At the beginning of each Girl Scouting year, Girl Scouts of Colorado and Girl Scouts of the USA review our volunteer/program policies, Volunteer Essentials, and our safety policies, Safety Activity Checkpoints. These resources are here to not only communicate our policies, but to ensure every adult member and girl are prepared and safe. It is the expectation of every volunteer to review these resources every year. The 2020 version of Safety Activity Checkpoints includes a new section on key components of an Emergency Action Plan, clarification of which activities require approval by GSCO and updated guidelines on general Girl Scout program safety.
In the same light of ensuring girl safety, we have a new process at Girl Scouts of Colorado for council approval for activities, events, and trips held by troops and service units. The Activity and Event Approval Form must be completed at least 30 days prior to your event, activity or trip. Activities that require prior approval include any:
- Troop or service unit hosting a money earning event or activity.
- Troop or group overnight or travel experience.
- High-risk activity that requires approval per the Safety Activity Checkpoints.
This new process for Activity and Event Approval goes into effect for any activities taking place after December 15, 2020.
What are Safety Activity Checkpoints?
Safety Activity Checkpoints (SAC) is a resource that provides safety standards and guidelines for general Girl Scout programs and specific activity areas. SAC includes information on required volunteer certification, adult volunteer to girl participant ratios, emergency plan templates and guidelines for specific activities. SAC includes activity chapters on everything from bicycling to camping to horseback riding to rock climbing! Each activity chapter includes a resources to help troops plan the activity and specific safety guidelines around equipment, instructor experience/training, limited to Girl Scout program levels that can participate and if approval from GSCO is required before your troop or Girl Scout group can do the activity. You can review the 2020 version of Safety Activity Checkpoints here!
Why do some activities require approval by GCSO?
In Girl Scouts we want to ensure that girls are participating in activities that are developmentally appropriate, progressive, and of course safe. By requiring the approval of some of the more “high-risk” activities girls can participate in, Girl Scouts of Colorado can make sure the group has the proper insurance, have taken the necessary leader training, is taking the necessary safety precautions, and is properly prepared for the activity. It is in no way meant to limit a girls experience, rather our goal is the increase the amount of fun, safe experiences girls can participate in.
What is the activity and event approval form? How do I know if my activity needs approval?
This is a form that troops, Service Units and other Girl Scout groups in Girl Scouts of Colorado will need to complete 30 days prior to any activity that needs approval. Activities that require approval are:
- Any troop or service unit hosting a money earning event or activity.
- Extended overnight/trip (3+ nights) or any trip out of the state of Colorado.
- Any high-risk activity that requires approval per the Safety Activity Checkpoints. You can determine if your activity needs approval by reading the activity specific chapter, or by looking at the “Activities at a Glance” chart on p. 21 of Safety Activity Checkpoints.
What is the timeline for activity approval and how will I know I am approved?
Please complete the form 30 days prior to your activity. Depending on the type of activity you are planning, you may not need to wait for additional GSCO approval after your submission. Upon completion of the form you will receive an email indicating if additional staff approval will be required for your activity. If additional approval is required, you will be connected via email from a GSCO staff notifying you of your approval within 10 business days of your submission.
Still have questions? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.