Trips, Travel, and High Risk Activities
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Where in the World will Girl Scouts Take YOU?
A Girl Scout Trip is an opportunity for girls to have fun, experience adventure, and to become the global leaders of tomorrow by exploring the world around you today. There is no limit to where your troop can go. Dream big, plan well and any adventure is possible!
The Trip or High-Risk Activity Form is used as a planning tool and may also be used to communicate with the emergency contact person before the trip, but does not need to be turned in to the service unit for the following activities:
- Service Unit activities
- Council sponsored activities in the Program and Events Guide (PEG)
- Activities where girls walk or ride their own bicycles as part of their regularly scheduled meetings
- Trips that are located within one hour driving time or 60 miles from the regular meeting place, and are less than 6 hours in duration, and are not high-risk
IMPORTANT: For ALL trips/activities/outings that do not meet one of the above criteria, the Trip or High-risk Activity Form MUST be turned in to your service unit for approval.
- Council approval is needed for all trips/activities involving a high-risk activity, lasting 3 nights or more, international, and/or out of state. In these cases, the service unit will forward the Trip of High-Risk Form to firstname.lastname@example.org for final approval.
- For the safety of our members, the council must approve high-risk sites and vendors for all high-risk activities before a troop uses the site/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.
Global Travel Toolkit by GSUSA
The Global Travel Toolkit takes girls through the steps of planning their own international group trip. It's filled with tips and tricks for traveling abroad. This resource has a timeline that can be adjusted for any type of trip.
Explorations: The Girl Scout Guide to Global Travel – There’s a world outside your window, just waiting for you!
Adult Guide to Girl Scout Global Travel – This resource is created especially for you—adults ready to guide girls on travel adventures in Girl Scouts. Thanks to you, girls can experience unforgettable, life-changing adventures.
Trip Insurance – is needed for activities involving non-members, out of state trips, international or trips lasting 3 nights or more
Does your contract require a council signature? Girl Scouts of Northern California is the legal entity that may sign a contract on behalf of “Girl Scouts.” Troops and service units are NOT legal entities. Therefore, all contracts that benefit or impose responsibility or potential liability on “Girl Scouts” must be approved and signed by authorized staff representatives of Girl Scouts of Northern California. For more information see page 108 of the Council Resource Guide (CRG).
Which activities are considered “high-risk”?
The activities specified as high-risk are included because they fit into one or both of the following categories:
1. The activity involves a reasonable expectation of physical risk to the girls
2. The activity involves legal risk to the adult volunteers and/or the council.
IMPORTANT: Written Pre-Approval from the Council Needed for the following activities
Contact Risk Management and Travel located in the Alameda Office at travel@GirlScoutsNorCal.org for approval to participate in the following activities:
•Travel: Any trip that is three nights or more
• Land Sports: archery, backpacking, bicycling with vendor-supplied bicycles, “bounce houses”, caving, challenge/ropes courses, climbing walls, marksmanship*. gymnastics, horseback riding, rock climbing, skateboarding at a skateboard park, skiing, snowboarding, trapeze, vaulting (on horseback), when girls ages 12 and older will operate motorized vehicles, simulated skydiving, zero-gravity rooms, and zorbing.
* Marksmanship activities require special permission from the Executive Team and GSNorCal’s insurance companies. The minimum age for girls using firearms in highly supervised activities is 12 years old.
Policy Change: Trampolines facilities where the springs are completely enclosed and the trampoline goes all the way to the edge of the room with no exposed springs is NO longer an approved activity because our insurance company will not cover injuries that occur at these facilities (policy change 1/1/14)
- 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 ages 12 and older will operate motorized watercraft.
• Any other activity which might be considered high-risk based on the criteria above
Activities that are not allowed are not covered by Girl Scout insurance. Restrictions on activities are set to ensure the girls' safety, protect the council's and adult volunteers' legal interests, or both.
High-Risk Approved Vendors List – All vendors on our approved list have met the safety and insurance guidelines for GSNorCal and GSUSA.
Please Note: Due to the recent office move, we are currently working to update the insurance requirements for all approved high-risk vendors. Therefore, every vendor is currently approved until further notice. We will repost the expiration dates once the project is complete (estimated completion date is March 15)
Troops are required to use approved vendors when selecting a high-risk activity so Girl Scouts insurance will act as a secondary policy in case on an injury. All high-risk activities/events need to be approved in advance (including service unit events).
If the vendor your troop wants to use is not on the list, before scheduling your activity, tell the vendor that because your activity is considered High-Risk by GSUSA safety guidelines. Therefore, in order for a Girl Scout troop to use the facility the company needs to provide GSNorCal with a copy of their Certificate of Insurance that:
- Indicates at least $1,000,000 General Liability Insurance
- Lists Girl Scouts of Northern California as a Certificate Holder
- Lists Girl Scouts of Northern California as Additionally Insured.
Certificates of Insurance must be sent to:
Girl Scouts of Northern California
Attn: Risk Management and Travel
1650 Harbor Bay Parkway Suite 100
Alameda, CA 94502
Attn: Risk Management and Travel
If a vendor refuses to follow the safety and insurance guidelines for GSNorCal the council will not be able to endorse this facility/vendor on our approved vendor list or approve adventures for troops requesting to use this facility/vendor.
Please note: The Approved High-Risk vendor list is updated on a monthly basis.
Travel Questions: For more information on any of these topics or regarding traveling with GSNorCal, please contact Risk Management and Travel at Travel@GirlScoutsNorCal.org