Troops/groups must have written permission from a council employee to participate in activities that involve a) a day or overnight trip that includes non- registered participants; b) a day or overnight trip outside council boundaries; c) trips or overnights of 2 nights/3 days or more; d) travel outside the continental US e) camping activities, including backyard camping, campfires, outdoor cooking and cabin camping; f) programs that include human sexuality and related health issues; g) activities that present a greater risk than usual to participants.
>> Non-registered participants refer to anyone not registered as a Girl Scout member, including chaperones, tag-alongs, members of other scouting groups and collaborators.
>> Refer to the Volunteer Essentials Travel Information Appendix for more information.
>> Refer to Safety Activity Checkpoints for information on activities with greater risk than usual, and identify when council permission, approved vendors, and/or the purchase of additional GS Activity insurance is required.
During activities involving girl participation, no alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs shall be used, consumed or possessed by anyone present. Anyone arriving under the suspicion of influence, noticeable by their behavior, will be prohibited from participating in the activity.
>> Prescription drugs authorized by a physician are allowed if indicated on health form.
>> The Incident Report Form must be used in confidence to report an instance of prohibiting someone from participating due to substance-influenced behavior.
Auxiliary heaters (fueled by electricity, wood, coal, gas, oil, solar, propane, kerosene, etc.) are never to be used in areas used for sleeping during regular sleeping hours.
No open flame sources (such as candles, lanterns, stoves, etc.) are to be used in tents.
Non-Girl Scout groups and families of registered Girl Scouts must submit the designated application and pay appropriate fees for use of any GSVSC facility and will be given time and date consideration if not in conflict with ongoing Girl Scout use. The designated application must verify that the group/organization/family has or can obtain appropriate insurance for the nature of their use; be financially responsible for any and all damages beyond the requested damage deposit amount caused by their use and/or personal injury; and must sign the hold harmless provision contained within the application. Any non-Girl Scout group may be denied use of the facility if their beliefs and practices are in conflict with those of the Girl Scouts and/or with previous use have shown lack of care and responsibility for GSVSC facilities/properties.
GSVSC will ensure fair and equal treatment to all girls who seek to participate in any of the council’s programs or activities. A girl who meets or can meet membership requirements shall not be denied admission or access to Girl Scout program because of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, background, disability, family structure, religious beliefs, socioeconomic, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other legally protected status. Reasonable accommodations shall be made for girls with disabilities to ensure that girls have access to activities. It is the policy of GSVSC to assure that girl membership reflects the diversity of population groups within its jurisdiction.
Each troop or group must have a minimum of two troop co-leaders. When a troop has only two co-leaders, they cannot be related. All troop co-leaders are required to have an approved GSVSC background check. They also must be a registered adult Girl Scout member, and must receive the appropriate Girl Scout training.
>> All GSVSC background checks must be renewed every three years.
>> Men may serve as troop leaders when a non-related adult female leader is present.
>> A man cannot be a troop leader with his wife unless there is an unrelated female troop leader present and registered.
>> Written/email permission must be given by an authorized council employee to register or continue a troop/group with fewer than two GSVSC appointed leaders.
A troop/group consists of at least five girls from more than one family.
>> Written/e-mail permission must be given by an authorized council employee to register or continue a troop/group with fewer than five girl members.
Male volunteers may not sleep in the same space with girl members who are not their daughters.
>> Males may participate only if separate sleeping quarters and bathrooms are available for their use.
>> Sleeping accommodations for such events should be announced in advance, and girls must be instructed NOT to enter the sleeping accommodations of males.
>> Men should not be among the adults supervising girls in the sleeping area for an event. The adult-to-girl ratio for the trip will need to be adjusted accordingly.
>> With written permission from the parent, males may sleep in the same space with “tag-along” brothers while on trips. At no time should the adult male and child be left alone together.
>> Each girl participant should have her own bed. Parent/guardian permission must be obtained if girls are to share a bed.
>> Girls and adults do not share a bed with the exceptions of mothers and daughters.
>> It is not mandatory that an adult sleep in the sleeping area (tent, cabin, or designated area) with the girls, but if an adult female does share the sleeping area, there should always be two unrelated adult females present.
Every Girl Scout group shall respect the varying religious opinions and practices of its membership in planning and conducting activities.
>> GSVSC reserves the right to refuse appointment and to dismiss or suspend from affiliation with GSVSC any volunteer who is found to be forcing a belief system on girl members.
Personal firearms for which an individual is licensed must not be carried on the body (adult or girl) when participating in a Girl Scout activity.
>> These firearms must be unloaded and placed in the locked trunk of the car or, if located on a rack in the cab of a truck, the truck must be locked.
>> Law enforcement officers, if required to carry their sidearm, must be sure it remains holstered with the safety catch on.
Horse stables, high-adventure vendors and charter bus companies must go through an approval process to ensure that they meet safety and insurance guidelines before use by Girl Scouts.
>> A stable or high-adventure vendor approved by another Girl Scout council may be used by receiving written verification of the approval from the other council as well as a copy of the vendor’s certificate of insurance.
>> An up-to-date list of approved stables (#2149), high-adventure vendors (#2147) and charter bus companies (#2148) may be found on the council website (www.gsvsc.org, Forms & Documents). To have a new stable, high-adventure vendor or charter bus company added to the list, please allow a minimum of eight weeks for processing.
Program Refund Policy: requested refunds are up to the discretion of the council (GSVSC staff) based on individual circumstances. Refunds will not be issued less than 30 days prior to the date of the program, event, camp or training, and will not include any processing fees or unrecoverable program expenses incurred by the organizer(s). Refunds will not be issued for fewer than $5; after applicable refund processing fees. Trips will have their own individual refund policies.
>> GSVSC volunteers hosting programs, events, camps, and trainings will utilize the Program Refund Policy.
>> Non-Girl Scout program collaborators running approved programs have the right to set and enforce their own refund policies. These policies must be mutually agreed-upon with collaborators and clearly stated on registration materials.
All GSVSC sanctioned (council, troop, SU) events are to be delivered as advertised or registrants are to receive a full refund for cancellations. Decisions regarding cancellations of programs, events, trips, camps or trainings due to uncontrollable circumstances, as approved by the CEO, are to be made with the safety of our members in mind and based on conditions at the program, event, trip, camp or training location. Postponed programs, events, trips, camps, or trainings are to be rescheduled within six months at no additional cost to registrants.
>> All GSVSC volunteers and Non-Girl Scout program collaborators hosting programs, events, trips, camps or trainings are to utilize the above GSVSC cancellation policy.
>> If there is an unforeseen circumstance that prohibits rescheduling or refunding a cancelled program, event, trip, camp, or training, these circumstances are to be discussed with the CEO prior to deciding or communicating an alternative. It will be at the CEO's discretion to dictate what the alternative will be.
>> Inclement weather statements are to be clearly stated in all registration materials as follows: “In the event the program, event, trip, camp or training should be postponed due to inclement weather, the program will be rescheduled. No refunds will be provided should registrants choose not to participate in activities on the alternate inclement weather date.” The inclement weather statement should also indicate the alternate inclement weather date, time, and location.