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Chapter 6.2: Council Policies and Standards

Council Volunteer Policies

Approved by the Board of Directors on April 14, 2012

 

By the terms of its charter, Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains, Inc. and all its members are required to adhere to the policies of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. as stated in Volunteer Essentials and are guided by the standards of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. as stated in Volunteer Essentials and Safety Activity Checkpoints.

A policy is an established, binding course of action to be followed. A policy states what must be done and is binding on those whom it affects. Policies are established by the Board   of Directors and remain in force until specifically repealed or revised.

A standard is an established level of quality or achievement for measuring and judging a council’s performance in delivering Girl Scout program to girls. Council standards are established by the Board of Directors and remain in force until specifically repealed or revised.

I.          Adult Leadership Roles

Policy: All adult volunteers, except those adults working as temporary advisors or consultants, shall be registered members of the Girl Scout Movement and shall individually pay the applicable membership dues.

Policy: At least two (2) adults are required to register as the leadership team with each group and be present at every group meeting and activity.  At least one of the registered adults must be female, not related to the other registered adults, and must be present at every group meeting and activity. 

Standard: Girl Scout groups should have an active committee of registered adult members who provide support and continuity to the group. 

 

II.          Camping

Policy: At least one person involved in a group’s outdoor fire-building, cooking, and/or overnight activities must have completed the appropriate learning opportunity provided by the Council or another approved organization.

 

III.          Child Abuse

Policy: Any act of child abuse and/or neglect or sexual exploitation that includes, but is not limited to, physical, sexual or emotional abuse and/or neglect by any volunteer, male or female, against any girl member is prohibited.

Policy: Volunteers shall report any good faith suspicion or belief of child abuse, neglect, or sexual exploitation.  This reporting responsibility is personal to the volunteer and may not be abdicated to someone else.

In Texas, such reports must be made to state or local law enforcement authorities or to the Texas Abuse Hotline (1-800-252-5400 or www.txabusehotline.org). In Oklahoma, reports must be made to local law enforcement or to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (1-800-522-3511 or www.okdhs.org).  A volunteer making such a report must also notify the Council.

If the conduct occurred during a Girl Scout activity, the volunteer must immediately notify the Council and file an incident report.

 

IV.          First Aid

Policy: A currently certified First Aider must be present at every group meeting and activity.

 

V.          Harassment

Policy: The Council is committed to an environment and climate in which relationships are characterized by dignity, respect, courtesy, and equitable treatment. It is the policy of the organization to provide all volunteers with an environment free from all forms of unlawful or unwelcome harassment, including implied or expressed forms of sexual harassment.

The Council expressly prohibits any form of harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability or genetic information.  Any act of harassment by any volunteer, male or female, against another volunteer, employee, or girl member of the same or opposite sex is prohibited.

Any volunteer who feels that she/he has been subjected to conduct prohibited by this policy must immediately report the incident to the volunteer supervisor or an employed staff member and must complete an incident report.

 

VI.          Insurance Coverage

Policy: All girls and adults who are registered members are covered by the Basic Girl Scout Activity Plan (accident insurance only) for all approved Girl Scout activities, except for overnights of more than two nights, or three nights if one of the days is an official federal holiday.

•       For a trip lasting more than two nights, or three nights if one of the days is an official federal holiday, a group must purchase, through the Council, additional accident or accident/illness insurance.

•       For any activity at the council, regional or Service Unit level, accident coverage must be purchased through the Council for non‐member participants.

 

VII.          Medication

Policy: Prescriptions and/or over the counter medications must be in the original container, carefully labeled with the girl’s name and dosage, and must be accompanied by written instruction from a custodial parent, legal guardian or a physician.

Policy: Prescriptions and/or over the counter medications will be administered to a girl by, or in the presence of, the responsible adult and only with written permission from, and in accordance with, the written instructions of a custodial parent, legal guardian or a physician.

Standard: Some individual girls may carry and administer their own medications, which must be administered in the presence of the responsible adult as per the written instruction of a custodial parent, legal guardian or a physician.

Policy: The responsible adult must document each dose of medication administered, showing the child’s name, the name of the medicine, date, time, and amount administered, as well as the name of the person administering the medication. The record must be kept at least one year.

 

VIII.          Membership/Group Organization

Policy: Membership shall be extended to all girls, grades K-12, regardless of socio-economic status, racial, ethnic, cultural or religious background or disability.

Policy: To register a group, there must be at least 5 girls registering from more than one family. Exceptions may be made in extenuating circumstances due to the girl population of the area. This decision will be made by the CEO or designee.

Standard: Girls participate in groupings large enough to provide girl-led, hands-on, and  cooperative learning experiences and small enough to allow for the development of the individual girls. It is recommended that the group sizes be as follows:

 

·        Daisy Girl Scouts

5‐15 girls

·        Brownie Girl Scouts

10‐25 girls

·        Junior Girl Scouts

10‐30 girls

·        Cadette Girl Scouts

5‐30 girls

·        Senior Girl Scouts

5‐30 girls

·        Ambassador Girl Scouts

5-30 girls

 

IX.          MoneyEarning/Money Management

Policy: All money-earning activities, other than Council-sponsored product sales, must be approved in writing by authorized council personnel. 

Policy: Money raised through money-earning activities must be used to benefit the group.  Keeping individual accounts for each girl is not allowed.

Standard: Group money‐earning activities must not conflict with United Way campaigns.

Policy: Groups must have a bank account.

Policy: Group bank accounts must have at least two (2) authorized signers, not from the same family, who are registered Girl Scout adults, and be held in the name of Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains, Inc., Group # ______.

Policy: Multi-grade-level groups will have only one bank account.

Policy: All charges incurred by the group bank account are the responsibility of the signers on the account, not the Council.

Policy: With the exception of non-edible items made by the girls, only Council-sponsored products may be sold.  Demonstration parties for a product or business, raffles, items for resale, and edible products are not permitted to be sold.

Policy: Council-sponsored products may not be sold on the Internet.

Policy: Groups must participate in the Council cookie program and sale each year before asking for approval for additional money-earning projects, except in the case of a new group registering after the cookie program and sale has ended.

Policy: No group money‐earning activity will be conducted during Council-sponsored product sales.

Policy: Individually registered girl members who participate in Council-sponsored Product Sales are eligible for individual girl recognitions but are not eligible for monetary rewards.

Policy: All money and other assets raised, earned, or received in the name of and for the benefit of Girl Scouting must be authorized by the Council and used for the purposes of Girl Scouting.  Such monies and other assets become the property of the Council and are not the property of individual girls, groups, Service Units or regions.

Policy: All donations of $100.00 or more intended for specific groups or Service Units must be made to the Council.  Such donations will be documented; then the total donation will be disbursed to the designated group or Service Unit as donor-restricted funds.

Policy: Each group and Service Unit must submit an Annual Financial Report showing income, expenses, name of the bank, account number, and year-end balance.  The balance should not exceed $1000, with the exception of funds intended for a long-term project or trip.  A copy of the most current bank statement must be attached to the Annual Financial Report.

Policy: If a Service Unit has accumulated funds, a bank account must be established and be held in the name of “Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains, Inc., (name of service unit)”.

Policy: Service Unit bank accounts must have at least three (3) authorized signers, not from the same family, who are registered Girl Scout adults.

Standard: The Service Unit team decides on the use of funds in order to benefit all girls in the Service Unit and must follow Council procedures for the use of Service Unit monies.

Policy: Program supplies, the Annual Financial Report, the final bank statement, and a check for the final balance from retired groups must be turned over to authorized council personnel within two weeks of a leader’s resignation.

 

X.          Overnight Trips

Policy: Trips overnight, or longer, to a site other than a Council facility, the group’s regular meeting place, or the home of an adult registered with the group, must be approved in writing by authorized Council personnel.

Policy: Safety activity checkpoints for all trip activities must be followed.

 

XI.          Parental Permission

Policy: Each girl must have written permission from a custodial parent or legal guardian to join Girl Scouting.

Policy: Each girl must have written permission from a custodial parent or legal guardian to participate in an activity away from the group’s regular meeting place.

Policy: Each girl must have written permission from a custodial parent or legal guardian to participate in group money‐earning activities, including Council‐sponsored product sales.

Policy: Each girl must have written permission from a custodial parent or legal guardian to participate in any discussion or activity dealing with topics that are likely to be considered sensitive.  Sufficient formation regarding these discussions or activities must be made available to the custodial parent or legal guardian so they can make an informed decision about the child’s participation.

 

XII.          Program Events

Policy: All girl program events must be approved in writing by authorized council personnel and must follow Council procedures.

Policy: The Event Coordinator for girl program events is responsible for collecting fees, paying expenses, and submitting required reports.

 

XIII.          Properties

Firearms

Policy: Firearms and other weapons, hunting, and fireworks are not permitted on any Council property except as expressly authorized in writing by the CEO or designee.

New Physical Assets

Policy: Building structures of any kind, or other permanent features, which are proposed to

be installed at, or on, any Council property must be in keeping with the current plan for that

property and must be approved by the Board of Directors.

Smoking

Policy: Smoking and the use of other tobacco products are only permitted outside buildings

in designated smoking areas. 

Standard: Adults are strongly discouraged from smoking or using other tobacco products in

the presence of girls.

Standard: Registered adult members should not smoke in the presence of girls.

Use/Care of Facilities

Policy: Groups using Council facilities such as Scout Houses, camps, or offices, or council

equipment, are responsible for their proper care and will be held financially accountable for

loss, damage, repair, and replacement.

Policy: The meeting rooms and activity areas of the Council’s offices are intended to

provide readily available meeting areas for Council business such as Board meetings,

committee meetings, adult learning opportunities, Council‐sponsored program events,

staff meetings, etc.  The CEO or designee has the authority to make temporary

exceptions for other uses.

Policy: Use of Council facilities by outside organizations must be approved in writing by the

CEO or designee.

Retaliation

Policy: Retaliation against a volunteer for a good-faith report of a policy violation is prohibited.

 

XIV.          Transportation

Policy: Individuals operating motor vehicles transporting girls must be at least 21 years of age and be properly licensed for the vehicles.

Policy: A motor vehicle used for transporting girls and/or Girl Scout equipment, or being used to conduct Girl Scout business, must be properly registered and the driver must be insured in accordance with applicable state law.

Policy: Vehicles must be used for their intended purpose. Trucks and other similar type vehicles must not be used to transport people in the area designed for cargo.

Policy: The number of passengers must not exceed the intended passenger limits of the vehicle. Passengers must have and use their own individual seat belt.  Applicable state statues regarding child safety seats must be followed.

Policy: Use of 15 passenger vans to transport girls is not permitted.

Policy: Drivers must put safety first whenever driving.  While driving, drivers should not make/receive cell phone calls unless using a hands free device.  Drivers are prohibited from using other cell phone features including text messaging, browsing the Internet, reading or sending emails, and playing games.

 

XV.          Volunteer Management

Discrimination Prohibited

Policy: There shall be no discrimination in the recruitment, selection, placement, appointment, learning opportunity, retention, and recognition of adult volunteers on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, disability, age, or national origin.

Selection and Appointment

Policy: Every adult volunteer shall be selected and appointed on the basis of interest, ability to perform the position, willingness to participate in adult learning, and any other factors deemed appropriate by the Council.  Appointment shall be made by authorized Council personnel.

Standard: Reasonable efforts will be made to place volunteers in positions that meet both their needs and the needs of the Council. In instances where this is not possible, the needs of the Council will take precedence over the needs of the individual.

Application

Policy: Each applicant for a volunteer position is required to complete an application form, and authorize a criminal background check. The applicant will be interviewed before an appointment is made.

Criminal Background Checks

Policy: If an applicant or current volunteer has been a party to any misdemeanor or felony criminal matter (other than a minor traffic safety violation for which no arrest was made) in which he/she was convicted, served probation, participated in deferred adjudication or other program to avoid a conviction, or made restitution or participated in pre-trial diversion or other program to avoid prosecution, the following shall apply:

1.      For crimes against children, offenses against persons, offenses against the family, crimes involving weapons, arson, any violent crime or drug‐related offense other than as provided in Section 2, that person will not be allowed to serve in any capacity.

2.      For a first offense DWI, DUI or possession of marijuana under two ounces, if it has been five years or more since the date of disposition, then the decision whether to allow service shall be within the absolute and exclusive discretion of the Chief Executive Officer or designee. If there is more than one offense, that person shall not be allowed to serve in any capacity.

3.      For theft, fraud, and forgery offenses greater than $500.00, if it has been less than 5 years since the date of the disposition, that person will not be allowed to serve in any capacity.

4.      For any other criminal offense, regardless of whether it is classified as a felony or as a misdemeanor, except traffic violations classified as Class C misdemeanors, that person shall have his or her case reviewed by the Council on a case‐by‐case basis. The decision whether to allow service shall be within the absolute and exclusive discretion of the Chief Executive Officer or designee.

5.     If charges are pending related to any criminal offense other than traffic violations classified as Class C misdemeanors, involvement with the Council as a volunteer will not be allowed or will be temporarily suspended pending disposition of the case.

Contest of Criminal History Report

Policy: Any applicant or volunteer who disputes and desires to contest information that appears on the criminal history report provided to the Council is responsible for taking any action necessary to contest or correct the report.  Until such time as a revised report acceptable to the Council has been provided, the individual will not be allowed to volunteer.  The council shall have no liability to any person for the information contained in such reports or for its actions taken in reliance upon such reports.

Continued Service/Criminal Background Checks

Policy: Each volunteer, as a condition of continued service, consents to a periodic review of his or her criminal background. Upon request by the Council, a volunteer shall give written authorization for a criminal background check.

Duty to Report

Policy: Volunteers must immediately notify the Council if they are arrested, charged, indicted, convicted, receive deferred adjudication, or plead nolo contendere to any misdemeanor or felony other than traffic violations classified as Class C misdemeanors. Involvement with the Council as a volunteer will not be allowed or will be temporarily suspended pending disposition. 

Learning Opportunities

Policy: Volunteers must complete an orientation pertinent to their position.

Policy: Each new leader/advisor and at least one assistant leader/advisor are required to complete an orientation before meeting with the group for the first time.

Policy: Each group must have volunteers designated to complete additional learning opportunities as required for certain activities. These learning opportunities may include, but are not limited to, First Aid/CPR, product sales, outdoor activities, water‐related activities, and high‐risk activities.

Standard: At least one adult member of the group is highly encouraged to complete a Leadership Essentials/Journey learning opportunity.

Policy: Adult learning opportunities and an annual update are required for the following volunteer positions:  Adult Learning Facilitators, Day/Twilight Camp Directors, Product Sales Managers, Service Unit Managers, Service Team Members, and Event Coordinators.

Recognition

Policy: Outstanding service to Girl Scouting will be recognized by the Council.

Feedback

Policy: Operational volunteers are to receive on‐going feedback concerning job performance based upon the position description.

Performance Review

Policy: A performance review is to be conducted for every operational volunteer. Verbal or written reviews may be used. 

Reappointment

Policy: After completion of a satisfactory performance review and mutual acceptance of position accountabilities, expectations, and a time commitment, each operational volunteer shall receive confirmation of re‐appointment to his or her position. Confirmation can be verbal or written.

Conflict Resolution

Policy: The council will maintain conflict resolution procedures for volunteers.

Resignation

Policy: Any volunteer may resign from her or his position upon written notification to the person to whom the volunteer is accountable.  Volunteers are encouraged to provide as much advance notice as possible. 

Release

Policy: The council may release a volunteer for any reason from her or his position including but not limited to restructuring of volunteer positions, the elimination of the volunteer position in which a person serves, the inability or failure to complete the requirements of the position, the refusal to comply with council or Girl Scouts of the USA policies, the refusal to support the mission and values of the organization and the council goals, or for any other reason deemed to be in the Council’s best interest.

Policy: Adults engaging in the following behaviors will be released from acting in an official Girl Scout capacity:

·        Possession, sale or use of illegal drugs.

·        Drinking or being under the influence of alcohol during Girl Scout activities where girls are present.

·        Misuse of any prescribed or over‐the‐counter drugs at any Girl Scout activity.

·        Child abuse and/or neglect.

·        Possession of firearms, other weapons, or ammunition during Girl Scout activities.

·         Misuse of council monies which include, but are not limited to, group funds, Girl Scout product sales receipts, program event fees, or Service Unit funds.

 

XVI.          Water-Related/Other High Risk Activities

Policy: Water-related activities and other high-risk activities must be conducted in accordance with the most current edition of Safety Activity Checkpoints.  Before planning or engaging in activities not listed in Safety Activity Checkpoints, written council approval must be obtained.