FAQs for New Volunteers


Leaders Jill Palmer and April Pitman plan their Girl Scout year.

We Need Your Help to Build Girls of Courage, Confidence and Character, who Make the World a Better Place!

Here are some answers to questions frequently asked by new and prospective volunteers:    

Where Do I Start?

All adults assuming a leadership role must complete a volunteer application and pass a criminal background check. You may obtain these forms by visiting the Getting Started page of this website or call 800.624.4185.

What age girls will I work with?

Daisy (K-1st grade); Brownie (2nd-3rd grade); Junior (4th-5th grade); Cadette (6th-8th grade); Senior (9th-10th grade); Ambassador (11th-12th grade).     Girl Scouts Heart of the South primarily conducts recruitment efforts at local schools.  Once you are assigned to a troop you will be contacted with a list of girls interested in joining a troop.      

What training will I need?

New leader training is provided by the Girl Scout Council at no cost.  All leaders are required to complete the following training courses:         

* Volunteer Orientation     
* Volunteer Essentials and Leadership Essentials.    

These trainings are available online or regionally.  

First Aid & CPR Certification Training should also take place within your first year as a leader.    

How much time must I commit?

The flexibility of Pathways will allow you to participate in Girl Scouting based on your lifestyle and availability - whether you prefer to partner directly with girls throughout a membership year, participate for only a few weeks or months, or work with other adults in a variety of roles.    

What support is available to leaders?

We offer support and a great variety of trainings throughout the year. Orientation, training, and guidance are provided to all our volunteers. We want every volunteer to have the tools they need to be successful and feel rewarded.   Q: Who can volunteer?

A: Any adult who successfully completes the screening process is eligible for a volunteer role.

What is involved in the process of becoming a Girl Scout volunteer?

We gather specific information from all potential volunteers. Potential volunteers can expect to receive the following:

  • Volunteer application form complete with contact information, references request and background check authorization
  • Information on Girl Scout Program and Outcomes (PDF)
  • Information on Girl Scout Pathways, including all short-term and long-term opportunities for adults to volunteer
  • Girl Scout marketing and communications materials, including brochures, fact sheets, flyers, and council newsletters

What does Girl Scouts look for when interviewing volunteer candidates?

Girl Scouts Heart of the South offers girls a variety of opportunities to discover themselves, connect with others, and take action to make the world a better place. As such, we seek a variety of adults who will use their expertise, skills, interests, and life experience to shape fun and enriching leadership opportunities for girls, and inspire girls to reach their personal best.

Our goal is to match the right volunteers to the right positions, which increases girls' and volunteers' satisfaction with their Girl Scouting experience. Through Girl Scout Pathways—the ways that girls and adults participate in Girl Scouting—volunteers can shape their experience to fit their lifestyles. They can participate locally, regionally or at the council level, and can choose to work directly with girls or provide indirect service to girls on a short-term or long-term basis.

Does Girl Scouts Heart of the South run background checks on their volunteers?

Yes. Protecting the girls and young women in our organization as well as the Girl Scout Movement is top priority, and screenings are an integral part of our due diligence process and risk management policy. Background screening is the process of authenticating the information supplied to a potential employer by an applicant on his or her resume, application and during interviews. At Girl Scouts, the screening of volunteers (and employees) includes reference checks and criminal background checks, which are performed by independent, third-party, background-screening agencies.

What happens when you select new volunteers?

If the interview and background screening results are successful, Girl Scouts Heart of the South will notify volunteer candidates of their appointment in an official congratulatory letter sent by email or regular mail generally within ten business days (of the results). In addition to the official letter, which confirms the volunteer position and start and end dates, volunteers will receive a volunteer agreement that has to be signed and returned, the name of the volunteer's contact person, and the next steps to take.

Will new Girl Scout Volunteers receive orientation?

Yes. The online volunteer orientation is an exciting, educational presentation that welcomes all new Girl Scout volunteers to the organization. The orientation, which is also available in Spanish, takes approximately 25-45 minutes to complete, but can be stopped at any point and resumed later. It contains information on the history of the organization, the Girl Scout Leadership Experience program, and the Girl Scout Pathways for girls and adults. The council-specific orientation may vary depending upon a volunteer's position or role.

How will new volunteers be supported in their volunteer positions?

Staff and/or volunteer coaches/managers will meet frequently and regularly with the new volunteer to develop a close working relationship with her or him. The frequency will depend on the volunteer's position or role (short or long term).

The support person will provide:

  • Guidance and direction, as needed and requested
  • Ongoing verbal feedback on role performance, competencies, strengths, and challenges
  • Written review of the volunteer's performance, using checklists and self-reviews
  • Conflict mediation, as needed
  • Arrangements for ongoing training, as needed
  • Assistance with formulating personal development goals
  • Recommendations for awards and recognitions

At the end of the year, the support person explores the volunteer's interests for the following year, and relays that information to the appropriate council staff and/or volunteer manager.

Are new volunteers trained for their volunteer positions?

Yes. Based on the volunteer's placement, additional training may be necessary. If so, the council's volunteer development staff/volunteer manager will inform the new volunteer of the training/learning requirements, schedule, and location, and provide a choice of learning methods: online at any time (asynchronous), classroom, or self-taught. Evidence of satisfactory completion is forwarded to the relevant council staff/volunteer manager, who will record the completion in the volunteer management database.

Are volunteers recognized for their service?

Yes. Collectively, volunteers contribute thousands of service hours each year at every level and in a number of ways. For this reason, we believe that volunteer recognition or appreciation should happen periodically, not only at the end of each year. The council also presents peer-nominated, council-level awards to volunteers each year.

What happens when a volunteer's contract ends?

The decision to reassign the volunteer to the same or a different position, or to release a volunteer, is made by the volunteer development staff/volunteer manager, after reviewing—with the volunteer and her or his council staff members and manager—the volunteer's performance, interests, and training. The decision is provided verbally or in writing to the volunteer, and documented in the volunteer's file alongside supporting rationale.

Is there a cost associated with volunteering?

All adults are encouraged to become members of GSUSA. Some volunteer positions require membership to the organization. Volunteer Position Descriptions list whether membership is a requirement for particular roles. Membership for the organization is $12 per year and includes mailings and activity insurance, among other things. Volunteers may also choose to purchase their own resources, membership pins, and GS clothing, however these are all optional.

Visit the Getting Started page to begin the process of volunteering.  You can be the difference in girls' lives - Starting Today!

We've made the resources you need easy to find!

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