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Girls_microscope_Volunteer_Essentials

Whatever your volunteer position, your hard work means girls will embark on new adventures, make friendships that last a lifetime, and deepen their connection to their community and the world. We’re calling on all members of society to help girls reach their full potential, and you’ve answered that call. So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!

Welcome to Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio (GSWO)

  • Council Chair: Victoria Nilles
  • Council CEO: Roni Luckenbill

Council Facts

  • Serves more than 36,000 girls in our council geography in 2019
  • More than 11,000 adult volunteers
  • Covers a 13,559 square mile area
  • Serves a 32-county area in western Ohio and southeastern Indiana
  • Made up of 96 service units
  • The primary method of delivery for the Girl Scout program is the troop.
  • Many girls participate in Girl Scouts through Girl Scout series, Girl Scout events, camp, and travel destinations.

Council Communication Information

Emailing Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

General questions and requests should be directed to Customer Care by email. All emails directed to this site will receive a response within 24 business hours. For a list of staff and their email addresses visit the Staff Directory.

Contacting the Regional Service Centers

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s business hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday. You can find individual addresses and phone numbers on the Council Properties page.

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s regular business hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday. Evening hours will be expanded during key peak times (Girl Scout Product Program, Early Bird, Summer Camp registration, etc.). Additional evening hours will be communicated through the council website, Facebook and via email.

GSWO Volunteer Support on Rallyhood

Meet other Girl Scout volunteers and families from across western Ohio and southeastern Indiana on Rallyhood, our all-in-one communication and collaboration platform! Share great ideas, get support from council staff, and learn from your Girl Scout sisters on Rallyhood. You'll be the first to know about Girl Scout events and opportunities when you join Rallyhood—don't miss out!

Join us online!

Girl Scout Centers

Cincinnati Girl Scout Center (Administrative Center)
4930 Cornell Rd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45242
T: 888.350.5090
F: 513.489.1417

Dayton Girl Scout Center
450 Shoup Mill Rd Dayton, Ohio 45415
T: 888.350.5090
F: 513.489.1417

Lima Girl Scout Center
1870 West Robb Ave Lima, Ohio 45805
T: 888.350.5090
F: 513.489.1417

Toledo Girl Scout Center
460 W. Dussel Dr.
Maumee, Ohio 43537
T: 888.350.5090
F: 513.489.1417

Map

Emergency Phone Number

The below number is for emergency use only. Use this number after-hours and on weekends, to report a serious accident or emergency to a council representative. If emergency services are needed (911), always call them first, before calling the council emergency number. If you have an issue while on camp property, please contact the camp ranger.

  • Councilwide: 513.619.1398

Council Shops

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio maintains three council shops at these Girl Scouts centers: Cincinnati, Dayton, and Toledo. Each shop sells Girl Scout uniforms, equipment, badges, patches, pins, and other official Girl Scout insignia as well as casual clothing, music, and accessories for both girls and volunteers. A rotating stock of new items is available throughout the year. Each Girl Scout shop maintains an inventory of the most popular Girl Scout catalog items. We can special order any items in the current Girl Scout catalog at any time.

If you are unable to visit one of the shops in person, the e-commerce shop located at girlscoutshop.com/WESTERN-OHIO-COUNCIL is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! The online shop showcases all the current items, plus clearance and sale merchandise for great bargains! Ordering is fast, easy, and secure. Orders will generally be processed and mailed within two working days of receipt; however, please allow up to two weeks during peak periods, typically spring and fall months. Shipping charges will be applied to all orders except those in the Lima area (troop numbers beginning with 2, and/or part of service units 107 and 132).

Shop hours are Tuesday - Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (closed 1:30 - 2 p.m. for lunch). All shops are closed Saturday through Monday. Check our shops page for any changes to store hours.

Girl Scout Resource Centers

Resource centers are located in each of the service centers and contain Girl Scout books, kits, or flags that are available to check out in one week intervals. For more information or to check out items, visit our resource centers page. Camp resource centers coming soon!

Payment

Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, check, or cookie dough are accepted for payment. Mail/phone/email credit card orders must be a minimum of $5.00. The online shop accepts credit cards and debit cards.

If you are sending money to Girl Scouts of Western Ohio through the US Mail, please use the following address:
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio
4930 Cornell Rd.
Cincinnati OH, 45242

We are Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts is the premier leadership organization for girls and an expert on their growth and development. We are the largest girl-serving organization in the United States and the largest member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, a sisterhood of close to 10 million girls and adults in 150 countries. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago when trailblazer Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low organized the very first Girl Scout troop in Savannah, Georgia, in 1912.

Our Mission

Girl Scouts builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

Girl Scout Promise

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God* and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

*Girl Scouts of the USA makes no attempt to define or interpret the word “God” in the Girl Scout Promise. It looks to individual members to establish for themselves the nature of their spiritual beliefs. When making the Girl Scout Promise, individuals may substitute wording appropriate to their own spiritual beliefs for the word “God.” Note: This disclaimer appears in the National Leadership Journey adult guides, but not in the girls’ books. It is included here as a reminder to you, as a volunteer, that it’s your responsibility to be sensitive to the spiritual beliefs of the girls in your group and to make sure that everyone in the group feels comfortable and included in Girl Scouting. Please feel free to share this information with girls’ families.

Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong,
and responsible for what I say and do,
and to respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place,
and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Statement

On Our Honor,
Every Person. Every Voice.

Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouts over 100 years ago as an innovative movement where all would be welcomed. We continuously strive to build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization that supports the many faces, cultures, and walks of life that proudly make up our vibrant community.

It is essential to our mission that every individual’s ideas and perspectives are sought out, heard, respected, and valued. Together, we empower girls to make the world a better place.

For more information on diversity, equity, and inclusion with girls, please visit our anti-racism page.

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience

Girl Scouts' mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. At Girl Scouts, guided by supportive adults in an inclusive, girl-led environment, girls learn to work together to plan hands-on, progressive learning experiences that are fun and develop the five Girl Scout Leadership outcomes: Development of a Positive Sense of Self, Positive Values, Challenge Seeking, Healthy Relationships, and Community Problem-Solving.

GSUSA: More than 2.5 Million Strong

We are urban, rural, and suburban. We are in schools, churches, temples, mosques, public housing, foster homes, and detention centers. We are in virtually every zip code and in 92 countries around the world. Here’s some additional facts:

  • 1.8 million girls 5 to 18 years of age
  • 14,400 Girl Scouts overseas
  • 750,000 adult volunteers
  • Over 50 million alumnae
  • 111 councils throughout the United States

At any given point in time, approximately 7 percent of girls in the U.S. are Girl Scouts, and:

  • 50 percent of women business owners were Girl Scouts
  • 73 percent of female U.S. Senators were Girl Scouts
  • 57 percent of female members of the House of Representatives were Girl Scouts
  • Virtually every female astronaut who has flown in space was a Girl Scout
  • 100% of female U.S. Secretaries of State were Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts Organizational Structure

Girl Scouts is the world’s largest organization of and for girls, currently encompassing 1.8 million girl members and 750,000 volunteers! Three core structures support all these members: the national headquarters, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, and your support team.

National Organization and Worldwide Sisterhood

The national office of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), located in New York City, employs roughly 300 employees. GSUSA is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). Visit GSUSA online, where you’ll find a wealth of resources for both girls and volunteers. Global Girl Scouting ensures that girls have increased awareness about the world, cross- cultural learning opportunities, and education on relevant global issues that may inspire them to take action to make the world a better place. Visit Global Girl Scouting online for additional information.

Since 1925, USA Girl Scouts Overseas (USAGSO), a division of Global Girl Scouting, has helped ease the transition for American families relocating overseas by offering the familiar traditions and exciting opportunities of Girl Scouting to girls abroad. USAGSO now serves thousands of American girls living overseas, as well as girls attending American or international schools. Through Global Girl Scouting, members participate in World Thinking Day on February 22, visit the four WAGGGS world centers, participate in international travel, promote global friendship and understanding by supporting the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund, and take action on global issues.

Your Council—Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

Girl Scout councils are chartered by the national office to attract and retain members in a geographic area, provide ways for girls to participate in Girl Scouting, create an environment that reflects Girl Scout values and ideals, manage volunteers’ experience with Girl Scouting, and keep girls and volunteers as safe as possible. The national office provides support materials to all councils to ensure that the Girl Scout experience is nationally consistent.

Volunteer Roles

Any adult working directly with girls in any capacity, including helping at troop meetings, driving on field trips or attending a cookie booth, must be a council staff approved volunteer and registered as a troop leader or troop assistant.

Troop Leadership Roles

Troop Leader
Troop leaders are the primary leader of girls. They plan meetings, ensure everyone’s safety and well-being and manage the troop’s business. Two approved troop volunteers must be in attendance at all times, at least one troop leader and either another troop leader or troop assistant. Girl to adult ratios vary depending on grade levels and group size. Review our safety chapter for details. Two troop leaders need to be registered with every troop.

Troop Assistant
Assistants count toward girl/adult ratio. Troop assistants aid the troop leaders by supporting troop activities or by handling specific tasks like acting as a troop treasurer/bank account signer or a driver/chaperone on field trips.

Troop Assistant - Fall Product Manager/Cookie Manager
If a troop is participating in a council product program like the Fall Product or Cookie Program, one adult must be fully approved and registered as the manager of the program. This adult will assume responsibility for the troop’s participation including managing funds, permission forms, and sale materials. Product program managers can also serve as general troop assistants.

Other Volunteer Roles

Volunteering for Girl Scouts is not restricted to leading a troop. There are a variety of volunteer positions including service unit leadership, circle volunteers, First-Aider, and providing council-wide program support through committee work or direct work with girls. All these positions require approval and membership registration.

Your Support Team

A team of volunteers and staff provides you with a network of support, learning opportunities, and advice. Your team can be found at the Girl Scout center as well as in your local community. Never hesitate to contact them, because your support team will guide and assist you in all things Girl Scouting. If you have questions about the Girl Scout program, working with girls, resources in the National Program Portfolio (National Leadership Journeys and The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting), the Volunteer Toolkit, or selling Girl Scout cookies and other products, go to your team for answers and ongoing support. You can also contact Customer Care at 888.350.5090 or by email.

Belonging to a Service Unit

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is divided into geographic sections known as service units. The service unit is the place where volunteers and staff partner to enhance the experience of the girl, volunteer and caregiver by providing support and programmatic experiences that bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to life. The service unit may provide access to council and service unit sponsored activities, volunteer enrichment opportunities, program activities for girls and opportunities for volunteers and girls to connect with one another.

Service Unit Circles

A circle is a grouping of two or more service units that work together to share access to an extended network of opportunities and support for girls, volunteers and caregivers. Circles are encouraged to share resources and opportunities for volunteer enrichment and appreciation, girl program activities and family events. 

The Service Unit Support Positions

Service Unit Chair

  • Provide leadership to the service unit and service team
  • Organize and implement service unit and service team meetings
  • Coordinate assessment, development, and management of Service Unit Annual Plan
  • Ensure ongoing communication between volunteers, families, girls and the community
  • Provide opportunities for volunteers to network and develop skills through the service unit/circle and enrichment events
  • Recognize and appreciate volunteers (informal and GSWO/GSUSA awards)
  • Ensure service unit finances are managed in accordance with GSWO policies
  • Support volunteers in conflict resolution and problem solving
  • Support Family Giving
  • Staff support from community development manager

Girl Scout Leadership Experience Chair (GSLE)

  • Promote the Girl Scout Leadership Experience by providing support to new and returning troop leaders
  • Ensure that troop leaders are aware of resources available to them (i.e. Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting, Journeys, Volunteer Toolkit)
  • Identify, coordinate and support learning opportunities at the service unit and circle level
  • Support the development of programmatic events for girls that promote girl- led, cooperative learning and learning by doing
  • Connect girls, adults and families to service unit, circle and council program activities
  • Staff support from community development manager

Data Chair

  • Support volunteers and caregivers/girls with the membership registration process encouraging at least 12 girls per troop
  • Educate service unit on benefits and processes for early and on time registration by established dates
  • Review membership reports to ensure accuracy and share progress with the service unit
  • Support placement of girls and adults into new and existing troops through promotion and use of the Participation Catalog
  • Follow up with lapsed girls and troops
  • Staff support from community development manager

Product Program Coordinator (Fall Product/Cookie Coordinator)

  • Train and support troops throughout product programs to ensure success of troops within service unit
  • Understand and be able to explain programmatic and financial benefits of product programs to troops
  • Ensure troop fall product or troop cookie managers adhere to fall product or cookie program procedures and timelines
  • Receive, reconcile, and summarize troop paperwork
  • Accept delivery of and distribute recognitions to troop
  • Serve as main resource for troop cookie/fall managers during product programs
  • Staff support from product program manager

Service Unit Recruitment Chair

  • Partner with the service team and staff to develop a year-round recruitment plan
  • Lead and/or coordinate recruitment efforts
  • Organize interested girls and adults into troops by program level, grade, and school and share the registration process (supporting registration of at least 12 girls and one grade level per troop)
  • Follow up with potential new volunteers and support them through the registration, background check and new volunteer processes
  • Build a recruitment team utilizing school coordinators
  • Direct / Regional Support from Community Development Manager

School Coordinators

  • Assist service unit with recruitment of girl and adult members at a specific school. This can include reserving space, distributing fliers, and being present at troop formation nights
  • Represent Girl Scouts at school events and open houses
  • Maintain a strong relationship and presence with school staff, administrators and members of the PTA or PTO
  • Staff support from community development manager

Service Unit Treasurer

  • Follow GSWO financial processes for service unit accounts
  • Maintain accurate records and reporting on an annual basis
  • Support service team members in planning and budgeting for service unit events
  • Support troops in following financial processes
  • Support new volunteers in establishing bank accounts
  • Staff support from community development manager
Volunteer Placement

You make Girl Scouts happen! You are important to every girl, caregiver and the community that you impact through Girl Scouts. To ensure you are supported in your volunteer experience, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio provides a foundation and structure that includes clear, consistent policies and procedures that ensure a fair and equitable opportunity to volunteer with the organization. Additionally, it is important that you are provided with the skills and knowledge necessary to have a positive volunteer experience.

Equal Opportunity Volunteer Policy

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio welcomes all adult members who have committed to the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Appointment to a volunteer position is based on the ability to perform the responsibilities of the position, completion of an required learning or trainings and are in compliance with Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and GSUSA volunteer policies, including volunteer screening and placement procedures as outlined below.

There shall be no discrimination by Girl Scouts of Western Ohio staff, volunteers, and members against a volunteer that meets eligibility criteria of a volunteer role by reason of disability, age, race, color, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, religion, citizenship, ancestry, parental status, sexual orientation, medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military status, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics protected by federal, state, or local law.

Volunteer Recruitment

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio makes every effort to ensure that the community is provided with information and a variety of activities that help move all potential volunteers from awareness to understanding of Girl Scouts with the goal of involvement in some way with the Girl Scout Movement. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio focuses on recruiting and renewing membership that is reflective of the diversity of the community it serves.

Steps to Volunteer Placement

Step 1: Screening
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is committed to providing a safe and quality program for girls in the community. The components of the volunteer screening process ensure that any risk to the quality of the program or the safety of the girls is managed accordingly. All volunteers must successfully complete and commit to the following as a part of the screening process:

  • Complete a criminal background check with Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s approved vendor.
  • Commit to uphold the Girl Scout Promise and Law
  • Commit to follow Girl Scout policies and procedures.
  • Complete the New Troop Start Up video if appointed as a troop leader.
  • Complete adult membership for current year.

Step 2: Selection
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio has resources and a system of support to help adult volunteers select and register in the most appropriate role.

Adult volunteers will register in the volunteer position that is most appropriate for the role they play in the troop or group and must agree to complete the requirements of that position accordingly.

Registration must be current based on the Girl Scouts of USA membership year, which runs from October 1-September 30.

Step 3: Appointment
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio reserves the right to appoint volunteers based on identified eligibility criteria and compliance with volunteer policies and procedure. Appointment is contingent upon the successful completion of the screening and selection processes and is for a term of one year. Volunteers are subject to termination if the above screening criteria is not met and there is a violation in following any of the council’s volunteer policies and procedures. Appointment is signified by a Girl Scouts of Western Ohio appointment email and volunteers are asked to keep a copy for their records. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio reserves the right to review a volunteer’s eligibility due to reported concerns including previous behavior prior to volunteer appointment and based on updates to a volunteer’s criminal background check.

Criminal Background Check

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio requires all appointed volunteers who work directly or indirectly with girls to successfully complete a criminal background check every three years for the length of volunteer involvement with the organization. Background checks must be completed with the approved vendor via the email invitation received when seeking approval to volunteer or prior to the date that a current background check expires.

Any person who will have direct or indirect contact with girls must become a registered member of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio for the current membership year and have successfully completed a criminal background check. Exceptions to this would be an individual who meets all the requirements under categories below:

An individual who:

  • Serves as a onetime advisor or consultant, e.g., a speaker or presenter,
  • Is never left alone with girl(s), AND
  • Is not counted when considering girl/adult ratio.
  • A caregiver who:
    • Attends a group function e.g., Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Program, court of awards, family picnic, etc. AND
    • Is not counted when considering girl/adult ratio.

What you should know about the criminal background check

  • Only a volunteer’s criminal history is checked and reported (arrest records and criminal charges).
  • It is a standard operating procedure of criminal background check vendors to utilize consumer credit agencies to obtain an individual’s seven-year address history, but a volunteer’s personal credit history is not checked or reported.
  • While eligibility status is communicated to staff and volunteers, the results of the volunteer screening process are only communicated as needed to ensure the safety and well-being of the girls and if the results present a clear and present danger to the girls (e.g. registered sexual offender).
  • Details of a volunteer’s criminal history are kept confidential outside of the small staff team that reviews background check reports as part of the volunteer screening process.
  • Every three years, a renewal of your background checks is required. You will receive an email invitation to renew 90 days prior to the date that your background check will expire. Adults are not eligible to volunteer without renewing their background check and will be made ineligible to serve as a volunteer immediately if the background check expires.

Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Background Checks

Why do you require a criminal background check?
The safety of girls is paramount and a priority for Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. Caregivers and girls trust that Girl Scouts is a safe place for them. A criminal background check is one of the strategies used to ensure that girls are having a safe Girl Scout experience.

Can I just send the background check that I did for work/school to Girl Scouts?
To confirm we are getting exactly what we need and ensure the safety and well-being of girls, we require our volunteers to complete a background check through our approved vendor.

How much does it cost?
It’s free! Girl Scouts of Western Ohio covers the cost of the criminal background checks.

How often do I have to complete the background check?
Once every three years. You will receive an automatic email 90 days prior to the date of when your background check is set to expire.

How long does it take to get the background check report?
On average it takes 3–10 days. During times of high volume, it may take longer. Do not count on the three-day turnaround time if you’re planning an event and are recruiting volunteer support. Please plan ahead.

What is checked in a criminal background check?
Through our background check vendor, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio has the following information researched when a criminal background check is completed:

  • Social Security Number Trace
  • Government Watch List (Office of Foreign Assets Control-US Department of Treasury)
  • 50 State Department of Justice (DOJ) Sex Offender Registry (Dru Sjodin Sex Offender database)
  • Nationwide Database search with primary source validation
  • Current County/State of Residence Search
  • Monthly updates for one year

Criminal background checks that yield a charge are individually reviewed in partnership with the volunteer applicant. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio reserves the right to investigate an individual’s criminal records at any time including but not limited to re-processing a criminal background check or checking public records. Discovery of new charges may result in ineligibility or the request for further documentation from the individual. Additional information is often requested (including a police report, court records, and the volunteer’s account of the incident/personal statement) before an eligibility determination is made. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio reserves the right to restrict the appointment of or not approve any volunteer applicant whose criminal history presents risk to the girls’ safety and well-being.

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio also reserves the right to request completion of a criminal background check at any time and will not accept background check reports from outside providers. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio reserves the right to suspend a volunteer’s appointment status should an active criminal charge be reported or appear on a volunteer’s criminal background check report. In accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Agency (FCRA) guidelines, the volunteer applicant must be provided with notification of the organization that has requested the background check report, has received the results, and if any criminal records were found. All volunteer applicants have access to their background check report directly through the vendor.

Appointment/Reappointment

Appointment to a volunteer position is reflected on a member’s registration and is signified by a council communication. Appointments occur annually and are often automatic when the volunteer continues to meet eligibility criteria for the position and act in accordance to volunteer policy and procedure. Specifically, appointment/reappointment is contingent upon the following:

  • Member registration
  • Successful completion of criminal background check within the past three years
  • Maintaining up-to-date records of required volunteer learning and training according to role
  • Ability to perform essential responsibilities of volunteer role
  • Being in good standing with the organization by following policies and procedures
Volunteer Learning & Support

Your Support Team

In your role as a Girl Scout volunteer, you’ll team up with co-volunteers, caregivers, members of the community, council staff, and others who have expressed interest in working alongside you. 

The other volunteers on your support team may help by:

  • Filling in for you
  • Arranging meeting places
  • Being responsible for communicating with girls and caregivers
  • Locating volunteers with special skills to facilitate a specialized meeting
  • Assisting with trips and chaperoning
  • Building girls’ outdoor skills and experiences
  • Managing group records

If you have a large support team, the first thing you’ll want to do is meet with this group and discuss what brought each of you to Girl Scouts, review your strengths and skills, and talk about how you would like to work together as a team. You might also discuss:

  • When important milestones will happen (Girl Scout cookie activities, field trips, travel plans, events, dates for other opportunities) and how long the planning process will take
  • When and where to meet as a group of volunteers, if necessary
  • Whether an advance trip to a destination, event site, or camp needs to happen

Remember to call on your volunteer support team. This team can help you observe a meeting, assign you a buddy, help with registration forms, assist you with opening a bank account, plan your first meeting, and so on. Also plan to attend support meetings—usually held several times throughout the year—that provide excellent opportunities to learn from other volunteers.

Girl Scout Support System for New Leaders and Volunteers

New to volunteering? Get the support you need to start strong with the following:

  • Complete Troop Start Up or appropriate position training to begin working with girls or a service team
  • Visit our page full of helpful information for new leaders
  • Log into your Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) and start planning your troop's Girl Scout year!
  • Connect with your service unit to build on Troop Start Up information and plan meaningful activities and cultivate strong relationships with caregivers in your troop or group
  • Have an adult from your troop attend the regular service unit meetings to gain valuable knowledge and skills
  • Participate in Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and service unit social media to stay up to date on all the Girl Scout happenings and gain help and support of volunteers and staff from all over the council
  • Know who your Girl Scouts of Western Ohio support person is and how to contact them. Every volunteer has one primary contact they can always reach out to. Also, our Customer Care team is always prepared to assist you. Contact them at 888.350.5090 or by email.

Additionally, council staff and volunteers are prepared to provide mentoring and coaching as you progress through your Girl Scout experience!

New Leader: Troop Start Up Training (Required Training)

Required of all volunteers in the first 3 months. The Troop Start Up Training is a self-paced, online introduction to The Girl Scout Leadership Experience and volunteering with Girl Scouts. Visit gsLearn via your myGS account to get started! Visit gswo.org for more information on required training and enrichment opportunities!

Volunteer Learning, Training, and Enrichment

Learning opportunities are offered consistently throughout the Girl Scout membership year in a variety of ways on-demand, virtual, and in-person. Please note that certain volunteer roles have specific requirements that must be completed in a timely manner. Please check the Safety section for more information about volunteer requirements as they relate to safety.

  • The Troop Leader Blueprint is a newer resource that will help keep your troop going strong with tools, resources, and specially adapted badges, Journeys, and activites for virtual and in-person meetings.
  • Find Support on our GSWO website. We are committed to providing a volunteer experience that is enriching, impactful, and ensures you have the necessities to make the most of your volunteer experience.
05-8158-03 Volunteer Learning Progression Chart_v10
Volunteer Appreciation

No matter your position, your hard work to change girls’ lives is greatly appreciated by the council staff, caregivers, girls, and other volunteers. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio provides various levels of volunteer appreciation throughout the year. From a simple thank you note to a unique certificate presented at a service unit meeting to formal GSUSA awards presented in front of peers. Volunteer appreciation is paramount to the daily activities of Girl Scouting.

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Volunteer of the Month

Volunteer of the Month is a quick and easy way for volunteers, girls, and caregivers to recognize a volunteer for their time and dedication with Girl Scouts. From planning a big event, to the small special moments shared with the girls—all their efforts are appreciated and important to building girls of courage, confidence, and character! Each month, one volunteer will be selected in every region of western Ohio (North, Central, and South). Announcements will be posted on social media and our monthly newsletter. Volunteers of the Month can also look forward to awesome prizes including a gift certificate to the council shop and social media recognition!

Formal GSWO and GSUSA Awards

A formal awards process is in place with endorsed awards and earned recognitions. Formal awards are presented in late spring at service unit and circle volunteer appreciation events. Volunteer selections committees review the endorsements and determine the award recipients. Award endorsements are due each year by February 1.

Below is a brief description of the endorsed and earned awards for volunteers. More information regarding volunteer appreciation and formal awards can be found on the council website: gswo.org/awards

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Awards (endorsements required):

Service Team Star- Current service team members or administrative volunteers who have helped a service unit achieve one of the primary responsibilities of a service unit (extending membership, volunteer support, program support/events).

Green Badge of Courage-Volunteers who have performed a courageous act or met a challenge in a creative way within their role as a Girl Scout Volunteer.

GSUSA Awards (endorsements required):

Volunteer of Excellence Award-Volunteers who have contributed outstanding service while partnering with girls to implement the Girl Scout Leadership Experience or who have contributed service in support of the Girl Scout mission.

Appreciation Pin–Volunteers who have given outstanding service to at least one service unit.

Honor Pin-Volunteers who have given outstanding service to at least two or more service units or program delivery audiences.

Thanks Badge-Volunteers who are actively giving service that is truly outstanding and impacts the council or entire Girl Scout movement.

Thanks Badge II-Volunteers who, after previously receiving the Thanks Badge, continue to give outstanding service that benefits the council or Girl Scout movement.

       Earned Recognitions for Volunteers:

Membership Year Pin—Indicates the total number of years as a registered member of Girl Scouts, including years registered as both a girl and an adult. Membership Year Pins are available through the council shop year-round for purchase or may be requested from the council using the request form on the council website (due by February 1).

Volunteer Years of Service—Recognizes a registered adult member for years of active volunteer service. Volunteer Years of Service Pins can be requested for 20-years of service and above (in 5-year increments) through the request form on the council website (due by February 1). They may also be purchased through the council shop year-round.

Volunteer Appreciation Month

Volunteer Appreciation Month is April. Volunteer Appreciation Week—the third week in April—is set aside especially for you.

Girl Scouts pay tribute to the volunteers who help girls make the world a better place. The week centers on the long-standing National Girl Scout Leaders’ Day (April 22).

In addition, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio hosts volunteer appreciation events across the council in late spring.

General Volunteer Personnel Policies and Procedures

Volunteer Problem-Solving

Occasionally, volunteers may encounter difficult and complex situations involving their troops/groups. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio works to equip all adult volunteers with the information and support necessary to address issues as they develop in a way that results in little or no negative impact on the girls.

Use the following guidelines when confronted with an issue:

  • Always focus on the girls. How does this situation affect them? What resolution would be best for all girls?
  • Keep the Girl Scout Promise and Law in mind and use it as a “code of ethics.”
  • Confidentiality is key. Only those parties directly involved with the situation should be knowledgeable about the details and participate in the problem-solving. (See guidelines for involving additional administrative volunteers or council staff members below.)
  • Operate on facts rather than rumors or speculation. Listen to all perspectives, keeping the best interests of the girls in mind.
  • Work in partnership with caregivers, allowing for two-way communication at all times.
  • Refer to council staff or authorities (law enforcement, Children’s Services, etc.) when necessary.

Under no circumstances is a girl removed from a troop or group without first working with the girl(s), caregiver(s), and ultimately Girl Scout staff to find a solution that is in the best interest of all girls and adults involved.

It is the policy of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio to resolve volunteer conflicts in a fair and equitable manner consistent with council policies and procedures.

Follow these steps when problem-solving an issue:

  • Bring all involved parties together
  • Identify who the issue or situation is currently affecting or could affect
  • Allow each person to state their concerns without interruption
  • Encourage re-stating of concerns shared by others to check for understanding
  • All parties should seek an understanding of the other parties’ perspectives
  • All discussions should be grounded in the Girl Scout Promise and Law and Girl Scout Leadership Experience
  • Identify options for a mutually satisfactory solution
  • Discuss ideas for resolving the situation, so that all parties’ needs are met while the needs of the girls are the priority
  • Agree on a solution
  • Set a timeframe to ensure the solution is effective for all parties
  • Put it in writing! All parties should agree to the solution and the timeframe as well as what next steps will be taken if the solution proves ineffective
  • Maintain respectful, open communication with all parties throughout the problem-solving
  • Remember, as a Girl Scout adult you are modeling positive, responsible, and mature behavior for the girls!

Requesting Problem-Solving Assistance from Council Staff

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio encourages the problem-solving of concerns to occur with the parties most directly involved in the situation, but there are times when council staff assistance is necessary. This may include but is not limited to:

  • The safety and well-being of the girls and their assets are at risk.
  • The safety and well-being of adult volunteers, caregivers or community members are at risk.
  • Problem-solving attempts with parties directly involved were unsuccessful.
  • The initial issue or concern has escalated in seriousness or urgency.

 

In cases of unsuccessful problem-solving with parties most directly involved in the situation, work with members of your service team (service unit chair, product program coordinator, etc.) and paid staff support person. They will coach and guide you through the situation, involving additional staff members as needed. Please know that decisions made by the director of regional services and Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s CEO and COO are final. Refusal to participate in the established problem-solving process is grounds for removal from a volunteer role.

In cases of urgent safety concerns for girls or adults, first call 911 when appropriate, then contact your Girl Scout center directly.

Corrective Action and Volunteer Resignation and Release

It is the expectation of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio that volunteers will always act in an appropriate manner when participating in a Girl Scout capacity. However, at times, it may be necessary to take corrective action in order to maintain a positive, safe environment for girls and their assets while safeguarding the sustainability of the Girl Scout troop or group and the council.

Objectionable or unsatisfactory conduct will not be permitted and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including volunteer release, depending on the severity of the situation. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio may initiate the termination of volunteer appointment and release because of the inability or failure to complete the requirements of the position, including learning/ training and criminal background check, failure or refusal to abide by GSUSA or Girl Scouts of Western Ohio policies and standards, misuse or mismanagement of Girl Scout funds, or failure to accept and foster the mission and goals of the organization. When possible, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio will work in partnership with the volunteer to establish actions to correct the situation.

The serious offenses that could result in corrective action or volunteer release include, but are not limited to:

  • Indecency of speech or action such as fighting, destruction of property, or willfully or repeatedly disregarding Girl Scouts of Western Ohio or GSUSA’s policies and procedures.
  • Dishonesty, including but not limited to, falsification of expense reports or any other council records.
  • Possession or use of illegal drugs or other controlled substances.
  • Possession of weapons or other dangerous objects on council premises or while performing council activities including troop or group meetings.
  • The unauthorized possession or use of alcohol on council premises or while performing council activities or other use of alcohol that the council determines is inconsistent with its policies or otherwise inappropriate.
  • Refusal to permit council management to examine any council property or personal property while on council premises.
  • Theft, destruction, or unauthorized use of troop, service unit, or council property.
  • Misuse or misconduct of Girl Scout funds (troop, service unit, product program proceeds, etc.) or refusal to permit council staff to review troop finances.
  • Child abuse or failure to report suspected child abuse immediately.
  • Negligence or failure to maintain a safe and positive environment for girls.

When a volunteer initiates resignation, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio requests that the volunteer provides a written notification to their direct council support person.

Harassment

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is committed to maintaining an environment and climate in which relationships are characterized by dignity, respect, courtesy, and equitable treatment. It is the policy of the organization to provide all volunteers and paid staff with an environment free from all forms of unlawful or unwelcome harassment, including implied or expressed forms of sexual harassment, and inappropriate behavior. Accordingly, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio will not tolerate any form of harassment or other inappropriate behavior against staff, volunteers, or girls.

It is against the organization’s policies for any volunteer, male or female, to sexually harass another volunteer, paid staff, or Girl Scout member of the same or opposite sex.

Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based upon a person’s protected status, such as race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, parental status, national origin, age, disability, family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service, or other protected group status.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical, verbal or visual conduct based on sex may constitute sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, sexually-oriented “kidding”, “teasing” or jokes; foul or obscene language, gestures or photographs; physical contact such as pinching, patting, grabbing; and demands for sexual favors. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio prohibits any such conduct by our volunteers at all Girl Scout meetings, events, and activities. All volunteers are expected to avoid any behavior or conduct that could be interpreted as unlawful harassment or otherwise inappropriate. Volunteers should also understand the importance of informing an individual whenever that individual’s behavior is unwelcome, offensive, in poor taste, or inappropriate.

Any volunteer, who feels that she/he has been subjected to harassment of any type, whether by another volunteer, council staff member, or any agent of the organization, should promptly report the incident to the director of regional services or another staff member. Upon receiving such a complaint, this staff member must report the matter to the community development team leader or another appropriate staff member. The community development team leader/other staff member will take appropriate measures to resolve or correct the situation in an expeditious manner.

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is committed to prompt and thorough investigation of all allegations of harassment. To the extent reasonably possible, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio will keep the information pertaining to the investigation confidential. If an investigation confirms that a violation of this policy has occurred, then the offending person will be ineligible to volunteer with Girl Scouts.

Whistleblower Policy and Reporting Concerns to Council Staff

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio requires all members including employees and volunteers to observe high standards of business and personal ethics, upholding the Girl Scout Promise and Law, council policy, local, state and federal laws in conduct of duties and responsibilities. 

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio encourages all concerns or conflicts to be handled with the persons directly involved—such as having a conversation with your co-volunteers, girls, or caregivers with whom you may have questions or discrepancies.

This policy is intended to encourage and enable Girl Scout members and others to raise serious concerns internally so that Girl Scouts of Western Ohio can address and correct in appropriate conduct and actions. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is committed to fostering and maintaining an environment where all members can act without fear of retaliation by establishing procedures for reporting wrongdoing.

There are times when you may suspect, know, or witness violations of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio policies or situations which put girls, adults, or troop/service unit finances or individual well-being at risk. We recommend gathering facts over speculation before making a report to council staff.

Volunteers and employees are expected to report serious concerns.  Serious concerns may include:

  • Violations or suspected violations of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s policies
  • Suspected fraud or questionable or improper accounting
  • Abuse or misuse of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s resources or assets
  • Dishonest actions or deeds, including theft
  • Suspected conflict of interest
  • Experienced or awareness of harassment or discrimination of any kind (see harassment and discrimination policies in General Personnel Policies Section of Volunteer Essentials)
  • Safety concerns, including child endangerment or abuse (see policy on child abuse in the Safety section in Volunteer Essentials)
  • Illegal activity

If a report is made, anonymity will be maintained; however, identity may be disclosed in order to conduct a thorough investigation of the report. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio will confirm receipt of the report and follow up with any questions within 7 days. If insufficient information is given, the report will be kept on file for the remainder of the membership year and no investigation will be conducted. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio will not retaliate or penalize a reporter. However, if you witness a situation which puts girls or adults’ safety at risk, you are required to report the situation immediately. Failure to report known serious concerns may result in an individual’s eligibility to volunteer with Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. Reports can be made anonymously, however, it may limit our capacity to fully investigate the issue.

Confidentiality: All reports made under these procedures will be handled with the maximum degree of confidentiality and information from the report will be shared only to the extent necessary to conduct a complete and fair investigation and any required follow-up. Individuals may make reports on an anonymous basis, if they so choose.

Investigation and Resolution of a Complaint/Report: All complaints/reports will receive immediate attention and, if appropriate an investigation will commence as soon as practical based on the risk assessment and exposure. Upon completion of the investigation, when possible and appropriate, the person filing the complaint will be informed of the resolution.

Non-Retaliation: The reporting of action or behavior that an individual reasonably believes is inappropriate is an important component of our Girl Scouts of Western Ohio policies. Individuals making such reports will be free from any retribution, retaliation or adverse effect in their standing as a member or volunteer. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio will not tolerate acts of retaliation. Any individual (staff, caregiver, or volunteer) who discourages or prevents other individuals from making such reports or seeking the help or assistance they need will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of volunteer role.

Acting in Good Faith: Anyone filing a complaint concerning a violation or suspected violation must be acting in good faith and following the appropriate process. Any allegations which prove to have been made maliciously or knowingly to be false will cause a volunteer to be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of volunteer role.

Reporting: Reports should be made by calling Customer Care at 888.350.5090 and follow the reporting hierarchy below.

Person Committing Infraction

Who to Ask for When Calling       Customer Care

Volunteer

Regional Director or Volunteer Human Resource Manager

Paid Staff Member

Senior Director of Human Resources or Chief Operating Officer

Smoking

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is a smoke-free environment. The use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaporizers (vaping), where girls are present is not permitted.

There will be no smoking in any council buildings or vehicles; including all sites and vehicles, owned, leased and/or operated by Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. There will be designated smoking areas at all council properties.

Alcohol and Drug Use

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is committed to maintaining an environment free from alcohol and drugs. The possession or use of alcohol is not permitted on Girl Scout property or at any Girl Scout function, except specific, pre-approved occasions.

Persons under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol, or in possession of same, are prohibited from participation in any Girl Scout activity or event.

Possession of Firearms or Weapons

No person will use or possess firearms on council-owned or operated properties (including vehicles) while involved in Girl Scout related activities, except law enforcement officers acting in an official capacity.

Although Girl Scouts of Western Ohio respects an individual’s right to carry a concealed weapon pursuant to Ohio’s Carry and Conceal Law, it is the policy of the council that no member, participant, guest, or any other individual shall have the right to carry, conceal, or possess any gun, knife, or any other kind of weaponry while involved in or present at any Girl Scout activity or while on Girl Scout council-owned property.

Council Right to Search

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio reserves the right to:

  • Search any person, vehicle or object that enters or leaves council property.
  • Search anything on council property including lockers, desks, purses, briefcases, baggage, lunch sacks, clothing, and any other item in which firearms, weapons, illegal drugs, and alcohol have the potential to be hidden.
  • Search company vehicles owned or leased by the council.

Financial Concerns

Any volunteer that has unpaid funds owed to Girl Scouts of Western Ohio or other councils in the organization for the following will not be eligible to serve in an appointed volunteer position for 1 year from the date the debt is paid in full:

  • Fall Product Program or Cookie Program
  • Payment for an event
  • Bounced check(s) totaling $50 or more
  • Misuse of troop funds (see section on Finances in Volunteer Essentials)

It is the responsibility of the volunteer to contact their Girl Scout Center and request a review of his/her volunteer eligibility status following the one-year period.

Unpaid funds owed to Girl Scouts of Western Ohio could result in product program restrictions on all girls within the caregiver’s household for a year after debt is paid in full. Additional restrictions or actions may be applied for specific circumstances; the volunteer will be notified in writing of any restrictions or actions taken against them. Girl Scouts of Western Ohio reserves the right to seek collection assistance or legal prosecution for funds that are not paid as requested by the council.

Social Media Policy

Girl Scouts of Western Ohio recognizes that the internet provides unique opportunities to participate in interactive discussions and share information using a wide variety of social media tools. The use of social media also presents risks and requires responsibility. The Girl Scout Promise and Law are the standard for interacting online. Volunteers are personally responsible for what they post online.

To assist volunteers in making responsible decisions when using social media, we have established the following guidelines:

  • Always be respectful, fair, and courteous in all communications related to or referencing the organization, its members, and/ or other staff and volunteers, whether by name or implication.
  • Avoid posting statements, photographs, videos, or audio that reasonably could be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening, or intimidating; that disparages caregivers, members, volunteers, or employees; or that might constitute harassment or bullying. Examples of inappropriate postings include, but are not limited to: offensive posts meant to intentionally harm someone’s reputation; posts that could contribute to a hostile environment on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion, or any other characteristic protected by law or council policy; and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct. If you have any specific complaints or concerns, then please call Customer Care at 888.350.5090.
  • Do not post pictures or names of any Girl Scout girls, volunteers, or caregivers, as well as any comments or descriptions about any specific Girl Scouts.
  • Making representations on behalf of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio without prior permission is prohibited. If volunteers identify themselves as a volunteer of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, they should make clear that the views are their own and do not necessarily reflect Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s views.
  • Do not link to any site or blog that does not meet these requirements.
  • Misappropriating the Girl Scout trademark and committing any other acts in violation of any local, state, or federal law is prohibited.

Although volunteers develop trusting relationships with girls and adults as part of their volunteer role, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio does not allow the exchange of electronic communication between volunteers and girls, except related to official Girl Scout activities or business.

Nothing in this policy shall limit volunteers’ rights to engage in free and open discussion and exchange of concerns related to their roles as Girl Scout volunteers and members.

Setting Up a Troop or Service Unit Website

Troops whose girls meet age criteria (13 years or older) and have caregiver’s permission may set up a group Facebook page or website. This site must be approved by the council and is a fantastic way for girls to share information, market Girl Scout products, and talk about their Take Action projects.

When posting online, uphold all copyright laws. Refrain from using designs, text from magazines or books, poetry, music, lyrics, videos, graphics, or trademarked symbols without specific permission from the copyright or trademark holder. Girl Scout trademarks (such as the trefoil shape, Girl Scout pins, and badges and patches) can be used only in accordance with guidelines for their use. (The Girl Scout trefoil, for example, may not be animated or used as wallpaper for a website.) Check with Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s graphic standards for complete graphics guidelines and approvals.

Volunteers are encouraged to connect with their community development manager to discuss operations of the service unit or troop account. Please note that any forms of social media or online tools that are set up for Girl Scout troops, events, and service units are the property of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and staff maintains the right to contribute and monitor websites.

Girl Scout Product Program & Troop Website

It is important to remember the twofold purpose of the Girl Scout Product Programs when selling cookies or other products. The primary purposes of these programs are to help girls grow and develop and to generate the revenue necessary to provide Girl Scouting to as many girls as possible. For this reason, girls should be directly involved in any sales that are made, whether in person or over the Internet.

Democratic Process

The democratic process has been part of the basic beliefs characterizing the Girl Scout Movement since its inception. Members of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio are well informed about major issues affecting the council and annually elect the council’s board of directors. The board of directors is responsible for setting the strategic direction and making final decisions for the organization.

Council

The purpose of the council is to further the development of the Girl Scout Movement in the United States; to establish local responsibility for leadership, administration and supervision of the Girl Scout Movement; and to develop, manage and maintain Girl Scouting in accordance with the terms of the council’s charter.

Council Membership 

The legal voting members of the council shall all be active adult volunteers and all active girl members 14 years of age and older who are registered in the Girl Scout Movement through the council. An active adult volunteer is a member of Girl Scouts of the USA who has been appointed or elected, including board members, to serve in a specific volunteer position.

Council Membership Responsibilities

In accordance with the procedures set forth in the bylaws, the voting members of the council shall elect the officers of the council, the board of directors, the board development committee, and the delegates and alternate delegates to the National Council.

Each voting member of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is entitled to one vote.

National Council Delegates

National delegates, whom the council is entitled to elect to the National Council, shall be elected for a term of three years or until their successors are elected. Alternates may be asked to fill possible vacancies among the National Delegates to the National Council and are elected at the same time and in the same manner as the National Delegates to the National Council.

National Council delegates, made up of girl and adult members, influence policy by holding elections, amending the Constitution, establishing requirements for credentials and determining the general lines of policy of the Girl Scout Movement. In addition, they consider and act upon proposals directed toward the fostering and improvement of Girl Scouting, receive and act upon reports of the National Board of Directors, and give guidance to the national Board upon general lines of direction of the Movement and program.

How Council Decisions are Made

Volunteers have the opportunity and responsibility to provide input within the council’s governance and management system. Our democratic values hold that members should have a voice in influencing major decisions. Individuals should be well informed on the council’s mission, vision and goals in order to identify and/or discuss issues and needs that exist, and to be able to give sound input to both the governance and management of the council. Providing input and influencing decisions is not limited to voting. While this does not mean that every member of the council can vote on everything or make final decisions about policy, it does mean that members will be well informed about major issues affecting the council.

  Governance
Big picture decisions and direction

Governance decisions are broad policy decisions made by the Board of Directors to provide stability within the council and to give directions for the way Girl Scouting is implemented in the council jurisdiction. Governance decisions relate to strategic planning, fund development, fiduciary oversight, selection and evaluation of the Chief Executive Officer, and organizational performance appraisal.
Management
Day-to-day operations

Management decisions relate to annual planning, budgeting, the selection, placement, and supervision of operational volunteers and staff, the development of systems to ensure the effective delivery of the Girl Scout program to all girls within the jurisdiction, oversight of fiscal and physical resources, and the implementation of policies and standards established by the Board of Directors.
Who People in governance:
  • Board of Directors
  • National Delegates
  • Delegates-at-Large
  • Members of the Board Development Committee
  • Members of board committees and task groups
  • People in operations:
  • Leaders and other volunteers working directly with girls
  • Service Unit team members and others working with operational adults
  • Council staff
  • Responsibilities People in governance are concerned with:
  • Setting policy and long-term direction (strategic goals)
  • Establishing priorities
  • Ensuring financial and organizational stability
  • People in operations are responsible for:
  • Day to day management
  • Implementation of policy
  • Carrying out strategic goals
  • Providing feedback to the governance arm on progress and future needs
  • Both types of decisions are based on the belief that members should have a voice in major decisions that will influence all or a large part of the membership.

    Board of Directors: Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

    The board of directors, which is made up of both girls and adults, are elected to ensure that the council continues to operate effectively over the long term. Specific responsibilities include policymaking, planning, review, funding, community relations and assuring that the chief executive officer’s performance is effective. The board must ensure that the council is operated in compliance with Girl Scouts of the USA charter requirements and state and federal laws.

    The board governs with an emphasis on outward vision rather than internal focus, strategic leadership more than administrative detail, clear distinction of board and CEO roles, collective rather than individual decisions, future rather than past or present and proactivity rather than reactivity. On any issue, the board must ensure that all divergent views are considered in making decisions yet must resolve into a single organizational position. Check out our list of current board members.

    Council Finances

    What Does It Cost to Support a Girl in Girl Scouting?

    The programmatic cost of supporting a girl in Girl Scouts is approximately $320 per year. This cost is the shared responsibility of the troop, caregivers and the council (The Girl Scout Council includes all members, including troops and service units that are involved in delivering Girl Scouting to our geographic region). Learn more about where the funds go. While the troop is at the center in delivering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls, the Girl Scout Council has the responsibility for providing program opportunities and other supports that strengthen the troop experience.  Girl Scouts of Western Ohio also provides many core services needed to support girls in achieving their goals and the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

    Council Finances

    To carry out its jurisdictional responsibility for providing and administering the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio shall adhere to Girl Scouts of the USA’s policies, criteria, and standards for an effective Girl Scout Council as found in the Blue Book of Basic Documents or Leaders’ Digest. This includes sound planning and management and responsible financial procedures and practices. Girl Scouting helps girls learn money management skills as they plan, implement, and evaluate activities. Adults working in partnership with girls are role models in all aspects of planning and management, including the development and practice of money management skills.

    The council budget includes:

    • A significant subsidy of council-sponsored program events, such as troop camping, resident camp, older girl opportunities, and high & low ropes challenge courses
    • Financial assistance to girls for membership dues, program events and troop resources
    • Girl Scout leader recruitment, placement and training, including increasing costs in areas such as background checks and specialized training for issues such as behavior management and conflict resolution
    • Communication resources like the Council website, Volunteer Essentials, and the cost of service unit printing and postage
    • Maintenance of council camps and Girl Scout centers

    Sending Money to Girl Scouts

    If you are sending money to Girl Scouts of Western Ohio through the US Mail, please use the following address and include your name, Service Unit Number, Troop Number, and reason for sending funds to Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.

    Girl Scouts of Western Ohio
    4930 Cornell Road
    Cincinnati, OH 45242

    Annual Campaign

    Girl Scouts of Western Ohio relies on the generosity of the community to provide the support and opportunities that will help girls develop the skills they need to discover themselves, connect with other girls, and take action. It takes many strong adult partners to provide the financial resources that ensure the Girl Scout Leadership Experience will continue to impact girls now and in the future. Gifts to the Annual Campaign are unrestricted and used as needed to support Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.

    The Annual Campaign consists of the following partnerships:

    • Family Giving
    • Community and Corporate Giving
    • Staff and Board Giving

    Family Giving

    Family Giving is Girl Scout families supporting Girl Scouts and making it possible for us to offer the programming that empowers girls to be inspired, future leaders. An investment in Girl Scouts is a commitment to support our volunteers and girls who will change the world as they develop into the leaders of tomorrow.

    How can Girl Scout leaders, administrative and other volunteers and caregivers participate in the Family Giving Campaign?

    The Family Giving Campaign is led by volunteers at the service unit (community) level. Service units create and carry out their own fund raising plan that best suits their needs, and what the community will support. Planning for each service unit’s Family Giving Campaign can begin as early as the service unit prefers, keeping in mind local United Way requirements. The Family Giving Campaign is a year round campaign. Girl Scout Leaders and other volunteers support the Family Giving Campaign by: Making their gift to the campaign first, becoming a

    • Positive voice for their service unit’s Family Giving Campaign
    • Ensuring all campaign information is passed on to the Girl Scout families and the community

    There are several ways to make a financial contribution to the Family Giving Campaign:

    • Donate during Girl Scout registration
    • Donate online 
    • Donate at a Family Giving Girl Scout event
    • Contact the Fund Development department at your Girl Scout center

    *Girl Scouts cannot endorse products or businesses. This includes third party fundraisers such as restaurant nights.

    Planned Gifts and The Juliette Gordon Low Society

    Planned gifts include bequests, life insurance, charitable trusts, charitable gift annuities and other deferred gifts. Planned gifts ensure that the values of Girl Scouting, as identified in the Girl Scout Promise and Law, are available to future generations of girls, so that they develop the skills needed to reach their full potential. In addition to extending the donor’s own values to future generations, a planned gift can offer significant tax benefits to the donor. The Juliette Gordon Low Society of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio recognizes donors who have identified themselves as planned givers.

    The Juliette Gordon Low Society is a special group of Girl Scout members who have made a commitment to share their legacy with the next generation. You become part of this distinguished group when you leave a gift in your will, trust, or other account for Girl Scouts. For more information about planned giving or becoming a member, please contact council staff by email.

    Memorial & Tribute Fund

    Memorial remembrances are monetary gifts in memory of a friend or relative.

    Tribute gifts honor an important event or person in your life. They are appropriate for a birthday, anniversary, graduation, the Girl Scout Gold Award, recognition of a Girl Scout leader or volunteer, holiday gift, or other special occasion.

    Please include a note to the Fund Development department specifying the type of gift you wish to make and the name and address of the recipient or family. A thank you acknowledgement card, that does not mention the amount of the contribution, will be sent in your name.

    Questions regarding charitable support for Girl Scouts of Western Ohio can be emailed to the council’s Fund Development team.