Safety Activity Checkpoints and High Adventure Activities

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How can you, as a Girl Scout volunteer, determine whether an activity is safe and appropriate?  Good judgement and common sense often dictate the answer.  What's safe in one circumstance may not be safe in another.  An incoming storm, for example, might force you to assess or discontinue an activity.  If you are uncertain about the safety of an activity, contact your GSNorCal staff with full details and don't proceed without approval.  Err on the side of caution and make the safety of girls your most important consideration.  Prior to any activity, read the specific Safety Activity Checkpoints available on the council website at  These are related to any activity you plan to do with girls.  SAFETY-WISE: Safety Activity Checkpoints

If Safety Activity Checkpoints do not exist for an activity you and the girls are interested in, check with GSNorCal 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.  SAFETY-WISE: High Adventure Activities (PDF)

When planning activities with girls, note the abilities of each girl and carefully consider the progression of skills from the easiest part to the most difficult.  Make sure the complexity of the activity does not exceed girls' individual skills- bear in mind that skill levels decline when people are tired, hungry, or under stress.  Also, use activities as opportunities for building teamwork, which is one of the outcomes for the Connect Key in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.  GIRL SCOUT PROGRAM: The Girl Scout Leadership Experience (PDF)

"It's Not A Girl Scout Event"- Not A Good Idea!                                                                                                Occasionally, a Girl Scout troop, in an effort to support girls in the activities they would like to participate in, will engage in activities "as friends, and not as a Girl Scout troop" rather than abiding by the Girl Scout safety activity guidelines established by GSUSA or GSNorCal's Volunteer Essentials or in the Safety Activity Checkpoints.

Not only could this jeopardize the girls' safety, it also puts both council and the volunteer at legal risk.  Girl Scouts does not cover participants in non-Girl Scout events, i.e., an activity that is not allowed or has not been approved.  It may also expose the volunteer to some personal liability if there is an accident, injury or liability that might have been avoided had the volunteer followed Girl Scout safety guidelines.


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