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volunteerresources

Online Support for Volunteers

Welcome to the great adventure of Girl Scouting! Thanks to volunteers like you, generations of girls are learning to be leaders in their community and around the world. Below are links to a few of the most important resources you’ll need to inspire tomorrow’s leaders. Visit our Forms and Documents page for more documents and information.


Volunteer Resources

Volunteer Essentials
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Volunteer Essentials
Volunteer Essentials is just that – an essential guide to all things   volunteering. Think of it as your Girl Scouts encyclopedia. All the legal, procedure, and policy guidelines are outlined here for you in one handy document. Get a print copy from your service unit!

View the Volunteer Essentials handbook.

Volunteer Toolkit (VTK)

 

 

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Volunteer Toolkit (VTK)
The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a digital resource that supports troop leaders and co-leaders, making the process of running a troop easier and more efficient.

 

Through the Volunteer Toolkit, troop leaders can:

  • Plan the troop’s calendar year.
  • Email parents with one click.
  • View the troop roster, renew girls’ membership, and update girls' contact information.
  • View Daisy through Ambassador Journeys and badges (to plan for troop meetings), including prepopulated tracks for younger and older Multi-Level troop groups (K–5 and 6–12).
  • Customize meetings by troop year with other badge and Journey options.
  • Explore individual meeting plans that show a breakdown of every meeting, including a list of materials needed and editable time allotments for each activity within a meeting.
  • Record girls’ attendance at meetings and their badge and Journey achievements.
  • Add council or custom troop events to the troop’s calendar.
  • Enter the troop’s finances (depending on the council’s process).
  • Easily locate resources both national and local council resources, such as Safety Activity Checkpoints.

Volunteer Toolkit FAQs & Login Instructions
Go Digital - Volunteer Toolkit Webinar Replay
Having trouble? Contact Customer Care.


What About Parents?

  • Parents can now access the Volunteer Toolkit to see what their girl’s troop or group is doing (e.g, meeting information and which badges and Journeys she is working on).
  • Parents can also view the troop’s finances (depending on the council’s process).

Log in today! Click on My GS in the upper right-hand corner to get started.

Safety Activity Checkpoints
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Safety Activity Checkpoints
From archery, to hayrides, to skateboarding, we have a convenient checklist for you to follow to make sure girls have fun and stay safe at the same time. Safety Activity Checkpoints are lists of all the things for you to remember (and check off) when preparing for an activity with the girls in your troop.

View Safety Activity Checkpoints.

2018 Adult Conference
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Adult Conference - October 5 - 7, 2018
A volunteer-led event for registered adults to spend the weekend (or Saturday only) at Camp Libbey. Participants will choose from a variety of sessions, spend time networking with other volunteers, learn new skills, discover opportunities available at camp and have a great time!

Questions? Need a registration packet? Contact the Customer Care Team at 888.350.5090 or customerservice@gswo.org

Download the 2018 Adult Conference flier

Short and Snappy
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Short and Snappy 
A Short and Snappy is a great, in-person learning opportunity! Designed for service unit meetings or other group get-togethers, it is a facilitated discussion and guide on a specific topic. Check out the topics below and be sure to check with your service unit to find out what may be planned for leaders in your area!

Girl Led Planning
Start Your Girl Scout Year Off Right
Troop Record Keeping
Troop Money Earnng
Ceremonies
Volunteer Appreciation

Support Team
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Support Team
We’re here to provide you with local support, learning opportunities, and advice. Never hesitate to reach out and ask for help! A team of volunteers and staff are available to answer questions about all things Girl Scouting. Contact your Service Team, or call our Customer Care Hotline at 888.350.5090.

View our Staff Directory.

Volunteer Learning
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Volunteer Learning
Depending upon your position, there are a variety of required trainings you’ll need to complete right away. We also offer enrichment opportunities throughout the year that help you hone your skills. 

Learn more and sign up for Girl Scouts Volunteer Learning

Forms and Documents
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Forms and Documents
To make it easier for you, we've put all of our forms and documents in one place.

Visit our Forms and Documents page for more documents and information.

GSWO Blog
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The GSWO Blog
The purpose of this blog is to support volunteers as they implement the Girl Scout Leadership Experience with girls. We’ll offer hands on activities to try with girls, tips and tricks to a support your work, and links to other helpful resources.

Visit the GSWO Blog

GSWO Volunteer Support Facebook Group
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GSWO Volunteer Support Facebook Group
This GWO Volunteer Support Facebook group is a fun, friendly community where volunteers can share their passion for Girl Scouts and support one another. It is also a place where Girl Scouts of Western Ohio can interact with our dedicated volunteers!

This Facebook group is monitored Monday to Friday during business hours and to a limited extent during weekday evenings and Saturdays. This group is not monitored on Sundays or holidays.

Request to Join the Facebook Group

 

Girl Scout Traditions

Traditions are an important part of Girl Scouts. They give Girl Scouts a sense of history—and inspire them to be the best they can be.

Sharing traditions with millions of Girl Scouts—and the huge network of Girl Scout alums who came before them—helps remind girls they belong to a big, powerful sisterhood.

Juliette Gordon Low
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Juliette Gordon Low had a dream.

In March 1912, when she brought that first group of girls together in Savannah, Georgia, she wanted them to explore new possibilities and the wonders of the world around them—and she wanted them to do it together.

Along with Juliette Gordon Low, also known as “Daisy,” these first Girl Scouts blazed trails and redefined what was possible for themselves and for girls everywhere. They played basketball. They hiked, swam, and camped. They learned to tell time by the stars. And most importantly, they shared a sense of adventure and a belief that they could do anything. And just like Girl Scouts do across the country and around the globe today, they offered a helping hand to those in need and worked together to improve their corner of the world.

Since the founding of the Girl Scout Movement more than a century ago, Daisy's small circle of girls has grown to include nearly 2 million girl members and more than 50 million Girl Scout alums—united across the decades by a spirit of lifelong friendship and shared adventure and the desire to do big things to make the world a better place.

Read more about Juliette Gordon Low and Girl Scout history.

Badges
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Badges
Girl Scout awards and badges are a great way for a girl to explore her interests and learn new skills—and to remember every adventure and show the world what she’s accomplished.

What is she passionate about? Does she dream of making her own movie, cooking food from a different country, or going geocaching? Sleeping under the stars, writing a book of short stories, or planting a garden?

Or maybe she wants to invent something new, paint a masterpiece, or learn about endangered wildlife. Star in a play, design a website, or go kayaking. Even turn her bedroom into a jungle, run a successful business, or go on an amazing trip.

Well guess what? At Girl Scouts, she can do all that and more, and earn Girl Scout badges as she goes!

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Legacy Badges

A cornerstone of Girl Scouting, the seven legacy badges build on over 100 years of Girl Scout history. Each of these badges (Artist, Athlete, Citizen, Cook, First Aid, Girl Scout Way, and Naturalist) is available at five levels of Girl Scouting, from Brownie to Ambassador.

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Badge Explorer

Get all the latest details and shop links for every topic and grade level in the Award and Badge Explorer

Uniforms
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Uniforms
For over a century, Girl Scouts have proudly worn distinctive uniforms that symbolize the high ideals for which the organization stands.

Girls want to look—and feel—their best when representing Girl Scouts. And now they can, with uniform options that are in step with today's trends and active lifestyles.

Our new unified look keeps the iconic elements of the classic Girl Scout uniform, but adds a few modern twists.

Girl Scouts at each level now wear one required element (tunic, sash, or vest) to display official pins and awards. Girls can mix and match pieces from the official Girl Scout collection to complete the uniform, or add items from their own wardrobes.

Shop uniforms, badges, pins, and more.

Ceremonies
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Ceremonies
Here are a few other popular traditions for Girl Scouts to enjoy.

Ceremonies honoring Founder's Day, which is celebrated on Juliette Gordon Low's birthday, are another valued Girl Scout tradition. They highlight the important role Juliette played in the development of the Girl Scout movement in the United States. Learn more about other Girl Scout ceremonies.

  • Girl Scout Sign: Girl Scouts make the Girl Scout sign—raising three fingers of the right hand with the thumb holding down the pinky—when they say the Girl Scout Promise. The three fingers represent the three parts of the Promise.
  • Motto: The Girl Scout motto is "Be prepared." In the 1947 Girl Scout Handbook, the motto was explained this way: "A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency." The same holds true today.
  • Slogan: The Girl Scout slogan, which has been used since 1912, is "Do a good turn daily." The slogan is a reminder of the many ways girls can contribute positively to the lives of others.
  • Greeting: Girl Scouts can greet one another with the Girl Scout handshake, used by Girl Scouts and Girl Guides all over the world. The handshake is made by shaking hands with the left hand and making the Girl Scout sign with the right. The left hand is nearest to the heart and signifies friendship.
  • Friendship Circle: Representing the unbroken chain of friendship among Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world, the Friendship Circle involves Girl Scouts standing in a circle, crossing their right arms over their left, and clasping hands with their friends on both sides. Everyone then makes a silent wish as a friendship squeeze is passed from hand to hand around the circle.
  • SWAPS: Girl Scouts often make small tokens of friendship to exchange with the Girl Scouts they meet while traveling. These little gifts are called ”SWAPS,” which stands for “Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere.”
Girl Scout Days
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Girl Scout Days
Special Days in Girl Scouting—All Year Long!

Throughout the year, girls and adults celebrate some very special days in Girl Scouting.

  • Juliette Gordon Low's birthday or Founder's Day, October 31, marks the birth in 1860 of Girl Scouts of the USA founder Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia.
  • World Thinking Day, February 22, celebrates the birthdays of Girl Guide/Girl Scout founder Robert, Lord Baden-Powell (1857–1941) and World Chief Guide Olave, Lady Baden-Powell (1889–1977). The day is also a time to donate funds to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund.
  • Girl Scouts’ birthday, March 12, commemorates the day in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low officially registered the organization's first 18 girl members in Savannah, Georgia.
  • Girl Scout Week is celebrated each March, starting with Girl Scout Sunday and ending with Girl Scout Sabbath on a Saturday, and it always includes Girl Scouts’ birthday, March 12.
  • Girl Scout Sunday and Girl Scout Sabbath give girls an opportunity to attend their place of worship and be recognized as a Girl Scout.
  • Girl Scout Leader's Day, April 22, honors all the volunteers who work as leaders and mentors in partnership with girls. On this day, girls, their families, and communities find special ways to thank their adult Girl Scout volunteers.
  • Girl Scouts’ national convention is celebrated every three years, and G.I.R.L. 2017 was held in Columbus, Ohio. We'll convene again in 2020 in Orlando, Florida. Stay tuned for details!
SWAPS
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Girl Scout SWAPS

Building Friendships One Gift at a Time

SWAPS, the tradition of Girl Scouts exchanging keepsakes, started long ago when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides first gathered for fun, song, and making new friends.


SWAPS Basics

SWAPS should:

  • Tell something about the givers or their group. (Girls may include their address or email information so others can write to them.)
  • Represent the givers' country, community, or local Girl Scout council.

Tips for SWAPS Givers

Girls should:

  • Think about the kind of SWAPS they would like to receive from someone else.
  • Try not to spend a lot of money. Consider making something from donated or recycled material.
  • Be creative, and take time to make hand-crafted SWAPS. (Include directions for making them if it is a craft project that can be replicated.)
  • Try to have one for each event participant and staff member.
  • Plan ahead so there's time to make them.
  • Make SWAPS that can be worn, used, or displayed.
  • Ask their group or service unit for help, if needed, in putting SWAPS together.
  • Make them portable. Remember, they must be carried or shipped ahead to the event, where other girls will be carrying them away.

What to Do with SWAPS

Girls can:

  • Include them with thank-you letters to sponsors and those who helped with a travel event.
  • Keep them in a scrapbook, memory box, or shadow box.
  • Use them to make a quilt or other textile project.
  • Put pins and patches on a hat or jacket.
  • Start a council best-of-SWAPS collection.

SWAPS Safety and Etiquette

Girls should:

  • Never refuse to swap with another person.
  • Swap face-to-face, especially if exchanging addresses or email information.
  • Avoid using glass or sharp objects in SWAPS.
  • Follow all Safety Activity Checkpoints guidelines.
  • Avoid using food products, unless they are individually wrapped.
Songs & Games
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Songs & Games
Girl Scout songs and games are as well-known and loved as any of the Girl Scout traditions.

 

Here are a few songs and games for you to listen to and try.

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