Results tagged “Safety-Wise” from GSSA Leader Blog: The Virtual Volunteer

Keeping girls safe is a priority in Girl Scouting.  In the past, the way we have done so is by consulting the Safety-Wise book when planning outings and activities.  We are pleased to introduce the new "Safety Activity Checkpoints".  These 45 checkpoints replace the ones that have existed in Safety-Wise for the last several decades. 


You will no longer have to read introductory material, Universal Checkpoints, checkpoints for the category of the activity (land sports, water sports, and so on), and activity-specific checkpoints -- eight or nine pages of material spread out over several sections. Instead, you can read, search, and print completely self-contained checkpoints, each four pages or less.


Just click on the name of the activity you want information on, and off you go!

Some of the most memorable moments in a Girl Scout's life happen while attending special events and taking trips. However, there are requirements and forms to complete before you can be on your way. 


All trips require adherence to Safety-Wise and GSSA Policies and Procedures found in Volunteer Essentials, especially with regards to permission slips.  Permission slips and health history forms must be completed and available to responsible parties for the duration of the trip. All the necessary forms can be found on the Forms and Resources page at


Troops planning any overnight trip must receive permission from Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama. The Overnight Trip/Camping Application is also available on our Forms and Resources page at  This form must be completed and forwarded to Cheryl Miller at two to four weeks (depending on the length of trip) prior for approval.  Cheryl is also available to answer any questions you may have regarding troop trips.


Trips lasting three or more nights, (not including a federal holiday) require the troop to purchase additional GSUSA insurance from the council.


More information about planning and taking trips with your girls is available in Volunteer Essentials.


The holiday season is upon us and that means parades!  We have received several inquiries lately about Girl Scout participation in Christmas parades. Girl Scouts are allowed (and encouraged!) to participate in parades. Do keep in mind the appropriateness of the organization sponsoring the parade and the readiness of your girls. If you wish to participate in a parade, please notify Mary Anne Brutkiewicz (extension 1202) and include the date, time, place, purpose, and grade level participating. As always, be sure and follow the rules of Safety Wise:


????         Make sure that floats drawn by trucks and automobiles are covered by automobile insurance in the name of the vehicle owners.

????         Float construction is safe and secured to the body of the float and vehicle.

????         Riders have a secure handhold or safety harness if standing or secure seating.

????         Floats are not overcrowded.

????         Participants do not walk close to moving floats.

????         An adult accompanies girls on any moving float.

????         Girls are not allowed to distribute anything to onlookers from the float: no throws.

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Our Fall Product Sale starts Sep. 25, 2009.  Your troop will earn $1 for each candy item sold and $2 or $3 for Magazine Vouchers. This is a quick and easy way to earn extra money for your troop.  Need information on how to get started?  Contact Chris Shavers


You can get trained for Fall Product right from the comfort of your home!  Online training is available - to get access, contact Chris Shavers or your Service Unit Product Chair.


To contact Chris Shavers call extension 2202, or e-mail


IMPORTANT! NEW!  Revised Safety-Wise Standards and Checkpoints for Online Marketing. This exciting new plan for marketing the Girl Scout Cookie and Fall Product sales allows the use online resources for selling in a safe and fair manner. Girls of all age levels can use group e-mail to market the cookie and fall product sales and Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors can use social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to market their products, as long as they follow certain guidelines.  For more about this exciting news, check out the 411 on Online Marketing for Girl Scout Product Activities.


Requirements to earn the Troop Bonus for 2010 Cookie Sale will include completing three activities from the age-appropriate Little Brownie Baker (LBB) provided Cookie Activity Kit 2009-2010.  The kit contains fun and exciting activities, so contact your Field Executive or Council Service Center to get your book and get started.



Safety-Wise Revisions for Online Marketing 


411 on Online Marketing


Internet Safety Pledge

Whether you need a first-aider really depends on what the girls will be doing.  Meetings and activities don't automatically require a first-aider to be present, but I do recommend that leaders and/or assistants have CPR and First Aid training because, with children, anything can happen at any time. 

The guidelines that you absolutely must follow are those printed in Safety-Wise and the Policies and Procedures manual.  Use the index to find the specific information about the safety guidelines that apply.  If you have trouble finding something, ask a Service Unit or Council resource person.  I'm always happy to help you.


Cheryl Miller


Can girls who are currently in Kindergarten register to attend resident camp?

Resident Camp Sessions are geared to match the current National age-level guidelines (Brownies - grade 2-3, Juniors - grade4-5, etc.).  As stated on the first page of the brochure, the camper should meet "grade-level requirements" and that "grade refers to Fall 2009."


In the past, girls in Kindergarten were allowed to attend camp as Brownies because they were moving into the 1st grade in the Fall and  1st graders were Brownies.   Now that 1st graders are officially considered Daisies, that changes the adult girl ratio requirements set forth in Safety-Wise.  Those guidelines were recently revised. (02/09)  The updates that GSUSA sent out, are published on our website in the left column of the Forms & Resources page.

"Girl Scout Daisies who have completed Kindergarten may independently participate in resident camp experiences lasting up to three nights." 

"Girl Scout Daisies who have completed first grade may independently participate in resident camp experiences lasting four or more nights."


So, to answer the question......

Yes, girls going into the 1st  grade in the fall of '09, are welcome to attend

camp during either Troop Camping or Family Camping week or Brownie Sampler at Camp Scoutshire Woods.


If you have any additional questions about this, contact Volunteer Liaison Cheryl Miller at 800-239-6636, ext: 2302.   

The times change, recreational opportunities change, and Safety-Wise, our resource for keeping our girls as safe as possible during any activity, has been updated to reflect this! As a troop leader, you received a copy of Safety-Wise during your initial training.  Our web site now has a pdf document with all the updates, going back to 2004.  Print it out and keep it with your copy of Safety-Wise so you will be up to date!

If you no longer have your copy of Safety-Wise, they are available for purchase at the Council Shops.  Every troop must have a copy -- it is a great resource!
Here's the scenario:  your girls are making lots of cookie profits and want to use the money to take a trip.  They brainstorm exciting activities and destinations and turn their shining, eager faces to you for approval. 
What's your next step?  Our Volunteer Services Liason, Cheryl Miller, is happy to answer this frequently asked question. "Safety-Wise, our manual that defines safety guidelines for almost every situation, is our best reference.  It outlines, step by step, what you should do to prepare for almost any trip or activity, including when you need to contact the council or your service area for approval.  Chapter 7 outlines the steps for activities that are not covered by other chapters (like camping, land-based activities, and water activities).  There is even a helpful list on page 80 that outlines activities that are not approved -- sorry, bungee jumping is out!" 
Safety-Wise takes the guessing out of activities planning. It's a great resource! Other resources can be found on our Forms page, including: 

Form for getting written authorization:  overnight trip/camping form...

Additional Insurance form


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