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Nothing is more important within Girl Scouting than ensuring the health and safety of girls. Health and safety extend to developing safety consciousness in girls and adults, as well as training staff, volunteers, and girls to ensure proper supervision, prevention of accidents and incidents, and maintenance of program resources.
Girl Scouts covers safety from all angles in several resources available to volunteers through your local council:
Daisies through Ambassadors can learn about safety and well-being when they earn the Safety Award. And, Brownies through Ambassadors can earn the First Aid Legacy badge. Find descriptions in The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting for each grade level.
Emergencies require prompt action and quick judgment. For many activities, Girl Scouts recommends that at least one adult volunteer be first aid/CPR certified. Volunteers can take advantage of first aid/CPR training offered by chapters of the American Red Cross, National Safety Council, EMP America, American Heart Association, or other sponsoring organizations approved by their councils. If possible, volunteers should take age-specific CPR training—that is, take child CPR if they're working with younger girls and adult CPR when working with older girls and adults.
A first-aider is an adult volunteer who has taken Girl Scout–approved first aid and CPR training that includes specific instructions for child CPR. If, through the American Red Cross, National Safety Council, EMP America, or American Heart Association, volunteers have a chance to be fully trained in first aid and CPR, doing so may make event and activity planning go a little more smoothly. The Safety Activity Checkpoints note when a first-aider needs to be present.
There are two categories of first-aiders:
First-aider (level 1): The presence of a first-aider (level 1) is required for many group activities. The course required to be a first-aider (level 1) is one that offers standard first aid and CPR, preferably with a focus on children. The Safety Activity Checkpoints state clearly when a first-aider (level 1) is needed.
First-aider (level 2): The presence of a first-aider (level 2) is required at resident camp, and at any camp activity with more than 200 participants. In addition, some activities require a first-aider (level 2); the Safety Activity Checkpoints state clearly whether a first-aider (level 2) is needed. First-aiders (level 2) pass the same course as first-aiders (level 1), and also have emergency response/first response, sports safety, wilderness first aid, and/or advanced first aid and CPR training. Each organization has a different name for its training, so be sure to ask whether a training course fulfills the level-2 requirements.
Check with your local Girl Scout council for a current list of approved first aid courses and training schedules.
Girls and volunteers make great partners to ensure that Girl Scout environments and activities are safe. Many possible projects can develop girls' safety skills and increase their understanding of what it means to be safe. Before girls explore the Internet, they need to sign the GSUSA Online Safety Pledge.
Please note that the former publication Safety-Wise has been replaced by three new publications.
GSUSA has revised and released all safety publications—Volunteer Essentials, Safety Activity Checkpoints, and Risk Management at Girl Scout Councils. These three publications contain all the information previously in Safety-Wise. GSUSA also created a one-page set of safety guidelines for volunteers and clarified the driving policy. For access to these publications contact your local Girl Scout council.