||How to Start a Troop Without
Ending up Broke
Safety-wise (1/troop provided)
Storage box (bought, or photocopy paper box, or a
wheeled suitcase you have). Some leaders use a wheeled
luggage cart if they have them or can get them Sharpies
(multiple colors, if possible) Big scissors Tissues /
Kleenex First Aid kit - see below on how to stock
Start up grant from Service unit, if available Dues
(decided by girls, often based on cost of Try-Its and
patches) Start up fee from parents: This should cover
the first batch of pins, patches, etc
Look in your own cupboard. If you buy new crayons each
year, you may have a lot of boxes sitting around!
Watch garage sales and thrift stores for supplies. Don't
be afraid to mention at a garage sale that it is for a
Girl Scout troop - some people will give discounts. Be
ingenious - leaders have used one of those beaded car
seat covers as source material (For example - knotty
people swap -
Ask parents for old office letterhead, and use the back.
Great for drawing, paper airplanes, and such.
Some companies will let employees use the printer/copier
for the cost of paper, or for free as community service.
See if one of your parents can do this.
1. Have each girl bring in her own supplies in their own
box, or buy a box of zippered bags and each girl gets
her own bag.
Have them contain:
crayons, markers, and a pencil
glue or glue sticks,
paint set (?)
2. Ask parents for donations of excess craft materials,
then base the crafts on what is available.
3. If a try-it calls for something special, have each
girl bring that item in (i.e. Oatmeal container for
Space Explorer, shoebox for Me & My Shadow)
4. Ask parents to save things - we ask parents to save
certain items for future use (i.e. the tabs off Kool-Aid
bursts for SWAPS, Snack-to-Go containers for when we
make trail mix later this year, old letterhead)
5. Divide the girls into smaller groups - one per
supervising adult. If one group cuts while another
glues, then you need half the number of scissors and
6. Borrow what you can! Both parents and other leaders
JULIETTE LOW BIRTHDAY PARTY OR TROOP SHOWER
Our parents donated items for our Juliette Lowe birthday
party. Each girl brought in a wrapped item that could be
used for crafts or our first aid kit. I provided a list
of suggested items and the girls enjoyed opening the
gifts for our troop.
A game can be made of the unwrapping:
Each girl held her wrapped gift and we started the
"Left/Right" story and passed gifts this way. When the
story was done, each girl was holding a different gift
and got to open "her" present. What wasn't supplied for
the first aid kit, I got the hospital to donate
An example of the story is at
Have a Troop Scavenger Hunt for supplies. An example
follows. ("Prizes" can be simple things like stickers
IT'S SCAVENGER HUNT TIME!!!!!!
EACH BROWNIE WILL BE GIVEN A LIST OF ITEMS TO HUNT FOR
AROUND THEIR HOME. NOTHING CAN BE TAKEN WITHOUT PARENT
EACH ITEM WILL BE GIVEN A POINT VALUE AND FOR EACH ITEM
YOU WILL RECEIVE THE POINTS LISTED. IF YOU HAVE 2 OF ONE
ITEM YOU WILL GET DOUBLE THE POINTS, THREE OF ONE ITEM
TRIPLE THE POINTS, ETC.
THE DEADLINE FOR THIS WILL BE AT THE __________ MEETING.
THERE WILL BE NO LATE ENTRIES INTO THIS CONTEST IN ORDER
TO MAKE IT FAIR FOR ALL GIRLS. POINTS WILL BE TALLIED
AND PRIZES GIVEN AT THE FOLLOWING MEETING.
PLEASE BRING YOUR ITEMS IN A BOX OR BAG LABELED WITH
YOUR NAME SO WE CAN GIVE POINTS CORRECTLY.
ALL ITEMS WILL BE PUT INTO THE TROOP CRAFT BOX AND BE
USED THROUGHOUT MEETINGS.
THE SCAVENGER HUNT LIST IS AS FOLLOWS:
SCOTCH TAPE - 4 POINTS PER ROLL
BEADS - 1 POINTS PER 10 BEADS
FABRIC PAINT - 4 POINTS PER TUBE/BOTTLE SHOE BOXES - 3
POINTS PER BOX YARN - 3 POINTS PER ROLL RUBBERBANDS - 1
POINT PER RUBBERBAND MARKERS - 1 POINTS PER MARKER
CRAYONS - 1 POINT PER CRAYON BUTTONS - 2 POINTS PER
BUTTON YARN NEEDLES - 3 POINTS PER NEEDLE RIBBON - 1
POINT PER PIECE/SPOOL BABY FOOD JARS - 3 POINTS PER JAR
FLOWER SEEDS - 2 POINTS PER PACK POTTING SOIL - 5 POINTS
PER BAG STRAWS - 3 POINTS PER EVERY 10 STRAWS TEMPURA
PAINT - 5 POINTS PER JAR, TUB, TUBE, ETC LIQUID STARCH -
5 POINTS PER CAN/BOTTLE SPONGES - 2 POINTS PER SPONGE
FILM - 10 POINTS PER ROLL COUNTERFEIT PENS - 20 POINTS
PER PEN FACE PAINT - 4 POINTS PER SET PAINTBRUSHES - 1
POINTS PER BRUSH KIDS SCISSORS - 4 POINTS PER PAIR
PAPERBAGS - 1 POINT PER BAG TISSUE PAPER - 2 POINTS PER
SHEET ALUMINUM PIE PANS - 2 POINTS PER PAN POSTERBOARD -
1 SHEETS PER POSTERBOARD DISPOSABLE CAMERAS - 20 POINTS
EACH BAND-AIDS - 1 POINT PER BAND AID ANTISEPTIC CREAM -
4 POINTS PER TUBE GAUZE PADS - 2 POINTS PER PACK PHOTO
ALBUMS - (LIFT UP FILM PAGE TYPE) - 10 POINTS PER ALBUM
SCRAPBOOK ITEMS - DIECUTS, STICKERS, ETC -
1 POINTS PER ITEM
PAPER FASTENERS - 1 POINT EACH
WIGGLE EYES - 2 POINTS PER PAIR
FEATHERS - 3 POINTS PER EVERY 5 FEATHERS THREAD - 2
POINTS PER SPOOL
CHEAP TRY ITS
All in the Family
Around the World
Colors and Shapes (with stuff from around the house)
Girl Scout Ways - Old vinyl tablecloths and shower
curtains can be used to make Sit-upons. Newspaper,
plastic grocery bags, or remnants of carpet padding can
Girl Sports - I made the beanbags out of material and
rice and we used a soccer ball instead of balloons.
Another troop used borrowed beanie babies for the bean
GS Through the Years - Root beer floats (cheap ice
cream, cheap root beer) Let's Pretend Movers, if you
have access to old letterhead or other scrap paper.
Playing Around the World
Senses - I used salt and sugar from my house. Pickle
juice (and then ate the pickles later) and grapefruit
juice. My co-leader brought items to smell, and I
brought in the items to feel. We made the paper items
which I printed and also had the girls make a yarn
picture of their name and then feel it.
Sounds of Music (with supplies found around the house)
CHEAP GS ACTIVITIES
Sing songs, practice the flag ceremony (some service
units and the council have flags they can loan).
Some of these can also be service projects, like when we
went to the fire station, we planted flowers for them
and they loved it and even joined us for snack!
What about volunteering time with an animal shelter,
soup kitchen, meals on wheels, at a nursing home or
working at the council camps (if you have any)?
I have scheduled one meeting to just go to the
playground, eat a sack dinner and PLAY! Girls had a
great time. When the weather gets nicer, we get outside
our meeting place and practice putting up, taking down,
(not losing parts) and putting away our troop tents so
the girls are ready for tent camping during the Summer.
I usually have my wonderful Senior Scout advisor lead
this! We all enjoy the opportunity to be outside. (we
are a Junior troop so this is usually a new skill for
first year girls).
Compiled by Lisa Smith Beasley