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Policies & Standards

Volunteers are vital to the success of Girl Scouts and we consider it essential that they be utilized in positions that provide job satisfaction and a sense of purpose, so that they can in turn help us effectively provide Girl Scout programs to girls. Every girl and adult is responsible for adhering to the policies and standards of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee and GSUSA.

Policies are mandatory, while standards offer guidance to girls and adults in the preferences and practices of Girl Scouts. The following policies and standards have been established by our board of directors. GSUSA standards are in Safety-Wise:

Affirmative Action
Selection and Placement of Adults
Sexual and Abusive Conduct
Substance Abuse
AIDS
Adult Training
Troop/Group Finances
Troop Trips
Transportation
Contracts
Contacting the Media

Affirmative Action
Policy: Equal opportunity procedures in keeping with GSUSA’s affirmative action policy and philosophy shall be used in recruitment, selection, training, placement, retention and recognition of volunteers. There shall be no discrimination against an otherwise qualified individual due to handicap or on the basis of age, race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Complete affirmative action procedures are available from your regional director or membership development manager.

Selection and Placement of Adults
Policy: Every adult volunteer in Girl Scouts must be selected on the basis of qualifications for membership, ability to perform the job and both willingness and availability to participate in training.

Policy: Candidates for volunteer positions must first complete an application form and will then be contacted for a personal interview. References will be checked and the individual will be placed accordingly.

Policy: Anyone determined by the senior management team of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee to be in a leadership position must provide authorization for a criminal background check.

Standard: Written position descriptions will be provided that accurately reflect the duties to be performed.

Standard: Volunteer performance will be reviewed annually. If it is determined that a volunteer has not performed adequately, every effort will be made to either help the volunteer improve performance or, if possible, place the volunteer in another position for which she or he is better suited. If this is not possible, the volunteer will be relieved of her or his position.

Standard: Every adult volunteer in Girl Scouts shall be protected by volunteer personnel policies and procedures, including grievance procedures. These termination and grievance procedures are available through your regional director or membership development manager.

Sexual and Abusive Conduct
Policy: Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee is committed to relationships characterized by dignity, courtesy, respect and fairness. Girl Scouts will tolerate no physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse of girl or adult members. Procedural guidelines for dealing with incidents of misconduct are available from your regional director or membership development manager.

Substance Abuse
Policy: Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs by anyone accompanying Girl Scouts on a girl or troop event or activity is prohibited.

Policy: Use of alcoholic beverages at adult events on Girl Scout property must be approved in advance by the president/chief executive officer.

Policy: All Girl Scout buildings are smoke-free.

Policy: Adults who choose to use tobacco in any form will refrain from doing so in the presence of youth. Use of tobacco products is not permitted on any Girl Scout property.

AIDS
Policy: A girl or adult may not be denied membership because of HIV or AIDS.

Adult Training
Policy: Adult training courses provide a broader understanding of Girl Scout philosophy and programs as well as enhanced knowledge and skills for volunteers. The first step for all new volunteers is orientation to the organization and to the volunteer position they will be assuming.

Policy: All registered adults responsible for conducting troop meetings are required to take orientation before their first troop meeting. Specific age level training must be taken within the first year of service.

Policy: A troop participating in troop camping, camporees or Girl Scout sponsored camping experiences must be accompanied by at least one adult who has completed the appropriate outdoor education course. This is a requirement whether the activity is on a Girl Scout property site or on private or public campgrounds.

Policy: All adults who work directly with girls are required to complete child abuse protection training.

Standard: It is recommended that all registered adults involved in troop camping complete the outdoor education course(s) appropriate for that type of camping.

Troop/Group Finances
Policy: All monies earned are considered troop/group funds and are never refunded to individual troop/group members. When a troop/group disbands, any remaining money is deposited to the Girl Scouts and held in trust for one year. If the troop/group is reactivated within one year the money will be refunded upon request by the service unit manager.

Policy: Each troop/group is responsible for financing their own troop/group program.

Policy: Adults who handle troop money (dues, product sales, etc.) are responsible for maintaining accurate and complete financial records and giving this information to their troop and the Girl Scout office.

Policy: Girl Scouts may not raise money for any other organization while in their Girl Scout capacity.

Policy: Approved troop/group money-earning projects may be conducted at any time except within two weeks prior to or during the Cookie Program, Fall Product Program or the United Way drive in your county.

Policy: Permission to conduct an approved money-earning project other than the Girl Scout Cookie Program or the Fall Product Program must be obtained from the appropriate individual.

Policy: Girl Scout Daisies shall not be involved in handling any money unless authorized by GSUSA. This includes troop dues, money-earning activities and product sales. Refer to the Girl Scout Daisy Leader Guide for more information.

Policy: Girl Scout Brownie and Junior troops may conduct one approved money-earning project per year if they have participated in the Girl Scout Cookie and Fall Product programs. No resale of commercially manufactured products by Girl Scout Brownie and Junior troops is permitted other than the Girl Scout Cookie and Fall Product programs.

Standard: Cadette and Senior Girl Scout troops may sell a commercially manufactured product according to the guidelines set by Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee. Contact the volunteer manager for further information.

Standard: The annual Cookie Program helps to underwrite Girl Scout programming and funds improvements and maintenance of camp facilities. All troops are strongly encouraged to participate.

Standard: Troops wishing to conduct approved money-earning projects must have participated in the most recent Cookie Program and Fall Product Program, if eligible.

Standard: Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee is supported by United Way, the Annual Giving campaign and family contributions. All registered adults are encouraged to support these efforts.

Troop Trips
Policy: Parent permission forms are required for any troop activity or trip that requires the girls to meet at a time or place different from the regular troop meeting. See Safety-Wise for additional information.

Policy: Trips lasting three or more nights (not including a holiday) require the troop to purchase accident insurance from GSUSA.

Policy: Forms found in the Guide for Traveling Troops must be completed if any one or more of the following conditions are met:

1) You travel more than 100 miles from the troop meeting place to a non-Council-owned site,
2) more than two nights will be spent away from home or
3) any contracts need to be signed.

Copies of the necessary forms are available in the Customer Service Resource Center.

Standard: A trip should be girl-planned and suitable to the ages of all girls participating.

Standard: Girl Scout Cadette and Senior troops may take international trips or trips outside the continental United States with the approval of the customer service manager and GSUSA. See Safety-Wise for additional information.

Transportation
Policy: Those driving vehicles for Girl Scout trips should be adults with a valid driver’s license who carry current motor vehicle insurance in compliance with state law.

Contracts
Policy: All contracts and agreements shall be approved and signed by a Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee management staff member as determined by the CEO. Contracts that may be signed by regional directors include meeting place, service unit/regional event and cookie booths. Contracts that must be sent to the office of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee include transportation, travel, hotel/ motel, facilitator, hold harmless agreements and any other contract not listed.

Contacting the Media
Standard: Girl Scouts wishing to obtain publicity for troop, service unit or association events are encouraged to directly contact the media in their community. All contact with the media in Davidson County (including web, newspapers, television and radio) must be made through the communications department of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee.

Standard: Girl Scouts are encouraged to wear uniforms or a Girl Scout t-shirt and sash when participating in Girl Scout activities.