will run tomorrow’s board rooms, and take on business challenges head on. Here are a few notes to wrap-up the program:

  • Recognition items will be directly shipped to Service Unit Product Chairs in May.
  • For girls who earned technology items, council staff will directly notify the family to arrange pickup/delivery.
  • Cookie Dough numbers have been emailed directly to parents (those without emails on file will be mailed a hard copy).
  • Cookie Dough expires on September 15, 2016! Be sure to let parents know how their Girl Scout can spend her Cookie Dough.

It’s Time To Start Thinking Summer Camp!

Have your girls claimed a spot at summer camp yet? Encouraging new Girl Scout families to come to the camp open houses at each of our four camp properties is a great way to show them how awesome camp can be – plus, these events are free and open to the whole family!

Camp for adults? Sign us up!

  • We’re offering Throwback Camp sessions for women 21+ Friday – Saturday, August 12-13. Unplug and relax; make new friends, and be a camper.
  • Sessions will be held at Camp Sacajawea and Camp Tanglefoot.

Volunteers Needed:

  • Want to get outside and help Girl Scouts have a blast this summer? Volunteers are needed for day camps at Camp Joy Hollow & Camp Juliette – please contact us at info@gsiowa.orgif you are interested!

Volunteer Support

  • If your troop is bridging to the next level, check out the convenient online Leading Your Level session for the new program level — online trainings match your schedule, and can be done in pieces over time!
  • Whether you are helping a new leader in your area, are still learning the ropes as a leader, or a veteran Girl Scout, check out this handy New Leader Checklist, designed to get troops up and running


  • Complete the Early Bird Checklist by June 30.
  • Submit required Troop/SU Finance Report by June 30.
  • Update your Troop meeting information for next year, by completing the Troop Catalog Update Form, or entering information right in MyGS.
  • Looking for summer activities for your troop? Check out the Field Trip options here!
  • Planning a troop trip? Follow the steps on the Event/Activity/Trip Checklist.
  • Submit a valid email address (not the leader’s address) for each troop member. Parents can update email addresses through MyGS, or contact us to provide new contact information.

It’s Early Bird Time! Here’s Everything You Need to Know

It is Early Bird time! Your Girl Scout troop can get a head-start for another great year by renewing your Girl Scout membership for 2016-17 now. Girl and adults can earn special incentives through Early Bird registration. Why wait?shirt

Troop leaders who complete the Early Bird Checklist by June 30 will receive a hedgehog t-shirt – you will be able to pick size and delivery options.

Early Bird Checklist – to launch a fantastic 2016-17 year

  • Register at least 5 girls and 2 adults (new or returning members) for the upcoming year – membership fees for 2016-2017 are $15.
    • For each troop member, you will see an option for “Renew,” “Don’t Renew,” or “I’ll Decide Later.” If you are not sure, always use the “I’ll Decide Later” option. 
  • Submit your Troop Finance Report, with no outstanding troop debt.
    • The Troop/SU Finance report is required for all troops and service units, with a deadline of June 30.
  • Update troop information for the 2016-17 year.
  • Complete online trainings for troop leaders: Leading Your Level & Managing Troops and Groups (60-90 minutes each).
  • All renewing troop volunteers have completed the “Welcome” step in MyGS (5 minutes)
    • If you are a volunteer and haven’t yet completed this step, the Welcome video will be the first thing you see upon logging into MyGS.PATCH.png

All girls who are registered for the 2016-17 year by June 30 will receive a fun patch.

Please note that girls and adults who are receiving their 2016-17 membership through the Girl Scout Cookie Program will be renewed by May 1. As soon as registrations are entered, these members will show as “renewed” for the 2016-17 year.

How to Renew Your Troop or Family Members

Ready to renew? Here’s a breakdown of the most helpful tips and tricks for troops and families:

  1. For troop renewal, see the Troops tab in your MyGS. Change the drop-down to next year to show renewal options for the upcoming year.

  2. Print your own signature rosters to have parents/guardians indicate they would like to continue for next year. From the Troops tab, simply go to “Print” on your web browser. Keep your signature roster for your troop records.

  3. Important! Only use Don’t renew if you are 100% certain that a girl or volunteer is not renewing. If it is in question, use I’ll decide later.

  4. As you renew troop members, the green “Edit” button will allow you to update contact details for troop members. If a member requires a change in name, birth date, grade, or email, please contact us.

  5. Important! Request a valid email address for each member of your troop, and submit those details to If a leader’s email address is entered for everyone in the troop, it will impact your ability to log into MyGS. Members may choose whether or not they would like to receive Girl Scout emails.

  6. Anyone helping with troop meetings or outings should be registered with a volunteer role, and will receive a request to complete a background check. Ask your friends and family network to fill the roles of Troop Support Volunteer, Troop Cookie Manager, Troop Fall Product Manager, or Troop First Aid/CPR Support. And remember, at least two unrelated adults must be listed as Troop Leader with every troop. It takes many hands to run a successful Girl Scout troop, so don’t go it alone!

  7. Family Tip: Financial Aid for the $15 membership fee must be requested by the parent or guardian of a girl. If a girl needs to renew with financial aid, instruct her parent/guardian to log into their MyGS account.

  8. Leaders can ADD A NEW MEMBER TO TROOP! New adult volunteers will receive emails to complete the background check. For new girls, the leaders must receive parent permission before adding them to the troop.

  9. Leaders can now access troop renewals year-round!

  10. Family Tip: All parents also have a MyGS login, where they can renew, edit information, and find additional Girl Scout opportunities.

Now your troop is set for success, and can hit the ground running this fall! We can’t wait to hear all of the amazing things you’ll do next year.

Have any questions? Give us a call at 800-342-8389, or email us at — we’re here to help!