Updated Girl Scout Safety Guidelines Provide Checklist for Numerous Activities
For years Girl Scouting has been providing girls in kindergarten through high school an opportunity to meet new people, experience new things, and provide community service in a fun and, most importantly, safe environment. Troop leaders are required to complete several hours of training before taking charge of a troop. Once a troop is formed, safety is not forgotten. Up until recently, “Safety-wise” was the name of the information that would be consulted before an outing to ensure the girls’ safety. In 2010, “Safety-wise” was replaced with Safety Activity Checkpoints.
Available online through the Girl Scouts of America website or your local Girl Scout council, Safety Activity Checkpoints provide an overview of what needs to be taken into consideration for an outing as well as specific information for about 45 different activities. The introduction states different categories that will be covered in each topic if it is applicable, such as where to do the activity, how to include girls with disabilities, how to prepare in advance for the activity, and what to do on the day of the activity.
Because January is Girl Scout Cookie month, let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the Safety Activity Checkpoints given for selling Girl Scout cookies. When girls are selling cookies door-to-door, Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors (grades K-5) need to be accompanied by an adult. Older girls are required to carry the phone number of an adult who will be available immediately if necessary. All girls should only sell in neighborhoods that are familiar to them and should do so during daylight hours. Homes of strangers should never be entered, and large amounts of money should not be carried when delivering cookies and receiving payment. If the troop has organized a cookie booth in a public place such as a mall, shopping plaza, or grocery store, an adult must be present at the booth at all times.
If a girl decides to sell cookies online, she should use a secure site provided by the Girl Scouts. Only her first name, troop number, and council should be signed at the bottom of the email. Phone numbers or personal email or home addresses should not be included.
Girl Scouting can be a fun and rewarding way for girls to spend their school years as long as it is done safely. If you are involved with a Girl Scout troop, whether as a leader, co-leader, or parent, please consult the Safety Activity Checkpoints before embarking on your next adventure.