Chapter 6.4: Permissions, Contracts, and Leasing Vehicles
Following policies and standards is an important responsibility for adults in Girl Scouting. When followed carefully, the council’s policies and standards protect you and the girls both in a physical and a legal sense.
Parental/Legal Guardian Permissions
Permissions are a tool for communicating with parents. A signed permission says that parents have been informed and that they give permission for their daughter to participate in an activity. Parental permission is necessary for the following:
· Becoming a member of Girl Scouting
· An activity away from the group meeting place; this form also contains permission for leaders or council representatives to give girls medication and to seek medical treatment in case of emergency.
· For participation in money-earning projects, including the Fall Product Sale and the Cookie Sale
· For activities that involve sensitive topics.
· For activities that present high risk to girls or for an activity not listed in Safety Activity Checkpoints for which council permission has been obtained.
The group leader should keep on file all permission forms for one year after each activity.
If an insurance claim is made, the permission form for that activity should be submitted with the insurance claim form to the council office.
Activity Information/Permission forms and High Risk Activity Information/Permission Forms are available from www.gs-top.org or any GS-TOP office.
Because of their nature, some activities require council permission. Those activities require parent permission, as well. A further discussion of some of these activities and procedures for applying for permission may be found in other areas of Volunteer Essentials.
Applications for council permission are available from www.gs-top.org or any GS-TOP office. Applications should be submitted to the appropriate staff member at any council office.
Council permission is necessary for the following:
• All overnight trips which are not at the group’s regular meeting place, at the home of a registered group adult or at a council facility. See policy for Overnight Trips.
• Money-earning projects, except Girl Scout fall product and cookie sales. See policy for Money-Earning/Money Management.
• Activities not listed in Safety Activity Checkpoints and activities which present high risk to girls. See policy for Water-Related/Other High Risk Activities.
• Activities that involve sensitive topics.
• Activities which require a contract to be signed. (See below.)
• Activities which require a waiver or release from liability to be signed. (See below.)
Contracts and Waivers
Sometimes groups want to participate in activities that involve a service by a business or another organization. Because providing services to minors is a legal risk, these businesses may want you to sign a contract. Many times these contracts contain a “waiver” or “release from liability.” Girl Scout leaders cannot sign contracts.
Only the council is a legal entity with the right to sign contracts. The Chief Executive Officer of GS-TOP is authorized to sign contracts related to the use of a service or a site.
Check with the service provider to see if they will accept our parental permission form in place of a waiver.
Leaders cannot sign any document waiving the legal rights of girls. Only parents can sign such waivers. However, parents are strongly advised against signing away their legal rights.
Please submit a copy of the contract or waiver to the staff member responsible for the area of work. Allow two weeks to process and approve the contract.
Girl Scout leaders ARE permitted to sign contracts to lease vehicles. Procedures regarding vehicle leasing are a part of the Trip Packet and are on the “If You Lease a Vehicle” flyer.
Transportation for Group Trips
Rental of 15 passenger vans is not permitted. Ask the leasing/rental companies for the 12 passenger version instead. 12 passenger vans are easier to pack and less likely to be overloaded. Always put the luggage in the van in such a way that the weight is distributed evenly and the passengers are arranged to help with that as well. If your group is renting vehicles for trips, be sure to check your personal insurance coverage to make sure it covers leased vehicles for both property damage and liability. If not, you must purchase that coverage from either the rental company or the council. If you lease a vehicle, you must have at least a million dollars worth of liability insurance. For questions about vehicle leasing, please contact your staff Program Specialist. It is also a good practice to check your own coverage for adequate liability limits when traveling with more than just your family members in the vehicles.
Forms for the permissions above are available at any council office and on the website.