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Organizing Troop Files

Itís always a good idea to have all paperwork, handouts and anything Girl Scout related in one place. Especially so you are not running all over the place trying to find everything for your next meeting or outing. Here are some ideas that I use to organize my troops files.

One of the first things I did was buy a durable, hanging file folder box. These can easily be purchased at Wal-Mart, Office Max, Office Depot and Target. You want something that can hold a lot and can handle the weight. So I really recommend in investing some money, especially if you know youíll be doing this for a while. I bought one at Wal-Mart. Itís called Sterilite Legal/Letter File Box. It can hold hanging file folders without buying any extra hardware. I also purchased just plain green hanging file folders, which includes the index tabs.

So the first few files I have are for the girls. This is where parent field trip permission slips, health history forms, photo permissions, individualized badge work will go. Next I have a troop meetings tab. This is where I place any papers and information about our upcoming troop meeting. This will also include print-outs for the girls, arts and crafts directions and more. The next folder contains all the blank forms. That is where I have the monthly reports, accident/incident reports, troop behavior contracts, photo release and consent forms, health history forms and permission slip forms. And I made sure to print out enough copies of everything so that, just in case, all my parents lose them I have extras for every girl.

In the third folder I have any written contracts the troop has made with another business stored there. At the present moment I have placed our rental contract we have that allows us to rent our meeting room. In the fourth folder I have meeting ideas. This folder consist of songs, a printout of our troop scavenger hunt (which was a way I got girls to search for basic supplies the troop could use), ice breaker ideas and quick ideas for games/activities that I could just easily do. In the fifth folder I have any handouts that were given to me by our council. This could consist of the troop/parent cookie handbook, fall product sale information, council events, etc.

Now my favorite folder, number six, has Councilís Own patch programs. These are programs I have found all over the internet that I would like to do with my troop. I printed them out then stored them there so that I donít have to search the internet all over again to find them. In the seventh file I have old permission slip forms. By council rules, we are supposed to hold onto these and other forms for at least 2 years. But I personally donít want them crowding the girls own file folders. So instead I put them here. Iíve titled the tab ďused formsĒ so I know these are not relevant anymore. For the eighth file I have all the forms for the adult volunteers. This includes their adult health history form, any training cards they have, as well as their information on their position in the troop. Each personís information is separated into a clear plastic holder so they do not get all mixed up. And finally in the ninth tab I have all our Service Unit papers. This has information about upcoming events, the monthly agendas and any other papers they handout to us at our monthly meetings.

At the very back of the box I have all our arts & craft stuff. From tacky glue to patches earned (but not given yet) to baby wipes, stapler and extra white paper (for activities as the girls show up). I try to put as much as I can in the box so I donít have things missing. I also carry the troopís first aid kit in the box as well.

The best thing to do is have a box that has all the troopsí information, supplies and anything else you need so that when you are ready to head to a meeting it is all there. Organization is key to running a successful troop. While at times you may still forget something (I know I sometimes do), this will help lessen the possibility.

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