Volunteer Essentials

As of December 2014, there have been changes made to Volunteer Essentials 2015. Learn More..

Did you ever wish that all the answers to the most common questions about Girl Scouting could be found in one place? Volunteer Essentials is your guidebook to the world of Girl Scouting! Here it is:

  • the whats: programs, badges, meetings, awards, cookies and more;
  • the whys: council policies, how they work, when to use them; and
  • the hows: taking trips, understanding your girls, and getting the most out of your leadership role.

Download the full 2014-2015 Volunteer Essentials Document (not including forms – click here for forms)
Download the Volunteer Essentials Document by Section

  • Quick Start Guide
    • We Are Girl Scouts
    • Who Can Join Girl Scouts - and How?
    • Girl Scouts' Organizational Structure
    • Getting Started with the National Leadership Program through Journeys
    • Planning in a Girl-Led Environment
    • Meeting with Girls for the First Time
    • Using Safety Activity Checkpoints
    • Understanding How Many Volunteers You Need
    • Following the Girl Scouts Safety Guidelines
  • Chapter 1: Sharing Your Unique Gifts
    • Understanding Your Role as a Girl Scout Volunteer
      • Your Responsibilities
      • Your Volunteer Support Team
    • Our Leadership Model in Action for Adults
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Taking Advantage of Learning Opportunities
    • Knowing How Much You're Appreciated
  • Chapter 2: Girl Scouting as a National Experience
    • What Girl Scouting Does for Girls
    • I Can't Wait To and ToGetHerThere
    • Fun with Purpose
    • The National Program Portfolio
      • National Leadership Journeys
      • The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting and National Proficiency Badges
    • Putting it All Together
    • Emblems and Patches
    • Girl Scout Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards
    • Other Initiatives and Opportunities
    • Girl Scout Traditions and Celebrations
      • Girl Scout Calendar
      • Time-Honored Ceremonies
      • Signs, Songs, Handshake, and More!
  • Chapter 3: Engaging Girls at All Grade Levels
    • Arranging a Time and Space for Girl-Led Meetings
    • Understanding Healthy Development in Girls
    • Creating a Safe Space for Girls
      • Recognizing and Supporting Each Girl
      • Promoting Fairness
      • Building Trust
      • Managing Conflict
      • Inspiring Open Communication
      • Working with Parents and Guardians
    • Creating an Atmosphere of Acceptance and Inclusion
  • Chapter 4: Safety-Wise
    • Knowing Your Responsibilities
      • Responsibilities of the Volunteer: Girl Scout Safety Guidelines
      • Responsibilities of Parents and Guardians
      • Responsibilities of Girls
    • Knowing How Many Volunteers You Need
    • Transporting Girls
      • Checklist for Drivers
    • Approaching Activities
      • Health Histories (Including Examinations and Immunizations)
      • Girl Scout Activity Insurance
      • Experts
    • Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA)
    • Providing Emergency Care
      • First-Aid/CPR
      • Procedure for Accidents
      • GSCWM Emergency Procedures
  • Chapter 5: Managing Group Finances
    • To Whom Does the Money Belong
    • Establishing an Account
    • Money-Earning Basics
    • Understanding the Girl Scout Cookie Program
      • Your Council's Role
      • Knowing Where Proceeds Go
      • Safely Selling Girl Scout Cookies and Other Products
      • Selling at Girl Scout Cookie Booths
      • Using Online Resources to Market Cookies and Other Products
    • Additional Group Money-Earning Activities
    • Money-Earning vs. Fundraising
    • Collaborating with Sponsors and Other Organizations
      • Helping Girls Reach Their Financial Goals
      • Reviewing Financial and Sales Abilities by Grade Level
  • Appendix: For Troop Volunteers
    • Forming a Troop Committee
    • Holding Troop Meetings
      • Letting Girls Lead
    • Looking at a Sample Troop Year
    • Essential Elements for a Healthy Troop
    • Troop Year Timeline
    • Reengaging Girls
  • Appendix: For Travel Volunteers
    • Traveling with Girls and Progression
      • Using Journeys and The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting in Their Travels
    • Overview of Activity/Travel Guidelines
      • Seeking Council Permission
      • Involving Chaperones
      • Letting Girls Lead
      • Staying Safe During the Trip
    • Reengaging Girls
  • Appendix: Volunteer Policies

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