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Troop Volunteer Orientation Guide

2012–2013 • 877-312-4764


Thank you so much for volunteering your time to support a Girl Scout troop. You have taken on a significant responsibility—but also an amazing opportunity to see girls learn and grow together. This year will be filled with inspiring moments as you watch girls try new things, meet goals, and challenge themselves to step outside their comfort zones. With 90% of our girl members being in Girl Scout troops, and all of those girls depending on volunteers to mentor and guide them, we want to make sure that you have the resources and support that you need. We hope that this booklet, along with your Volunteer Resources CD and Volunteer 411 publication, will help you feel better prepared for your new role as a troop volunteer!

Important Contacts Membership Marketing Specialist Name: Phone: 877-312-4764 x Email:

Name: Phone: 877-312-4764 x Email:

Name: Phone: 877-312-4764 x Email:

Leadership & Learning Specialist–GSLE

Product Program Specialist

Service Team Manager Name: Phone:


Service Unit Meeting Day:



Fill out and return Voluteer Application with 3 references. Take the Girl Scouts 101 Training at http://training. • Choose “GS101” • Password: aboutGS101 Talk to other parents to see who else might be interested in helping with the troop. After background check is cleared: Set date for New Leader Orientation with your staff membership marketing specialist or volunteer service unit orientation trainer. Plan a parent information meeting (either after school or early evening.) If you have 2 leaders and 3 girls, you are ready to go! Your membership specialist will give you your troop number and any other information you will need to get started. Open a troop bank account (see page 14). Remember that when setting up your bank account, you need 3 unrelated, background cleared, registered adults. The forms you need are on the Leadership Essentials CD or on the GSMH web site. Explore the Volunteer Portal on the GSMH site: • Username: gsmhleader • Password: Beetle22B (through 9/30/12) or CadettesCarry3Cards (after 10/1/12) Check out your Leadership Essentials CD; it includes forms, safety activity checkpoints, and lots of helpful volunteer information. Sign up to receive the council e-blasts, including volun- teer newsletters, at Make sure you are getting your emails from your service unit. If you are not, ask your staff membership specialist to put you in contact with your service unit contact person. Plan to attend your service unit meetings; it will keep you better connected to Girl Scout news, information, and events. Register for any additional trainings that you need, such as basic outdoor skills, troop camping, or first aid: • Within 6 months of appointment: Orientation Leadership Essentials (online or in-person) CPR/First-Aid/AED* *Because emergencies require prompt action and

Retail Shop 877-312-4764 x Service Unit #:

To DoforList new leaders

Troop #:

quick judgment, Girl Scouts recommend that at least one adult volunteer be first-aid/CPR certified.

• Additional Training as needed: Basic Outdoor Skills (required for one-day

outings, backyard or cabin camping at a council program center) Basic Troop Camping (required for camping at an established campsite; pre-requisite: Basic Out door Skills and sufficient time to practice skills.)

Leadership Outcomes Since its inception, Girl Scouts has always been an organization that empowers girls to become leaders and provides them with a safe, productive environment in which to develop their leadership skills. There is one constant at the core of every program, badge activity, service project, and decision made in Girl Scouts: girls. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience encourages girls to engage in the process of leadership. By combining fun and friendship with activities and projects designed to meet specific developmental outcomes, Girl Scouting remains the best leadership development opportunity available to girls today. The outcomes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience are designed to work together to help girls become capable, well-rounded, lifelong leaders.

With so many different activities, commitments, and distractions available to youth today, Girl Scouting has evolved to serve the changing needs of girls. There are six program pathways in which girls may participate. Whether they choose one or all pathways - girls will still have a positive and meaningful leadership experience. • • • •

How can you help?

Two easy guidelines that adults can use when planning their time with girls are to: • •

Girl Scout Pathways (participation options)

Use the National Program Portfolio (see p. 4-5) Implement the Girl Scout processes in all activities and decisions (see below)

Taking these steps will help ensure that girls are benefitting from the outcomes of Girl Scouting.

• •

Travel: trips around town or around the world. Troop: regular meetings and shared experiences. Events: one-time activities in any topic girls want! Camp: by day or overnight. Virtual: online activities in a secure setting. Series: interests explored over a few weeks.

For more information about the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, please visit or




DISCOVER themselves and their values, and use their knowledge and skills to explore the world.

GIRL-LED: Girls choose and direct their own activities.

1. Girls develop a strong sense of self. 2. Girls develop positive values. 3. Girls gain practical life skills. 4. Girls seek challenges in the world. 5. Girls develop critical thinking.

CONNECT with others, locally and globally, in a changing and diverse world.

LEARNINGBY-DOING: Girls engage in hands-on activities.

1. Girls develop healthy relationships. 2. Girls promote cooperation and team-building. 3. Girls can resolve conflicts. 4. Girls advance diversity in a multi-cultural world. 5. Girls feel connected to their communities, locally & globally.

TAKE ACTION to make the world a better place.

COOPERATIVE LEARNING: Girls work together as a team.

(Girl Scout keys)

(Girl Scout processes)


(short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes)

1. Girls can identify community needs. 2. Girls are resourceful problem-solvers. 3. Girls advocate for themselves and others, locally & globally. 4. Girls educate and inspire others to act. 5. Girls feel empowered to make a difference in the world.

LONG-TERM OUTCOME: Girls lead with courage, confidence, and character, to make the world a better place.


What Girls Do in Girl Scouts The Core: Leadership Journeys

Journeys are the core piece of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Through journeys, girls learn the three keys to leadership: discover, connect and take action. Each journey has awards that girls may earn - the only awards in Girl Scouting that specifically engage girls in the complete experience of discovering, connecting and taking action. Unlike skill-building badges, which recognize specific talents or tasks, the journey awards represent a deep and longer-term exploration of a topic. There are three themes to choose from at each Girl Scout age level – It’s Your World—Change It!, It’s your Planet—Love It!, and It’s Your Story—Tell It! Journeys are designed to be flexible and can be customized to a group’s interests. Each journey has a suggested number of sessions it will take to complete, but the sessions do not have to be done consecutively (unless that is how the girls want to do it, of course!). More information about journeys is on pages 6–7.

y... Choose a Journe

1 ...earn the aw ards!



Earn More Badges—Add the Badge Sets

Skill-Building and Traditions: The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting

Each Girl Scout age level has its own Girl’s Guide, which contains both a handbook and badge requirements. This is where girls will find skill-building badges ranging from traditional Girl Scout topics like cooking, first aid and nature and more contemporary topics like financial literacy and cookie business. Additional skill building badge sets (pictured above) are available to complement each of the three journeys. The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting is cleverly designed as a three-ring binder so girls can insert these badge sets and other materials as they become available.


Use all of this with The Girl’s Guide to Girl Sc



Journeys 101 It’s Your Journey-Customize It!

The Girl Scout journeys are books - but they are not textbooks or step-by-step books; they are guidebooks to leadership development opportunities. Journeys were designed to be customizable, flexible, and tailored to a group’s interest. Girls and adults can determine together the format for their journey: how many sessions, what they’d like the journey to be, and what field trips, experts, and “side trips” they would like to add to make the journey as personal, intriguing, and educational as possible. That’s far from boring; that’s a girl-led, girl-centered leadership experience! There are three journey series for girls. Girls who choose the It’s Your World-Change It! journey follow in the footsteps of our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, to become advocates to make positive change in their world. Through It’s Your Planet-Love It!, girls learn ways in which they can be good stewards for our environment and use resources wisely. And in It’s Your Story-Tell It!, girls are able to express their own amazing story in creative ways.

Guidance for Adults

The Girl Scout journey series have helpful “How To” guides for volunteers to use for each age level; they even include sample program sessions! However, as with all things in Girl Scouts, the experience should be customized to suit the needs and wants of the girls! When girls choose their journey, find out what that series theme means to them. Are there guest presenters they’d like to invite to a troop meeting? Perhaps there is field trip girls could organize that will help them learn more about the topic of the journey. Most importantly, make sure it’s fun for the girls!

A Peek Inside… Girl Scout Daisy Journeys Welcome to the Daisy Flower Garden Learn the Girl Scout Law with new flower friends.

Between the Earth and Sky How can we help protect and save our planet?

5 Flowers, 4 Stories, 3 Cheers for Animals! What can caring for others teach us about ourselves?

Girl Scout Brownie Journeys Brownie Quest Discover the three keys to being a good leader.

WOW! Wonders of Water What does water do for us? What can we do for it?

A World of Girls What clues are hidden in stories - including yours?


As Girl Scout Daisies are welcomed into the Daisy Flower Garden, they can plant their own flower or even an entire garden! Girls can choose the flower part of the law that means the most to them and plant that flower or draw a poster to have for their very own.

As Brownies are exploring the Wonders of Water, perhaps they can go on a field trip to a local dam or levy and learn about how our communities harness the power of water. Invite a local expert on water to meet your troop at a local creek and explore all the life living in the water.

Girl Scout Junior Journeys Agent of Change Unleash your power and help make a difference.

Get Moving! What is energy - and how can we use ours wisely?

aMUSE What roles can you play? What’s possible for you?

Girl Scout Cadette Journeys aMaze: The Twists & Turns of Getting Along Stand strong against bullies, cliques & negativity.

Breathe! Focus your senses . How can we help “clear the air”?


Juniors who are learning to be Agents of Change talk about the power of “one” and the power of “team.” Engage your girls in team games that require them to all work together. Sign up your group for a teambuilding event/challenge course at GSMH!

Break out the video camera and help Girl Scout Cadettes write and direct a video celebrating their accomplishments throughout their Girl Scout year as they explore MEdia. Share the video with younger girls to show them all they have to look forward to.

How can you shape media - and make it better?

Girl Scout Senior Journeys GIRLtopia Envision a more perfect world & make it a reality!

Sow What? Food: what’s really good for people and the planet?

Mission: Sisterhood! What good is in store when you expand your networks and friendships?

Girl Scout Ambassador Journeys Your Voice, Your World: The Power of Advocacy “Why isn’t someone doing something about that?” It’s your turn to be that someone.

Justice What’s the big picture? How do we decide what’s really “fair” for our planet and ourselves?

Bliss: Live It! Give It! Dream big - now and later... What will your legacy be?

Girl Scout Seniors working through Sow What can work with local master gardeners to plant and harvest a garden. All produce can be donated to a local food pantry to provide fresh, local food to families in need. Ambassadors learning about the power of advocacy in Your Voice Your World can meet with lobbyists who work directly in our government to influence change. Work with your girls to determine what issues matter most to them and contact local non-profits to learn how they work in local, state and federal governance to impact policy.


History and Traditions A Brief History of Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts of the USA began on March 12, 1912 when Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scout troop meeting of 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia. Fresh from meeting Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement, in England, Low poured herself into realizing her dream of “something for all the girls.” Her vision was that girls would be brought out of sheltered home environments to serve their communities, experience the outdoors, and have opportunities to develop “self-reliance and resourcefulness.” Within months of that first meeting in 1912, members were hiking through the woods in their knee-length blue uniforms, playing basketball on a curtained-off court, and going on camping trips. On March 16, 1950, Girl Scouts of the United States of America was given a Congressional Charter. Today, more than 50 million American women have participated in Girl Scouts, as part of a worldwide scouting family of more than 10 million people in 145 countries.

Girl Scout Holidays

October 31: Juliette Gordon Low’s Birthday (Founder’s Day)

Celebrate the birth of Girl Scouts of the USA founder Juliette Low with a birthday party or one of these activities:

• Read about Juliette’s life (look online or in the Girl

Scout journeys or The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting).

• Donate to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund. • Go online and learn about The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah, Georgia.

February 22: World Thinking Day

Girl Scouts of the USA is part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), which spans 145 countries. World Thinking Day celebrates the sisterhood between Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the globe. Every year, a global action theme unites WAGGGS members in service; for 2013, it is “Together we can save children’s lives and every mother’s life is precious.” All Girl Scouts are encouraged to celebrate world cultures and give service on World Thinking Day. Ideas include: •

Invite someone from another country (look to college or high school exchange students as resources) or someone who has traveled abroad to


• • • • •

a meeting or event to learn about other cultures. Hold a dinner or party with food, decorations, costumes, and activities from WAGGGS countries. Learn songs or games from WAGGGS countries. Give service in the “we can save the planet” theme. Make paper chains in which each link represents a country, a wish for the future, or a girl. Visit for more ideas.

March 10–16, 2013: Girl Scout Week

Always including March 12 (Girl Scout Birthday), Girl Scout Week begins with Girl Scout Sunday and ends with Girl Scout Sabbath. Girl Scout Sunday and Girl Scout Sabbath give girls an opportunity to attend their place of worship and be recognized as Girl Scouts. Girls may want to perform a service such as greeting, ushering, or doing a flag ceremony. This day can also be a time when girls explore other faiths if they wish - or just enjoy nature together! March 12 is Girl Scout Birthday, marking the day in 1912 that our founder held the first meeting for Girl Scouts in the United States. .

April 22: Girl Scout Leader’s Day

Girl Scout Leader’s Day honors all the volunteers who work as leaders and mentors in partnership with girls. Girls, their families, and communities should find a special way to thank their adult Girl Scout volunteers.

The Girl Scout Promise On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

Learn the Lingo Local Girl Scout Terms Cookie Cupboard

Girl Scout Ways Bridging

The act of moving up from one Girl Scout level to the next. Girls usually cross a bridge at this ceremony (more information in the Volunteer 411) to symbolize the transition.

Buddy System

A safety practice that allows two girls of equal ability to move about and keep track of each other.

Open during the Girl Scout Cookie Program, volunteers come here to pick up additional cookies for girls to sell.

LLS (Leadership & Learning Specialist)

Primary staff contact for volunteers’ questions about the Girl Scout program.


Abbreviation for “Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland.”


Court of Awards

Three geographic areas within GSMH- southwest (Springfield/Joplin areas, KS, OK), central (Jefferson City area), and southeast (Dexter/Cape Girardeau areas).

Friendship Circle

Service Team Member

A ceremony that can be held at any time during the year at which badges, recognitions, and awards are presented. A group stands and clasps hands, right arm crossed over left. Symbolizes equality and an unbroken chain of friendship for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides worldwide.

Adult volunteers who support a service unit (see below), usually headed by a volunteer Service Team Manager.

Friendship Squeeze

Geographic area - usually by county - of Girl Scout troops and members.

A hand squeeze that is sent around a Friendship Circle. Girls often put one foot forward after receiving the squeeze and passing it on so everyone can see it travel.

Girl Scout Handshake

A way to greet other Girl Scouts or Girl Guides. Shake with the left hand, because it is closer to the heart, and give the Girl Scout Sign with the right.

Girl Scout Promise & Law

Service Unit

Service Unit Meeting

Information and networking opportunity for volunteers, usually held monthly.

Volunteer Connections

Semi-monthly newsletter e-mailed to volunteers.

The Girl Scout Promise is a pledge made by each member, both girls and adults, to live up to the ideals of Girl Scouting. Members live the 10 parts of the Girl Scout Law to fulfill the Girl Scout Promise.

Quiet Sign

Girl Scout Sign


To let girls know it is time to be quiet, a leader raises her hand and keeps it up as each person sees it, stops talking and raises her own hand until everyone is quiet.

Made by holding up the three middle fingers - each standing for one part of the Girl Scout Promise - of the right hand. Use when making the Girl Scout Promise.

A formal ceremony at which a girl or adult, who has been previously invested, renews her Girl Scout Promise.


A cushion often made by Girl Scouts to use when the ground is damp, or to keep their clothes clean.

Ceremony at which a girl first becomes a Girl Scout by making the Girl Scout Promise and receiving a membership pin. For more information, check out the Volunteer 411.

Sit-Upon SWAPs

Founder of Girl Scouts of the USA. (See page 8).

“Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere” or “Share With a Pal”s often made and traded between Girl Scouts at events. Generally follow the event theme or representing the maker’s interests.

Kaper Chart


Juliette Gordon Low (aka “Daisy”)

A grid system, wheel, or table showing the tasks assigned to each girl or group of girls; useful for meetings, campouts and other times when the troop is together.

A non-registered child attending a Girl Scout event; generally not permitted at GSMH program events.


The Girl Scout Leadership Experience (see page 3).


Girl lScout Insignia Girl Scouts recognizes membership and achievement with various uniform insignia. For girls, basic membership identification is a uniform piece (sash, vast, or tunic) with a membership pin, council ID, and troop number displayed. Additional insignia may be added as funds permit, and award patches and pins are added as they are earned. Note: Participation patches (“fun patches”) are not official insignia; they should be worn on the back of uniforms only.

Girl Scout Daisy Uniforms

1. Insignia Tab (Yellow) 2. World Trefoil Pin 3. Membership Pin 4. Daisy Promise Center & Learning Petals 5. Daisy Journey Awards 6. Cookie Sale Activity Pin 7. Troop Numbers 8. American Flag Patch 9. Girl Scout Council Identification Set

Girl Scout Brownie Uniforms 1. Insignia Tab (Brown) 2. World Trefoil Pin 3. Membership Pin 4. Cookie Sale Activity Pin 5. Brownie Journey Awards 6. Badges 7. Bridge to Brownie Award

8. Safety Award Pin 9-11. Membership Stars and Discs (one for each year of membership; color coded for age level)

12. Troop Numbers 13. Girl Scout Council ID Set 14. American Flag Patch

Girl Scout Junior Uniforms

Girl Scout Cadette, Senior, and Ambassadors

1. Insignia Tab (Green) 2. World Trefoil Pin 3. Membership Pin 4. Bronze Award Pin 5. Membership Numeral Guard 6A-D. Sign of the Rainbow, Sun, Star, and World 7. Cookie Sale Activity Pin 8. Junior Journey Awards 9. Junior Badges 10. Junior Leadership Pin 11. Brownie Wings

12. Junior Aide Award 13. Bridge to Junior Girl Scouts 14. Safety Award Pin 15-17. Membership Stars and Discs (one for each year of mem-

bership; color coded for age level)

18. Iron-On Troop Numerals 19. Troop Crest 20. Girl Scout Council ID Set 21. American Flag Patch 22. Patrol Leader’s Cord

Uniform and insignia diagrams may be found at

Girl Scout Adults

For adults, Girl Scout membership is identified by a membership pin. The formal adult uniform is navy blue business attire with an official Girl Scout scarf for women (tie for men). This is not required for troop or service unit meetings, events, or activities; in fact, there is rarely an occasion when the formal uniform would be required of adult volunteers.

Adult Membership Insignia 1. Insignia Tab (Green)

2. World Trefoil Pin 3. Adult Position Pin 4. Membership Pin 5. Membership Numeral Guard 6. Campus Girl Scout Guard 7. Girl Scout Gold Award 8. Bridge to Adult GS Award


9. Years of Service Pin 10. Outstanding Volunteer Awd Pin 11. Outstanding Leader Award 12. Personalized ID Pin 13. Lifetime Membership Pin 14-17. Adult Recognitions (Appreciation Pin, Honor Pin,Thanks Badge, Thanks Badge II; see p. 10)

Troop Administration: Travel Travel - whether it be around town or around the world - can be one of the most enriching and educational Girl Scout pathways. Of course, there are program standards and procedures that you should follow to ensure that the experience is safe, fun, and rewarding for all.

For All Trips (including in-town field trips)

Make sure that you receive a signed parent/guardian permission slip for each girl before departure. In addition, keep the following vehicle guidelines in mind: • • •

Girl Scouts of the USA recommends 2 adults per car. There must be least one adult with current CPR/ First Aid registration traveling with the group. Each vehicle should have a First Aid kit.

For Day Trips of 50+ Miles & Simple Overnights

A troop travel application must be submitted to your volunteer service team manager for approval (preferably 4 weeks in advance). If there is no service team manager available, or if the service team manager is a participant in the trip, the application should be submitted to a GSMH leadership and learning specialist.

For Trips 100+ Miles Outside Council Jurisdiction, 3+ Nights, or International

A troop travel application must be submitted for approval by both your volunteer service team manager and a staff leadership and learning specialist. Please complete the troop travel application at least 4 weeks in advance for domestic trips; 12 weeks for international trips. Additional accident & sickness insurance coverage must be purchased through Mutual of Omaha for trips lasting 3 or more nights. Please contact the GSMH HR/benefits coordinator for more information.

General Travel Guidelines

Complete travel guidelines are included in Chapter 4 of Volunteer Essentials, given to you on CD. The troop travel application also includes important information for longer trips.

Field Trip Check List At Least 4-6 Weeks Before Trip □□ With girl input, establish purpose of trip. □□ Discuss finances with girls and families. □□ Review troop travel procedures & safety activity checkpoints.

□□ If required, submit troop application. □□ If needed, purchase Mutual of Omaha non-

member insurance or additional accident and sickness coverage through HR/benefits coordinator. Call 877-312-4764.

3-4 Weeks Before Trip □□ Have girls practice any new skills that will be used. □□ Secure adult participants with proper training. □□ Inform parents of upcoming trip/event; distribute permission slips and instructions.

□□ Secure transportation. □□ Identify emergency contacts for trip. □□ Inventory first-aid kits (1 per car). Day of Trip □□ Make sure that:

Leader has □□ A permission slip for each girl. □□ A health history form for each girl. □□ Emergency contact information for each driver. First-Aider has □□ Troop/group first-aid kit. □□ Girls’ medications in original containers with directions, including over-the-counter. □□ Medications. The emergency contact person has □□ Copies of permission slips. □□ Trip itinerary with contact information (not just cell phones!). Each driver/car has □□ A seat belt/car seat for each girl in car. □□ A trip itinerary and map. □□ A first-aid kit. □□ Site rules (preferably written) to review with girls.

□□ GO AND HAVE FUN! After Trip □□ Evaluate the trip with your girls to help them learn from their experience.


nce A Note on Insura Request for Certificate of Liability Insurance

You Don’t Have to Do It Alone...

Many times the locations where troops and service units meet or hold activities will require a certificate of insurance before agreeing to let them use their facility. If your meeting or event location needs proof of insurance, please complete a Request for Certificate of Liability Insurance form (available on your Volunteer Essentials CD and our website).

You have signed up to be a volunteer troop leader or co-leader, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do it all! In addition to GSMH staff and your fellow volunteers, you should be able to count on the parents in your troop to offer you support. Some of the ways in which parents to contribute include:

Forms should be submitted to the GSMH human resources department at least two weeks before the facility is needed. Once requested, a copy of our certificate of liability insurance will be faxed, emailed or mailed directly to the site that needs it.

• Individual Badge Activities • Service Projects • Crafts • Songs • Product Programs (fall and winter) • Record-Keeping • Phone Trees • Transportation/Drivin • First Aid (licensed medical professional or Red Cross Certified). • Camping (training and chaperoning) • Baby-sitting your other children so you can attend meetings. • Attending monthly service unit meetings.

Girl Scout Activity Accident Insurance and Optional Plans and Claims

Please note that any adult, even a troop parent, who regularly interacts with children other than their own will need to complete a volunteer application and background check. This includes any parents who will be transporting or driving other girls, camping, or having access to girls’ or families’ personal information. At least two registered troop volunteers (more depending on safety ratios) must be present with the girls at all times.


Registered Girl Scouts are covered by a secondary accident insurance while participating in approved Girl Scout activities. Sometimes, a troop or service unit must take out extended insurance for members or non-members. Some instances in which troops or service units should purchase this low-cost insurance include:

• non-members attending a Girl Scout event (Plan 2) • registered members participating in an event or activity lasting more than two consecutive nights (Plan 2); members and non-members accident and sickness for events lasting longer than two consecutive nights • members and non-members accident and sickness for international travel

Detailed information about this additional insurance and when and how to obtain it is available on your Volunteer Essentials CD and our website. Questions may be directed to the GSMH HR/benefits coordinator.

Understanding How Many Voluteers You Need Girl Scout adult-to-girl ratios show the minimum number of adults needed to supervise a specific number of girls. (There may also be maximums due to size or cost restrictions.) These supervision ratios were devised to ensure the safety and health of girls—for example, if one adult has to respond to an emergency, a second adult is always on hand for the rest of the girls. It may take you a minute to get used to the layout of this chart, but once you start to use it, you’ll find the chart extremely helpful.

Here are some examples: If you’re meeting with 17 Daisies, you’ll need three unrelated adults (in other words, not your sister, spouse, parent, or child), at least one of whom is female. (Let’s take a second to follow the chart: you need two adults for 12 Daisies and one more adult for up to six more girls. You have 17, so you need three adults.) If, however, you have 17 Cadettes attending a group meeting, you need only two unrelated adults, at least one of which is female (because, on the chart, two adults can manage up to 25 Cadettes). In addition to the adult-to-girl ratios, please remember that adult volunteers must be at least 18 years old or at the age of majority defined by the state, if it is older than 18. * For more information about safety, please refer to the Safety Activity Checkpoints on your Volunteer Resources CD.


Troop Administration: Finances 1/3 Rule of Thumb

from Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska, New Leader Training

Troop income earned through troop dues collection, product program, and money-earning activities should help your girls and their families to have a positive Girl Scout experience. A good rule of thumb to follow is a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 rule. Families and girls should be learning to budget in a responsible and sustainable way. That means each troop should be working to minimize extra costs to themselves and to families at all times.

• 1/3 to help cover costs of badges, registrations

for the following year, and uniform pieces. All girls should have an opportunity to have a membership paid in full or part by their troop, even if they decide not to join the troop the following year. • 1/3 covers field trips, meeting supplies, and ceremonies…that’s right, only 1/3. Girls should be learning to use their resources wisely and learning the value of saving up for big trips and ideas. • 1/3 for unexpected expenses (like a family who needs financial assistance, or an amazing opportunity that suddenly comes up), and larger expenses (like travel and take action projects).

Troop Banking

All troops/groups should open a bank account using the council’s tax ID number. The account name must include the troop/group’s 5-digit troop number and the signature card must include three unrelated registered members. (Only one is required for withdrawals.) Instructions for opening a troop account are included in New Leader Orientation.

Financial Reports

A troop financial report is due on July 1 of each year. The form is on your Volunteer Essentials CD and our website.

Troop Money-Earning Projects

The Girl Scout program is intended to be a self-sufficient one. We hope that girls learn and demonstrate financial responsibility and independence by participating in money-earning activities, budgeting responsibly, and continually evaluating their financial needs as a group. Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland has two major money-earning programs for girls annually - a fall product program and the Girl Scout Cookie Program.


Most troops find that they earn enough funds in these programs to sustain themselves for the year. However, troops may choose to conduct other money-earning projects to support their activities and service efforts.* Because Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland, Inc. is the holder of a non-profit 501(c)(3) status, all moneyearning projects must be pre-approved by our resource development department. Pre-requisites include: • • • •

Presenting the Family Partnership Campaign; Participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program within the last year (unless troop is new); No outstanding bills due to council; Permission from each girl’s parent/guardian.

All proposed projects must also: • • •

Comply with state and local laws regulating sales by minors, food handling, etc.; Be age-appropriate; Adhere to all applicable Girl Scout Safety Activity Checkpoints and Girl Scout and council policies.

Money-earning projects cannot take place during United Way Blackout periods (usually September-October) or council product sale programs. Complete guidelines and the Troop Money-Earning Project Application are available on your Volunteer Essentials CD and our website. *Note: Girl Scouts may not raise funds on behalf of other organizations, though they may choose to contribute troop funds to service projects and initiatives of their choice.

Financial Assistance

To help ensure that everyone interested may participate in Girl Scouts, financial assistance is available for: • • • •

National membership dues (girls and adults) Handbooks and uniforms (for girls) Programs, Girl Scout destinations, and camp for girls Volunteer trainings for adults

Financial assistance is reserved for those who demonstrate need; it is not a substitute for troop funds.

Financial Assistance Applications

Complete guidelines and application forms are available on your Volunteer Essentials CD and our website. For girl applicants, the troop leader and parent should discuss the individual needs of the girl before completing the application. Each applicant must submit a separate application; troop applications are not accepted.



The Girl Scout Promise On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

Quick Contacts For concerns/questions about…

The Girl Scout Mission Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

Call 877-312-4764 toll-free to contact:

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Troop Volunteer Orientation Guide 2012-2013  
Troop Volunteer Orientation Guide 2012-2013  

Getting started guide for new volunteers.