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Welcome to the great adventure of Girl Scouting! No matter how you volunteer with Girl Scouts, your investment in time and energy will pay back tenfold. Thanks to volunteers like you, generations of girls have learned to be leaders in their own lives and in the world.
The GSUSA publication, Volunteer Essentials, is your guide to volunteering with Girl Scouts. This national handbook which has been customized for Girl Scouts of Connecticut, will guide you through everything you need to know as a Girl Scout Volunteer. From taking trips and staying safe, to managing finances and program materials, your questions are answered!
Think of Volunteer Essentials as your encyclopedia to Girl Scout volunteering that’s there when you need it. When you have a question, simply look up the topic in the Table of Contents, and you’ll find the answer. Let’s get started! Find the full guide here or click on the individual chapters below.
View Volunteer Essentials in an online reader. You can flip through pages, search, and view the guide more easily on a phone or tablet. If you want fast viewing, we suggest using the online reader or one of the chapters below rather than the full PDF version.
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The nitty-gritty – what you need to know, as you plan your first meeting with girls and provides a compact overview of Girl Scouts of Connecticut.
We Are Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts’ Organizational Structure
Governance and Operations
It's All About the Girls - Fund Development
Getting Started with the National Leadership Program
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
Provides information on your role and responsibilities as a Girl Scout volunteer and the variety of learning opportunities available to support you in that role.
Understanding Your Role as a Girl Scout Volunteer
Becoming a Girl Scout Volunteer
Your Support Team
Taking Advantage of Learning Opportunities
Knowing How Much You’re Appreciated
Chapter 2: GSOFCT Volunteer Policies and Procedures
GSOFCT board-approved policies that work in conjunction with the council’s by-laws, Blue Book of Basic Documents, Safety Activity Checkpoints, and GSUSA policies.
Chapter 3: Girl Scouting as a National Experience
Provides information on the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and introduces the National Program Portfolio. It also presents the wide variety of activities, awards, and resources available to girls in Connecticut.
National Program Portfolio
Putting It All Together
Emblems and Patches
Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards
Other Initiatives and Opportunities
Girl Scout Traditions and Celebrations
Chapter 4: Engaging Girls at All Grade Levels
Provides tips and resources that will allow you to work with girls from all backgrounds, behaviors, skills, and abilities in a safe and accepting environment.
Understanding Healthy Development in Girls
Creating a Safe Space for Girls
Creating an Atmosphere of Acceptance and Inclusion
Chapter 5: Being Safety Wise
Includes guidelines to ensure Girl Scout programming takes place in an environment that promotes the health, safety and well-being of all girls.
Knowing Your Responsibilities
Knowing How Many Volunteers You Need
Girl Scout Activity Insurance
Product Sales Program Safety
Providing Emergency Care
Chapter 6: Managing Group Finances
Details the volunteer’s responsibilities for successful money management and states GSOFCT’s financial policies and procedures for safeguarding troop/group funds.
Adult Role in Troop/Group Money Management
Establishing an Account
Your Troop/Group Bank Account
Service Unit Bank Accounts
Gift Acceptance Policy
Chapter 7: Travel Ready
Helps you prepare girls for local, regional, or international travel of any scope and duration with safety being foremost in all planning.
Traveling with Girls
Chapter 8: Especially For Troop Volunteers
Includes information to get your troop/group up and running, as well as strategies that promote parent/guardian support and involvement.
Arranging a Time and Space for Girl-Led Meetings
Forming a Troop Committee
Holding Troop Meetings
Looking at a Sample Troop Year
Changes in Troop Leadership
GSOFCT Council Retail Shops
Quick Guide to Forms
Chapter 9: Financing Your Girl Scout Program
Provides you with information to facilitate girl-led financial planning, including group finance management, product sales techniques, safety requirements around product sales, and more!
Helping Girls Reach Their Financial Goals
Reviewing Financial and Sales Abilities by Grade Level
Understanding the Girl Scout Cookie Program
Understanding the Girl Scout QSP Program
Product Sales: Financial Literacy and the Girl Scout Leadership Experience
Additional Group Money-Earning
Collaborating with Sponsors and Other Organizations
Chapter 10: GSOFCT Properties
Provides procedures and guidelines for GSOFCT property uses, basic summaries of each site, as well as directions to all GSOFCT program centers.
Procedures For Use of Council Properties - Troop Group
Frequently Asked Questions
Procedures For Use of Council Properties – Outsider User Groups
Directions to all GSOFCT Program Centers
GSOFCT Property Policies
Chapter 11: Forms
Forms can be found in the Resource and Form Library or in the Quick Guide to Forms.
A note about electronic signatures
An electronic signature is an electronic indication of intent to agree to or approve the contents of a document.
In accordance with the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN), GSOFCT will accept electronic signatures in lieu of handwritten signatures on some of its forms. Those circumstances where an original signature is required will be noted as such.