Below you will find helpful resources for all volunteers at Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England.
In addition to the below resources, GSSNE offers in-person and virtual trainings for volunteers. Check out our event calendar to see what we have scheduled!
GSSNE’s online learning platform, gsLearn (accessed via sign-on through your MYGS login), is continually updated with new volunteer trainings, documents, resources, videos, and more! Whether you’re a troop, service unit, or council volunteer, there’s something there for you.
First year as a leader? You should begin your learning with the Successful Leader Learning Series, Girl Scouts Outdoors, and Troop Finances. After that, there are lots of courses to explore as your leadership adventure continues.
Second year and beyond? After completing your first-year learning courses, you can explore opportunities for returning leaders. The menu of options continues to grow!
3 Steps to Access gsLearn
If you are a current member with a valid background check and a valid email on file with GSSNE, you can access gsLearn via instructions below:
Found in MYGS, the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a digital K–12 program toolkit that's your source for delivering easy, fun troop meetings year-round! This fully customizable, digital planning tool is accessible on any computer or mobile device and provides you with Girl Scout program content, award requirements, and other resources. If you’re already a registered troop leader, click MYGS to log in and get started.
To safeguard the health, safety, and general well-being of the members we serve, and prior to having any contact with youth including access to their personal information or managing Girl Scout funds, each prospective GSSNE volunteer is required to become adult member of Girl Scouts USA (“GSUSA”) and complete a thorough criminal background check (“CBC”) process. Additionally, volunteers living or volunteering in Massachusetts must register and complete a CORI. By law, a volunteer’s criminal background check expires after three (3) years.
For further information, please review our full Background Check Policy.
GSSNE sends out monthly emails to all volunteers that include important information specific to volunteers. Check out the latest Volunteer Monthly Updates below:
If you are a current GSSNE Volunteer and you are not receiving the Volunteer Monthly Updates email, please contact CustomerCare@gssne.org so we can look into your volunteer and subscription record.
GSUSA guidelines recommend that the Cookie Program and Fall Product Program activities should be the primary way to earn money for troop programs and activities.
However, sometimes troops require additional money earning opportunities to fund "big ticket" items such as museum overnights, major trips or participation in program activities. GSSNE has set guidelines for product sale participation:
Each of the applications for additional money earning activities are reviewed on an individual basis. Submit the Troop/Service Unit Money Earning Application.
Participation in the product programs not only fund troop and service unit proceeds, girl rewards, and girl camp credits but they also provide funding for council programs, camp upkeep, financial and, camperships, volunteer training, and more.
The full details can be found in the GSSNE Policies, Procedures, and Standards.
Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England (GSSNE) staff and volunteers strive to provide the highest quality Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls, while ensuring safety and well-being for everyone. Our volunteers are considered active role models for our girls because girls witness and mirror our actions, attitudes, and behaviors. Volunteers are instrumental in instilling the values that are clearly conveyed in the Girl Scout promise, law, and mission and expected to uphold them at all times.
One key aspect of leadership is the ability to work with others and effectively use communication and teamwork to achieve the desired goals and outcomes. Differences of opinion, disagreements, and conflicts are natural parts of life and inevitably happen in all relationships. Not all conflict is bad—it can lead to new ideas and approaches, it can bring important issues to light, and it can provide an opportunity for people to come together to create a solution. If you are involved in conflict, and there is no clear breach of a Girl Scout policy or guideline, the below guidelines should be followed and also review our Tips for Managing and Resolving Conflict:
Try to talk it out directly (Self Resolution)
When conflict arises, parties involved are encouraged to sit down together and talk in a calm, nonjudgmental manner to resolve the disagreement. Using “I” statements is a helpful tool to open conversations without putting others on the defensive. Although talking in this way can be uncomfortable and difficult, it does lay the groundwork for working well together in the future. Direct communication results in a better outcome than email and text messages, which should be avoided.
Refrain from posting about conflict on social media
Parties should refrain from posting comments on social media to maintain confidentiality and respect the dignity and rights of the individuals involved.
Keep it confidential
Confidentiality is an important part of any resolution process. Discussing the situation with others who are not in a position to assist in resolving the issue can end up being a source of embarrassment and anger for those involved. Also, involving third parties could result in significant delay in working past the issue and focusing on ensuring future interactions are positive and productive.
Keep it positive and private
Shouting, verbal abuse, or physical confrontations are never warranted and will not be tolerated in the Girl Scout environment. Children and youth should not be present at adult resolution meetings.
GSSNE encourages members to self-resolve conflict that doesn’t involve Girl Scout policy violation. When you experience a conflict in Girl Scouts, be it parent/volunteer, volunteer/volunteer, or parent/parent, the parties involved should make an appointment to talk and work out a solution using these three steps:
1. Attempt Self-Resolution
If there is no clear breach of a Girl Scout policy or guideline, GSSNE recommends the individuals involved in the conflict have a face-to-face conversation during which each party expresses their perspective of the conflict and how it impacted them. It is very important and beneficial to address conflict in person – many times, one party is unaware of the concern or how it has impacted the other person. Using “I” statements is a helpful tool to present what’s going on for you without making the situation seem better or worse than it is. Resources:
2. Invite An Unbiased Third Party To Join
Request insight from or invite a service unit manager, or other service unit team member, to join you at the face-to-face discussion. This person may lend new perspective or ask questions not previously explored that may help all parties reach a solution.
If you are mediating between two parties, hear both parties out separately prior to the meeting and then bring them together. If you are one of the parties involved, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and work together to uncover solutions that could result in mutual gain and have the best possible outcome for everyone.
3. Decide On A Solution
Explore a mutually agreeable solution to the issue(s) contributing to the conflict. It will be up to the individuals involved to determine if and how they continue working together. That agreement should be put in writing and signed by all parties involved. If the conflict is between co-leaders of the same troop, and they decide to no longer work together, it will be up to the volunteers to decide who will continue to lead and who may need to embark on a new journey. If leaders cannot agree who will stay, GSSNE encourages whomever is no longer interested in working with the other consider forming a new troop or joining another troop. GSSNE should be informed if troop leadership changes at any time. The remaining troop leader is responsible for updating all troop information including the bank account.
If all previous steps above have been taken to resolve the situation informally, but the matter is still unresolved, the member or volunteer may escalate the conflict to GSSNE for council intervention by contacting GSSNE Customer Care. Please note that although members are strongly urged to self-resolve conflict that doesn’t involve Girl Scout policy violation, a conflict may be escalated to GSSNE at any point in the process if necessary.
Conflict Resolution Case
GSSNE staff’s primary concern is to ensure the safety and well-being of members. Within 2 business days of the Conflict Resolution Escalation Form being received, a GSSNE team member will begin the resolution/mediation process. Staff will first ensure that no parties involved in the conflict have violated Girl Scout policy or procedures.
A GSSNE staff member will contact involved parties by phone with the goal of allowing each party to share their perspective on the situation. During these communications, the staff person will inquire about each party’s desired outcome.
If appropriate and agreed upon by both parties, the GSSNE staff person may arrange a face-to-face mediation. The goal of mediation is to encourage the two primary parties to sit down together with a staff mediator to discuss how they will work together moving forward. Post-mediation, the staff person will provide to both parties a written summary of the agreed upon outcome.
Recommended Course Of Action
If mediation does not occur or fails, the GSSNE staff person will recommend a course of action. The recommended course of action will take into account information learned during the discovery conversations, as well as which actions will minimize negative impacts to adult and girl members.
In rare cases, volunteer(s) may be released from their position(s) if determined to be the best course of action.
As GSSNE seeks to resolve issues brought to our attention, we ask the member who submitted the form to respect the privacy of all involved by not communicating to parties not involved and not use social media to discuss the issue(s). Appropriate time will be needed for GSSNE to gather information and speak with necessary parties to aid in the resolution process. This process may include:
The GSSNE team member investigating the conflict will act as an impartial mediator. She/he will support all parties in creating a mutually-agreed upon plan of action that outlines expectations for each party’s future behavior with regard to the source of conflict. In the absence of a mutual agreement, the GSSNE team member will work to establish a fair and balanced course of action. Should resolution fail after council staff mediation, other actions may be considered including the release from volunteer appointment of one or both parties involved. This decision will not be made lightly.
A volunteer may have their appointment terminated by GSSNE because of, but not limited to: