Troop Notebook

Starting a troop notebook is a simple and effective way to keep those important forms and papers organized.

What you need:

~ a 3 ring binder (something a bit more durable than the vinyl wrapped cardboard works best)
~ tabbed dividers (use the ones with built in pockets if you can find them)
~ clear sheet protectors, one for each girl in your troop
~ folders made to go into a notebook (if you can not find the dividers with the pockets built in)
~ hole punch (a three-hole hole punch makes this much faster)
~ two manila envelopes (the same size as your binder) with string closers

What you do:

Designate a divider tab for each section of your notebook, I use a set of five dividers for a Daisy troop:
1 -- troop roster, copies of registrations and parent committee forms
2 -- attendance, girl records & insignia records
3 -- meeting notes (from the meeting planner)
4 -- health forms & permission forms (the page protectors will go here)
5 -- detailed cash report, start up fee record, fall product sales & cookie sales envelopes

Divider 1: Troop Roster: Print out a copy of the Troop Roster form.  Fill in with girls' names, home phone numbers and parent's cell numbers (or contact numbers for getting in touch with parents during a meeting).  Behind the troop roster add your copies of the girl & adult registrations for the year.  The troop roster is great for calling the troop for reminders or a parent in case of an emergency and having the registrations in the same section makes it easy to find more detailed information when needed (like address or school). Parent Committee Forms are a great tool to get your parents to volunteer to help within the troop.  Once a parent has completed the form and returned it, add it to this section.  This form can be altered to fit your troop, simply mark through those positions that you do not need.

Divider 2: Attendance/Dues Chart, Girls' Records & Insignia Records: Print a copy of the Dues Template, this serves as an attendance chart for Daisy Girl Scouts as they are not allowed to handle money (i.e. dues).  After the attendance chart, add a copy of the Girls' Record and Daisy Record, Brownie Record or Junior Record (thanks to the Columbia River council for use of this form) for each girl.  I have found it easiest to keep each girls' paperwork together and place them in alphabetical order.

Divider 3: Meeting Notes: When planning each meeting I fill out a Meeting Planner and Agenda which are added into this section before the meeting.  During the meeting I use it as a guide to keep us on schedule and afterward it serves as a record of what we did that meeting.

Divider 4: Health Forms and Permission Slips: Place a clear plastic page protector for each girl in your troop behind this divider.  First, add each girl's Health History Form to her page protector facing forward.  Each permission slip you get for the girl then goes in the same page protector facing the other way (so that when you flip the page protector over you see the front of the permission form).  Keep adding your forms in to the same protector, newest on top.  Another great tip is to print the permission forms in different colors so that you can easily flip through and see who is missing a form (for example, pumpkin patch in orange and apple orchard in red).

Divider 5: Detailed Cash Report, Start Up Fees Record & Parent Committee Forms: A Detailed Cash Report (thanks to the Columbia River Council for use of this form) is very similar to your troop check book's register, it tracks the amount in and out of your troop account.  To make record keeping easier, adjust your troop's detailed cash report each time you write a check.  A Start Up Fee is money paid by parents to help get your troop started (some leaders just charge a set amount of dues for the year and parents pay that at the beginning of the year).  Punch holes in the two large envelopes and place them behind all these forms.  Label one "Fall Product Sales" (or nut sales, etc.) and the other Cookie Sales.  Use these envelopes to keep copies of all forms and paperwork during each sale.  You will want the ones with the string closers so that you can open and close them without the metal parts breaking off.

The pockets on your dividers (or the folders in each section) are used as follows:

Divider 1: Copies of troop roster for parents (be sure to include leader numbers as well)

Divider 2: Blank Girls Records on one side and blank Insignia Records on the other

Divider 3: Monthly troop calendars on one side and monthly troop newsletters on the other

Divider 4: Parent handouts (troop information sheet and troop parent committee forms)