The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is based on three keys—discover, connect, and take action—but it’s not just for the girls! As a Girl Scout leader, you’ll embark on your own leadership journey as you help girls develop the vital leadership skills they’ll use to make the world a better place. The Girl Scout perspective on leadership is permeated with a few basic, but all-important, concepts.
Leadership is teaching girls:
- That they can do and be anything!
- That they are decision makers and should own their decisions.
- How to live the Girl Scout Law by modeling it for them.
As a leader, see yourself as a coach who:
- Guides and instructs, not as a teacher with a canned lesson or activity or as someone who has to perform for the girls each week.
- Advises and discusses.
- Ensures each girl can carry out her responsibilities within the troop.
- Encourages girls to build their skills and their ethics.
- Gives more responsibilities to the girls as they grow and develop.
It’s important to remember that:
- You cannot know everything that the girls might ever want to learn.
- You’ll explore and learn alongside your girls and grow your confidence in the process.
- You’re not expected to know everything about Girl Scouting, but you should know where to go for information—and to ask for help when you need it.
Your responsibilities as a Girl Scout volunteer include:
- Accepting the Girl Scout Promise and Law.
- Understanding the three keys to leadership that are the basis of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience: discover, connect, and take action.
- Sharing your knowledge, experience, and skills[Field] with a positive and flexible approach.
- Working in a partnership with girls so that their activities are girl-led and that they learn by doing, individually and a group. You’ll also partner with other volunteers and council staff for support and guidance.
- Organizing fun, interactive, girl-led activities[Field] that address relevant issues and match girls’ interests and needs.
- Providing guidance and information regarding Girl Scout group meetings with girls’ families on a regular and ongoing basis through a variety of tools, including email, phone calls, newsletters, blogs, other forms of social media, and any other method you choose.
- Processing and completing registration forms[Field] and other paperwork, such as permission slips.
- Communicating effectively and delivering clear, organized, and vibrant presentations or information to an individual or the group.
- Overseeing with honesty, integrity, and careful record-keeping the funds that girls raise.
- Maintaining a close connection to your volunteer support team[Field] as well as your council.
- Facilitating a safe experience for every girl.
Follow Girl Scout Safety Guidelines
Every adult in Girl Scouting is responsible for the physical and emotional safety of girls, and we all demonstrate that by agreeing to follow these guidelines at all times.
Activity Checkpoints. Instructions for staying safe
while participating in activities are detailed in the Safety
Activity Checkpoints, available from your council. Read the
checkpoints, follow them, and share them with other volunteers,
parents, and girls before engaging in activities with girls.
Arrange for proper adult
supervision of girls. Your group must have at least two
unrelated, approved adult volunteers present at all times, plus
additional adult volunteers as necessary, depending on the size of
the group and the ages and abilities of girls. Adult volunteers must
be at least 18 years old and must be screened by your council before
volunteering. One lead volunteer in every group must be female. See
ratio chart to determine how many adult volunteers are needed
to supervise girls by age level and activity.
Get parent/guardian permission.
Parent/guardian permission is required for participation in Girl
Scout activities. A signed Girl
General Permission/Health History must be signed annually by
parents/guardians for each girl and kept on hand for all Girl Scout
Troop activities. The Specific
Event Permission form is required for any troop activity When
a troop activity an activity takes place the normal meeting time and
place that lasting longer than 4 hours, an activity is considered
high risk or a topic is discussed that could be considered
sensitive, advise each parent/guardian of the details of the
activity and obtain permission for girls to participate using the
Specific Event Permission Form. Additional parent/guardian
permission is required for participation in Product Program
Activities and other activities such as Summer Camp.
Report abuse. Sexual advances,
improper touching, and sexual activity of any kind with girl members
are forbidden. Physical, verbal, and emotional abuse of girls is
Our first and most important obligation to our girl members is to protect their health and safety. As persons responsible for the care of minors, Girl Scout Volunteers are mandatory reporters in the state of Arizona and required by law to report suspected child abuse.
“A report of suspected child abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment is a responsible attempt to protect a child. Arizona law requires certain persons who suspect that a child has received non-accidental injury or has been neglected to report their concerns to DCS or local law enforcement (ARS §13-3620.A). YOU may be a child’s only advocate at the time you report the possibility of abuse or neglect. Children often tell a person with whom they feel safe about abuse or neglect. If a child tells you of such experiences, act to protect that child by calling the toll free Arizona Child Abuse Hotline at 1-888-SOS-CHILD (1-888-767-2445).
Be prepared for emergencies.
Work with girls and other volunteers to establish and practice
procedures for emergencies related to weather, fire, lost
girls/volunteers, and site security. Always keep handy a
well-stocked first-aid kit, girl health histories, and contact
information for girls’ families.
Travel safely. Follow Safety
Activity Checkpoint Guidelines for safely transporting girls. When
transporting girls to planned Girl Scout field trips and other
activities that are outside the normal time and place, every driver
must be an approved adult volunteer, over the age of 21 and have a
good driving record, a valid license, and a registered/insured
vehicle. Insist that everyone is in a legal seat and wears her seat
belt at all times, and adhere to state laws regarding booster seats
and requirements for children in rear seats.
Ensure safe overnight outings.
Prepare girls to be away from home by involving them in planning, so
they know what to expect. Avoid having men sleep in the same space
as girls and women. During family or parent-daughter overnights, one
family unit may sleep in the same sleeping quarters in program
areas. When parents are staffing events, daughters should remain in
quarters with other girls rather than in staff areas.
Role-model the right behavior.
Never use illegal drugs. Do not consume alcohol, smoke, vape or use
foul language in the presence of girls. Do not carry ammunition or
firearms in the presence of girls, unless given special permission
by your council for target sport activities. Always obey the law,
for example, by not talking on a phone or texting while
Create an emotionally safe
space. Adults and volunteers are responsible for making Girl
Scouting a place where girls are as safe emotionally as they are
physically. Protect the emotional safety of girls by creating a team
agreement and coaching girls to honor it. Agreements typically
encourage behaviors like respecting a diversity of feelings and
opinions; resolving conflicts constructively; and avoiding physical
and verbal bullying, clique behavior, and discrimination.
Ensure that no girl is treated
differently. Girl Scouts welcomes all members, regardless of
race, ethnicity, background, disability, family structure, religious
beliefs, and socioeconomic status. When scheduling, helping plan,
and carrying out activities, carefully consider the needs of all
girls involved, including school schedules, family needs, financial
constraints, religious holidays, and the accessibility of
appropriate transportation and meeting places.
Promote online safety. Instruct
girls never to put their full names or contact information online,
engage in virtual conversation with strangers. Girls should never
arrange in-person meetings with online contacts, other than to
deliver cookies and only with the approval and accompaniment of a
parent or designated adult. On group websites, publish girls’
first names only and never divulge their contact information. Teach
girls the Girl
Scout Online Safety Pledge and have them commit to
- Keep girls safe during money-earning activities. Girl Scout cookies and other council-sponsored product programs are an integral part of the program. During Girl Scout product s, you are responsible for the safety of girls, money, and products. In addition, a wide variety of organizations, causes, and fundraisers may appeal to Girl Scouts to be their labor force. When representing Girl Scouts, girls cannot participate in money-earning activities that represent partisan politics or that are not Girl Scout–approved product program and efforts.