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Volunteer Resources

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.   This resources page includes Volunteer Essentials – a comprehensive leader handbook – and Safety Activity Checkpoints – a detailed guide to every approved Girl Scout activity.

Volunteer Essentials

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.

Leader's Guide to Success

COMING SOON - This quick start guide provides all the details to set yourself – and your new troop – up for success in the first few months of leadership!  It’s not meant to replace the full edition of Volunteer Essentials or the learning materials provided with your new leader training, but it’s a great snapshot and quick reference point on the path to success.

Travel Appendix

Ready to travel? This appendix to Volunteer Essentials provides all the details! From a sleepover in your local community to international excursions, this guide helps you with every step of planning, safety requirements, and required paperwork.

Event Appendix

Girl Scouts is best when you’re making new friends and having fun! This appendix to Volunteer Essentials will aid Event Coordinators in planning and executing the perfect Girl Scout event or camp.

 

Safety Activity Checkpoints

Girl Scout Safety Guidelines

Keep these 12 key safety guidelines in mind for every Girl Scout activity – from troop meetings to high adventure! Each Safety Activity Checkpoint is based on these 12 safety guidelines. By accepting a volunteer role, each adult in Girl Scouts agrees to adhere to the best practices that have built Girl Scouts great reputation for keeping girls safe!

Activities at a Glance

NEW!  Quickly identify the program grade level and certifications needed for a particular Girl Scout activity using Activities at a Glance. This tool is helpful in early stages of planning a troop activity or a Girl Scout event. Of course, as you continue to plan, you’ll need to reference the full list of Safety Activity Checkpoints for complete details!

Safety Activity Checkpoints

Girl Scouts prides itself on keeping girls safe. Everything you need to know about every Girl Scout activity is found in Safety Activity Checkpoints! Each checkpoint provides information about the activity, resources to learn more, what to do before, during, and after the activity, a list of safety gear, and any other details you need to know to be fully prepared to lead girls through every activity from arts & crafts to whitewater rafting.

 

Travel Resources

Travel Appendix

Ready to travel? This appendix to Volunteer Essentials provides all the details! From a sleepover in your local community to international excursions, this guide helps you with every step of planning, safety requirements, and required paperwork.

Travel Checklist

This checklist makes it easy to keep track of the requirements for your troop’s overnight activities.

Travel Application

REQUIRED for all overnight activities, near or far. If the trip is to a GSKH-owned property, fill out the Facility Usage Form instead (provided upon reservation).

The Travel Application needs to be submitted:

  • At least six weeks before:
    • day trips using Cookie Credits (Application not required for day trips unless Cookie Credits are requested.)
    • in-town overnights at non-council owner property.
    • one or two night trips.
  • At least 12 weeks before travel three or more nights.
  • At least 6 months before international travel.

Application should be submitted prior to booking travel or paying deposits. Submit with as much detail as possible for initial approval; additional details can be provided after reservations are completed.

Troop Cookie Credit Request for Travel

Cookie Credits may be used for approved day trips and overnight trips of a least 125 miles one-way. Appropirate travel forms must be completed prior to submission of the Cookie Credit Request. Parents/guardians must sign the request form, authorizing the use of cookie credits.

The request form must be submitted four weeks prior ot the date of travel.

Other Travel Documents

These documents are required, depending on the length and location of travel, for each girl and/or adult participating in the trip. Refer to the Travel Checklist for requirements.

 

Financial & Money-Earning Resources

Financial Management Training

Financial Management is required for all volunteers who will be signers on the Troop Checking account and all Product Sales Managers. It is also required for volunteers who will be signers on a Service Unit checking account and select Service Unit LEAD team positions.

Find it here!

Detailed Record of Troop Funds

This excel spreadsheet will help Troop Treasurers keep track of income and expenses for the troop checking account. It also makes filing the Annual Troop Finance Summary quick and easy!

Checking Account Request Form

Click here to complete the Checking Account Request Form to open a new checking account or make changes to an existing account. Be prepared to provide information for two unrelated signers and bank details. Changes will not be completed until both signers have completed Financial Management training.

Annual Troop Finance Summary

The annual Troop Finance Summary report is found in the MyGS Volunteer Toolkit.  Any volunteer with a “Troop Leader” role has access complete the report. It is due by June 15 each year for all expenses through the submission date.

To learn more about submitting your Finance Summary, watch our tutorial video.

Money-Earning Basics

When council-sponsored product sales aren't enough to support a troop's activities, they may request approval for additional money-earning activities - including fundraising events, donations, or sponsorships. All money-earning activities must be approved by council PRIOR to approaching potential donors. See Volunteer Essentials, Chapter 5 for details on what is allowed.

Money-Earning Application

Complete this form to request approval prior to any fundraising event, donations request or in-kind services-merchandise exceeding $75, or sponsorship agreement.  It must be submitted four weeks prior to the money-earning project and final potential donors should not be approached until after approval is granted. See Volunteer Essentials, Chapter 5 for details on what is allowed.

 

Event Planning Resources

Event Appendix

Girl Scouts is best when you’re making new friends and having fun! This appendix to Volunteer Essentials will aid Event Coordinators in planning and executing the perfect Girl Scout event or camp.

Event Application

Complete this form to request approval prior to any volunteer planned event, including one day events, multi-day series of events, day camps, or overnight camps. Most event applications should be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the event. 

 

Service Unit Resources

SU Lead Team Guide

Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland is divided into 23 service units. Service units are led by experienced, dedicated volunteers who support and serve girls, troops and volunteers in their area. There’s a lot that comes with being a Service Unit Lead Team volunteer. Luckily we’ve got everything organized and explained within this handy guide. We hope you find this guide to be a helpful tool as you learn about your role and help to plan your service unit’s year.

SU Positions

Our council’s Service Unit Lead Teams are comprised of seven positions. Each position is filled by an experienced volunteer or team of volunteers who will work together to support troop leaders, other volunteers, the girls and their communities. These role descriptions will show you the ways each position makes a difference to the lead team.

Manager

Service Unit Managers provide the leadership and management of an assigned geographic area, ensuring the support of girl and adult membership and delivery of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. You’ll lead a team of volunteers who provide support, communication and guidance to troop leaders in the same geographic area.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Attend monthly SU Scoop phone/video conference provided by the Council.
  • Share important Girl Scout information from the SU Scoop to members of the service unit.
  • Communicate regularly with council staff as necessary.
  • Plan, organize and facilitate the work of the Service Unit which includes:
    • Secure location and set up the meeting space.
    • Prepare agenda and preside over the meetings.
    • Hold LEAD team members accountable for commitments.
  • With the Finance Coordinator and Finance Committee, manage the SU funds according to the guidelines set forth by the Service Unit volunteers.
  • Work with the council to recruit and maintain a full Service Unit LEAD team roster.
  • Recognize and acknowledge the work of Service Unit LEAD team and volunteers within the unit.
  • Work closely with the Volunteer Support Specialist to accomplish goals of the Service Unit.
  • In collaboration with the Service Unit volunteers, review and update the Service Unit Guidelines annually.
  • Encourage all volunteers to complete necessary training for their positions.
  • Have a valid email address that can be shared with others (for Girl Scout related business).
  • Maintain positive relationships with staff, service unit team, parents, troop leaders and community partners.
  • Promote and support Service Unit events, recruitment, Fall Opportunity Sale and the Cookie Program.
Finance Coordinator

Service Unit Finance Coordinator provides general oversight and management of all Service Unit finances. She/he is a knowledgeable and encouraging source of guidance, support and reassurance to members of the Service Unit regarding all relevant financial matters.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Complete Financial Management training provided by the Council.
  • Work in collaboration with the Service Unit Manager to maintain the Service Unit account, keeping financial records and receipts and balancing each month.
  • Provide a Service Unit financial report at all Service Unit meetings.
  • Ensure that the Service Unit bank account is set up in accordance with GSKH financial policies and that the signers on the account have all completed the Financial Management training.
  • Review and understand the Service Unit guidelines.
  • Remit payment for Service Unit Fund Requests as per the Service Unit Guidelines.
  • Consult with members of the Finance Committee before writing checks that are not in the guidelines or approved at Service Unit meetings.
  • Mentor troop treasurers.
  • Encourage on-time completion of Troop Finance Summaries from all troops within the Service Unit.
  • Submit Service Unit Finance Summary by June 15.
  • Assist with other financial-related duties as assigned by the Service Unit Manager or GSKH staff.
Finance Committee Member

Service Unit Finance Committee is made up of 3-4 individuals that come from different communities/counties of the Service Unit. These individuals offer support and input to the Service Unit Finance Coordinator on Service Unit expenditures.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Complete Financial Management training provided by the Council.
  • Offer input when requested by the Service Unit Finance Coordinator to determine approved expenditures for the Service Unit.
  • Assist with annual updates to the Service Unit guidelines and the SU budget process.
  • Adhere to the rules set forth in the Service Unit guidelines.
Communications Coordinator

Service Unit Communications Coordinator enhances communication within the Service Unit through two-way communication using social media, email, phone, and text messaging. She/he is responsible for documenting conversation and decisions made at Service Unit meetings and provides support to the Service Unit Manager and SU LEAD Team.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Attend training provided by the Council.
  • Communicate regularly with Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland staff.
  • Attend and document the minutes at each Service Unit meeting and then distribute them to the volunteers within the unit within 5 business days following the meeting.
  • Communicate the meeting date, time, location using social media, email, text messaging.
  • Work in collaboration with the Service Unit Manager to promote Girl Scouts and Service Unit within the community.
  • Throughout the year, submit your Service Unit’s stories and happenings on the Facebook group page, in local news or through our website forms - Share Your Girl Scout News.
  • Promote and support Service Unit events, recruitment, Fall Opportunity Sale and the Cookie Program.
Event Coordinator

Service Unit Event Coordinator(s) enthusiastically facilitate and coordinate fun and exciting service unit programs and events within the service unit and/or for girls across the council using the GSLE (Girl Scout Leadership Experience).

Key responsibilities include:

  • Complete Financial Management and Safety-Wise Introduction to Troop Management training provided by the Council.
  • Maintain positive relationships with Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland staff, Service Unit members, troop leaders and community partners.
  • Follow all Girl Scouts of the USA and Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland policies, standards and procedures as found in Volunteer Essentials, Safety Activity Checkpoints and the Event Appendix.
  • Design programs that support GSUSA program pillars of outdoor experiences, STEM, entrepreneurship, and healthy living.
  • Work with other event committee members and the Service Unit Manager to prepare and submit Event Application in a timely manner to the Girl Experience staff at GSKH.
  • Coordinate and/or support all events held within the Service Unit, either by direct planning or by supervising and supporting other event volunteers.
  • Follow safety, risk management, adherence to policies, and make sure events/programs have a connection to Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) outcomes.
  • Ensure events are planned and implemented utilizing the Event Appendix.
  • Involve your Service Unit Finance Coordinator in all financial aspects of events and submit a Service Unit Fund Request Form at least 3 weeks prior to purchase of materials for the event.
  • Encourage troop leaders to participate in Service Unit and council-sponsored events.
  • Work with the Service Unit Communication Coordinator to help promote the event.
Community Coordinator

Service Unit Community Coordinators share their Girl Scout knowledge and provide support to both new and seasoned volunteers in their community. She/he generates excitement, assists with recruitment, formation of new troops, and is direct support for troop leaders within their community.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Work with Membership Recruitment staff to organize and carry out recruitment events to meet recruitment goals for the Service Unit, including recruitment of both girls and volunteers.
  • Assist in the formation of new troops, which may include leading or assisting with their first parent and/or troop meeting.
  • Work with Volunteer Support staff to mentor and/or provide experienced mentors for new Troop Leaders.
  • Provide assistance and maintain contact with Troop Leaders (new and experienced) within the community, including regular communication via phone and email to touch base, answer questions, provide support and guidance, trouble shoot, and otherwise assist troops as needed on issues related to the troop experience and the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE).
  • Encourage Troop Leaders to attend and participate in Service Unit meetings and activities.
  • Stay informed of current and updated troop organization and council policies, procedures and guidelines, including Volunteer Essentials and Safety Activity Checkpoints.
  • Recognize the efforts of local troop volunteers through recognition at SU meetings, a thank you card, or other appreciation efforts.
  • Encourage nominations for and participation in Volunteer Awards and Annual Meeting, including recognition of community partners.
Product Sales Organizer

Service Unit Product Sales Organizer (SUPSO) is responsible for product programs for all pathways within the Service Unit area. Responsibilities include attending training, ensuring Troop volunteers are trained, NEW Troop/Volunteer mentorship, material distribution, reviewing product/recognition orders, coordination of product delivery, and recognition distribution.

Note: This position can be divided between two volunteers – one volunteer for the Fall Opportunity Sale and another volunteer for the Cookie Program.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Attend training provided by the Council.
  • Ensure that Troop Product Program Managers (TPPM) receive ALL required trainings and materials, and have submitted the signed Troop Manager Agreement and ACH Debit Form to the Girl Scout Office.
  • Mentor and/or provide experienced mentors for new TPPM/Troops.
  • Provide assistance and maintain contact with each TPPM throughout the sale, including regular communication, via phone and email, to touch base, answer questions, provide support and guidance, trouble shoot, and otherwise assist troops as needed.
  • Remind TPPM’s of important dates and deadlines throughout the sale, i.e.; order due dates, booth selections, promotions, audits, etc.
  • Have a working knowledge of the processes and resources for the Juliette Product Sale Program within the Service Unit/Council.
  • Coordinate delivery sites within the Service Unit and be available to accept delivery of the products if necessary.  This includes coordinating location and person(s) to meet delivery of the product by the due date.  (see Delivery Site Coordinator description)
  • Distribute the products to the TPPM in a timely manner.
  • Distribute the girl recognitions to the TPPM in a timely manner.
SU Documents and Forms

Service Unit Lead Team volunteers and other volunteers within the service unit will find these documents helpful to their roles.

A Service Unit meeting has many parts and the Service Unit Agenda Template is a tool that a Service Unit Manager can utilize when planning the meeting.

Service Unit Agenda Template

This form is used when funds are being requested from the Service Unit checking account. The fund request must fit within the guidelines set forth by the Service Unit and is submitted to the Service Unit Finance Coordinator for review.

Service Unit Fund Request Form

Once a Service Unit has determined it wants to host an event, day camp or overnight camp, the Service Unit Event Coordinator submits an Event Application to the council for review. A Girl Experience Specialist will work with the Service Unit Event Coordinator to list the event on the council event calendar and in council publications.

Event Application