A new membership year means fun, new adventures and activities for girls. Whether you’re a new troop leader or a more experienced one, there are always new things to be learned as your girls discover the world around them and embrace their inner go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader. Maybe they want to backpack through Yosemite or perhaps they’d like to learn how to kayak? Or maybe they want to engage in a meaningful Take Action project? No matter what inspires your girls, Girl Scouts has two valuable online resources, Volunteer Essentials and the Safety Activity Checkpoints to support you on your troop leading adventure, so your girls can have the time of their lives.

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Volunteer Essentials

The Volunteer Essentials is a great resource for all of your questions related to Girl Scouting. We call it the encyclopedia of Girl Scout volunteering, because it really has everything, like guidelines for transporting girls, where to place badges and patches on girls’ uniforms, how to open up your troop banking account, how to report an accident, and how to reserve a Girl Scout property. This guide is fully digital, searchable, and printable for your convenience.  On top of that, Volunteer Essentials is updated periodically throughout the year, so you’ll have the most up-to-date information at your fingertips.

Safety Activity Checkpoints

Another useful resource to help you and your girls plan your next great adventure are the Safety Activity Checkpoints. The Checkpoints offer individual activity-specific guides with tips on what gear to bring, what supplies you’ll need, what appropriate girl-to-adult ratios are for each activity, any age limitations that might exist for a particular activity, websites to check out for more information on the activity, how to include and support girls with disabilities, and whether or not a Trip and High Adventure Approval Form is required. The Safety Activity Checkpoints are revisited and updated every year with new activities being added—so your girls will always have a never-ending pool of opportunities to choose from. Some of our newest additions include stand-up paddle boarding, shooting sports, indoor trampoline parks, indoor skydiving, vaulting on horseback, recreational tree climbing, and ziplining. Trust me, with over 50 Safety Activity Checkpoints, your girls will definitely find inspiration for their next adventure!

Pro Tip: The new Introduction to Safety Activity Checkpoints also provides basic information that you’ll need for any activity, like communicating with parents, keeping plans girl-led, and arranging transportation.

Whether you’re planning an arts & crafts activity for your next troop meeting or a high adventure celebration, don’t forget to check out Volunteer Essentials and Safety Activity Checkpoints to ensure your event is a success. When in doubt, feel free to contact insurance@gsnorcal.org for any questions regarding Volunteer Essentials and travel@gsnorcal.org for any questions regarding Safety Activity Checkpoints. Have fun, and stay safe!

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MaryHolzheimerMary Holzheimer—Mary is the Director of Risk Management and Dispute Resolution for Girl Scouts of Northern California. Formerly she was Lead Director of Volunteer Resources. Mary has a passion for all-things Girl Scouting and cherishes her fond memories of the wonderful years she spent as a troop leader. (Shout out to former Troop 32468!) She has tremendous respect and appreciation for our troop leaders and the role they play in their girls’ lives and has seen first-hand how girls thrive when they’re involved in Girl Scouts! When she’s not editing the Volunteer Essentials or signing Girl Scout contracts, Mary can be found reading, traveling or working on her tennis game.

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