Safety Checkpoints

The Safety Activity Checkpoints are guidelines to follow for staying safe while participating in various activities with Girl Scouts.
Read the checkpoints, follow them, and share them with other volunteers, parents, and girls (as grade‐level appropriate) before engaging in activities with girls.
Click on the item that most closely relates to your activity.

Archery
Arts & Crafts
Backpacking
Bicycling
Camping - See Group Camping or Trip/Travel Camping
Canoeing
Caving
Challenge Courses
Climbing or Rappelling
Computer or Online Activities (see also STEM depending on your activity)
Cookie or Product Sales Activities
Crafts - See Arts and Crafts
Cross Country Skiing
Downhill Skiing or Snowboarding
Fencing
Fishing
Geocaching
Group Camping
Hayrides
Hiking
Horseback Riding
Ice Fishing
Ice Skating
In-Line or Roller Skating
Kayaking
Math Activities (see STEM)
Orienteering
Other Land Sports
Outdoor Cooking 
Parades or Other Large Gatherings 
Playgrounds
Rafting (see Whitewater Rafting)
Rowboating
Sailing
Science Activities (see STEM)
Scuba Diving
Segway
Skateboarding
Skiing - See Cross Country, Downhill OR Waterskiing
Sledding or Tobagganing
Snorkeling
Snow Tubing (See Sledding or Tobagganing)
Snowshoeing
STEM (Science, Math or Technology)  (see also Computer, depending on yoru activity)
Surfing
Swimming
Theme Parks
Trip & Travel Camping
Tubing
Wading (see Swimming if water will be over the knees)
Waterskiing or Wakeboarding
Whitewater Rafting
Windsurfing


Which activities are considered “high risk”?

The activities specified here as high risk activities, which is not intended as an exhaustive list, are included because they fit into one or both of the following categories:

  • The activity involves a reasonable expectation of physical risk to the girls.
  • The activity involves legal risk to the adult volunteers and/or the council.  These include situations where rider or other additional insurance may be required, vendor or facility contracts may need to be signed, adults must be certified in a specific skill, or other specific critical guidelines must be followed to ensure the safety of the girls.

Examples of high-risk activities include:

 

Camping Activities:   backpacking

 

Land Sports: archery, backpacking, bicycling with vendor-supplied bicycles, caving, challenge/ropes courses, climbing walls, using firearms (hunting is never allowed) gymnastics, horseback riding, rock climbing, skateboarding at a skateboard park, skiing, snowboarding, trapeze, vaulting (on horseback) or when girls ages 12 and older (not allowed for younger girls) will operate motorized vehicles, such as go-carts (driving or riding all-terrain vehicles and motor bikes is never allowed)

 

Marksmanship activities require council permission, and volunteers need to transport weapons separately from girls. The minimum age for girls using firearms in highly supervised activities is 12 years old.

 

Water Activities:  boating, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, sailing, scuba, snorkeling, swimming, tubing, water skiing, windsurfing, any type of trips on waterways that are highly changeable or uncontrollable (Class V and higher watercraft trips are never allowed), or when girls 12 and older will operate motorized personal watercraft ( not allowed for girls younger than 12)

 

Any other activity which might be considered high risk, which are activities that would fall into either or both of these categories:

 

  1. The activity involves a resonable expectation of physical risk to the girls.
  2. The activity involves legal risk to the adult volunteers and/or the council. These include situations where rider or other additional insurance may be required , vendor facility contracts may need to be signed, adults must be certified in a specific skill, or other specific critical guidlines must be followed to ensure the safety of the girls.

 

Warning: The following activities are never allowed for any girl:

  • Flying in noncommercial aircraft, such as small privateplanes, helicopters, sailplanes, un-tethered hot-airballoons, or blimps 
  • Potentially uncontrolled free-falling (bungee jumping,hang gliding, parachuting, parasailing, and ontrampolines)
  • Creating extreme variations of approved activities (suchas high-altitude climbing and aerial tricks on bicycles,skis, snowboards, skateboards, water skis, andwakeboards, or stunt skiing)
  • Hunting
  • Shooting a projectile at another person, such as paintball
  • Riding go-carts, all-terrain vehicles or motor bikes
  • Taking watercraft trips in Class V or higher whitewater
  • Riding motorized personal watercraft like jet-skis
  • Simulated skydiving and zero-gravity rooms.

 

Approval Process:   Approved Vendor List

 

For trips longer than two nights, involving air travel, high risk activities, or international trips, your service unit will forward your Trip or High Risk Activity Form to the Program Assistant in the Oakland office for approval.

 

For the safety of our members, the council must approve sites and vendors for these activities before a troop uses the site or vendor for a troop or service unit event.  This procedure is designed to ensure a safe experience for our girls, as well as to protect the legal interests of the adult volunteers and the council.

 

A list of currently approved vendors and facilities can be found on the council website, or contact the Program Assistant in the Oakland office:  travel@girlscoutsnorcal.org

 

These approved facilities/vendors have met the safety and insurance guidelines for Girl Scouts of Northern California. 

 

Adding Vendors to the Approved Vendor List

Troops are NOT limited to the facilities and vendors on the approved vendor list.  If you find a site or vendor that you would like to use, we will work with them to place them on the approved vendor list. For a facility or vendor to be listed as an “approved vendor”, they must meet the safety and insurance guidelines for GSNorCal, which include the following:

  • Comply with Staying Safe guidelines by completing the Safety Checklist for the related activity
  • Facilities and vendors must supply GSNorCal with a Certificate of Liability for one million dollars or more, naming Girl Scouts of Northern California as additionally insured
  • Girl Scouts of Northern California will list the site or vendor as additionally insured on the council Certificate of Liability

If you would like to have a vendor or facility approved for your troop or group’s use, please forward the following information to the Program Assistant:  Travel@GirlScoutsNorCal.org

  • Your contact information
  • Contact information for the vendor or facility , including phone number
  • Possible dates for the trip/activity
  • Explanation of proposed activities

Once we receive this information, we will work with the facility/vendor to become an approved vendor for your activity.  If you wish to be involved in the process (vendors can sometimes be a little quicker to supply the needed information when they are working directly with their customer), please let us know and we’ll supply you with the information you need.  Please allow as much time as possible (at least three weeks) for approving a new facility or vendor.

 

If a facility/vendor refuses to follow the safety and insurance guidelines for Girl Scouts of Northern California then we will not be able to endorse this facility/vendor on our approved vendor list or approve trips/activities using this facility/vendor.

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