Experts and Special Certifications

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The Safety Activity Checkpoints for many activities require having an expert on hand to help girls learn an activity.  Please remember that all experts must be approved by GSNorCal Risk Management staff at:

To make it a bit easier, GSNorCal maintains a list of local experts and facilities (such as Horseback Riding and Surfing vendors) that have already been approved.  If your expert or venue is not on the Approved Vendor List, you can work with GSNorCal's Risk Management staff to have the vendor included on the list.  It is usually a relatively simple process to have an expert or facility placed on the Approved Vendor List.  

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Does the person have documented training and experience?  They should have documented experience for the activity in question, such as course completion certificates or cards, records of previous training to instruct the activity, and letters of reference.
  • What do they need to be able to do?  This person should have knowledge and experience to make appropriate judgements concerning participants, equipment, facilities, safety considerations, supervision, and procedures for the activity.  At the very least, they should be able to give clear instructions to girls and adults, troubleshoot unexpected scenarios, and respond appropriately in an emergency.

Even when not required to have an expert instruct the girls for a specific activity for safety reasons, it is always a great idea to use your personal and troop networks to find experts to teach the girls particular skills.  This will enrich their experience (and yours).  Research performed by the Girl Scout Research Institute has shown that girls really appreciate the opportunity to learn from experts whenever possible.

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