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SU Planning Resources

Thank you for serving the Girl Scout community as a member of the Service Unit Team.  By your commitment to your Service Unit, your efforts enable your area to provide enriching, priceless opportunities for Girl Scouts in your community. 

These pages are designed to be a guide, to answer questions, offer helpful hints and assist you in reaching your fullest potential in your volunteer role.

In addition to these pages and your trainings, you should also draw on the expertise of other volunteers in your Service Unit and surrounding Service Units.  Your Volunteer Specialist, Program Specialist, Recruitment Specialist and Placement Specialist are also available from the Girl Scouts of Orange County Council as resources.

Thank you for volunteering and all that you do to create a positive difference in the lives of girls and adults in your community.

SERVICE UNIT CORE TEAM VOLUNTEERS

All Service Unit Team volunteer positions must be added by choosing the volunteer role on the Opportunity Catalog each membership year.   There are 16 core positions in the Service Unit that are needed to run the Service Unit.  The core positions are: Service Unit Coordinator – Planner, Service Unit Coordinator – HR, Data Management Coordinator, Service Unit Finance Coordinator, Service Unit Recognitions Coordinator, Service Unit Membership Coordinator, Service Unit Trainer, Service Unit Fall Product  Manager, Service Unit Cookie Manager, Service Unit Booth Coordinator and Level Consultants for each level.

Service Unit Manager - Provides leadership/management by organizing volunteers and troops to deliver Girl Scouting within the Service Unit.  Works in partnership with the Volunteer Specialist (VS) to plan, direct and monitor delivery of the Girl Scout program throughout the Service Unit.

Service Unit Coordinator – Planner – Partners with the Service Unit Coordinator – HR to provide leadership and management of the Service Unit by establishing a clear vision that is consistent with the Girl Scout mission, promise, law and the goals of the Girl Scout movement.  In coordination with the Program Specialist, the Planner plans, directs and monitors the delivery of the Girl Scout program throughout the Service Unit. The Planner is responsible for determining the Service Unit personnel needs and maintaining a working Service Unit Team; developing and implementing a Service Unit Plan of Work and the Service Unit’s budget; preparing  agendas for and conducting Team and Service Unit meetings; maintaining communications with Individual Registered Members (GSI’s) and their families;  review and approve large event budgets and be a bank signatory on the Service Unit account as well as all community bank accounts .  For Community Accounts, the Planner (or a designated Team Member) will be a signatory on the bank account and review and approve any budgets for Community Events.

Service Unit Coordinator – HR – Partners with the Service Unit Coordinator – Planner to provide leadership and management of the Service Unit by organizing volunteers and troops to deliver Girl Scouting throughout the Service Unit.  The HR Coordinator is specifically responsible for helping new troop leaders start their troops, reviewing troop leaders annually, recruiting Team members and  implementing a succession plan for the Service Unit Team.  The HR Coordinator also orients all Team members to their positions;  works  with the Recognitions Coordinator to ensure that  volunteers in the Service Unit are recognized and thanked; recommends volunteers for Council positions; assists troop leaders with troop bank letters as well as any problems or conflicts; reviews and approves troop travel and money earning projects according to Council guidelines; and reviews SU Roster Reports sent bi-weekly

Service Unit Data Management Coordinator (DMC)– Oversees Service Unit membership registration to help troops register efficiently, effectively and promptly by carrying out Council membership registration procedures and meeting deadlines in the Fall and Spring.  The DMC retains copies of any submitted Troop Parent Permission Logs for at least 2 years; reviews bi-weekly SU Roster Reports and sends any error corrections or discrepancies to the Customer Care Department; reports combined or disbanded troops and any changes to a member’s contact information to their Placement Specialist or Customer Care.  The DMC also supplies Service Unit Coordinators with a list of troops not renewing, current membership figures, troop composition and lists of girls and adult membership as needed.

Service Unit Finance Coordinator – Keeps Service Unit finances in order by receiving and disbursing funds accurately and maintaining complete financial records.  The Finance Coordinator establishes and maintains one bank account to handle Service Unit funds with themselves as one of the authorized signers on the account; reviews and approves Large Event budgets in coordination with the Service Unit Coordinator – Planner and may be asked to become a signatory on the Large Event accounts in the Service Unit area. The Finance Coordinator receives and records bank funds for all Service Unit events following GSOC Financial Guidelines; issues checks with proper signatures to pay documented budgeted expenses of the Service Unit; maintains accurate records of all transactions; prepares and submits an annual Service Unit Financial Report and keeps the Service Unit Team apprised of budget status.

Service Unit Recognitions Coordinator – Works with the Service Unit Team to help ensure that adult volunteers in the Service Unit are recognized for their hard work and outstanding service!  The Recognitions Coordinator works with volunteers to collect the stories of amazing members and nominate them for Girl Scout Adult awards nationally and locally. The Recognitions Coordinator informs the Service Unit Team of Adult Awards Criteria and nomination procedures and deadlines and ensure that your Service Unit has strong representation in the nominations process; works with parents and girls in the Service Unit to help them recognize and thank their leaders year-round as well as during Volunteer Appreciation Month and Leaders Appreciation Day in April; communicates with leaders to ensure they know of various Girl Awards and their deadlines and nominations process

Service Unit/Council Trainer – Facilitates learning opportunities of the highest quality consistent with the identified needs of Council and its volunteers.  In coordination with the staff Volunteer Development Manager, the Trainer plans, helps to  develop and implements resources that meet the needs of  volunteers and GSOC; works with the staff Volunteer Development Specialist to obtain course materials, submit attendance records, evaluations and other appropriate information and provide a minimum of 3 learning opportunities per year; arrives early for set up and stay after for clean up; remains available and approachable before, during and after training courses to answer questions and refers unanswerable questions to the Volunteer Development Manager; participates in the annual Volunteer Conference and other meetings as necessary.

Service Unit Membership Coordinator – Works in coordination with the Service Unit Coordinator – HR and the Council’s Recruitment Specialist to develop and implement a year-round Service Unit recruitment and retention plan; organizes and attends Service Unit-wide recruitments; responds to membership inquires at schools where there is not a school liaison; disseminates all membership campaign information to Service Unit members; finds volunteers to conduct recruitments; assists the staff Membership Specialists – both Placement and Recruitment -  in building and maintaining the Girl Opportunity Catalog; and appoints school liaisons.

Service Unit Fall Product or Cookie  Manager – Appoints and supervises Troop Product &  Cookie Coordinators to ensure GSOC procedures are followed throughout the Fall Product and Cookie Programs.  The SU Fall Product Manager and the SU Cookie Manager verifies with the Data Management Coordinator that each of their Troop Fall Product & Cookie Coordinators are registered and background screened Girl Scout members, are properly trained and have worked with their troops to file their Troop Account Authorization (TAA/ACH) form annually. Each will coordinate with their respective Fall Product or Cookie volunteers to ensure that all materials, product/cookies, and girl recognitions are properly dispersed/delivered and that all records are adequately maintained and reported to GSOC.

Service Unit Booth Sale Coordinator – Coordinates and supervises all arrangements for booth sale sites and other multi-troop operations during both the Fall Product and Cookie Programs; works with their Service Unit Fall Product and Cookie Managers to ensure that all Booth Sale Locations are invited to participate, are adequately maintained and recorded in GSOC systems; prepares and obtains SU Team approval for booth lottery rules and procedures and  hosts with help of SU Team, their Service Unit Lotteries for first choice booth locations reservations

Level Consultant (one for each program level) – Each Level Consultant assists troop leaders and other volunteers in their Service Unit or broader area  to ensure that girls are getting the very best, age-appropriate and fun Girl Scout Leadership Experience as Girl Scouts. Each Level Consultant will partner with a Program Specialist for their chosen level to support and mentor   troop leaders and volunteers.  Each should regularly welcome new leaders to their Service Unit, collaborate with and provide support for other volunteers at leader meetings, and share inspiring stories of girls and troops in their area. 

OTHER SERVICE UNIT POSITIONS

School Liaison – Represents their Service Unit at each school as the main Girl Scout contact;  Each School Liaison works with and provides knowledge and insight to their Service Unit Membership Coordinator to develop and implement a year-round recruitment  the best way to work with the school and help all girls and adults who wish to become members of Girl Scouts to become registered members. Each School Liaison should be available to respond to general membership inquiries, direct adults to the GSOC website, plan and provide input for the Opportunity Catalog, network with the school and PTA, organize and attend recruitment events at their school, order and distribute recruitment materials to advertise Girl Scouts and specific recruitment events at their school, recruit troop leaders and girls at their school and in the community to join troops..  School Liaisons may be asked to help find volunteers to advertise or assist with events at their school, like Kindergarten Round-up, Back to School Night, Movie or Carnival nights, etc. as well as specific recruitment events.

Events Coordinator – Recruits and appoints Service Unit Event Chair for events. The Events Coordinator attends meetings with Service Unit Event Chairs, Service Unit Finance Coordinator and Service Unit Coordinator – Planner to evaluate past events and plan future events to be hosted by the Service Unit or Troops within the Service Unit. The Event Coordinator along with the Event Chairs and the Service Unit Coordinator – Planner determine the scope of each event and its appropriate budget.

Event Chair – Recruits an event committee in cooperation with the Event Coordinator and the Service Unit Coordinator – Planner to host Service Unit Events.  Determine the objective, focus, type and time of the event with the committee input.  The Event Chair develops detailed event plans and budget to be approved by the Events Coordinator and the Service Unit Team before promotion of the particular event. 

Equipment Chair – Stores Service Unit equipment or keeps control of the key to a Service Unit equipment storage facility.  The Equipment Chair provides an inventory list of equipment the Service Unit owns and maintains reservation records, deposits to cover loss/damage and evaluation of the condition of all Service Unit equipment.

Website Coordinator - Designs, maintains and updates a Service Unit website.

Permission Slip Volunteer – if designated by Service Unit Coordinator – Planner and trained by Planner or Volunteer Specialist, there can be a separate volunteer who reviews, approves and rejects Permission Slips from troop leaders and manages their safekeeping.

APPOINTING VOLUNTEERS

Most Service Unit Team Members, Troop Leaders, Troop Helpers etc. are appointed by selecting their volunteer role(s) from the Opportunity Catalog in their MyGS account.  Some appointments must be approved by a particular Team Member or by the Volunteer Specialist.  The Service Unit Manager/Coordinator - HR is responsible to evaluate, assess, and track background screening dates, training records and assist with recognition of volunteers within the Service Unit by using the bi-monthly Service Unit Roster Reports they are provided.  

Service Unit Managers/Coordinators – HR are responsible for orienting Team members to their positions and recruiting Service Unit Team members and Troop Leaders.

VOLUNTEER ACCOUNTABILITIES

Terms for volunteer roles on the Service Unit Team are for one year with some roles having a maximum for consecutive terms.  Each Service Unit Team position is different and consult with your Volunteer Specialist for exact terms. 

Service Unit Manager/Coordinators are appointed for 1-year terms with a maximum of 3 consecutive terms.  They are accountable to their Volunteer Specialist.

Service Unit Team Members are appointed by their Service Unit Coordinator – HR for a 1-year term and are accountable to the Service Unit Manager/Coordinator - HR.

Level Consultants are appointed by their Service Unit Coordinator - HR for a o1-year term and are accountable to their Program Specialist.

School Liaisons are appointed by the Service Unit Membership Coordinator for a 1-year term and are accountable to the Membership Coordinator and to their Placement/Recruitment Specialists.

Service Unit Product Sales Managers are appointed for the duration of the sale and are accountable to the Council Product Sales Director.

Delegates and Alternate Delegates are elected by the Service Unit membership for 1-year terms with a maximum of 3 consecutive terms.

Troop Leaders are appointed for 1-year terms and are accountable to the Service Unit Coordinator – HR.

SERVICE UNIT TEAM MEETINGS

Service Unit Team meetings help the team build camaraderie to get the jobs of the Service Unit done quickly and efficiently. These meetings are the foundation of a strong Girl Scout Service Unit.  Without team meetings, teams are often left feeling adrift and disconnected from the core purpose of their Service Units. 

The team meeting is where the planning takes place including tracking the Service Unit Honor Award requirements.  The Service Unit Team is tasked with planning recruitment and girl activities as well as deciding how to recognize its volunteers, all while having FUN!  All Service Unit Team members should attend these meetings as well as the Volunteer Specialist.  The team should invite the Recruitment Specialist, Placement Specialist and/or Program Specialist if they need assistance in their area of expertise during these planning sessions.

The Service Unit Team meeting is where the Service Unit Coordinators can check in with the team members to see where the Service Unit is flourishing or where additional support is needed.  The Finance Coordinator and Data Management Coordinator give updates and the Events Coordinator reports on how event planning is going.

Service Unit Team meetings are planning meetings and are most effective when held prior to the next Service Unit meeting to give the team time to prepare any trainings, information or networking that will occur at the Service Unit meeting.  When a team meeting is held the same night as the Service Unit meeting, it is recommended to hold the team meeting AFTER the Service Unit meeting to prepare for the next month’s meeting.  It is not recommended to hold a team meeting immediately before a Service Unit meeting (unless the team is making plans a month in advance), because it will require more time to effectively prepare for the Service Unit meeting.

Qualities of an effective meeting: 

  • A regularly scheduled place and time
  • An invitation for team members to add topics to the agenda prior to the meeting
  • An agenda that is distributed at least 24 hours prior to the meeting
  • A set a time limit for each topic – and stick to it
  • Make sure team members are always respectful, even during differences of opinion – cite the Girl Scout Law
  • A set start and end time, ending the meeting on time
SERVICE UNIT MEETINGS

Service Unit meetings are typically held monthly during the school year and offer team members, Troop Leaders and troop designees that attend the meetings a wealth of information they cannot receive in another capacity. 

Service Unit meetings offer:

  • Level Networking & Idea Sharing– when Girl Scouts  “break out” by level with either the Level Consultant or a Team member  facilitating a conversation.
  • Events/Activities – Up to date information on Service Unit and Council activities.
  • Training – Training 20’s or pertinent trainings to the Service Unit or for time of year (cookie rookie, permission slips, etc.)
  • Recognition – Public recognition for accomplishments (i.e., Volunteer of Excellence or thanks to Event Chair for running an event, etc.)

It is recommended for each troop to have a representative attend each Service Unit meeting.  The same person does not have to attend all meetings.  The troop representative can be the Troop Leader, a Troop Helper or a parent.  The purpose of having troop representation at each Service Unit meeting is to communicate Service Unit and Council news, events, trainings and the sharing of ideas with the troop. 

Ideas for Service Unit meetings:  

  • Keep meetings fun & interactive with training or networking
  • Have “take-aways” like a song or information on bridging or other activities
  • Keep the meetings to an hour.  Try the 20-20-20 concept for the Service Unit meeting
    • 20 minutes of training
    • 20 minutes of networking
    • 20 minutes of SU and Council announcements

Qualities of an effective meeting: 

  • A regularly scheduled place and time
  • A set a time limit for each topic – and stick to it
  • A set start and end time, ending the meeting on time
  • Remind Troop Leaders a few days prior to the meeting of the location and time; ask School Liaisons to remind leaders at their school
  • Have greeters welcome meeting attendees as they arrive
  • Have a sign in sheet to track attendance (needed for SU Honor Award and some SU’s use as an incentive for booth lotteries or to support Troop Honor Award)
  • Have commercials for SU events/activities – avoid reading fliers – have girls come talk about their events, service projects, higher award projects
  • Keep meeting upbeat, positive and FUN

SAMPLE SERVICE UNIT MEETING AGENDA...

_________________________________

XYZ Service Unit

Date

Welcome/Introductions (10 minutes before meeting starts)

  • Sign in, pick up agenda/fliers

Opening

  • Flag ceremony, Girl Scout Promise and Law
  • Introduce new team members/leaders

Council News

  • Resident Camp
  • Council Report

Training (20 minutes)

  • How to weave badge work into your girls’ Journey…

Networking (20 minutes)

  • Level Consultants facilitate conversation based on training

Closing and Thank You

  • Congratulations Troop 123 for running a successful Daisy Day event
  • Thank you Mary Smith for providing snack for tonight’s meeting
  • Poem

Next Service Unit Meeting:

7:00pm

Tuesday, March 12th

ABC School

 

FIELD MEETINGS

Four times a year, Service Unit Managers/Coordinators (Planners and HR) from all of the Council’s areas come together for a Field Meeting.  This is a time for managers/coordinators to network, learn Council news, and share their opinions with the Council’s top management.

These meetings are of critical importance, and each Service Unit should always send a least one representative.  The Service Unit Manager/Coordinator does not always have to be the person who attends—but they are frequently the person who will get the most benefit from the meeting.  If the Service Unit Manager/Coordinator cannot make a field meeting, they are tasked with finding a team member to attend and bring the information back to the Service Unit.

The Field Meetings are on the first Tuesday in October, February and April.

In August there is a gathering that is a special “kick-off” meeting open to all volunteers (including team members and leaders in the Service Unit which is referred to as the Volunteer Conference.  This is considered the fourth Field Meeting that team members should attend.  At the Volunteer Conference, workshops are presented to help troop leaders, team members and other volunteers learn about changes in GSOC rules and procedures, prepare for the new Girl Scout year and network with other members to discover the best practices to running an effective SU team.

The location and theme of these Field meetings change to meet our volunteers’ needs, so watch the Girl Scout Weekly Volunteer News for details.

Be sure to mark your calendar early for the Field Meetings so that you will not inadvertently plan any Service Unit meetings or activities that conflict with the date and time.

 

SUCCESSION PLANNING

Succession planning is a process for identifying and developing volunteers within the Service Unit to fill future core Team positions.  Succession planning increases the availability of experienced and capable volunteers that are prepared to assume these roles as they become available. 

Even at the beginning of your term as a Service Unit Coordinator (Planner or HR), one of your most important roles is to start planning for your successor(s). The Service Unit Manager/Coordinator is encouraged to work closely with the Volunteer Specialist or other staff member who appoints for a particular position (i.e., product sales will appoint the Service Unit Fall Product and Cookie Coordinators) to provide input on each potential candidate.  In some cases, a staff member from another department will supervise a volunteer position, as in the case of product sales, and they serve as the staff liaison.  Once the Volunteer Specialist or other staff liaison appoints the core Service Unit Team members, the Service Unit Manager/Coordinator can assist them with the recruitment of associates needed for each position. 

The Service Unit Coordinators should encourage Service Unit Team member candidates to attend team meetings in order to receive mentoring in a team role that interests them or utilizes their talents or skill sets.  They may be invited to accompany a team member to a Field Meeting so they can see the “bigger” picture. 

Service Unit Teams thrive when there is a committed and diverse pool of adults to be considered for positions.  Look beyond current troop leaders; they are already volunteering and it is important to identify individuals who truly are able to commit the necessary time to fulfilling the Service Unit Team position.  Consider recruiting former leaders, lifetime members, parents of current girl members and members of the community.

Service Unit team members do not need to be troop leaders, but they must successfully complete the volunteer application process, including background screening.  When speaking with volunteers, look for positions in which your candidate will be the best fit.  Be honest about the amount of time a position will require. 

Always get back to anyone expressing interest in volunteering within one week.  Your enthusiasm will sell Girl Scouting!

DELEGATES & ALTERNATE DELEGATES

The Bylaws of the Girl Scouts of Orange County require representatives of the membership to gather at an Annual Meeting in March to elect officers, review policies and discuss issues.

The representative members are called Delegates.  These Delegates and Alternate Delegates to this annual meeting must be Girl Scout Ambassadors and adult members of the Girl Scout movement and currently registered through Council.  Each Service Unit is allotted Delegates and Alternate Delegates based on its girl membership as of September 30th.  These Delegates and Alternate Delegates are nominated and elected by the members of the Service Unit.  This nomination and election typically happens in November. 

A Delegate’s term is 1-year, but no more than 3 consecutive years.  The Delegate and Alternate Delegate once elected by their Service Unit will go to their profile on MyGS and choose their volunteer role in the Opportunity Catalog. 

Delegates are expected to:

  • Prepare for the Annual Meeting by following instructions they receive in January from GSOC (i.e., training that is typically online)
  • Discuss the Annual Meeting with the Service Unit; request time on the SU meeting agenda by contacting the SU Coordinator – Planner
  • Attend the Annual Meeting in March
  • Discuss results and update the Service Unit of the business from the Annual Meeting; request time on the SU meeting agenda by contacting the SU Coordinator – Planner, if needed.
  • Participate in Strategy Cafes, as needed

There is a designated place on the Girl Scouts of Orange County website for Delegate information. The SU Coordinator – Planner should guide the Delegate to go to the website www.GirlScoutsOC.org click on the GSOC tab then “Delegates” in the left column to find information related to being a Delegate (Annual Meeting information, standing rules, and Annual Meeting registration).

SU Manager/Coordinator – Planners should be aware of the following:

  • Their Volunteer Specialist will communicate with them after October 1st regarding how many Delegates/Alternate Delegates their Service Unit is entitled to elect. 
  • At the October Service Unit meeting encourage members to nominate or become Delegates and Alternate Delegates.  Planners should explain the importance of this Team position to the members of their Service Unit.
  • Delegates will need time on the Service Unit agenda during certain months to discuss with members the business of the Annual Meeting.   This should be a summary of information.
  • Delegate and Alternate Delegate names should be turned into the Volunteer Specialist by December 15th.  Remind Delegates and Alternate Delegates to add this volunteer role in their MyGS account by accessing the Opportunity Catalog.
    • The Volunteer Specialist will confirm the eligibility of the Delegates and Alternate Delegates
MAINTAINING SERVICE UNIT RECORDS

The Service Unit is required to maintain records for a certain period of time.  As a Service Unit Manager/Coordinator (Planner or HR) you will ensure Team members are keeping records for the appropriate time frames and making sure records with volunteer information is shredded after that time has lapsed.   The Volunteer Specialist can have records shredded for the Service Unit.

Record Type

Length of Time to Store

Team Member

ACTIVITIES/SU Events

Event information (one for each event that includes: budget, flyer, staff list, equipment/supply list, final report, evaluation and list of thank you’s)

Current membership year + 2 years

SU Manager/SU Coordinator – Planner or Event Coordinator

CONFLICTS

Any documentation regarding conflicts with or among volunteers or parents

Current membership year + 1

For serious conflicts send the file to your Volunteer Specialist.

SU Manager/SU Coordinator – HR

cc: Volunteer Specialist

FINANCIALS FOR SU

·         SU Budget, SU budget worksheet

·         SU monthly Bank statements

·         Cancelled SU checks

Current calendar year + 1 year

SU Finance Coordinator

FINANCIALS FOR Community Events, which could include Day Camp or Multi-SU Large Events

·         Community Event Budget, Community Event budget worksheet

·         Monthly Bank statements for Community Event Bank Account

·         Cancelled checks

Current calendar year + 1 year

SU Finance Coordinator or SU Manager/SU Coordinator – Planner (depending on who is designated signer on Community Event Account)

 

MEDICAL

Day Camp Medical Log

7 years after the girl turns 21 years old

GSOC HQ

Accident Report with permission slip attached

Permanently

Facility Operations Director, GSOC

PERMISSION SLIPS

Field trips/Events/Activities (one per occasion)

Troop Meetings (one per troop meeting location)

Current membership year + 1 year

SU Coordinator – HR or SU Team Member designee

TROOP/GROUP

Troop/Group Product/Cookie Program Information

Current membership year + 1 year

Troop/Group Product/Cookie Manager

Troop/Group Banking Information

Current membership year + 1 year

 Troop Treasurer and/or Troop Leader

Troop Travel Request

Current membership year + 1 year after end of trip

SU Coordinator – HR

Program Specialist – Travel Focus

Money Earning Application and After Money Earning Report

Current membership year

SU Coordinator – HR

Program Specialist – Travel Focus

Parent Permission Logs

Current membership year + 1 year

Data Management Coordinator

Training & Recognition Records

If volunteer is with Troop/Group, training records should be kept until they leave troop/group or are accurately reflected on the Volunteer Network

 Troop Leader until records are accurately reflected on the Volunteer Network

TROOP BANK AUTHORIZATION LETTER PROCESS

The Service Unit Coordinator – HR or SU designee (sometimes the Finance Coordinator) typically will supply troop bank authorization letters for new troops just forming and needing to open an account or for existing troops that are either changing signers on an account or closing an account at one bank to open a new account at a new bank location. (Both these types of letters are often referred to as “bank letters.”)   The Volunteer Specialist can supply a few bank letters at a time. The bank letter for new and existing GSOC Troop accounts is signed by a GSOC designated staff member.  These are pre-signed letters, so anyone with access to them needs to take caution and store them in a safe place. 

Once the letter is filled out by the Service Unit designee, it allows a troop to either open an account under the name of Girl Scouts of Orange County, Troop XYZ, or change signers or other information on an existing Girl Scout troop account. Troops should be advised to contact their Service Unit designee to obtain a bank letter before going to the bank to open their account. They need to follow the steps as listed in Troop Financial Guidelines and New Leader Handbook when opening a new account.

The Service Unit designee will complete the information on the bank letter before authorizing the Troop Leader to open a bank account (or whenever there is a change on an account). 

The Service Unit designee will need the following:

  • Legal names of all signers on the account (which they will verify with their Volunteer Specialist or from their reports that  are current registered Girl Scout members and have cleared/unexpired background screenings)
  • Mailing address of Troop Treasurer or Troop Leader, not GSOC
  • Name and address of bank
  • Confirmation that all Troop Leaders/Troop Treasurers or signers on the account have completed the online financial training entitled, “Using Resources Wisely: Troop Financial Training” found on www.GSOCLearning.com
  • Confirmation that all signers are unrelated by blood or marriage and not living in the same household pursuant to the Troop Financial Guidelines

Each troop must complete a Troop Account Authorization or TAA/ACH form online annually and every time there is a new account opened or a change to the account.  The TAA/ACH form can be found at www.GirlScoutsOC.org under Forms and Docs and keyword search “TAA or ACH”. Each troop must complete a Troop Financial Report annually and when the troop disbands. Troop Financial Reports can be completed by accessing the Volunteer Toolkit’s Finance Tab. The Troop Leader should complete the VTK/Finance tab with the confirmation/assistance of the Troop Treasurer.

TROOP HONOR AWARDS

Like the Service Unit Honor Award assists the Service Unit with creating goals, the Troop Honor Award helps troops plan well-rounded and successful programs.  This is also a way for the Service Unit Team to involve troop leaders in reaching the Service Unit Honor Award. 

Each Service Unit can set the requirements of the Troop Honor Award to focus on specific activities and importance to them.  This flexibility allows each Service Unit to meet their diverse needs and goals.

Use the Troop Honor Award to recognize troops for providing quality Girl Scout experience that builds girls of Courage, Confidence and Character who make the world a better place.

When creating the Troop Honor Award use requirements based on the National Program Portfolio (NPP) ensuring troops are providing the best Girl Scout Leadership Experience for the girls using both the Girls Guide to Girl Scouting for skill building and the Journey program for leadership skills.

The following are recommendations/ideas to help the Service Unit Team in creating and offering troops incentives to complete the Troop Honor Award:

  • Call the award “Troop Honor Award”
  • Award troops that complete the Troop Honor Award with a patch (first year patch and red star) and accompanying stars for each year they achieve the award
    • Leaders can choose to purchase additional Troop Honor patches and stars from the GSOC shop
    • Suggest troops showcase their Troop Honor patch and stars on a troop banner

GSOC recommends the criteria for the Troop Honor Award to address the following topics:

  • Girl-Adult Partnership: Girl Scout activities are built on the 3 processes – Girl Led, Cooperative Learning and Learn by Doing
  • Discover, Connect and Take Action – All Girl Scout activities the troop participates in should help the girls Discover themselves, Connect with others and Take Action to improve their community.
  • Leadership Outcomes – Girls gain specific knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviors and values to make progress toward achieving the National outcomes outlined in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.
  • Recruitment – Troops add new girls and adult members and/or exceed the minimum standard of 12 girls.
  • Volunteer Experience – Leaders experience personal growth and satisfaction through training, workshops and an increased participation within the Service Unit Team.  Training dates, locations and to register for a training can be located on the calendar at www.GirlScoutsOC.org or online trainings at www.GSOCLearning.com
  • Bridging – Troops provide opportunities for the girls to be exposed to and enriched by girls from other Girl Scout program levels.
  • Communication – Leaders communicate regularly with the Service Unit Team and the Level Consultant for their level.  Leaders attend and participate in Service Unit meetings.  Share information with the parents in their troop.  Meet Council deadlines for Troop Financial Reports and other documentation/information as needed. 
  • Journeys and GSLE – Leaders provide the opportunity for girls to choose the Journey they would like to incorporate into their Girl Scout experience.  

For a sample of Troop Honor Awards or ideas to create a Troop Honor Award, refer to the Service Unit goals, GSOC goals or ask your Volunteer Specialist for assistance.

SPECIAL TROOP REQUESTS REVIEWED & APPROVED BY SU

Troop Travel & Money Earning Activities

 

The Service Unit Coordinator – HR is responsible for reviewing and approving, at the Service Unit level, all Troop Travel requests and requests for Money Earning Activities.TRAVEL

Under current Troop/Group Travel Guidelines (currently entitled, “Traveling with Girl Scouts”) Level 1 through Level 3 (Overnight) trips are approved on the Service Unit Level through the Permission Slip procedures. Such Permission Slips should be reviewed regularly by the Service Unit Coordinator – HR or another trained SU designee.  Any Level 4 (extended overnight), Level 5 (National Trips) or Level 6 (International Trips) need to be preliminarily approved by the Service Unit Coordinator – HR and then forwarded to the Program Department at GSOC for final review and approval. 

Page 10 of Policies and Standards, July 2011 states:

“Troops/groups are required to obtain Council authorization before Troop trips or travel that require an overnight stay.”

The Service Unit Coordinator – HR is the Council’s designated representative at the Service Unit level to approve these requests.  Additional rules for troop travel can be found in GSOC’s Policies and Standards, Troop/Group Travel Guidelines, Travel Appendix of Volunteer Essentials Resource Book or in the Appendix of this manual.

Troop/Group Travel Guidelines and GSOC Money Earning Guidelines and Application can be found at www.GirlScoutsOC.org under Forms and Docs.  (All troops/groups should find most recent version at this location and not rely on previous versions.) The rules vary based on the distance of the trip and the age of the girls.  

 

 

Money Earning Activities

Page 5 of Policies and Standards, June, 2011 states:

All money raised or earned and other assets received in the name of or benefit of Girl Scouting must be authorized by GSOC and used for the purposes of Girl Scouting.

Page 6 of Policies and Standards, June 2011 states:

Troops must have written approval of the Service Unit Manager to engage in money-earning other than Council Product Sale programs.  Troops may not be granted permission to hold any additional money-earning projects during the time Council Product Sale programs are underway.

Consult pages 5 – 6 of Policies and Standards, July 2011, as well as GSOC Money-Earning Guidelines for Troops, Groups and Individual Girls (both attached in the Appendix) to understand the standards to follow when approving or denying these requests.  Questions about approval or denial of such applications should go to the GSOC Program Department for clarification.

The SU Manager/Coordinator – HR may need to educate Troop Leaders of the requirements for money-earning activities including these key points:

  • All money raised or earned, and other assets received must be authorized by GSOC and used of the purposes of Girl Scouting
  • Girl Scout members cannot solicit cash, cash equivalents or other goods or products from any foundation, corporation or business at any time
  • Girl Scout members cannot sell commercial products other than those approved by Council
  • Girls cannot raise money for other organizations or causes; they can decide to donate as a part of service
  • Approval is needed by the GSOC Program Specialist (in addition to the Service Unit Manager/Coordinator – HR) if the money-earning activity is expected to net more than $250
  • Troop Leaders must submit a report on the results of their money-earning activity within two weeks after the event to the Service Unit Manager/Coordinator – HR with a copy of the report going to Program Department of GSOC for projects earning over $250.

High Adventure Activity

The Service Unit Manager/Coordinator – HR is responsible for educating the Service Unit volunteers on the process for participating in a high adventure activity.  A high adventure activity is defined by Girl Scouts of Orange County as any activity which requires special training and/or safety equipment for girls and adults.

The entire process for approving a high adventure activity can be found in the High Adventure Activity Guidelines, Approval Process and Application.  Any troop/group that is interest in participating in a high adventure activity must complete the application and submit to the GSOC Headquarters, Attention: Program Department, by the deadlines requested prior to when the activity will take place.

An approved company/vendor/location list can be located on the GSOC website at www.GirlScoutsOC.org under Forms and Docs and keyword search “approved vendors” or “high adventure”. 

Companies/vendors/locations need approval for high adventure activities to ensure they comply with the pertinent Safety Activity Checkpoints.  They are required to submit documentation to GSOC Program Department showing the following:

  • Proof of compliance with state licensing requirements or statement that activity is not state regulated.
  • Certificate of Insurance for location and any company vehicle used to transport participants.
  • Copy of company’s agreement between company and group.
  • Copy of company’s indemnity/risk waiver that parent/guardians sign for child or themselves.

A FAQ sheet for high adventures with more information can be found at www.GirlScoutsOC.org under Forms and Docs and keyword search “high adventure.”

Since High Adventure Activities, like Troop Travel, may require extra approval from GSOC or additional insurance, troop leaders should give their Service Unit Teams extra time to review all Permission Slips for activities away from the troop/group’s regular meeting place.  If a troop leader submits a Permission Slip only 48 hours before the activity and it is a high adventure or troop travel or other activity that needs prior approval, the Service Unit Manager/Coordinator – HR needs to be prepared to reject approval for that activity and inform the troop/group leaders.