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
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
- 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
- Encourage re-stating of concerns shared by
others to check for understanding
- All parties should seek
an understanding of the other parties’ perspectives
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
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
- The safety and well-being of adult volunteers,
caregivers or community members are at risk.
- Problem-solving attempts with parties directly involved were
- 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
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
- 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.
destruction, or unauthorized use of troop, service unit, or council
- 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.
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
- Suspected fraud or questionable or improper
- Abuse or misuse of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s
resources or assets
- Dishonest actions or deeds, including
- 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
or Volunteer Human Resource Manager
|Senior Director of Human Resources
or Chief Operating Officer |
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 Right to Search
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio reserves the right to:
- Search any person, vehicle or object that enters or leaves
- 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.
company vehicles owned or leased by the council.
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
- Bounced check(s) totaling $50 or more
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
- 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
- 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.
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
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
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.