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
- Any current or former member of Girls Scouts of the USA must not be excluded in order to place new members.
- To standardize registration for all Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri-sponsored activities, girls will be considered at the next grade level on June 1.
- 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.
- Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri will implement, maintain and enforce a method for effectively evaluating the qualifications and reviewing the backgrounds of all potential volunteers. Further, in order to ensure the safety and well-being of all members, the Director of Membership 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.
- There must be at least two registered, background-checked and approved adult members present at all times when working with girls; including virtual meetings, and at least one of these adults must be a female not related by blood, marriage or partnership to the other adults.
- 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.
- 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/caregivers 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.
- 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
- Adult volunteers are expected to complete the appropriate training for their position (s) within thirty days of their training assignment in gsLearn.
- Council Trainer candidates are required to take role-related training.
- Volunteers are always encouraged to continue taking additional training courses while participating in the Girl Scout program.
Troops must obtain permission from the Senior Manager, Risk Management for all troop trips of one or more nights.
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 Operating 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 the Chief Operating Officer.
V. Troop Finances
- 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.
- Each troop must have two registered, background-checked and approved adults, not related by blood, marriage or partnership, as authorized bank account signers.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Activity Scholarship Fund, Gifts for Girls, GSEM Endowment or the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund.
VI. Troop Money-Earning
- Each troop must participate in the annual Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Cookie Program.
- All troop money-earning projects must be approved by the Neighborhood Treasurer or Neighborhood Manager if there is no Treasurer.
- 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.
- 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.
- There shall be no paid advertisement to publicize troop money-earning events.
- Adults may assist girls in their money-earning activity but shall not raise funds alone in the name of Girl Scouts.
- Girl Scout troop members, girl or adult, shall not solicit cash, prizes or awards to be given for any purpose.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Girl Scout Brownie troops are limited to camping trips of no more than three days.
- 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).
- 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 adult certified in first aid and Child/Adult CPR/AED is required.
- The use of liquid fire starters of any kind is prohibited by troops at any Girl Scout activity.
- Troops must obtain permission from the Camping Services department for troop camping experiences on non-council-owned sites, except for overnight backyard camping.
- 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.
- 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.
- A Girl Scout Daisy troop may participate in an occasional overnight camping/trip experience, with a registered adult leader and a parent/caregiver for each Girl Scout Daisy.
- 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.
- Girl Scout Cadette, Senior and Ambassador troops may take extended trips and international trips.
- 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.
- When planning a trip, sufficient space must be reserved so that each girl has her own bed.
- Troops must obtain permission from the Senior Manager of Risk Management for all troop trips of one or more nights.
- The use of 15-passenger vans, at any time, is prohibited by Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.
- 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.