Ensuring Girl Entrepreneurs SHINE!

When it comes to cookie sales, a personalized sales pitch, customer follow-up and a successful delivery are all key to Girl Scout success. In fact, those same skills lead to a powerful sales person in any industry. Girl Scout cookie dad, Shawn Muller should know! He’s a real estate agent and has served as cookie dad for Troop 545 for the past 5 years. What makes Shawn such an awesome volunteer is his application of skills he uses in his job, combined with a passion for helping his daughter (and her Girl Scout sisters) succeed. Because of volunteers like Shawn, girls are becoming the CEOs and sales leaders of the future!

Shawn became his troop’s cookie dad about 5 years ago when they needed someone with financial experience. His daughter, Maya, was in kindergarten and this was his first experience with Girl Scouting. Though his first year was intimidating, he jumped in and found resources to make it a great experience.  “The cookie manager training [at GSKSMO] was definitely helpful in terms of getting my comfort up, but I learned a lot of lessons that first year,” Shawn said.

Despite having some of those hard lessons to learn, Shawn got 100% troop participation in the program that first year and continues to have amazing success. As a cookie dad, he finds being organized helps everyone. At the first cookie meeting, Shawn gives out a wall calendar with the cookie dates already marked and a quick reference guide to make it easier to understand and manage for busy parents.

“One of my big things was just making sure parents understood the information. The wall calendars came from my day job as a real estate agent, I always send out wall calendars in December, so it was an easy thing to do,” Shawn said.

Shawn loves being cookie dad because it allows him to spend time with his daughter in an activity she’s passionate about. “On the most basic level, [Girl Scouts] makes her happy. She’ll come home from a troop meeting or an extra activity and she’s always excited and feeling like she accomplished something,” Shawn said.

For Shawn and Maya, the cookie season especially has become a chance for them to work together and for him to teach her sales skills. “This year, someone made an online order, so I took the opportunity to teach her about follow-up. She recorded a short video message and sent it to them on Facebook Messenger and that got a really good response. Now she’s learning that showing appreciation is important,” Shawn said. What an awesome way for dad and daughter to bond while teaching Maya to be an awesome G.I.R.L.?!

After 5 years on the job, Shawn has learned a few things. One of his best tips for increasing sales and helping the community is Cookie Share. “When the girls are asking for someone’s business, it’s such an easy thing to also say ‘I’m raising money in support of the Veterans’ Hospital and Harvesters, would you like to donate some boxes?,’ most of the time, people will say ‘yes.’ That charity aspect is important and I try to help my troop remember that as they sell,” Shawn said.

This amazing cookie dad loves his role as a volunteer and to other Girl Scout dads, “I’d say, 100%, dads should get involved in Girl Scouts and not be afraid of it. It’s so important for the girls to see that dads are interested and involved,” Shawn said. Without our amazing volunteers – moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends – Girl Scouts would not exist. So thank you to Shawn and all the other amazing cookie parents who make this program a success!

Do you have some awesome cookie season tips to share? Comment below!

The Power of Finding Yourself

Spotlighting Girl Scout Alumna Mackenzie Williams

Outdoor experiences are at the heart of Girl Scouting and help girls discover themselves. From leadership to physical fitness, Girl Scouts learn to be independent, strong women, in part thanks to outdoor activities and camping adventures. Most importantly, girls learn to rely on themselves in the outdoors. For Girl Scout alumna, Mackenzie Williams, living a life of adventure in the outdoors has turned into an exciting career of travel and independence.

Mackenzie started Girl Scouts as a girl in the Olathe/Desoto, KS area, but found her particular troop wasn’t a right fit for her. “I wish my parents had enrolled me in Girl Scouts sooner and treated it like you would soccer, something you just do. I didn’t join Girl Scouts until I asked and looking back, I wish that it had been part of my life earlier,” Mackenzie said.

At the age of 19, Mackenzie started travelling the US by herself, filling a personal need to travel and be outdoors. While it made her parents nervous, the experience changed her life. “When you get way out of your comfort zone and put yourself in different situations you learn about yourself in unique and different ways that you wouldn’t experience any other way,” Mackenzie said. During these travels she found a passion for the outdoors and getting people to experience nature.

At 21, she was able to work as a wilderness ranger in California’s Sequoia National Forest. “I’m very passionate about women doing jobs that are considered ‘male jobs,’ like being a park ranger. I had a hiker say to me ‘wow, women can do this job?’ and I remember saying ‘yes, we sure can!’” Mackenzie said. She was one of the strongest hikers on her team, averaging a mile ahead of the group, all despite being only 5’ and one of only two women on the team. Talk about an awesome G.I.R.L!

Today, Mackenzie is back in Kansas finishing her degree in Psychology at the University of Kansas. She plans to return to nature in the summer and become a ranger again. Recently, Mackenzie reconnected with her troop leader Leslie who opened the door to the outdoors when she was a younger Girl Scout. The two decided to have Mackenzie come speak to the girls about solo travel, independence and being a woman in a male-centric career.

 

Mackenzie talking to Leslie’s troop about her experiences with solo travel and being a wilderness ranger in 2017.

“[In Girl Scouts] you are learning these skills, which at the time you have no idea how important those lessons will be when you are older. It’s those little things, those skills, that knowledge, that builds a foundation for girls,” Mackenzie said. That’s why she loves coming back and reconnecting with Girl Scouts to share her knowledge and inspire girls to learn about themselves through solo travel and trying new things.

We thank Mackenzie and all the amazing G.I.R.L.s who are out there showing the world that there’s not job a girl can’t do AND coming back to share that knowledge with Girl Scouts today. It takes a village to raise a Girl Scout and Mackenzie is being part of that support system, encouraging independence and adventure. Thank you, Mackenzie! And AWESOME troop leaders like Leslie change girls lives. We are so incredibly honored to support volunteers like Leslie! Thank you, Girl Scout volunteers for growing these  G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers and Leaders)!!

‘Twas The Night Before a G.I.R.L. Christmas

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays, Girl Scouts! We are wishing you a warm, safe holiday with your friends and families. As the holiday season is upon us, we will be taking a short break from the blog. But don’t forget to subscribe to the right – we’ll be back in 2018 with some amazing stories you won’t want to miss!

Happy Holidays to all!!

 

‘Twas the night before a G.I.R.L. sleepover Christmas, and all through the Girl Scout House

All the girls were stirring, creating smiles for all, even the mouse,

Their patches had been sewn (or Badge-Magiced) on their sashes with care,

And hopes that a new skill-building badge soon would be there,

 

The Girl Scouts were nestled all snug in their beds

With plans for service projects dancing their heads

And in the corner there sat many camp SWAPS filled caps

And Journey books sat open on those little Girl Scouts’ laps

 

When all at once one G.I.R.L. jumped, the book falling with a clatter

“I know of a Take Action project we can do that really will matter,

It won’t be easy, it won’t be quick, but it’ll be real smash!

And  we can put a pin upon our sash.”

 

So the Girl Scouts ran out to the new-fallen snow

And danced with great joy of their plans, their eyes all a-glow,

For they would tell their leader of their idea to give back,

And knew that they could help fix something their community did lack.

 

Then they ran back inside, all wet and cold

And telling their leader of their plans, she/he was sold.

They started making lists for when the morning came,

And finally gave their Bronze Award project a beautiful name.

 

“Now it’s time for you all to get some good rest,

For this project to work, we need your minds at their best,”

Said their leader with glee

And the girls went to sleep, ready to help you and me.

 

This is the story of so many Girl Scout nights

For in troop meetings you see minds become very bright lights,

Together we help raise strong G.I.R.L.s for tomorrow

And their excitement and joy we all would do well to borrow.

 

So thank you to all for what you give all year,

You’re making a difference, and we hold it so dear.

Merry Christmas to all and your families near and far

Your Girl Scout family is with you, wherever you are!

 

Hard Work, Supportive Parents & Being Polite Leads to SWEET Success

Spotlight on 2017 Top Cookie Seller, Brownie Paige T.

Happy Girl Scout Cookie Season! The 2018 Cookie Program officially kicked off today, December 21st! The year’s program is starting two weeks earlier thanks to your feedback. We hope that this earlier start date allows Girl Scouts to practice the 5 Skills in a setting where they’re surrounded by close friends and family before expanding to your communities after the first of the year!

One Girl Scout who is ready and eager to kick her business off is Brownie, Paige T.! For the past two years Paige has used the 5 Skills and has kept her business plan simple – set goals and be polite.

It’s proven to be a pretty good business plan, if you ask us! In 2017, at just seven years old and in her second year of the Cookie Program, Paige was our council’s top cookie seller – selling 3,202 packages of Girl Scout Cookies. (In case you’re wondering, she sold 2,137 in her first year.)

“[Selling Cookies] takes politeness. If they say ‘no,’ thank them anyway. They might come back,” Paige explained.

Maggie Thomas, Paige’s mom, is a troop leader and helps with the cookie cupboard. She loves seeing her daughter blossom through the program and apply the skills in other aspects of her life.

“[The Cookie Program] is important to me because it lets her set the goal, meet the goal and have the sense of accomplishment. It’s enhanced her math skills and taught her how to interact with adults in a respectful manner and guide her own path,” Maggie said.

In the Cookie Program, we like to help sweeten that sense of accomplishment and incentivize girls to reach their goals with our cumulative recognition levels. Those recognition levels have helped Paige set her goals each year.

Since starting her business in 2016, Paige has earned herself a new luggage set, a chrome book, suite tickets to Girl Scout Day at the K and a swimming pool, just to name a few of the items.

On top of the recognitions Paige understands that selling cookies earns money for her troop to give back to their community and do awesome things like go camping; her favorite thing to do in Girl Scouts.

“I like being able to sleep in the bunk and spend time with my Girl Scout friends and earn badges!”

“We support her goals, and her participation in door to door and booth sales is dependent on her being current on her school work,” Maggie explains; “When she gets tired we ask if she’s ready to be done and that sets her aflame again and she is determined that she’ll finish!”

As you might imagine, Paige has her goal set for 2018 and it’s pretty simple too – sell more than last year and earn those Girl Scout Day at the K suite tickets again!

We wish Paige and all Girl Scouts an awesome 2018 Cookie Season and can’t wait to see all you accomplish (and earn)!

We would love to know what goals you’re working towards this year and how you’re innovative with your Cookie Business, so let us know in the comments below!

An ANGEL for Girl Scouts

For every Girl Scout, there are volunteers that make a difference in her life. Whether it’s a troop leader, parent volunteer or community member, these volunteers influence a girl’s future by showing her a big, bright world ahead of her. For Girl Scouts in Holden, KS, Angel Mallen certainly lives up to her name as an angel for girls. Coming from a low income background, Angel is able to connect to Girl Scouts with economic issues in a unique way…through a shared experience.

Growing up, Angel wanted to be a Girl Scout, but her single, working mother wasn’t able to provide the financial support to continue in the program. The cookie program became her biggest hurdle because they didn’t have a physical address or place to store cookies. When your address is more often your family truck rather than a home, it becomes difficult to sign-up for things like cookie sales.

It’s sad to imagine what an amazing Girl Scout Angel would have been had financial obstacles not prevented her from continuing. “I was one of those ‘Go-getter’ kids, so I loved badges,” said Angel. Fortunately, today’s Girl Scouts have more options than Angel did. At GSKSMO, we are constantly workings to ensure that no girl is turned away because of a family’s financial situation and we are innovating ways to build the Opportunity Fund for girls just like Angel.

Despite the setback, Angel became a business owner who sold her business and was able to retire at age 46! Talk about a SERIOUS go-getter! She now leads a multi-age troop for girls in her community, many of whom are low income girls, just like she was.

“I bring fresh vegetables and herbs to meetings because some of my girls have never seen these types of fresh foods.” said Angel. This innovative thinking comes from personal experience with the problems these girls face. She recently did a project to teach strength by having her troop use their voice and get a glow stick (representing their strength lighting the way in a dark room) until they lit up the room where all the lights were out except for a lamp that Angel had. She then turned down her own lamp, showing them that now they have the strength to light up a dark room and didn’t need her guidance when they learned to be strong. What an inspiring way to teach girls about working together to face their fears!

One of the other things Angel loves is helping girls sell cookies so they can have experiences like Girl Scout Day at the K. “When we got to do Day at the K last year, that was the first time most of my girls had seen a Royals game that wasn’t on a TV,” said Angel.

Thanks to Angel, more than 40 girls have a place to call home in Girl Scouts. Her troop has expanded from 15 Daisies to over 40 girls from Daisy through Junior Girl Scouts. Even with her early setback with Girl Scouts, she believes in the program because of its ability to empower. “Rather than being told you can’t do things because you’re a girl…you’re told you CAN do things BECAUSE you’re a girl,” said Angel.

In addition to the live skills and empowerment, Girl Scouts just provides a level playing field. “When you give to Girl Scouts, you’re giving girls the chance to fit in. Girl Scouts may be the only place where they have a vest like everyone else and get to do activities like everyone else…rather than being left out,” said Angel.

All year, volunteers like Angel are changing lives as troop leaders, service unit volunteers and parent helpers. Without your gifts of your time, your talent and your treasure, Girl Scouts couldn’t exist. As the year comes to a close we thank leaders, like Angel, who recognize their girls’ unique needs and work to provide them a solid support system.

If you’d like to provide a Girl Scout in need a uniform or invest in programming that directly impacts local girls, please consider an end of the year gift today. www.gsksmo.org/donate.

A Horse Trip of a Lifetime

Spotlight on Girl Scout Cadette Kylee F.

For Girl Scouts who are go-getters, love adventure, want to explore the world around them and make new friends – Girl Scout Destinations is where it’s at!

This summer Girl Scout Cadette Kylee F. spent a week in the Rocky Mountains with Girl Scouts of Colorado on the Colorado Horseback Adventure – considered the horse trip of a lifetime! She flew into Denver International Airport and spent the day at a Girl Scout Camp in Woodland Park, CO where she got to zipline, shoot archery and participate in some low ropes activities getting to know others on her Destination!

The group then traveled to Bear Basin Ranch in Westcliffe, CO where their days were full of trail rides, white water rafting and rustic cowgirl camp outs! The Destination culminated with an overnight horse pack trip in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range 12,000 feet above sea level!

“I really like horses and I wanted to travel somewhere else. I looked into it during the school year and [Colorado Horseback Adventure] looked the most fun so I chose that one! I really wanted to go on [a Destination] to explore new places.”

Studies have shown that Girl Scouts are more likely than non–Girl Scouts to practice goal setting, problem solving, risk taking, and leadership—key skills for the 21st century. Through Girl Scouting, girls realize their leadership potential through a variety of experiences, skill-building opportunities, and connections.

This Destination experience was something that Kylee worked really hard for. It took financial goal setting and preparation to make this trip a reality. Kylee used her Destination to help market her babysitting business, applied for (and received!) a scholarship through Girl Scouts of NE Kansas & NW Missouri and more money earning activities. By the time Kylee returned from Colorado, she had met her goal of funding her trip!

In fact, while waiting to board her plane home, an older woman engaged in conversation with Kylee about her experience in Colorado. Through conversation, the woman shared that she had owned horses in the past. And this wonderfully kind woman made a gift toward Kylee’s trip as well.

Being a Girl Scout not only helped Kylee prepare for the trip financially, but mentally and physically as well. Going to Colorado she already knew first aid, how to pack, put up a tent and build a fire. But most notably Kylee credits Girl Scouts with giving her the skills to make new friends and carry conversations with people she’s never met before.

“Destinations help you get out of your house and off your technology to see what’s actually out there. I would recommend this adventure to all Girl Scouts so they can experience adventures that they may not be able to normally,” Kylee said!

The second round of Girl Scout Destination applications are due Feb. 15. Where will you #TravelLikeaGirlScout?!

 

Holiday Gift Ideas for G.I.R.L.s!

Looking for some creative gift ideas for an awesome G.I.R.L (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)? We have scoured the internet for some of the coolest gifts for girls that will inspire them to innovate and lead! If you see an item from Amazon, don’t forget to use Amazon Smiles to give back to Girl Scouts FREE (https://smile.amazon.com/ch/43-0892926).

Go-Getter

  • Cost Effective ($8.99 eBook or $14.75 paperback)
    • Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat – this fun book will empower the Go-Getter in your life to learn her way around the kitchen. She can take charge and after learning these recipes and techniques, explore her own creations. You might even start getting dinners out of it!
  • Splurge ($98.97)
    • Slackers NinjaLine 36’ Intro Kit – get ready to be a strong leader! Let your GIRL imagine she’s a ninja with this amazing ninja training kit that can be fun for the whole family. This does take some installation in your yard, so be sure to measure and check details before getting this kit.

Innovator

  • Cost Effective ($11.99 and up)
    • Roominate Kits – ready to BUILD and imagine? Roominate was created by two female engineers who wanted girls to have an option to play with dolls…but in a more STEM focused way. These kits let girls build with circuits, motors, walls and other pieces put together endless new creations.
  • Splurge ($75.00)

Risk-taker

  • Cost Effective ($14.99)
    • Star Wars Rey Action Figure – talk about a GIRL! Rey from Star Wars is an inspiring alternative to a typical doll. She’s searching for her place in the world while being brave and a leader.
  • Splurge ($44.95)
    • Spooner Boards Freestyle – get ACTIVE! His cool board lets girls try out different types of board activities all in a safe design. Geared more for younger girls, this is a great way to get them excited about physical fitness.

Leader

  • Cost Effective ($18.95)
    • “I Never Forget a Face!” Memory Game – any leader knows that learning people’s names and leading by example is really important. Help your girl work on her memory with this fun match game for girls 3 – 9 years of age! What a great way to start talking to your girl about the importance of learning about people and their unique cultures.
  • Splurge ($65.00)
    • RoKC Climbing Lock-in – girls learn amazing things through cooperation and physical activity. Help your girl learn the teamwork and leadership needed in rock climbing by getting her a RoKC Climbing Lock-in Experience with Girl Scouts! It’s another exciting item that doesn’t clutter her already full room.

A special thanks to A Mighty Girl for some of these awesome gift ideas! We have TONS of cost effective Girl Scout activities that make great gifts as well, so if you’re looking for more ideas, visit our Activities page. Many of these are special Girl Scout activities that give your girl amazing opportunities for a low cost.

What awesome GIRL-inspired gifts are you getting for your Girl Scouts? Share in the comments below!

#GivingTuesday – Her Vest. Her Story.

Over the past few days we’ve introduced you to four amazing Girl Scouts – Ibtihaj, Ghada, Marissa and Annaleigh! These amazing, vibrant young women have started building their very first resumes by filling their vests. Each badge represents an experience, each pin represents challenges and successes that help build these women into G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders)!

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global movement on the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday focusing on giving back. Uniting in good, the world comes together to give back through service and financial gifts to make a difference. At Girl Scouts, thanks to an incredible donor, gifts made on #GivingTuesday have double the impact up to $5,000! With the help of those giving on this incredible day, we have been able to help girls tell their own stories by filling their vests.

Meet four Girl Scouts that are telling their own stories through the Girl Scouting program.

Meet Girl Scout Daisy, Ibtihaj!

 

Meet Girl Scout Junior, Ghada!

 

Meet Girl Scout Cadette, Marissa!

 

Meet Girl Scout Ambassador, Annaleigh!

 

These Girl Scouts love the experiences they’re having and the life skills they’re learning. Thank you for lifting up G.I.R.L.s! Together, we can continue to build a better future for girls – one badge at a time.

 

www.gsksmo.org/givingtuesday

 

Thankful for YOU

Our Girl Scout family is something extra special. Girl Scouts stand up for each other, they are leaders and they’re making the world a better place. We’re certainly thankful for that! As Thanksgiving approaches, we want to take a moment to think about the people that make Girl Scouts something to be thankful for all year long!

Our Troop Leaders

Featured story: STEMing Ahead with Community Partners

Troop leaders build girls up, provide them with solid role models and make Girl Scouting personal. Without our troop leaders, Girl Scouts couldn’t happen. These women AND men spend their personal time to help build up G.I.R.L.s! Whether these leaders ended up taking the lead on a troop by accident (“My mom will do it!”) or have been leading troops for decades, it’s always a life changing experience that impacts both the girls AND the leaders. Thank you for all you do!

Our Parent/Guardian/Family Volunteers

Featured story: A Troop of Innovators

When a team of dedicated parents get together to help a troop achieve their goal, it can have a profound impact on their Girl Scouts. Every parent, guardian and family member has a unique set of skills that they can share with girls to help them become better women. Thank you to our awesome volunteers who come out to teach special workshops, help with badges, cookies or highest awards! You rock!

Our Service Unit Volunteers

Featured story: Supporting G.I.R.L.s Lasts a Lifetime and Beyond

When you fall in love with service, you often find yourself wearing many hats. We are very thankful for our service unit volunteers who take on a variety of roles within their SU’s to help girls have the best experience possible. Whether it’s leading new troop leaders as a volunteer or serving as Product Sales Manager, volunteers are the lifeblood of Girl Scouting. We are thankful for volunteers who take risks themselves and make a difference by challenging themselves in new roles!

Our Donors & Daisy’s Circle Members

Featured story: Troop 879 is Standing with Sister Girl Scouts

Our donors go the extra mile for girls, giving not only of their financial support, but of their time and talent. Sometimes, they’re even girls giving to girls (see our featured story above). We are so fortunate to have donors who get their hands dirty at camp, who lend their voice to advocate for girls and who host Community Programs to help girls earn patches. That type of dedication and support is what makes our donors so special. Our dedicated, enthusiastic and wonderful supporters are always creating new ways to bring others into Girl Scouts and for that, we are THANKFUL! Thank you, donors, for all you do to make Girl Scouting possible.

Our Community Partners

Featured story: Girl Scout Day at the K, Girl Scout Arrowhead TakeoverGirl Scout Day at the Speedway

If it takes a village to raise a child…and it takes an entire community to raise a Girl Scout. We are so thankful for the support of businesses that stand with girls and help them become the leaders of tomorrow. We have more than 100 incredible Community Partners who support girls through badge workshops, special events and opportunities. Thank you to our Community Partners who bring incredible experiences in the outdoors, arts, sports, STEM, service and fun forward for our G.I.R.L.s!

Our Girl Scouts (and Alumnae)

Featured stories:  Going Gold with STEM, From Gold Award to the Silver Screen & Girl Scouting Goes Full Circle

What are we MOST thankful for this year? Our Girl Scouts, of course! From Daisies to Ambassadors to Alumnae, Girl Scouts are giving hope to the world for a brighter, GIRL SCOUT POWERED, future! As community members, we are thankful for the hundreds of thousands of hours of service that Girl Scouts give back each year. We are thankful for the mentoring that older Girl Scouts give to their younger Girl Scouts, ensuring a world where women build up other women. Finally, we are thankful for the alumnae who are leading by example as CEOs, politicians, artists and advocates. Girl Scouts, you are simply amazing. THANK YOU for all you’ve done!

 

Thank you to everyone who works together to make Girl Scouting the best experience a young girl can have! We are wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving with their friends and families! Grab a slice of pie and enjoy the company of those who make our lives bright.

 

Happy Thanksgiving, Girl Scouts!

Girl Scout Myths, Debunked – Part 2

Get to Know the Safety Activity Checkpoints, Trip & Activity Request Form and Supplemental Insurance Purchase

On Friday, we brought you Girl Scout Myths, Debunked – Part 1. It was full of information for caregivers and volunteers, setting the record straight on some old and false information that has been floating around! In part 2 of this blog series, we’re debunking myths that are more relevant to troop leaders around policies and procedures!

This post references the Safety Activity Checkpoints. When preparing for any activity with girls, always begin with the Safety Activity Checkpoints (SACs) written specifically for that particular activity. If SACs do not exist for an activity you and your Girl Scouts are interested in, don’t worry. We are here to help you navigate. You can connect with your Troop Support Manager or email us at customercare@gsksmo.org.

Myth: Troops can only camp at Girl Scout properties.
Truth: Camping is a great Girl Scout tradition and one of the very first activities that Girl Scouts’ founder Juliette Gordon Low encouraged for girls! Girl Scouts can camp at any public* area following Camping SACs! Just make sure you complete a Trip & Activity Request 6 weeks prior to your overnight camping experience at a non-council property. There are so many amazing places for camping in and around our council. Reserve America is a great resource for planning camping locations!

*GSKSMO recommends that GS meetings and troop activities take place in public areas. Overnights are never approved on private property like individual’s basements, backyards or open fields.

 Myth: Daisies can’t go camping.
Truth: A Daisy troop may participate in an occasional overnight camping experience. Daisies who have completed kindergarten may independently participate at day camp and in resident camp experiences lasting up to three nights. Daisies who have completed first grade may independently participate in resident camp experiences lasting four or more nights. Just make sure you’re following all Camping SACs and complete the necessary paperwork letting GSKSMO know and you’re good to go!

Myth: We need insurance for everyone attending an event and it can be purchased the day of the event.
Truth: Every registered girl and adult is covered under a Girl Scout insurance plan. Additional insurance must be purchased for all non-registered person(s) attending GS events. To purchase additional insurance, complete and submit this form with the appropriate fee at least 2 weeks before the event date. Forms can be submitted by mail, fax or email to ProgramApprovals@gsksmo.org.

Myth: You need council approval for any activity you do with your Troop or Service Unit.
Truth: You only need council approval for high risk activities, discussions of sensitive topics, day trips outside the council boundaries and overnights at non-council properties. To obtain approval submit an Activity & Trip Application according to the following schedule:

  • High-Risk/Sensitive Topics/Day Trips outside council boundaries OR overnights of 1-2 nights not at a council-property– 6 weeks in advance or prior to any fundraising.
  • Extended Travel (3 or more nights) – 6 months or prior to any fundraising.
  • International Trips – 1 year in advance or prior to any fundraising.

Remember that Girl Scouting is girl-led, but as the troop leader or volunteer you’re there to help make sure that girls (and adults) are following safety procedures. Communicate with council and parents. Inform your Girl Scout council and girls’ parents/guardians about the activity, including details about safety precautions and any appropriate clothing or supplies that may be necessary. Follow GSKSMO procedures for activity approval, certificates of insurance, and guidelines about girls’ general health examinations. Make arrangements in advance for all transportation and confirm plans before departure and arrange for transportation and adult supervision.

If you ever have questions about following Safety Activity Checkpoints or proper procedures, please email programs@gsksmo.org.