The council is committed to an environment and climate in which relationships are characterized by dignity, respect, courtesy, and equitable treatment. It is the policy of the organization to provide all volunteers and paid staff with an environment free from all forms of unlawful or unwelcome harassment, including implied or expressed forms of sexual harassment.
It is against the organization’s policies for any volunteer, male or female, to sexually harass another volunteer, or paid staff, or Girl Scout member of the same or opposite sex.
Any volunteer, who feels that she/he has been subjected to harassment of any type, whether by another volunteer, council staff member, or any agent of the organization, should promptly report the incident to the staff member responsible for the volunteer’s position appointment. Upon receiving such a complaint, this staff member must report the matter to the service delivery manager of the appropriate region. The service delivery manager will take appropriate measures to resolve or correct the situation in an expeditious manner.
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is a smoke-free environment. The use of tobacco products where girls are present is not permitted.
There will be no smoking in any council buildings or vehicles; including all sites and vehicles, owned, leased and/or operated by Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. There will be designated smoking areas at all council properties.
Alcohol and Drug Use
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is committed to maintaining an environment free from alcohol and drugs. The use of alcohol is not permitted on Girl Scout property, or at any Girl Scout function involving girls, except specific, pre-approved occasions.
Persons under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol, or in possession of same, are prohibited from participation in any Girl Scout activity or event.
Any volunteer that owes the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio money due to participation in the product sale or cookie sale, failure to pay for an event or from a bounced check will not be eligible to serve in an appointed volunteer position for 1 year from the date the debt is paid in full. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to contact the council office and request a change of membership status.
Additional restrictions or actions may be applied for specific circumstances; the volunteer will be notified in writing of any restrictions or actions taken against them.
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio reserves the right to seek collection assistance for funds that are not paid as requested by the council.
Electronic Communication Policy
Definition: Electronic communication includes, but is not limited to social networking websites (Facebook, My Space, Twitter, Instagram, etc), instant messaging (IM), email, blogs and websites.
All volunteers of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio who use the Internet and electronic venues must be attentive to his or her role as a representative of the Girl Scouts, and that some readers of their sites may view the volunteer as a representative or spokesperson of the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. As such, all volunteers must:
- Be respectful in all communications and blogs related to or referencing a camp, its campers and/or other staff and volunteers.
- Not use electronic communications to harass, bully or intimidate other staff, volunteers or campers, including but not limited to comments or images that are derogatory.
- Not use blogs or personal websites to discuss or post photos or videos of conduct that is prohibited by policies, including but not limited to, the use of drugs and alcohol, sexual behavior, sexual harassment and bullying.
- Not post pictures or names of girls or volunteers, nor may they post comments or descriptions about any specific Girl Scouts.
- Not make comments that are derogatory with regard to individuals’ race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
- Not link their web pages or blogs to any site or blog that does not meet these requirements.
Although volunteers develop trusting relationships with girls as part of their volunteer role, the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio does not allow the exchange of electronic communication between volunteers and girls, except related to official Girl Scout activities or business.
In addition, the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio does not encourage or condone the exchange of information through electronic communication between Girl Scouts and former volunteers, even after the volunteer has completed their assignment by the council.
Nothing in this policy shall limit volunteers’ rights to engage in free and open discussion and exchange of concerns related to their roles as Girl Scout volunteers and members.
Problem Solving & Conflict Resolution
Principles to Be Used in Problem Solving
Leaders may encounter difficult and complex situations involving the girls in their troop/group. There are often no easy answers in these situations, but the following principles guide our actions:
- Our focus is always on what is good for all of the girls involved. To the greatest extent possible, we seek a solution that supports all of the girls in the troop, including the girl(s) who are involved in the difficult situation or issue.
- When we don’t know the facts, we rely on the decisions of the authorities to guide our actions.
- We communicate with parents, as partners in our work with their daughters, sharing any facts that we have about the situation, but never speculating, spreading rumors or “taking sides” in conflicts about which we have no facts.
- We maintain the greatest confidentiality possible in all family matters, while minimizing risk to girls and the troop. This is especially critical in matters that involve girls’ personal experiences or their physical/medical or psychological history or status.
- In no circumstances is a girl removed from a troop without working with the girls, parents, and Girl Scout staff to find a solution that best supports all of the girls in the troop – including the girl in question. The decision to remove a girl from the troop is generally communicated by the Girl Scout office, to communicate Girl Scout guidelines surrounding the situation, maintain objectivity, and protect the Girl Scout leader from being seen as taking a personally-motivated action.
It is Girl Scouts of Western Ohio’s policy to resolve volunteer conflicts in an equitable manner consistent with the council policies and practices. It is further the policy to encourage problem solving by the parties most directly involved in a situation whenever possible.
When a disagreement arises, the volunteer is responsible for meeting with the parent, volunteer or staff member involved in the situation to resolve the problem.
Suggested problem-solving steps:
- Start with a focus on how the situation affects the volunteers’ work with girls.
- Each person states their concern and asks the other person if she/he understands the concern or has a different perspective.
- Both parties will try to reach an understanding of the other’s perspective.
- Identify options for a middle ground or mutually satisfactory solution.
- Discuss ideas for resolving the situation, so that both parties’ needs are met.
- Agree on a solution.
- Set a time period for testing the solution and touch base at the end of that time to discuss effectiveness of solution.
If the volunteers are not able to reach a satisfactory solution, the following steps should be taken:
- Meet with the next level manager, often the service unit manager or program consultant to resolve the problem.
- If the problem is still not resolved, the service unit manager will involve the service delivery manager and/or other designated staff member.
- If the problem still remains, it will be discussed with the director of regional services or their designee.
- Issues that cannot be resolved at the regional level may be forwarded to the CEO or her designee for additional guidance. The decision of the CEO is final.
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio hopes that volunteer staff will act in an appropriate manner at all times while participating in a Girl Scout capacity. However, at times it is necessary to use corrective action in order to maintain a positive, safe environment for girls and to protect the assets of girls, Girl Scout groups and the council.
Objectionable or unsatisfactory conduct will not be permitted and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination, depending on the severity of the violation. When possible, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio will work with the volunteer to establish actions to correct the situation. Serious violations may involve immediate suspension or release from the volunteer position.
Some types of serious offenses that can result in immediate suspension and/or termination include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Indecency of speech or action such as fighting, destruction of property, or willfully or repeatedly disregarding Girl Scouts of Western Ohio or Girl Scouts of the USA’s policies or procedures.
- Dishonesty, including but not limited to, reporting such things as quality or quantity of production, falsification of time schedules, expense reports or any other council records.
- Possession or use of illegal drugs or other controlled substances.
- Possession of weapons or other dangerous objects on council premises or while performing council activities.
- The unauthorized possession or use of alcohol on council premises or while performing council activities or other use of alcohol that the council determines is inconsistent with its policies or otherwise inappropriate.
- Refusal to permit council management to examine any council property or personal property while on council premises.
- Failure to maintain proper quantity and quality standard of work performance.
- Theft, destruction or unauthorized use of troop, service unit or council property.
- Misuse or misconduct of Girl Scout funds (troop, service unit, product sale, etc.).
- Child abuse or failure to report suspected child abuse incidents immediately.
- Negligence or failure to maintain a safe environment for girls.
Volunteer Resignation & Release
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio or the volunteer may initiate the termination of appointment. A volunteer may be released from an appointed position because of the inability or failure to complete the requirements of the position, including training and background check, failure to abide by GSUSA or Girl Scouts of Western Ohio policies or standards, misuse or mis-management of Girl Scout funds, or failure to accept and foster the mission and goals of the organization. Volunteers may still be a registered member of Girl Scout of the United States of America regardless of voluntary resignation or council termination.
No individual who owes the council or a troop or group money may serve in any appointed position. Volunteers must provide written or verbal notification of her/his resignation to a paid staff member. If a volunteer has been released by the council, the volunteer will be notified in writing.