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Safety

The emotional and physical safety and well-being of Girl Scouts is our top priority. Safety Activity Checkpoints is laid out in three primary sections:

  • Safety Standards and Guidelines, which apply to all Girl Scout activities;
  • Activities at a Glance, which provide a quick look at the safety standards for activities with a focus on age-appropriateness and if prior council approval is needed; and 
  • individual Safety Activity Checkpoint pages, which provide activity-specific safety measures and guidance.


 

How Many Volunteers Do I Need?

From troop meetings to camping weekends and cookie booths, adult volunteers must always be present to ensure Girl Scouts have fun and stay safe, no matter their grade level. If you are not sure about the number of adults you will need for your activity, the chart below breaks down the minimum number of volunteers needed to supervise a specific number of Girl Scouts. Troops and groups should consider the Girl Scout Leadership Experience when determining the total number of volunteers to youth members. GSEMA encourages troops to consider adding no more than 2 additional volunteers from the required minimum volunteer-to-girl safety ratios for their group’s level and activity.

Girl Scouts Volunteer-to-Girl Ratios

Note: For mixed-grade level troops (Multi-Level Troops), always use the adult-to-girl ratio for the lowest grade level in the troop. For example, if the troop consists of Daisies and Brownies, the Daisy adult-to-girl ratio should be followed. 

For more details visit the Troop Management section of Volunteer Essentials 


COVID-19 Guidelines

The health and safety of our members is always Girl Scouts’ highest priority. Girl Scouts should always make sure that your planned activity complies with all federal, state, and local government health authorities at your locations and also where the activity will take place. 

When there is a known positive case of COVID-19 at an activity where Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts (GSEMA) members were participating, a GSEMA volunteer first aider, troop leader, or other event lead organizer should complete the GSEMA COVID-19 Incident Report.

For additional information about coronavirus safety in Girl Scouts and best practices, please see page 7 of Safety Activity Checkpoints

Going Places with Girl Scouts

Ready for some adventure? Camping, overnights, and excursions are some of the most memorable experiences in Girl Scouting. Check out Going Places with Girl Scouts Overview which provides an overview of Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts travel and outdoor progression. 

What Approvals Do I Need?

For each Girl Scout attending an activity, volunteers should have an Annual Permission Form and an Activity Permission Form

Use our Emergency Action Plan worksheet to help safely plan activities with Girl Scouts, including identifying, mitigating, and responding to emergencies. 

For the group, a GSEMA Safety Approval Form and/or other Safety Activity Checkpoints may need to be satisfied. Please be sure to check the requirements for your planned activities and contact customercare@gsema.org for help with any questions. 

If guests are participating, request Non-Member Insurance coverage from GSEMA.

What Training Do I Need?

Many activities require additional safety or outdoor skills training in order to keep Girl Scouts safe and provide them with the best possible experiences. Details for required and enrichment safety courses are listed below.

Going Places with Girl Scouts

This comprehensive, 3-part series and its corresponding Going Places Journal support volunteers with progressing from local field trips to international travel with a group of Girl Scouts. It’s the starting point for all Girl Scout groups who are ready to explore together, from Daisies visiting the local park to Juniors sleeping over at a museum to Ambassadors trekking internationally, and everything in between. Complete this training via gsLearn (parts I and II are available now, part III will be released by 2023).

First Aid/CPR

GSEMA volunteers needing first aid training may either take a GSEMA-hosted course or submit qualifying licensure/certifications for reciprocity. 

GSEMA offers HSI First Aid and CPR as a blended, two-part course: an online program, and a hands-on skills session with an instructor. Both portions must be completed for certification. Certification is valid for two years, and the course fee ($75) includes an online course, a take-home resource book, keychain CPR mask, and digital certification card. Volunteers whose certification is about to expire or has expired within 30 days of a listed session for which they register, may take a Recertification course. Full or partial training scholarships are available for all first aid training sessions with GSEMA. Find a session and register

If you are a medical professional or have other first aid and CPR certification or licensure from a certifying body outside of GSEMA, you may be able to submit your licensure or certification for reciprocity. Please email customercare@gsema.org.

For first aid/CPR courses not hosted by GSEMA, we strongly recommend obtaining pre-approval by emailing us to ensure the courses meet Girl Scout safety requirements. Courses must:

  • Be provided by an approved, accredited organization
  • Include basic first aid
  • Include CPR/AED training covering adult, child, and infant
  • Conduct and evaluate CPR/AED practice hands-on in person 
Wilderness and Advanced First Aid

Become a Wilderness First Aid volunteer capable of taking girls 30 minutes or more away from medical care with this 16-hour course. MEDIC/HSI First Aid/CPR or other first-aid/CPR qualifying training is required as a prerequisite for Wilderness First Aid. Full and partial financial assistance is available. Offered each fall and spring, register here.

For Advanced First Aid, GSEMA accepts valid licensure as a Massachusetts physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, paramedic, military medic, athletic trainer, and emergency medical technician (EMT), as qualifying certification as these professions have a reasonable expectation of emergency care. Submit your valid license/registry number, including expiration date to customercare@gsema.org

Outdoor Basics, Cooking and Camping

For outdoor experiences and troop camping training requirements, see the Troop Camping page. Start your journey today with Outdoor Basics Online in gsLearn, then continue with cooking and camping in-person sessions.


Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting

Per our Volunteer Policies and Procedures, GSEMA “supports and maintains environments that are free of child abuse, including but not limited to sexual abuse, and neglect. Child abuse and neglect are defined as any recent act or failure to act which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”

Procedure for Reporting Child Abuse

If the child is in immediate harm, call 911 and follow emergency procedures on the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Emergency Procedures card (GSEMA Emergency Number: 1-800-348-7788).

If the child is not in immediate harm, document the information as thoroughly as possible on the Child Abuse Incident Report Form and submit within 24 hours of the suspected or reported abuse.