Volunteer Policies & Procedures
Approved by the GSOFCT Board of Directors 10/1/07
INTRODUCTION: Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Inc. (GSOFCT),
maintains that the strength of the Girl Scout Movement rests in the
volunteer leadership of its adult members. It is through its volunteer
leadership that the movement serves its girls. To ensure the
satisfaction of its volunteers and to best use their talents, it is
essential that the following policies and procedures be established
and maintained. These policies and procedures work in conjunction with
the council’s by-laws and the following current Girl Scouts of the
U.S.A. (GSUSA) publications:
GSOFCT upholds all GSUSA policies and has adopted the following
policies and procedures of its own.
A POLICY is an established course of action that must be followed.
Policies provide consistency of action, give direction, and minimize
the need for risk management.
These policies do not create a contract, express or implied, with
any volunteer and may be changed at any time at the discretion of the
council. In addition, volunteers are not employees of the council and
are not covered by any of its pay, benefit plans, or practices.
Specifically, volunteers are not paid or provided benefits for their
A PROCEDURE describes the course of action to carry out a policy.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
I. RECRUITMENT: Each volunteer is provided with an overview of
the Girl Scout purpose and organization, local council information,
and the support systems available to help her/him in her/his role. The
volunteer position description provides specific responsibilities and
schedules, cites expectations, and, in conjunction with performance
goals, forms the basis for assessment of volunteer performance.
GSOFCT strives to include volunteers who strengthen the council
through two distinct types of service.
A. GOVERNANCE VOLUNTEERS: These include members of the Board of
Directors, Board Nominating and Development Committee, and Delegates.
B. OPERATIONAL VOLUNTEERS: Service Team members, Co-Leaders, Program
Volunteers, Episodic Volunteers, etc., are those involved in carrying
out the council’s specific, measurable objectives, which have been
developed within the framework of the corporate goals as adopted by
the Board of Directors. These volunteers are ultimately accountable
to the Chief Executive Officer.
II. INCLUSION: In recognition of its responsibility to its
volunteers and girls and in keeping with GSUSA equal opportunity
policies, GSOFCT expressly prohibits any form of unlawful
discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex,
national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, socioeconomic
status, learning disability, physical or mental disability, ancestry,
genetic information, and any other protected class status.
To ensure full equality of opportunity in all operations and
activities of the organization, affirmative action policies and
procedures shall be utilized in the recruitment, selection, training,
placement, and recognition of volunteers.
GSOFCT is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and outreach in
the recruitment, selection, placement, development, and recognition of
volunteers in all communities within its jurisdiction.
III. MEMBERSHIP. All volunteers and girls participating in
GSOFCT shall meet GSUSA membership standards and be a currently
registered member of GSUSA and Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Inc.
She/he shall agree to abide by the policies, principles, practices,
and standards of GSOFCT and GSUSA.
IV. REGISTRATION. All adult volunteers participating in the
Girl Scout Movement shall be registered members of GSUSA.
V. VOLUNTEER SYSTEMS
A. SELECTION: Policy: Every adult volunteer is selected on the basis
of qualifications for membership, ability to perform the volunteer
position, and the willingness and availability to participate in
training for the position.
Procedure: All adult volunteer members must complete the onboarding
process and have a satisfactory background check according to the
requirements of their position.
B. TRAINING: Once a volunteer has successfully completed the
onboarding process, she/he must participate in orientation and
training as required by the position. The level of orientation will
correspond to the level of participation. For example, those who are
serving as Co-Leaders take full orientation, while those who are less
involved will have a less intensive level of orientation.
C. PLACEMENT: Every attempt will be made to place volunteers in
positions that meet both their needs and the needs of GSOFCT. In
instances where this is not possible, the needs of GSOFCT will take
precedence over the needs of the individual.
D. PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL: Volunteers will have the opportunity to
confer with the person to whom she/he is accountable concerning
her/his annual performance review.
E. REAPPOINTMENT: Prior to completion of a volunteer’s term, she/he
will receive confirmation of reappointment to her/his position or
rotation to a different position. Reappointment takes place only
after completion of a satisfactory performance review and mutual
acceptance of position accountabilities, expectations, and adherence
to GSOFCT and GSUSA policies and standards.
F. RECOGNITIONS: Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Inc.'s, formal
recognition system shall be consistent with GSUSA policies and standards.
G. TERMINATION: Any volunteer may resign her/his position at any
time, but the council expects that resignations will be with
reasonable notification to the council. GSOFCT may terminate the
services of a volunteer at any time and for any reason, such as these
- Restructuring of volunteer positions
- The elimination
of the volunteer position in which a person serves
inability or failure to complete the requirements for the
- Misappropriation of funds
- The inability or
failure to perform the agreed-upon responsibilities to the
satisfaction of GSOFCT
- The refusal to support the Mission
and values of the organization and the council goals
- Membership in an organization whose goals are not compatible
with those of GSUSA
- Failure to comply with council or GSUSA
- Providing false, incomplete, or misleading
information in the onboarding process
behavior including, but not limited to, physical violence, abuse,
stalking, threatening, menacing, lying, harassment, falsification of
documents, and carrying firearms at a Girl Scout activity
- Failure to pass successive background checks
An adult volunteer who is terminated from her/his adult position may
continue her/his membership with GSUSA unless it is determined that
she/he is not able to meet the membership requirement related to
accepting the principles and beliefs of the Movement or to supporting
the Mission and values of the organization. When this is the case,
her/his Girl Scout membership will not be renewed.
Procedure: The volunteer and her/his manager will confer both in
person and in writing as to reasons for the termination. A third
party should be present during this process. At this time, the
volunteer will be given the opportunity to withdraw voluntarily from
the position by submitting a written resignation within five (5)
If termination is not voluntary, the volunteer will be fully
informed, in writing, regarding the reasons for the termination by the
person to whom she/he is accountable.
Unless otherwise indicated, the discussion should be followed by a
written summary, one copy of which is given to the volunteer and one
to be retained by the council. Absolute confidentiality must be
observed at all times to protect the rights of the volunteer.
H. CONFLICT RESOLUTION: GSOFCT has established a system for
resolving conflicts that arise when a volunteer believes that policies
and/or procedures related to her/his position are not being
administered properly as applied to her/him.
• Phase I: Many conflicts can be prevented and/or resolved by
volunteer managers who understand the Volunteer Management System of
GSOFCT and who are sensitive to human relations. Likewise, many
conflicts can be avoided when volunteers are informed at the time of
placement of the council’s structure and role accountability for
Most conflicts can be resolved when they are brought to the
attention of the volunteer’s immediate manager. It is hoped that most,
if not all, conflicts will be resolved informally. The goal is to
eliminate the cause for the conflict.
• Phase II: When a volunteer and her/his immediate manager are
unable to resolve a conflict through informal efforts, the volunteer
should refer to the council’s conflict resolution procedure for all
volunteers listed below. Every volunteer may expect a welcome
reception and a fair resolution of the conflict without fear of
jeopardizing her/his volunteer status. The initiation of the conflict
resolution procedure, however, will not restrict the GSOFCT from
taking appropriate action to safeguard the health and safety of the girls.
Step 1: The volunteer requests a conference with her/his manager to
take place within ten (10) working days of the date the written
complaint was filed. The volunteer cites the policy or procedure that
has allegedly been misapplied, misinterpreted, or violated. If the
manager is the issue, proceed to the next level. If the manager is
not a staff member of GSOFCT, the appropriate staff member must be
informed of the complaint and the date of the conference meeting. The
staff member informs the Chief Executive Officer, or her/his designee,
of the complaint and conference date.
Step 2: If the volunteer is not satisfied with the disposition, the
council staff member or, if appropriate, the staff member’s
supervisor, will meet with the volunteer within ten (10) working
days. After the initial review of the issues, the volunteer can
expect a response within ten (10) working days.
Step 3: In the event that the complaint is not resolved in Step 2,
the staff member prepares a written report on the complaint, including
recommendations for her/his supervisor, and sends a copy to the Chief
Step 4: The Chief Executive Officer will make the final decision as
to the resolution of the complaint and see that this decision is implemented.
VI. HARASSMENT/SEXUAL HARASSMENT
GSOFCT is committed to maintaining an environment free of harassment
in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. The
council will not tolerate harassment, including sexual harassment as
defined in this policy, of volunteers, employees, or members, by
anyone, including any volunteer, employee, vendor, member, client, or
customer, whether on the Girl Scout premises, at assignments outside,
or at sponsored social or membership functions.
Harassment is defined as verbal or physical conduct that denigrates
or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of her/his
race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation,
marital status, socioeconomic status, learning disability, physical or
mental disability, ancestry, genetic information, or any other
protected class status that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably
interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an
intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome or unwanted sexual
advances, requests for sexual favors, or other physical, verbal, or
visual conduct based on sex when (1) submission to the conduct is an
explicit or implicit term or condition of the volunteer’s position,
(2) submission or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for a
decision relating to the volunteer, or (3) the conduct has the purpose
or effect of unreasonably interfering with the volunteer’s performance
or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. The
offender or the victim of harassment may either be a man or a woman,
and harassment can occur involving persons of the same or opposite sex.
Examples of sexual harassment include unwanted sexual advances;
explicit sexual propositions; demands for sexual favors in exchange
for favorable treatment or continued employment; repeated sexual
innuendos, suggestive comments, sexually oriented kidding, teasing, or
practical jokes; jokes about gender-specific traits; foul or obscene
body language or gestures; display of foul or obscene printed or
visual material (including, but not limited to, email); and physical
contact, such as touching, patting, pinching, or brushing against
If any volunteer believes that she/he is being harassed, the
volunteer should clearly and promptly notify the offender that the
behavior is unwelcome. If for any reason a volunteer does not feel
comfortable confronting the offender or if a confrontation does not
successfully end the harassment, the volunteer should contact the
All complaints of harassment will be taken seriously and will be
promptly and thoroughly investigated. To the fullest extent practical
and appropriate under the circumstances, GSOFCT will treat complaints
and the terms of their resolution as personal and confidential.
Corrective action will be implemented if an investigation confirms
that harassment has occurred. If either party directly involved in a
harassment investigation is dissatisfied with the outcome or
resolution, that individual should submit a written request to council
to have the decision reconsidered.
This policy also prohibits harassment and sexual harassment by any
volunteer against any employee or member.
VII. CHILD ABUSE
GSOFCT supports and maintains environments that are free of child
abuse and neglect. Child abuse or neglect is any act or failure to
act resulting in imminent risk of serious harm, death, actual serious
physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation of a child
by a parent or caretaker who is responsible for the child’s welfare.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18. The council will
follow up and report, if applicable, any unlawful act as stated in the
State of Connecticut General Statutes.
Sexual abuse is defined as employment, use, persuasion, inducement,
enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other
person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or any simulation
of such conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of
such conduct; or rape and, in cases of caretaker or inter-familial
relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other
form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children.
Sexual abuse may also include sexual touching and bodily contact,
exhibitionism, voyeurism, and/or involvement of children in
Girl Scouts of Connecticut reserves the right to refuse appointment
or reappointment, and dismiss or exclude from volunteer status, any
volunteer whose alleged actions may pose a risk of injury to a minor,
is believed to have abused or neglected any child under the age of 18,
or has been convicted of any crimes against children.
Procedure: In order to protect confidentiality, in cases of
reported, suspected, or confided abuse/neglect the volunteer should
contact the Chief Executive Officer or her/his designee. If none of
the above can be reached, the volunteer may call the Connecticut
Department of Children and Families Care Line: 1-800-842-2288. Such a
report should include the names and addresses of the children and
her/his parents, guardians, or other person having responsibility for
her/his care and all evidence forming the basis of such belief. A
person who in good faith makes his report is immune from civil or
criminal liability per state statue.
VIII. SMOKING/ALCOHOL/DRUG ABUSE
Volunteers are prohibited from smoking in the presence of girls
and/or during any Girl Scout activity.
No person shall possess, use, sell, distribute, or be under the
influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, or use lawful drugs in an
unauthorized manner, on GSOFCT property, during any Girl Scout
activity, or at any time if it would adversely affect the reputation
of the Girl Scouts.
Any violation of this policy will result in the removal of the
volunteer from the council property, and associated costs and/or
transportation fees will be the responsibility of the volunteer. No
refund of fees will be given. In addition, the volunteer will be
removed from her/his volunteer position.
Alcohol may be consumed at adult council-wide functions or events
only with the permission of the Chief Executive Officer.
IX. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Each volunteer has an obligation to conduct herself/himself in a
manner that does not present an actual or perceived conflict of
interest or that has the potential for one. An actual, perceived, or
potential conflict of interest occurs when a volunteer, because of
her/his position with Girl Scouts, makes or influences a decision that
may result in a personal gain for the volunteer or the volunteer’s
friends or relatives. For purposes of this policy, a relative
includes any person who is related to the volunteer by blood or
marriage, or who is in a similar relationship. A friend is any social
acquaintance or individual with whom the volunteer has a social relationship.
If a volunteer is involved in any activity for Girl Scouts that
presents an actual, perceived, or potential conflict of interest
(e.g., if the volunteer has any influence on transactions involving
purchases, contracts, or leases), full disclosure in writing to the
Chief Executive Officer is mandatory as soon as possible, to establish
safeguards and to protect all parties involved.
A Board Member shall not, while serving as a member of the council
Board of Directors, serve in a council operational volunteer position
that would require formal GSUSA or council-developed or sanctioned training.
All contracts must be authorized and signed by the Chief Executive
Officer or her/his designee.
XI. COMMUNITY SERVICE
Any court-mandated community service projects must have prior
approval by the appropriate council staff.
No persons shall bring any animal onto any GSOFCT property or to any
Girl Scout activity without the written permission of the Chief
Executive Officer or her/his designee. Exceptions will be made for
animals needed to assist persons with disabilities.
Possession or use of firearms by adults or girls at any Girl Scout
activity is prohibited.
XIV. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
All monies raised or earned, and other assets received in the name
and for the benefit of Girl Scouting must be authorized by GSOFCT or
GSUSA and used for the purposes of Girl Scouting. Such monies and
other assets become the property of, and are administered by, GSUSA or
GSOFCT. Such assets are not the property of individuals, geographic
units, or communities within a Girl Scout council.
Those assuming stewardship of any Girl Scout monies within the
jurisdiction of GSOFCT are accountable to GSOFCT.
Volunteers are responsible for complying with all finance and
money-earning policies and practices, as defined in Volunteer
Essentials, including but not limited to the following:
- Money handling
- Money-earning activities
Money-earning projects may not be held during the United Way
campaign or council-wide fundraisers.
Adults who owe a debt to the council that is past due will be
removed from all volunteer positions. A debt is defined as a check
written for insufficient funds, unpaid product sales funds to the
council or the Troop, or non-payment of money owed to the organization
for products or services.
Past due debts (unpaid/misappropriation of funds) more than 30 days
after notification will be processed for collection. Individuals will
be responsible for all fees associated with the collection of the debt
and may be subject to other legal action.
Volunteers who repay a past due debt will not be reappointed to any
position that includes leadership or money-handling responsibilities.
All financial information is confidential. It is against council
policy to disclose any financial or personal information garnered
through one’s leadership role as a volunteer to others.