Every adult in Girl Scouting is responsible for the physical and emotional safety of girls. When adults and Girl Scouts are together, we all have a responsibility to keep girls safe.
The adult supervision rule at Girl Scouts is a strict standard that requires that whenever girls meet, either in person or virtually, there must be at least two registered, approved adult volunteers who are unrelated (for example: not a sibling, spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, or anyone who would be considered a family member) and who do not live in the same residence, with a minimum of one adult who is female.
Being an approved volunteer means:
Troop leaders must always be adults. Youth or youth members are not permitted to substitute for adult supervision. This rule applies to every Girl Scout gathering including troop meetings (in person and virtual), day trips, camp, sleep away travel, events, activities, and projects. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Troops must have a minimum of two adult leaders, one of whom must be female. A group must have at least two unrelated, approved adult volunteers present at all times. This includes in-person and virtual meetings. Plus, additional adult volunteers as necessary, depending on the size of the group and the girls' ages and abilities. These girl/adult ratios are based on the grade level of the girls and types of activities they will be doing.
GSUSA Membership and background screening, which includes a registered sex offender search, is required for the following positions:
Per California Assembly Bill 506 (AB506), which took effect on January 1, 2022, GSGLA must add mandated reporter training and fingerprinting background checks (LiveScan) to our already robust protocols for our volunteers. Per AB506, those who need to add the training/LiveScan are volunteers with direct contact or supervision of children for more than 16 hours a month, or 32+ hours a year. Read the full text of the bill.
Volunteers with specific roles, and those wanting to participate in specific activities, must fulfill these requirements or they will be prohibited from the role and/or participation if not met. At this time, volunteers with these roles must complete this training:
If friends and family members are included in the girl/adult ratio, are supervising Girl Scouts, and/or are included in the ratio for event staffing, handling money, or driving youth members, then background screening (Asurint or LiveScan) is required.
Mandated Reporter Training
All volunteers must complete these requirements and submit their completion certificate within 90 days of beginning their new role.
For activities outside of regular troop meetings, Girl Scouts requires that at least one adult volunteer be first aid/CPR and AED certified.
Annual permission forms are parental or legal guardian consent forms for attendance at regular troop meetings throughout the year. Annual permission forms are practiced at GSGLA. In addition to specific activity permission forms, volunteers keep copies of all permission forms for all Girl Scout members.
Leaders process and complete registration forms and other troop/group paperwork, such as permission forms, in a timely manner.
Many topics are often brought up in a very casual manner while on the way to or at a Girl Scout activity. For planned discussions and activities, parent/caregiver permission is required. For guidance on how to handle conversations on sensitive issues, refer to our Parent/Caregiver Permission for Sensitive Issues form.
All aspects of the Girl Scout program are open to observation by parents/caregivers, leaders, and staff.
Girl Scouts practice the buddy system to help protect members while on activities. Each girl is responsible for staying with her buddy at all times, warning her buddy of danger, giving her buddy immediate assistance if safe to do so, and seeking help when the situation warrants it. Girls are encouraged to stay near the group or buddy with another team of two, so in the event someone is injured, one person cares for the person while two others seek help. The buddy system can also be useful with adults needing to step away when enough adults remain with the girls.
All girls, whether in buddy groups or not, need to have adult supervision. Any time girls are in public, whether attending an activity, event, or traveling, where the public has a high interaction opportunity, an adult needs to be with each buddy group.