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Volunteer Essentials

Welcome to the great adventure that is Girl Scouting! Thanks to volunteers and mentors like you, generations of girls have learned to be leaders in their own lives and in the world. Have no doubt: You, and nearly one million other volunteers like you, are helping girls make a lasting impact on the world.

This new digital edition of our Volunteer Essentials guide is designed to support busy troop leaders on-the-go. You can easily find what you need to get started on your Girl Scout journey and search for answers throughout the troop year. 

Think of Volunteer Essentials as your encyclopedia to Girl Scout volunteering: it’s here when you need it, but there’s no need to read it all today.

Get started by browsing through these sections: 

VolunteerEssentials-Icons_GIrl Scout Experience
VolunteerEssentials-Icons_Troop Management
VolunteerEssentials-Icons_Engaging Girl & Families
VolunteerEssentials-Icons_Product Program
VolunteerEssentials-Icons_Troop Finances
VolunteerEssentials-Icons_Saftey

Whatever your volunteer position, your hard work means girls will embark on new adventures, make friendships that last a lifetime, and deepen their connection to their community and the world. We’re calling on all members of society to help girls reach their full potential, and you’ve answered that call. So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Policies

Policies are established courses of action that must be followed. Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) policies are located in the Blue Book of Basic Documents and Volunteer Essentials. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri adheres to the Girl Scouts of the USA Program Standards and Safety Activity Checkpoints.

Girl Scout of Eastern Missouri policies are outlined on the following pages.

I. Membership and Participation Guidelines

  1. Any current or former member of Girls Scouts of the USA must not be excluded in order to place new members.
  2. To standardize registration for all Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri-sponsored activities, girls will be considered at the next grade level after June 1.
  3. All adult volunteers, except those adults serving as temporary advisors or consultants, must be registered members of the Girl Scout Movement and must pay the applicable membership dues and meet the GSUSA membership requirements. Short-term (fewer than 30 consecutive days) and episodic (one-day event) volunteers are considered temporary and are exempt from annual membership.
  4. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri will implement, maintain and enforce a method for effectively evaluating the qualifications and reviewing the background of all potential volunteers. Further, in order to ensure the safety and well-being of all members, the Director Adult Education has the right to disqualify or restrict the duties of any person who has been convicted of certain crimes, who has pleaded guilty or no contest to certain crimes, who has been placed on probation or deferred adjudication for certain crimes and/or who resides on the same premises as a registered sex offender.
  5. There must be at least two registered, background check approved adult members present at all times when working with girls, and at least one of these adults must be a female not related by blood, marriage or partnership to the other adults.
  6. Smoking by girl or adult participants is not allowed during any activity sponsored by Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. For adults who smoke, including e-cigarettes, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri expects strict adherence to applicable local, state and federal laws pertaining to smoke-free environments, unless a designated smoking area is provided.
  7. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri expects adults to serve as responsible role models and to exercise and encourage good judgment at all activities. Girl Scout volunteers shall not drink or be under the influence of alcohol during Girl Scout activities when girls are present. An exception to this policy includes a limited number of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri-sponsored events for adults where girls may be participating as speakers, greeters, flag ceremony color guard, etc. and whose parents will be notified, in advance of event participation, that alcohol is being served to adults. Non-medicinal drugs and controlled substances are prohibited on council-owned property and at any Girl Scout activity.
  8. A Missouri statute allows individuals with a license to carry a concealed weapon; however, adults possessing a license to carry a concealed weapon may not do so at any Girl Scout activity, regardless of location. Girl Scout activities held on private property should advise individuals with a license to carry, to place the weapon in a secure, locked location during the activity. Law enforcement officials on-duty are exempt but must comply when off-duty.

II. Adult Education and Training

  1. Within the first ninety days of their appointment, adult volunteers are expected to complete the appropriate training for their position(s).
  2. Learning Facilitator candidates are required to take job-related training.
  3. Volunteers are always encouraged to continue taking additional training courses while participating in the Girl Scout program.

III.  Volunteer Grievance

Grievance procedures have been established so that a volunteer may voice a complaint or find recourse from release which she/he believes to be unjustified, or from selection, reappointment, promotion and evaluation procedures which she/he believes to be based on discrimination regarding race, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic condition, disability or age. Any volunteer may request a copy of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Volunteer Grievance Process from the Chief Customer Officer.

IV. Volunteer Separation

While serious conflicts are rare among positively motivated volunteers, sometimes circumstances can warrant separations from Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. Separation is intended to be the last course of action; however, it is within the discretion of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Management to take immediate action in appropriate circumstances to release a volunteer. The decision to release a person from a current volunteer position could be the result of an evaluation and feedback process or the result of a problematic incident. Any volunteer may request a copy of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Volunteer Separation Process from Chief Customer Officer.

V. Troop Finances

  1. All troop monies must be deposited in bank accounts and maintained in the name of both Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Inc. and the number of the troop establishing the account.
  2. Each troop must have two registered, background checked approved adults, not related by blood, marriage or partnership, authorized bank account signers.
  3. A Troop Year-End Report must be submitted annually.  Anyone who does not turn in a Troop Year-End Report may not be reappointed as a Leader.
  4. Troops may accept up to $250 in monetary donations and/or volunteer hour match program contributions cumulative annually (October 1-September 30). Any amount in excess of $250 must be submitted to Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.
  5. Title of all property shall be held in the name of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Inc. No troops or other Girl Scout groups or individuals shall accept property which could become a maintenance item or which could incur liability, without written authorization from Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.
  6. When a troop disbands, the girl members decide on a Girl Scout-oriented activity to use any funds remaining in the troop treasury.  If there is no other plan, the girls may vote to donate the money.  Suggested ideas are Gifts for Girls, GSEM Endowment or the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund..

VI. Troop Money-Earning

  1. Each troop must participate in the annual Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Cookie Program.
  2. All troop money-earning projects must be approved by the Neighborhood Treasurer or Neighborhood Manager if there is no Treasurer.
  3. Troop money-earning projects must not compete with Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri product program efforts, (i.e., cookie and fall product programs) or the United Way campaign. Troops participating in the fall product program may conduct additional money-earning activities during the time of the fall product program with the approval of the Neighborhood Treasurer, or Neighborhood Manager in the absence of a Treasurer.
  4. Troop money-earning activities should be conducted in the name of the troop and monies earned are considered troop funds. Monies earned may not be allocated or refunded to individual troop members.
  5. There shall be no paid advertisement to publicize troop money-earning events.
  6. Adults may assist girls in their money-earning activity but shall not raise funds alone in the name of Girl Scouts.
  7. Girl Scout troop members, girl or adult, shall not solicit cash, prizes or awards to be given for any purpose.
  8. Girl Scout troops shall not participate in product demonstration parties, raffles, drawings, games of chance, direct solicitation of cash, Internet sales or the sale or endorsement of commercial products.

VII. Debt Collection

  1. The act of paying for products and/or services with a check, credit card or other financial instrument that is not honored by the issuing financial institution is considered unlawful and fraudulent. Because such acts can serve to reduce our resources that provide services to girls, we pursue all such debts vigorously.
  2. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri generally engages an outside legal/collection firm in this process. All collection efforts, including timing of all notices and charging of debt collection fees, are administered in accordance with applicable Missouri laws. All fees associated with debt collection are the responsibility of the debtor. In cases where the fees, including interest and attorney fees, have been assessed by Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri outside legal/collection firm, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri has no ability to waive the fees. Failure to successfully resolve debts in a timely manner can result in prosecution.

VIII. Camping

  1. A camping experience of less than one week in duration that takes place within, or no more than 100 miles beyond Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri boundaries is considered troop camping.
  2. Girl Scout Brownie troops are limited to camping trips of no more than three days.
  3. Troops camping on non-council-owned property must have at least one adult per troop who is a certified troop camper and one adult who is certified in First-Aid and Child and Adult CPR/AED.
    A troop camp certification may be obtained by any registered, background checked and approved adult member of Girls Scouts, 18 years or older, and who successfully completes the required Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Troop Camp certification course(s).
  4. When overnight camping on council-owned property, at least one adult per unit must have completed the applicable, required camp certification courses.  When a Camp Supervisor is not on duty on council-owned property, a licensed troop camper and an adut certified in first aid and Child/Adult CPR/AED is required.
  5. The use of liquid fire starters of any kind is prohibited by troops at any Girl Scout activity.
  6. Adults who have completed the campfires and pressurized fuels training may use or supervise the use of pressurized fuel lanterns and stoves at a Girl Scout activity.
  7. Troops must obtain permission from the Camping Services department for troop camping experiences on non-council-owned sites, except for overnight backyard camping.
  8. All Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri-owned camp properties are closed during Modern Firearms Deer Hunting Season (including Youth Portion) and special managed hunts sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Outdoor program activities including camping on non-Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri-owned property are restricted in areas that may be impacted by these hunts. Applications by troops for camping on non-council-owned property during hunting season will be considered only if the site is in an area where these hunts do not take place.

IX.  Trips

  1. Any daytime activity away from a regular troop meeting time and place is considered a day trip. The Neighborhood Manager must be informed before troops travel outside the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri area.
  2. A Girl Scout Daisy troop may participate in an occasional overnight camping/trip experience, with a registered adult leader and a parent/guardian for each Girl Scout Daisy.
  3. Girl Scout Brownie troops are limited to domestic trips of no more than two nights and three days, while Junior troops are limited to domestic trips of no more than four nights and five days.
  4. Girl Scout Cadette, Senior and Ambassador troops may take extended trips and international trips.
  5. Backyard camping and non-camping overnights at places such as the local YWCA/YMCA, churches, schools, leader’s home, etc., do not require permission from Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Staff, but the Neighborhood Manager must be informed.
  6. When planning a trip, sufficient space must be reserved so that each girl has her own bed.
  7. Troops must obtain permission from the Troop Support Coordinator for all troop trips of two or more nights.
  8. The use of 15-passenger vans, at any time, is prohibited by Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.
  9. All contracts must be approved in writing by designated Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Officials.

X.   Community Events

Girls may participate in community events such as parades, city observances, etc., but shall not take part in political or controversial parades, demonstrations or similar events or in any activities that contravene the laws governing tax-exempt organizations. The use of the “Girl Scouts” name in other community fundraising activities (i.e. walks, runs) is prohibited.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Service Center

The Eastern Missouri Service Center serves as the base of operations for Council staff, but is much more! At the Service Center, girls and adults can purchase Girl Scout uniform components, insignia and badges, talk to experienced staff about resources and ideas for troop activities and attend programs, meetings and training courses.

Directions: The Service Center is located near Page Avenue, between I-270 and Lindbergh Blvd. From Page, go north on Ball Drive one-half mile to 2300 Ball Drive. The building is on the right (east) side of Ball Drive. Public parking is available in front of the building.

Council Address:
Girl Scout Service Center
2300 Ball Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63146

If you are sending in a payment to Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, use the following address:

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri
PO Box 795226
St. Louis, MO 63179-0795

Service Center Office Hours:
Monday-Friday
8:30 am - 5 pm

Service Center Phone Numbers:
314.592.2300 or 800.727.4475

Service Center Fax:
314.890.0646

Answer Center:
314.400.4600

Girl Scout Shop:
314.592.2378

Emerson Resource Center:
314.592.2360

Contacting Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri

Emailing the Service Center
General questions and requests should be directed to answercenter@girlscoutsem.org. All emails directed to this address will receive a response within 48 hours. You can email Council staff by using the person’s first initial and last name (no spaces) @girlscoutsem.org. For a list of our staff with their email addresses and phone numbers, visit our staff directory.

Calling the Service Center
Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri has a receptionist to answer all incoming calls during regular business hours. After business hours, you may leave a detailed voice message. The main number, 314.592.2300, may also be used for after-hours or weekend emergency use.

Calling the Answer Center
Need answers or information about a Girl Scout activity or process? Do you have a question about an activity or event registration? We are here for you! Speak directly to a customer care specialist during regular business hours. Extended hours are available during high-volume months.

Marvelous Mentoring Facebook Group
This group is hosted by Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri for new and seasoned Eastern Missouri volunteers to support one another, share ideas, ask and answer questions or just give words of encouragement! This site is not to be used for personal promotional purposes, money earning or other commerce-related activities. While Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri staff does monitor this group daily to ensure it is being used in accordance with its purpose, we strongly encourage volunteers to take the lead by helping each other within the group. Join us at facebook.com/groups/marvelousmentoring.

E-blast
Registered volunteers automatically receive the Council e-blast each month. Make sure to read the monthly e-blast and stay up-to-date on upcoming events, learning opportunities and girl programs.

Visiting Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri

Council Shop
The Eastern Missouri Girl Scout shop is your one-stop shop for all your Girl Scout supplies and gifts. The Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri shop carries girls’ and adults’ uniforms, program publications, awards, insignia, camping items, gifts, fun activity patches and merchandise exclusive to Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. Most merchandise are official GSUSA-licensed products.

If you are unable to visit the shop in person, the e-commerce shop located at girlscoutshop.com/shop is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! The online shop highlights all the current items, plus clearance and sale merchandise for great bargains! Ordering is fast, easy and secure.

Orders filled at Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri will generally be processed and mailed within two working days of receipt; however, if an online order is filled by GSUSA, please allow up to two weeks during peak periods, typically spring and fall months. Shipping charges will be applied to all orders. Call the shop at 314.592.2378 or check the website for shop hours.


Berges Family Girl Scout Program Center
The Berges Family Girl Scout Program Center, located next door to the Service Center, is a 6,500-square foot space used to house programs that invite rural, suburban and urban girls of all ages to interact and participate in premier activities and events, including many delivered through partnerships with businesses and community organizations.

This facility incorporates a demonstration kitchen, science area, robotics lab, lounge space and hospitality room.

The Program Center exemplifies the community’s dedication to the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Learn more about girl programs at girlscoutsem.org.

The space was funded by a transformative investment from the Berges Family Foundation and was designed with input from community members and volunteers.


Computer Resource Room
The Computer Resource Room is available by reservation to troops and volunteers for various uses, including work on badges and technology projects, online registration for events and membership, Council training, data entry of Product Program orders and tracking and management of historical and archival materials owned by Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. Anyone using a computer must sign a User Agreement and girl-to-adult ratios must be met as defined in the Safety Activity Checkpoints. The 12 computers in the computer room are available by reservation only during the hours the Girl Scout Shop is open.

Reservations can be made by calling the Answer Center at 314.400.4600 or by email at answercenter@girlscoutsem.org. When making your reservation, please specify the activity for which you will be using the room, and if you anticipate needing support from Council staff during that time.

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