Girl Scouts strives to provide you with the tools you need for your volunteer position, and to direct you to additional information on certain topics when you want to learn more. Volunteer learning is offered in a variety of ways to best meet your unique learning styles: written resources, face-to-face learning, interactive online learning—and additional methods are being developed and tested all the time! Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts may attend Outdoor Leadership and First-Aid & CPR courses with adult volunteers.
Girl Scouting 101 (GS101)
All volunteers are encouraged to take this course, but at least one volunteer from each troop or group working directly with girls must complete Girl Scouting 101 within three months of leadership appointment. Girl Scouting 101 (GS101) is an easy-to-use online course which introduces volunteers to Girl Scouts’ inspiring national leadership experience, from Journey resources and The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting to cookie sales, safety guidelines, and much more.
Spend about 45 to 50 minutes learning online, whenever you can fit it into your day. Go to http://training.girlscouts.org, select GS101 in your preferred language, and enter the password: aboutGS101 (password is case-sensitive). Make sure to enter your contact information, and select Kansas Heartland from the drop-down menu for Council Name, so your volunteer record will be updated. Use the Resources tab at the top of your screen to find more helpful information for each Girl Scouting level. Feel free to take notes for your own use, and know that you can always come back and view any part of GS101 again.
Introduction to Troop Management
This session for Troop Leaders and Co-leaders provides all of the information required to get started with a Girl Scout troop. It includes info on parent meetings, troop finances, Volunteer Essentials, and council forms. Introduction to Troop Management sessions are arranged and scheduled with new leaders by a council staff member or Service Unit volunteer. Introduction to Troop Management can be done at your convenience and may be included in a Service Unit meeting. Please contact your Volunteer Support Specialist or your Service Unit Volunteer Facilitator about setting up this session either on an individual basis or at a Service Unit meeting.
Thinking about a troop camping trip or a Service Unit day camp? Volunteers need to complete Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland Outdoor Leadership training before facilitating outdoor activities with girls. There are fees assessed for Outdoor Leadership courses to cover the costs of food, supplies, and facilities.
Outdoor Leadership Basics 100: Self-Directed Study Course
Successful completion of this course will allow you to begin the outdoor experience! You may take troops or groups out for the day to go hike, have a picnic, and get a taste of outdoor fun. (You will NOT be approved for building fires or teaching girls about handling camp tools until you have completed Outdoor Leadership 101.)
Self-Directed Study Course Instructions
The self-directed study course for Outdoor Leadership Basics 100 is the first in a series of Outdoor Leadership courses, and completion is required before taking the face-to-face sessions. Please complete the assessment and provide a copy to the Volunteer Services manager or the Outdoor Leadership facilitator in your area.
Outdoor Leadership 101: Tent Camping, Cooking and Fires
By completing this course, volunteers will be qualified to plan and have backyard campouts, host and attend day camps, and have a camping adventure within their own community or stay at any Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland Camp property (with the exception of semi-primitive campsites). Volunteers will also be able to lead cookouts and have campfires. This course is required for any outdoor cooking or fire-building. For example, if you are having an event at a local park with girls and want to roast marshmallows for s’mores, you must have an Outdoor Leadership 101 (or equivalent) trained adult present. This course is a seven-hour, hands-on participation course where you will experience the demonstration of outdoor cooking methods and fire-building as well as the procedures for pitching, striking and caring for tents. NOTE: There may be additional training that you need in order to use certain Girl Scout properties. Please check with the specific camp’s regional office. Prerequisite: Outdoor Leadership 100
Outdoor Leadership 201: Outdoor Semi-Primitive Camping
This overnight course is required for any overnight camping (tents, A-frames, rustic cabins, etc.) outside your community. Semi-primitive camping includes any camping area that does not have one or all of the following: outside city limits; no potable water; primitive or no toilet facilities; no shelter in the immediate area. Additional outdoor skills and activities that can be added to the girl program are included in this workshop. Outdoor Leadership 201 may be held in conjunction with 101. Prerequisites: Outdoor Leadership 100 and Outdoor Leadership 101
Outdoor Leadership 301: Backpacking
Learn and practice skills necessary to take a group of girls on a backpacking trip; learn about and experience Leave No Trace camping; cook on backpacking stove; and properly pack, adjust and carry a backpack. Prerequisites: Outdoor Leadership 100, 101, 201
Basic Water Rescue/ Small Craft Safety – Canoe
This course will provide instruction and experience in flat-water canoe skills, emphasizing safety, flat water travel techniques and proper equipment selection. Individuals will learn how to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies on flat water with canoes and learn how to protect themselves while assisting others. After completion of this course, participants will be certified in Basic Water Rescue/ Small Craft Safety – Canoe through the American Red Cross and will meet the requirements of the Safety Activity Checkpoints for flat-water canoeing (except at Starwoods Outdoor Center, which requires a certified instructor due to the American Camping Association accreditation).
To ensure the safety and well-being of all girls, Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland requires troops to be accompanied by someone currently certified in First Aid and CPR for any activity or trip beyond their regular meeting site, any physically demanding activity, and all overnight trips. If a registered adult with the troop is a nurse (RN/LPN), a certified emergency medical technician, or a doctor, they can serve as the troop’s “First-Aider.” Otherwise, a troop leader or other registered adult will need to become certified through a GSKH course or another certifying organization. If you are certified through another organization, please submit proof of certification and expiration information to the Volunteer Support department of your regional office. See Volunteer Essentials for a list of approved certifying organizations. First Aid and CPR training that is available entirely online does not satisfy Girl Scouts' requirements.
Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland provides several scheduled National Safety Council (NSC) First Aid and CPR certification courses throughout the year to accommodate our volunteers. All NSC First Aid and CPR courses offered by Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland have a $20 per participant charge to cover material costs. The NSC First Aid and CPR course covers the skills needed to successfully perform First Aid and CPR, and it provides a two-year certification.
We offer both a blended learning course – which includes a home-study DVD and book, followed by skills and written testing with a certified instructor – and an all-day course with a certified instructor. Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts may also attend adult First Aid & CPR blended learning courses. Cadettes may attend the full-day First Aid & CPR courses. Sessions just for girls can be scheduled as needed.
Volunteer Essentials – This comprehensive manual has five chapters with information Girl Scout volunteers need, including Sharing Your Unique Gifts; Girl Scouting as a National Experience; Engaging Girls at All Grade Levels; Safety-Wise; and Managing Group Finances.
Troop Appendix – This companion to Volunteer Essentials includes information and guidelines for troop volunteers, including forming a troop committee, hosting troop meetings, troop finances, and a sample troop year.
Travel Appendix – This is your go-to guide to begin planning travel with girls at every level, from day trips or overnight trips to national and international trips.
Activity Appendix (Event-Camp-Series) – LEAD teams can use this planning guide to set up events, camps and series for girls in the Service Unit.
Girl Scout Safety Guidelines – Share these 12 guidelines (one printed page) with parents and volunteers to ensure a safe environment for girls. Check out Volunteer Essentials (above) for full safety policies and procedures.
Safety Activity Checkpoints – When preparing for any activity with girls, always begin with the Safety Activity Checkpoints written specifically for that particular activity.
The Volunteer Connect e-newsletter is emailed weekly to Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland volunteers and contains important information on training, resources, girl programs, shop specials, and tips from seasoned volunteers! Click here to see editions of the Volunteer Connect.