Recently in Girl Scout Policies Category

We've been working hard to make using your Girl Scout's Program Credits more convenient.  We are creating "Program Credits cards" for all Girl Scouts who have a current balance of Program Credits.  We will be mailing these cards to the individual girls.

 

Each girl's card will be loaded with her remaining Program Credits, to be used just like a gift card or a Starbucks card.  The Program Credit card can be used to pay for anything she would have used her program credits on it. Of course, this card can only be used for Girl Scout activities and purchases.

 

Because we will be switching out how we keep track of credits, there will be a short period when Program Credits aren't available for use. This will begin Friday, November 22, at 4 p.m.  We will mail out the new cards on Wednesday, November 27.  When you receive your Girl Scout's Program Credits card, you are welcome to start using it!  We will send a receipt with each card so you know how many Program Credits your Girl Scout has available.

 

Using the Program Credits Card for Registering for Events

Until we start using e-council, we will have space on the registration form so that each girl's Program Credits can be used as payment.  The number will need to be entered on the form. 

 

Using the Program Credits Card for Purchases

In the store, just bring in the card or the card number for each girl.  If you are using our online shop, you will be able to enter the card number and the girl's name in the ordering instructions. 

 

Similar to gift cards, the Program Credits Cards are like cash and should be carefully secured.  We will be keeping you up to date as we continue implementing this process.  Thank you for your patience as we work to become more efficient!

 

We all know that going to an event requires preparation.  

There are things that we find handy to take with us, and there are items we must take with us.  

There are also items we must leave with our at-home contact.

And finally, there are Hold Harmless Forms that must be on file at the Council

What are these must haves?

What are the must haves for an event or trip?

·         Health History Forms (sealed in envelope with each driver)

·         Parent Permission Forms

·         Hold-Harmless Forms (originals on file at Council)

·         First-Aid trained individual with a First-Aid Kit

·         Troop roster with emergency contact numbers (with each driver)

·         Maps, destination address & phone numbers  (with each driver)

·         Trip itinerary (with each driver)

·         Copy of reservations, confirmation letters, etc.

 

Who else needs stuff?

The Council needs the original Hold Harmless Form for each person

 

The at-home contact needs

·         Troop roster with emergency contact numbers (with each driver)

·         Maps, destination address & phone numbers  (with each driver)

·         Trip itinerary (with each driver)

·         Copy of reservations, confirmation letters, etc.

 

 

Prepare in advance to make your Scouting life easier!

·         check Safety-Activity Checkpoint for each type of activity and make sure you have the correct ratio of adults to girls

·         verify every girls is a registered member and every adult is registered & approved

·         for day trips, notify SU contact of travel plans and verify that you have copies of    driver's license and auto insurance cards

·         if a vehicle is rented, complete a vehicle rental application form

·         for overnight trips, complete the Overnight Trip/Camping Application

·         Remember, caravanning (following a lead driver) is not permitted - everyone should have directions!

 

When we have everything we need, we can relax and enjoy the event!

 

We have received many suggestions about rewarding girls who participate in either the Fall Product or the Cookie programs (or both).  We are eager to make sure these special girls are honored, as well, and as a result, we are delighted to announce our new Entrepreneur Discount!  Girls who sell either $75 in Fall Products OR 2 cases of cookies (24 boxes) will be entitled to a special discount for council-sponsored programs. 

The amount of the discount will vary, depending on the program.  This is because some programs require significantly more staff support to coordinate.  Since product sales provide a large part of the funding for our staff and programs, it just makes sense that girls who sell products get a larger discount in these cases. This also means that some of our most exciting events will have the biggest Entrepreneur Discount!

New Members: new Girl Scouts will be able to register for programs at the discounted price until the end of the Fall Product sale.  If they have sold $75 in Fall Products, they will continue to receive the discount.  If not, they will pay the regular program fee until after the Cookie Sale. If they sell 2 cases of cookies, they will then receive the discount for the following year.

Returning Members: did you sell $75 in Fall Product last year, or two cases of cookies? If so, great!  You have earned the discount through Cookie Sale 2014.  If, at that time, you have met either of these goals, you will continue to receive the discount for another year.

We hope your troop will enjoy the Entrepreneur Discount - it's a well-deserved recognition of the energy and time invested by our girls, as they learn important life skills in the most delicious way possible!


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The world is always changing, and Girl Scouts try to keep up with these new situations and challenges. We work hard to make sure our organization is relevant to today's young women and that we are fulfilling our mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.

While the world changes, however, the basic tenets of Girl Scouting stay the same.  Since its creation more than 100 years ago, Girl Scouts has valued diversity and individuality, patriotism, good citizenship and the power of girls to change the world around them. At GSSA, we work toward this every day.

Lately, we've been receiving some questions about our organization and its position on various topics that have been in the news, and we want to make sure that you - our volunteers, parents and girls - have the information you need.  

The following details the principles that Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama embraces:

  • GSSA is pro-family. Throughout the year, we provide a variety of events that promote family togetherness. We encourage girls to participate in Girl Scouts with their entire family and make the program something that brings them closer to their parents and siblings.
     
  • GSSA is committed to diversity and inclusiveness, as Girl Scouts is dedicated to every girl, everywhere.
     
  • GSSA does not promote a political agenda.  We encourage girls to develop skills that reinforce a belief in themselves through courage, confidence and character.
     
  • GSSA emphasizes good citizenship via community involvement.  Girls are encouraged to look around their communities to identify community needs and join the effort to make their world a better place.
     
  • GSSA provides hands-on, experiential education that supplements traditional school programs.  We help girls learn to discover, connect and take action. We emphasizes skill building in the outdoors and respect for the environment.
     
  • Girl Scouts does not take a position on abortion or birth control and these topics are not part of the Girl Scout program or our materials. We believe these matters are best discussed by girls with their families.
     
  • The national umbrella organization, Girl Scouts of the USA, does not have a relationship with Planned Parenthood on a national level and does not plan to have one.
     
  • Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama does not have a relationship with Planned Parenthood and does not plan to have one.
     
  • It should also be noted that not having a relationship with Planned Parenthood includes not having a financial relationship.
    • They do not give Girl Scouts money, and Girl Scouts does not give them money.
       
    • In fact, GSSA has gift acceptance policies which state we have the right to refuse funds from organizations that do not enhance, promote and ensure the purpose of Girl Scouting.  Planned Parenthood falls under this category.
       

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama will continue its work to empower girls to make the world around them a better place.  We will remain relevant to today's girl, while we continue to hold dear the values  our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, set forth so many years ago.  We look forward to partnering with you in our effort to serve generations of girls to come. 

If you have questions about our policies, please feel free to contact us at 800/239-6636.

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Going Somewhere?


The number one question we receive after the cookie sale is: What paperwork do you need me to send in, if our troop is going (fill in the blank)?"


Here's a comprehensive rundown -- all in one place!

 

Trips, Outings, & Overnights

require a little advance planning by your Troop Trip Coordinator.

Some quick reminders:

 

Girls are not permitted to leave the meeting place

unless you notify your SUM or Field Exec of the troop's travel plans.

 

-Adults are not permitted to drive

unless they have been Approved, are over the age of 21, and have a valid driver's license and auto insurance card on file with the troop. 

Keep a copy of each driver's license and insurance card in your Troop Trip Folder.

Copies of these documents must be attached to every Overnight Trip/Camping Application as well. 

 

Adults are not permitted to chaperone,
stay overnight, drive, or handle troop funds, unless they are approved volunteers and current registered members.

 

-Activity insurance will not cover members

unless your trip is approved, every participant is registered as a member, each adult is an approved volunteer, and safety-guidelines and policies are followed, including having signed permission forms.  

Pull off a copy of the most current 2012 Safety-Activity Checkpoint  for each activity, from the council website.

"Tagalongs" cannot be insured unless they have planned activities, designated supervision, and insurance has been purchased for them.

 

-Overnights are not permitted

without the approval of an Overnight Trip/Camping Application.

This includes ALL overnights, whether at a state park, at one of our Council camps, the local church basement,

a hotel, or your backyard.  Applications are to be submitted 2-4 weeks in advance, to  cmiller@girlscoutssa.org

 

A Troop/Trip Folder can save you

tons of time and will keep you ready for every meeting, activity, and travel opportunity throughout the year. 

The leadership team-member who is with the girls, must be in charge of this folder.

 

The Troop/Trip Folder should include:

-health forms, for girls and adults sealed in envelope for privacy.*

-troop roster with emergency contact numbers*

-trip itinerary*

-maps, destination addresses & phone numbers

-permission slips 

-copies of reservations, pre-payments, business contacts, etc.

-copies of every adult's driver's license and auto insurance

-copy of certifications - FA/CPR, lifeguard, canoe, archery, camping, etc.

Each driver, and your at-home contact, should have an envelope containing copies of the first three items. *

Do not finalize any plans until your overnight trip has been approved by Council, 4 weeks prior to launch.

 

And, did you know......?

-Caravanning (following a lead driver) is not permitted.

-Emailed permission is valid; it should contains the details of the outing, the name of the girl, emergency contact numbers, and the name of the parent giving permission.

-Before you rent a vehicle (to charter a bus, rent a car, etc.) you must complete the Vehicle Rental Application and have it reviewed by a council staff member.

-Camp reservations will be cancelled, unless your Overnight Trip/Camping Application is received 2 weeks in advance.

 

For questions about trip applications, insurance, rental applications, safety-guidelines, volunteer approval, etc., contact cmiller@girlscoutssa.org

 

 

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Almost every day, I receive a reminder about the impact of the media on what we think, believe and how we see the world.      A few weeks ago, an Indiana politician felt the need to share his views on how Girl Scouts is ruining the American family.   His comments were "from the internet."   They didn't have much back-up or additional documentation from original sources.   His remarks were picked up on Fox, CNN and other national news outlets.   Of course, this set some phones ringing to troop leaders, service unit managers and our offices.

It was news to me that Girl Scouts was anti-family.   In fact, we work hard at having events that involve as many as we can within the confines of our insurance limitations. So, I would like to provide a brief outline for parents, troop leaders, and service unit managers about this council and its policies.

GSSA doesn't have a relationship of any kind with Planned Parenthood.   We don't talk to them, do any programs with them, send them any funds or accept any funds from them.   There is no relationship between GSSA and Planned Parenthood - period.

GSUSA has said multiple times that it does not have a relationship with Planned Parenthood.   Further, Planned Parenthood also denies having any relationship with GSUSA.

GSSA doesn't participate in any sex education.   We believe those discussions are best left for families and their church community.   The programs we present and materials we use don't address sex education.

Anna Marie Chavez, the new GSUSA CEO is a practicing Roman Catholic.   Because there has been an increasingly tenuous relationship with the Catholic Church, she has initiated a conversation with staff who works with youth programming to address misunderstandings between GSUSA and the Catholic Church.

The new Journey materials have been reviewed relative to criticisms about third-party websites that advocate for particular perspectives that might not be in concert with GSUSA.   In an effort to address those concerns, any references in the Journey materials that are questionable have been eliminated with replacement references.   These materials are available at the service centers.   Going forward, GSUSA will not reference any third party websites that might not convey messages that mesh with the Girl Scout curriculum.

Anna Marie Chavez, on a recent podcast to Girl Scout staff, provided what I believe is the philosophy under which we operate.   We do not teach girls what to think.   We teach girls to stand up for what they believe in - and we will continue to do so in the future.

For your convenience, here is a printable version of what GSSA stands for.

 

Cheryl_Miller_cookies.jpg-- by Cheryl Miller, Learning & Volunteer Services Liaison

Girls learn so much at booth sales -- from communicating with new people to handling money. Following these guidelines will hep ensure the best possible booth sales for your Girl Scouts:

1. Wear Girl Scout Membership pin with uniform or Girl Scout T-shirt

2. Notify merchant/customer service on arrival and departure. Let them know we appreciate the opportunity to sell cookies outside their business. Don't expect the business to provide change, tape, scissors, pens, etc.

3. Ask customers politely ONCE as they are leaving the store. Be sure to thank the customer whether they buy cookies or not.

4. BEST BEHAVIOR, BE COURTEOUS!! Don't block walkways. Say please and thank you. Smile!! Girls and adults represent the world's largest organization for young women.

5. No eating or drinking during a booth sale.

6. An adult must be present at a booth sale at all times.

7. Do not allow girls to wander around the location un-chaperoned.

8. An adult is responsible for money at all times. An adult watches or assists as the girls handle money. Keep money box in a safe place, especially during loading and unloading of cookies. DO NOT keep large amounts of money in the money box!

9. Keep booth area clean and remove ALL trash. Troop is responsible for removing and disposing of all trash and boxes. Girl Scouts always leave a place better than they found it! 

10. RESPECT other troops sale time!!! Don't set up early, and don't stay after the allotted time. 

Be sure to follow these Booth Sale Guidelines for a safe, respectful, and successful booth sale.

These outings require a little advance planning by your Troop Trip Coordinator.

Some quick reminders:

Overnights are not permitted without the approval of an Overnight Trip/Camping Application.http://www.girlscoutssa.org/forms_resources.php#checkpoints

This includes ALL overnights, whether at a state park, at one of our Council camps, the local church basement, a hotel, or your backyard.  Applications are to be submitted 2-4 weeks in advance, to  cmiller@girlscoutssa.org

Adults are not permitted to drive unless they have been Approved, are over the age of 21, and have a valid driver's license and auto insurance card on file with the troop. Copies of these documents must be attached to the Overnight Trip/Camping Application. 

Activity insurance will not cover members unless your trip is approved, every participant is registered as a member, each adult is an approved volunteer, and safety-guidelines and policies are followed.  

Download a copy of the most current 2011 Safety-Activity Checkpoint for each activity. 

"Tagalongs" cannot be insured unless they have planned activities, designated supervision, and insurance has been purchased for them.

Girls are not permitted to leave the meeting place unless you notify your SUM or Field Exec of the troop's travel plans.

Adults are not permitted to chaperone, stay overnight, drive, or handle troop funds, unless they are approved volunteers and current registered members.

A Troop Trip Folder can save you tons of time and will keep you ready to travel throughout the year. 

The Troop Trip Folder should include: health forms, for girls and adults, troop roster with emergency contact numbers, trip itinerary, maps, destination addresses & phone numbers, permission slips , copies of reservations, pre-payments, business contacts, etc., copies of every driver's license and auto insurance, copy of certifications - FA/CPR, lifeguard, canoe, archery, camping, etc.

Each driver, and your at-home contact, should have an envelope containing copies of the first three items. 

And, did you know......?
-Caravanning (following a lead driver) is not permitted.
-Emailed permission is valid; it should contain the details of the outing, the name of the girl, emergency contact numbers, and the name of the parent giving permission.
-Before you rent a vehicle (to charter a bus, rent a car, etc.) you must complete the Vehicle Rental Application and have it reviewed by a council staff member. **The use of 15 passenger vans is strictly prohibited.**
-Camp reservations will be cancelled, unless your Overnight Trip/Camping Application is received 2 weeks in advance.

For questions about trip applications, insurance, rental applications, safety-guidelines, volunteer approval, etc., contact: C. Miller at cmiller@girlscoutssa.org


parade.jpgThe holidays are coming and many troops are planning to participate in local parades and celebrations.  Don't forget to review the Safety-Activity Checkpoint for Parades .  

Looking for costume ideas?  Take a look at what the girls did in this community parade.

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