When Sensitive Topics Come Up
Sensitive Issues Activities
An outline of sensitive subjects to be covered in the planned activity should be furnished to parents or guardians ahead of time. Girls who attend these activities should have written parental approval for participating in the activity. Attendance should be optional for all or part of the activities.
Procedure for obtaining council approval and parental permission for sensitive issues:
- Submit a Council Approval Application at least four weeks before the proposed activity.
- A staff member will confirm safety details and approve the activity if appropriate.
- If the activity is not approved, you will be contacted personally.
- Upon approval of the activity:
- Complete an outline of proposed activities.
- Complete a copy of the Sensitive Issues Permission Slip for each of the girls in the troop, and distribute them to the parents with ample time for them to consider the activity.
- Monitor the activity to assure that the outline is followed and that only girls who have parental permission participate.
Click here for Parent Permission Forms: PDF or Customizable
Remember: Don’t feel that you have to solve everything! Your role is helping girls get information from trained people who provide it. And if you’re unsure who to ask to fill this role, count on Manitou Council, which has built up relationships with community experts who can help.
Report concerns: There may be times when you worry about the health and well-being of girls in your group. Alcohol, drugs, sex, bullying, abuse, depression, and eating disorders are some of the issues girls may encounter. You are on the frontlines of girls’ lives, and you are in a unique position to identify a situation in which a girl may need help. If you believe a girl is at risk of hurting herself or others, your role is to promptly bring that information to her parent/guardian or the council so she can get the expert assistance she needs. Your concern about a girl’s well-being and safety is taken seriously, and your council will guide you in addressing these concerns.
Here are a few signs that could indicate a girl needs expert help:
- Contact a staff member at your Girl Scout council and find out how to refer the girl and her parent/guardian to experts at school or in the community.
- Share your concern with the girl’s family, if this is feasible.
- Marked changes in behavior or personality (for example, unusual moodiness, aggressiveness, or sensitivity)
- Declining academic performance and/or inability to concentrate
- Withdrawal from school, family activities, or friendships
- Fatigue, apathy, or loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Sleep disturbances
- Increased secretiveness
- Deterioration in appearance and personal hygiene.
- Eating extremes, unexplained weight loss, distorted body image
- Tendency toward perfectionism
- Giving away prized possessions; preoccupation with the subject of death.
- Unexplained injuries such as bruises, burns, or fractures
- Avoidance of eye contact or physical contact
- Excessive fearfulness or distrust of adults
- Abusive behavior toward other children, especially younger ones
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