Appendix: Policies
side menu icon

Appendix: GSHCC's Policies

Girl Scouts Heart of Central California (GSHCC) abides by all policies and standards of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. as set forth in the Blue Book of Basic Documents and the 2019-2020 Safety Activity Checkpoints. A policy is an established, binding course of action to be followed. 

A standard is an established rule or principle intended to serve as a model or example. Policies and standards of our council include volunteer management, troop financial management and program activity. The policy statements provide the framework for procedures and practices. The following policies were approved by the board of directors. 

Volunteer Management Policies

Girl Scouts Heart of Central California welcomes adult volunteers, 18 years of age and older, to participate in service to all girls within the council jurisdiction. The Girl Scout program offers an opportunity for personal growth and fulfillment. The council policies for operational volunteers-those directly involved in the delivery and implementation of the Girl Scout program, such as troop leaders, troop cookie managers, treasurers, etc., are as follows.

Affirmative Action

There shall be no discrimination against an otherwise qualified adult volunteer by reason of disability or on the basis of age. Furthermore, there shall be no discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, gender, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. In addition, to ensure full equality of opportunity in all operations and activities of the organization, affirmative action policies and procedures shall be utilized in the recruitment, selection, training, placement, and recognition of volunteers. Special emphasis shall be placed upon securing the representation of underutilized racial/ ethnic populations. Girl Scouts Heart of Central California is committed to affirmative action in the extension of Girl Scouting to girls and adults in all communities within our jurisdiction.

Membership

All volunteers participating in the movement shall be registered as members of the Girl Scout movement and individually pay the applicable membership dues, except those adults functioning as temporary advisors or consultants. All volunteers, as members of the Girl Scout movement, shall agree to abide by the policies, principles and mission of GSUSA and Girl Scouts Heart of Central California.

Application Process

Candidates for designated volunteer positions are required to complete the application process which will include a criminal background check.

Selection

Every adult volunteer is selected on the basis of commitment to and belief in the Girl Scout program, qualifications for membership, ability to perform the responsibilities of the role, and willingness and availability to participate in training for the position.

Volunteer Agreement - Appointment

While completing the registration process volunteers agree to the terms and conditions established by Girl Scouts Heart of Central California.

Required Training

All new troop leaders are required to complete online Successful Leader Learning Series and in-person Leadership Essentials training within one month of selecting the role of troop leader. A minimum of one leader must complete training before the troop can begin meeting. A minimum of two leaders need to have completed training within three months of a new troop being formed. Troops cannot participate in product sales or open a bank account until two leaders have completed Leadership Essentials training.

Supervision and Performance Appraisal

Each Girl Scout operational volunteer has a staff member who will provide support and assistance. Supervision may include periodic evaluations based upon the position expectations outlined in the volunteer agreement. 

Uniforms

A uniform is not required. Operational volunteers are encouraged to wear the Girl Scout pin when participating in Girl Scout activities.

Grievance

A grievance is a complaint that policies and/or procedures related to a volunteer’s position are not being administered properly as applied to her/him. The grievance procedure is a systematic process to ensure the objective hearing and orderly handling of volunteer grievances.

The grievance procedure may be used by all operational volunteers. Every volunteer may expect a fair resolution of her/his grievance without fear of jeopardizing her/his volunteer status. The council also maintains an open-door policy regarding volunteer concerns.

Situations involving conflict or problems are best handled by the volunteer and her/his supervisor.

When a resolution cannot be achieved, the situation will be documented and referred to the appropriate council personnel for consultation.

Termination

Any volunteer may terminate her/his services upon written notification to the supervisor. The council may terminate the services of a volunteer because of, among other things: restructuring of volunteer positions; the elimination of the volunteer position in which a person serves; the inability or failure to complete the requirements of the position; the refusal to comply with council or Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. policies; the refusal to support the mission of the organization and council goals; or membership in an organization whose goals are not compatible with those of GSUSA.

An adult volunteer who is terminated from her/his Girl Scout position may continue her/his adult membership with GSUSA unless it is determined that she/he is not able to meet the membership requirement related to accepting the principles and beliefs of the movement or to support the mission of the organization. When this is the case, her/his Girl Scout membership will not be renewed.

Harassment

It is the policy of the organization to provide all volunteers with an environment free from all forms of unlawful or unwelcome harassment, including implied or expressed forms of sexual harassment. The council expressly prohibits any form of harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, or disability.

Any volunteer who feels that she or he has been subjected to harassment of any type, whether by another volunteer, council staff member or any agent of the organization, should promptly report the incident to the chief operating officer. The chief operating officer will take appropriate measures to resolve or correct the situation in an expeditious manner.

Sexual Harassment

The council policy guarantees volunteers an environment free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment has been defined as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

It is against the organization’s policies for any volunteer, male or female, to sexually harass another volunteer, employee, or Girl Scout member of the same or opposite sex.

Child Abuse

The council supports and maintains environments that are free of child abuse and neglect as defined by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.

Child abuse is an unlawful act and it is against the council’s policy for any volunteer, male or female, to physically, sexually, or mentally abuse or neglect any girl member. The council reserves the right to refuse membership endorsement or reappointment, and to dismiss or to exclude from affiliation with the council, any volunteer who is found guilty of child abuse and neglect or who has been convicted of child abuse and neglect.

 

Financial Management Policies

Troop Financial Accounts

All Girl Scout troops must deposit and disburse all troop funds through an account in a federally insured financial institution in the name of Girl Scouts Heart of Central CA, Troop #___.

Signature Requirements

A minimum of two volunteers shall be authorized to sign on each troop account, one of whom may be a service team or administrative volunteer. Only one person from the same family or household may sign on a troop account.

Troop Financial Reports

Troops must submit an annual financial report of all monies received and disbursed, using the Finances tab on the Volunteer Toolkit.

Disbanded Troop Funds

Unused troop funds remaining after a troop disbands belong to GSHCC however, they will be managed by the service unit team.

Product Programs

All Girl Scout troops are encouraged to participate in council-sponsored product programs. (Standard)

Money-Earning Projects

To undertake additional troop money-earning activities, troops need to participate in the Girl Scout Cookie Program and the Fall Product Program. 

Service Unit Financial Accounts

Service units may establish accounts as needed and approved by the council. All Girl Scout funds shall be deposited and disbursed through an account in a federally-insured financial institution in the name of Girl Scouts Heart of Central California, Service Unit # _____. A minimum of three persons shall be authorized to sign, at least two of whom shall be a service team or administrative volunteer. Only one person from the same family or household may sign on a service unit account.

A written financial report must be distributed to leaders quarterly. An annual report of all monies received and disbursed shall be prepared, and submitted no later than June 30 each year. All reports shall be subject to review by the council auditor.

 

Girl Scout Activity Policies 

Troop Compostion

Girl Scout troops/groups must be multi-family in membership. (See the 2019-2020 Safety Activity Checkpoints for recommended adult/girl ratios for a specific activity.)

Emergency Medical Treatment

Each girl participating in a Girl Scout activity must submit a completed release form authorizing emergency medical treatment, which includes the date of the activity, an emergency contact, insurance information, and a parent/guardian signature. An adult must complete an adult emergency form when participating in Girl Scout activities.

Vehicle Charter, Rental or Lease

Persons chartering, renting or leasing vehicles or vessels for use by Girl Scouts shall receive council authorization prior to signing an agreement. Per 2019-2020 Safety Activity Checkpoints: Even though written agreements are alwasy required when rentering or chartering, volunteers are not authorized to sign an agreement or contract, except for rental car aggreements, even if there is no cost associated witht the rental, such agreements must be signed by our council cheif financial officer. 

Van Usage

Fifteen-passenger vans may not be used for transporting Girl Scouts. A Commercial Driver’s License is required to operate any vehicle that is used or designed to safely transport more than ten passengers including the driver (see CA vehicle code). 

Vehicle Safety

Everyone (girls and adults) will be transported in vehicles designed by the manufacturer for carrying passengers. Persons will not be transported in a camper attached to a truck. Only the cab or driver compartment will be used for passengers. All occupants in a private passenger motor vehicle must wear seat belts at all times. Drivers must follow the specific vehicle manufacturer guidelines for the safe use of airbags.

Troop Camping

A troop shall be given permission to go troop camping for one or more nights only if one of the people participating is certified for troop camping by this council. Camping events requiring a troop camp certified adult for each troop include troop camping, service unit and council-sponsored camping events, core camp and multiple troop camping events.

Prohibited Items
  • The use of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and other vaping devices, will not be permitted at any Girl Scout function, except by adults in designated areas. Designated areas will be away from non-users, and whenever possible, out of the view of girl members. Designated areas will not include vehicles.
  • Explosive devices are not permitted at any Girl Scout function or on Girl Scout property. 
  • Weapons
  • Non-prescribed drugs 
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited at any Girl Scout function where the main objective is girl program. If girl members are present where alcohol is served at an adult-only event (sponsored and run by adults) the girls must be supervised by an adult who is not consuming alcohol and who is responsible for the girl’s safety and well-being.  
  • Adults at any Girl Scout event where girls are present shall not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Registered Sex Offenders

A Registered Sex Offender (those persons subject to registration under any state registry of registered sexual offenders) may not serve in any volunteer position. A Registered Sex Offender may not participate in any way or be present, either in troop activities of any kind or in GSHCC activities where girl members may be present. Troop meetings and activities may not be held or conducted at any residence where a member of the household is a Registered Sex Offender.