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High_Five_Safety_Activity_Checkpoints

Safety

The emotional and physical safety and well-being of Girl Scouts is our top priority. Safety Activity Checkpoints outlines the Safety Standards and Guidelines used in Girl Scouting, which apply to all Girl Scout activities.

For current COVID-19 guidelines, check your local council’s version of Safety Activity Checkpoints.

All volunteers should review the Safety Activity Checkpoints manual when planning activities with girls in order to manage safety and risk in Girl Scout-sanctioned activities.

In Safety Activity Checkpoints, you’ll find:

  • Girl Scout Activity Safety Standards and Guidelines with requirements for adult supervision, permission slips, preparation, field trips and overnight trips, and other vital information

  • Activities that are not permitted by Girl Scouts of the USA and actions that girls and volunteers should not take

  • Policies surrounding chartered aircraft trips and aviation

  • First-aid and overall health information you’ll need from the girls

  • Standards for well-being and inclusivity, including working with Girl Scouts with disabilities and ensuring emotional safety

  • A breakdown of specific activities—such as camping, internet use, and water sports—and their individual safety checkpoints

Following the Safety Standards and Guidelines is an Activity-at-a-Glance chart which details two critical points to keep in mind:

  • Age-appropriate activities and participation by grade level

  • Whether prior approval from your council is required before girls participate in a specific activity

Knowing How Many Volunteers You Need
From camping weekends to cookie booths, adult volunteers must always be present to ensure their Girl Scouts have fun and stay safe, no matter their grade level.

Not sure just how many adults you’ll need for your activity? The following chart breaks down the minimum number of volunteers needed to supervise a specific number of Girl Scouts; councils may also establish maximums due to size or cost restrictions, so be sure to check with them as you plan your activity.

Activities Outside the Troop’s Usual Meeting Time and Space

When planning activities that take place outside of the troop’s usual meeting time and space, leaders must complete the following steps:

  1. Review the Girl Scouts’ Safety Standards Guidelines in the Safety Activity Checkpoints
  2. Gain approval from caregivers (parents/guardians) using the Parent/Guardian Permission Form
  3. Ensure proper volunteer-to-Girl ratios. See the "Knowing How Many Volunteers You Need" section above for guidance
  4. Review the information on “Transporting Girls”—including the checklist for drivers—in the Safety Activity Checkpoints
  5. Read the Safety Activity Checkpoints for requirements and recommendations for participants in these activities
  6. Complete a Mutual of Omaha Additional Insurance request form for any approved Girl Scout activities where Girls, adults, or family members who are not registered Girl Scout members will be participating—even just as audience members or potential “customers” (except for council-sponsored Fall Product or Cookie programs, where this is not required)

What training do I need?  In addition to current Girl Scout membership and background screenings, and required troop leadership training, First Aid training & CPR Certification is recommended, but not required. GSSNE is an American Safety & Health Institute training site and offers First Aid/CPR/AED training at a reduced cost to our members. Contact Us to inquire about completing this training through GSSNE.

First Aid Certification: Reciprocity Requirements

If you are a medical professional or have other CPR/First Aid certification from a certifying body outside of GSSNE, you may be able to submit your licensure or certification for reciprocity. In order to qualify for reciprocity, prior completed courses must include: certification for First Aid & CPR for infants, children and adults; an in-person skills evaluation; and been provided by an approved, accredited organization (e.g. American Red Cross, American Heart Association, ASHI). Please contact submit a copy of your certification to Customer Care for review.

ASHI First Aid/CPR: Blended

Become a First Aid/CPR-trained volunteer. This course is offered in two parts through ASHI (American Safety & Health Institute): an online first aid program, and a hands-on skills session with an instructor. Both portions must be completed for certification. Certification is valid for two years, and the course fee ($45) and includes an electronic certification card.

ASHI First Aid & CPR: Recertification

Recertify as a First Aid/CPR-trained volunteer. This course is intended for volunteers whose certification has expired or is about to expire within 30 days of the listed session.  Recertification is valid for two years. GSSNE is currently exploring an online recertification option. Please contact Customer Care if you are interested.

Wilderness First Aid Certification

With this 16-hour course (overnight), become a Wilderness First Aid volunteer capable of taking girls 30 minutes or more away from medical care. First Aid & CPR is required as a prerequisite for Wilderness First Aid. The training is offered once per year, typically in the spring. See the GSSNE calendar for dates and availability.

Online Safety

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.

 

Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting

Per our Volunteer Policies, Procedures & Standards, GSSNE “supports and maintains environments that are free of child abuse, including but not limited to sexual abuse, and neglect. Child abuse and neglect are defined as any recent act or failure to act which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”

Procedure for Reporting Child Abuse

If the child is in immediate harm, call 911 and follow emergency procedures on the Confidential Crisis Report (GSSNE Emergency Number: 1-800-348-7788 or 401-603-8429).

If the child is not in immediate harm, document the information as thoroughly as possible on the Confidential Crisis Report and submit within 24 hours of the suspected or reported abuse.

 

© Copyright 2009–2021 Girl Scouts of the United States of America.  All rights reserved. All information and material contained in Girl Scouts’ Volunteer Essentials guide (“Material”) is provided by Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) and is intended to be educational material solely to be used by Girl Scout volunteers and council staff. Reproduction, distribution, compiling, or creating derivative works of any portion of the Material or any use other than noncommercial uses as permitted by copyright law is prohibited, unless explicit, prior authorization by GSUSA in writing was granted. GSUSA reserves its exclusive right in its sole discretion to alter, limit, or discontinue the Material at any time without notice.