Sunday, October 19, 2014

Having Fun & Keeping Girls Safe

Involving girls in the planning and keeping them safe during an activity helps to ensure they have a fun and positive memory of the experience. Five simple steps to planning fun, safe activities are: 
  1. Use the three processes of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, be sure that: 
  1. All activities are girl-led. 
  1. Girls have the chance to learn cooperatively.  
  1. Girls learn by doing. 

  1. Review the Girl Scout Safety Guidelines in Volunteer Essentials.  Every adult in Girl Scouting is responsible for the physical and emotional safety of girls, and we all demonstrate that by agreeing to follow these guidelines at all times.  

  1. Read the Girl Scout Safety Activity Checkpoints for the particular activity the girls are planning. You can find these on our council’s website at: 

  1. Remember that if Safety Activity Checkpoint does not exist for an activity you and the girls are interested in, check with your staff liaison before making any definite plans with the girls. A few activities are allowed only with written council pre-approval and only for girls 12 and over, while some are off-limits completely: 
  • Caution: You must get written pre-approval from council for girls ages 12 and older who will operate motorized vehicles, such as go-carts and personal watercraft; use firearms; take trips on waterways that are highly changeable or uncontrollable; experience simulated skydiving and zero-gravity rooms; or fly in noncommercial aircraft, such as small private planes, helicopters, sailplanes, untethered hot air balloons, and blimps. 
  • Warning: The following activities are never allowed for any girl: potentially uncontrolled free-falling (bungee jumping, hang gliding, parachuting, parasailing, go-karting, and trampolining); creating extreme variations of approved activities (such as high-altitude climbing and aerial tricks on bicycles, skis, snowboards, skateboards, water-skis, and wakeboards); hunting; shooting a projectile at another person; riding all-terrain vehicles and motor bikes; and taking watercraft trips in Class V or higher.   

  1. Be aware that some discussion or activities may be considered sensitive for some due to their faiths or cultures.  Put the topic on hold until you have spoken with parents and received guidance from your staff liaison. When Girl Scout activities involve sensitive issues, your role is that of a caring adult who can help girls acquire skills and knowledge in a supportive atmosphere, not someone who advocates a particular position. You are required to obtain permission slips signed by the girls’ parents/guardians; see the “Engaging Girls at All Grade Levels” chapter of Volunteer Essentials for more information.