Chapter 4: Safety-Wise
In Girl Scouting, the emotional and physical safety and
well-being of girls is always a top priority. Here’s what you need to
Knowing Your Responsibilities
You, the parents/guardians of the girls in your group, and the
girls themselves share the responsibility for staying safe. The next
three sections flesh out who’s responsible for what.
Responsibilities of the Volunteer: 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.
- Follow the Safety 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 (or the age of majority
defined by the state, if it is older than 18) and must be screened by
your council before volunteering. One lead volunteer in every group
must be female.
- Get parent/guardian permission. When an
activity takes place that is outside the normal time and place, advise
each parent/guardian of the details of the activity and obtain
permission for girls to participate.
- 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 also
forbidden. Follow your council’s guidelines for reporting concerns about
abuse or neglect that may be occurring inside or outside of Girl
- Be prepared for emergencies. Work with girls
and other adults to establish and practice procedures for emergencies
related to weather, fire, lost girls/adults, and site security. Always
keep handy a well-stocked first-aid kit, girl health histories, and
contact information for girls’ families.
- Travel safely. 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 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. Don’t consume alcohol, smoke, 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
group marksmanship activities.
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