Establishing an Account
Helping girls earn and manage money is an integral part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Your Girl Scout troop is responsible for planning and financing its own activities, with your guidance. This puts girls in charge, giving them the opportunity (with your oversight) to cooperatively set goals, manage a budget, spend responsibly; maintain records; earn social skills; and develop good marketing, entrepreneurial, math, and financial skills.
Girl Scout troops are funded by a share of money earned through Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan-sponsored product sale activities (such as Girl Scout Cookie sales), troop money-earning activities (council-approved, of course), and any dues your troop may charge. (This is in addition to the $15 annual membership dues that go to the national organization.) This chapter gives you the ins and outs of establishing a troop account, helping girls manage their troop finances, practice successful product-sales techniques, review the safety requirements around product sales, and understand how to collaborate with sponsors and causes.
All troops are required to have their own bank account. If you’re taking over an existing troop, you may inherit a checking account, but with a new troop, you’ll want to open a new account. This usually happens when there is money to deposit, such as troop dues or money from product sales or troop money-earning activities.
Consider these tips when working with a troop account:
- Keep troop funds in the bank before an activity or trip, paying for as many items as possible in advance of your departure.
- Use debit cards during the activity or trip.
- Make one person responsible for troop funds and for keeping a daily account of expenditures.
- Have one or more back-up people who also have debit cards, in case the main card is lost.
Follow Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan’s financial policies and procedures for setting up an account. Most council-sponsored product sale activities have specific banking and tracking procedures.
Unused Girl Scout money left in accounts when troops disband becomes the property of the council. Prior to disbanding, the troop may decide to donate any unused funds to a worthwhile organization, to another troop, or for girl activities. As when closing a personal account, be sure all checks and other debits have cleared the account before you close it, and realize that you may have to close the account in person. Turn remaining funds over to a council staff member.