Thanks for the comments and suggestions. There is always room for improvement and we spent less time on the packing lists when we wrote the web site. Great enhancement suggestions, which we will make. Do not be discouraged about your start-up process -- this is not easy stuff. Your first year will be your start-up and as long as you have a good contingent go to summer camp and have that important bonding experience, things will go a lot more easily. Until then, ask questions and be as cheerful as possible.
Our formation group knew up-front that we were pooling a lot of talent and experience from Scouting. We realized we had great comfort in what we were doing and started by forming a Webelos den linked to an existing Pack in Spring of 2017. Things worked so well with our 10-girl Den that we decided we would harness that success to form a Scouts BSA Troop for girls that would feel as if it had already been up and running for some time. We also wanted to form a somewhat larger and non-linked Troop that could do some early testing of what works best for girls. Finally , we were willing to depart from some of the standard Troop operations that many of us have experienced for decades -- but keep the standards and quality the same. The result is that we agreed on an organization format and wrote most of the web site you see now about a year ago. You might not have noticed, but the entire web site is written in a voice that speaks directly to girls age 11-15, because we wanted girls to understand this would be a place particularly welcoming to them. Don't be intimidated in the slightest by anything we have done. This is just very standard Scouting "by the book".
On meeting length and frequency, we gambled on this and won "big-time". The families love Saturday morning, the longer meeting and the fact that this time does not typically conflict with girl-centric activities. We probably under-estimated the best length for our meetings. What has happened is that girls are showing up about 30-60 minutes early to work on advancement sign-offs with Assistant Scoutmasters. So, many actually spend about 2.5 hours or more on Saturdays with us. The other thing about Saturday morning is that it ended up being crazy-good to encourage parents to attend troop meetings (which we hold simultaneously in a different room from 10:30-11:30 during the first Saturday of the month). I am now in the position of having to look for things for people to do. We have co-chairs for just about everything.
You are catching me at an interesting time. Our gamble that we would raise our budget through fees and a once-a-year coffee reception will be shown to work (or not) this very weekend. Our chartered organization is a church that suggested they would host our fundraiser between church services. We are seeking to raise $4,000 by having the Scouts operate displays. And, a bulletin board with cut-out tents, ice chests and other "camp stuff" will be on display so potential donors can "buy" items for the Troop. Then, the 11:00 service will be a "Scout Sunday" -- during which our Scouts will usher, sing and read the bible verses. Check back next week and I'll let you know how it went!