Ensuring the health and safety of girls in Girl Scouting is a cornerstone of the Girl Scout Movement. This includes developing safety consciousness in both girls and adults, as well as training staff, volunteers, and girls to ensure proper supervision, planning to prevent accidents and incidents, and maintenance of program resources.
The Girl Scout program relies on the generosity and commitment of our volunteers. With that said, the safety of our girls is always a paramount concern. A criminal background check is done for all volunteers and adults who handle Girl Scout funds or who have the potential to be alone with girls, including drivers. In addition, a volunteer application, three references, and an interview are required for anyone in a leadership position.
Before girls do any online activities (whether sending emails to friends and families or visiting their vendor sites or using social media to tell friends about the arrival of cookies), girls should read and discuss the Girl Scout Internet Safety Pledge Girls should print out the pledge and review with parents (or guardians), and sign the pledge together.
Safety Activity Checkpoints
When preparing for any activity with girls, always begin with the Safety Activity Checkpoints written specifically for that particular activity. This introduction provides an overview of the format of each set of checkpoints.
Note: In addition to reading these checkpoints yourself, you can also e-mail or print them for co-volunteers, parents/guardians, and girls.
KNOW WHERE TO DO THE ACTIVITY - Quick list of the most common places girls carry out the activity.
INCLUDE GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES - Tips and special Web sites for information on including girls with disabilities.
BASIC GEAR - Includes clothing and equipment girls are likely to already have in their possession.
SPECIALIZED GEAR - Includes clothing and equipment girls may need to purchase, rent, or borrow.
PREPARE FOR THE ACTIVITY
These checkpoints discuss steps to take in advance of the activity. Not every category is listed here, and not every activity includes these categories.
Communicate with council and parents. Tips for following council guidelines and keeping parents informed
Ensure prerequisites. Ranges from an ability to swim to knowledge of primitive camping. Arrange for transportation and adult supervision. Recommended adult-to-girl ratios for this activity
Verify instructor knowledge and experience. Ensuring the volunteers or on-site instructors possess the proper skill set, knowledge, experience, and/or training/certification
Select a safe site. A game plan for ensuring the safest experience possible
Compile key contacts. Information on itineraries, phone trees, and other contact information
Respect the environment. Tips for ensuring environmental responsibility
Prepare for emergencies. First-aider requirements and other emergency precautions
On the day of the activity
These checkpoints include important final reminders on the day of the activity. Not every category is listed here, and not every activity includes these categories.
Get a weather report. Ways to monitor the weather for any outdoor activity and/or activity requiring transportation
Review rescue tips. Activity-specific rescue tips
Use the buddy system. The best way to ensure no one is separated from the group or unable to get help
Be prepared in the event of a storm with lightning. Special details for outdoor warm-weather activities
Guide you to the best-known and best-respected websites.
Know-how for the girls
Offers games, mini-lessons, and other fun ways to expand girls’ knowledge.
Helps you and the girls master activity-specific terminology.