Things to do before term starts

A checklist for volunteers at the start of a new term

21 August 2023

A new school year will be starting soon, and many units will be preparing to start a fresh term.

As a volunteer, you may know exactly what to do to prepare for a new term. If you’re new to guiding, or just need a reminder, we’ve prepared a checklist to help you. The list isn’t extensive, nor will everything apply to your unit. It’s there as an aid. Please remember your commissioner is there to help you if you need any support.


Confirm that the venue is still available and when term starts. Will the rent stay the same or will there be an increase? You may need to supply the venue with a copy of our public liability insurance. If you’re unable to use the venue, we put together some guidance during lockdown that may help you find a new one. Read more on our find a new venue webpage.

Current girls

Contact the parents and carers of existing girls to check whether they’re returning after the holidays. If they are, remind them to log into GO and check their personal details, for example, email address, address, telephone number, emergency contacts etc. If they’ve never logged into GO, they can click on the ‘don’t have a log in’ button to get set up.

Remember that Rangers are responsible for their own GO record. If you’re a Ranger leader, you can remind them to update their details as well. If a girl is moving up a section, remember to click the ‘transfer’ button on the girls’ record and select the unit she’s moving to.

New girls

Do you have spaces for new girls to join? Contact those that are waiting to find out when they can join. After they’ve started, don’t forget to send them a starting form to complete.

Updating GO

Once you know exactly who’s coming back or leaving, you can now update GO and end the roles of those who are leaving.

Data protection

Go through all your paperwork and shred everything that’s out of date or not needed anymore. Don’t forget to do the same with your digital devices.


Units vary in how they plan for the new term. Some may hold a planning meeting with their leadership team the term before, or a few weeks in advance. There’s no hard or fast rule – it’s entirely up to you, the girls and leaders in your unit. Think about what girls want to do when they go back. How are they involved in planning? Some units use the first week back to plan the meetings with the girls.

Ask girls what they enjoyed doing last term and what they want to do this term. Things to consider include when you’re going to hold your fire drill, reminding girls of escape routes, what trips are being planned, any camps or residentials that will be happening that may take up some of the meeting times. Don’t forget to submit your REN form if you’re planning a residential.


You’ll also need to budget for the year ahead. It needs to include all your income – money that’s paid to the unit – and your expenses – the things your unit needs to pay for. Expenses include materials for activities, badges, badge books, training fees, rent for example. Our budgeting for your unit webpage has more information.


What unit subscriptions are you going to be charging the girls this year? Will you have enough money coming in? If your unit is going to struggle, there’s plenty of ways to fundraise. Gift Aid is a good way of generating more income. Have a look at the fundraising webpages to help you.


Don’t forget about yourself. Check the learning platform for some of the many courses that you can do in your own home. The course catalogue has a list of everything available including courses run by countries and regions. You can attend webinars on disability and inclusion or do many of the e-learnings available. Check when your A Safe Space training expires, you’ll find this under ‘my learning’.

We hope you have a brilliant term and don’t forget to share the amazing things your unit is up to on social media.]

First aid

Don't forget to check your first aid kit for out of date items, or items that are low in stock.