Thursday, January 4, 2018

Leader Binder

An installment for the Meetings: Be Prepared series. 

One of my "must have" items for every meeting and outing is my Leader Binder. I have kept one since the time I had a troop. It's a one-stop shop for everything I may need to know.

I have had several people ask me over the years how I have it set up, so I thought I would put together a post for everyone.


Your dividers may be different based on your needs. Think about what you are constantly searching for and go with it. Remember, you can ALWAYS change them. No one said this is set in stone. My tabs are as follows:

  1. Meeting Notes - The first page is the schedule of meetings for the year, after that comes the current Meeting Outline and any supporting documents, then previous meeting outlines. I clean this out once a semester or year, depending on how much gets in there. I will say I rely on technology more now, than 8 years ago. But, I typically still have a printed copy just in case technology is failing me or if you are in an area where you know it will be unavailable.
  2. Individual Files - This is where Health History and Parent/Girl information sheets go. Yes. All contact information is in my phone, but what if the phone is dropped and broken or I'm not able to use the phone (unconscious, injured, etc.). My phone has a screen lock on it and no one else would be able to get to the contacts.
  3. Troop Information - I have a sheet that lists the adults in my troop and their roles. It also states our level, number of registered girls in the troop, where we are from, our service unit number, our Council, Council office contact information, and the Volunteer Service Coordinator information. This is just in case something happens and someone else needs to use my binder OR if I'm not as calm and thinking as clearly as normal in an emergency. It happens. Be prepared.
  4. Financial - I do NOT keep bank records in my binder. They are in the filing cabinet. I try to keep a quarterly print out of the Troop Financial Worksheet in case the girls ask how much is in their account. It's very generic. Check with your council for what is on the financial worksheet for troops and build your reporting off that. It helps have it all together at the end of the year when you need to turn it in, too.
  5. Letters Home - I don't really use this anymore, as most everything I do is via email. I will put a copy of the Back To Troop letter to parents that I put together at the beginning of the year which goes over the goals and such for the year. But, other than that, this section is pretty empty.
  6. Blank Forms - These are really there for my reference in case someone asks me about this or that on a form and I don't want to have to guess. I keep a blank Parent/Girl Info Sheets, Health History, Internet Safety Pledge, Girl Scout Registration Form, Permission Slip, Troop Travel. (You should check with your Council for the unlinked forms, as they may vary)
  7. Permission Slips - This section ONLY has the current permission slips if we are at an event. I don't keep ALL Permission slips here. Permission Slips are moved from binder to filing cabinet folder after the event. I keep mine for a year and then archive into a manilla folder to the basement. There is a debate of how long to keep them. I feel a year is a good time length to keep at my fingertips in the filing cabinet.  
You are welcome to use any or all of my sheets to help set up your binder. All I ask is that you keep my URL information in the footer of the documents. If you share about them online, please give me credit. :)
  • Binder Cover Sheet: I have a cover sheet on my binder that has our troop number and my contact information. The graphics came from ABC Bakers. They are fine to use for personal use. They go over that in their terms of use. 
  • Meeting Schedule Planner: You can download through for free. There is an Excel file. I tried PDF, but it's so limiting that it isn't worthwhile. 
  • Troop Information Sheet: You can download through for free. There is an Word and fillable PDF version. 

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