Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania is committed to providing quality learning experiences for volunteers which develop leadership skills in adults that guide girls in developing courage, confidence, character, and leadership skills! The volunteer curriculum aims to provide quality learning experiences in a timely way, while also offering choices on how volunteers participate.
Required Courses for All Volunteers
All volunteers must take Welcome to Girl Scout Orientation prior to their first troop/group meeting, and Leadership Essentials within three months of their first meeting.
Welcome to Girl Scout Orientation: This two-part course introduces volunteers to the Girl Scout Movement (part 1), Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania and their local Girl Scout Service Unit (part 2). Part 1 may be taken online. Click here to take the course online now. Part 2 is only available as a classroom option. Prerequisite: none
Leadership Essentials: This course presents an overview of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and ways adults can facilitate girl-led experiences. Participants will establish for themselves a Girl Scouting foundation, as well as reflect on their own personal leadership. Included in this course is an opportunity to explore grade-level Journey Books and Guides for leaders, as well as other program resources. Also covered will be progression/differentiation, ensuring program outcomes, challenges, and awards. Click here to take the course online now. Prerequisite: Welcome to Girl Scouting Orientation (Parts 1 and 2)
Required Courses for Camping, Travel, and Outdoor Experiences
Please note: travel and outdoor courses are progressive, each course builds upon the next. Courses must be taken in consecutive order. Not sure what courses you need? See below.
What Travel/Outdoor Courses Do You Need?
We want to build a fire at a site such as a state park.
We want to go on a simple overnight with the troop/group. OR We want to camp at a modern camp building/cabin/lodge (no fire building.)
Ready, Set, Go!
We want to camp at a modern camp/building/cabin/lodge and build a fire.
Ready, Set, Go!
We want to go tent camping.
Ready, Set, Go!
Basic Outdoor Skills
We want to go backpacking.
Ready, Set, Go!
Basic Outdoor Skills
We want to travel internationally.
Ready, Set, Go!
Ready Set Go: This course is required for volunteers who will be serving as the Travel Certified Adult on a trip that is one night or longer. This includes simple overnights at a community facility, a hotel or a camp site. This course will introduce travel guidelines and procedures, progression in traveling, planning, safety, budgeting, and basic overnight skills for overnight camping at a modern facility. This course must be taken prior to the trip. NOTE: Those traveling internationally must take Ready, Set, Go and then International Travel. Click here to take the course online now. Prerequisite: none.
Firebuilding 101: This course is required for volunteers who want to take a troop/group on a camping experience and build a fire at a day site, modern building, cabin or lodge setting. This course will teach basic fire building and safety. NOTE: This course does not replace Basic Outdoor Skills which is required before taking a more involved camping experience. Prerequisite: Ready, Set, Go!
Basic Outdoor Skills: This course is required for volunteers who will be serving as the Outdoor Certified Adult on an outdoor camping experience. This course must be taken prior to the trip. This is an overnight learning experience. The course will explore and practice girl-led planning methods, outdoor safety guidelines, minimal impact camping techniques, firebuilding, basic outdoor cooking, basic knots, and tent pitching. NOTE: Basic Outdoor Skills certification is valid for five years after which, completion of Outdoor Recertification is needed to remain certified. Prerequisite: Ready, Set, Go!
Backpacking: Coming Soon!
International Travel: This course is required for volunteers who will be serving as the Travel Certified Adult on an international trip. It is recommended you take this course at least one year before your trip. This course must be taken prior to the trip. The course includes tips to help your group plan a safe, fun, educational trip to the destination of your dreams. Prerequisite: Ready, Set, Go!
Travel Certified Adult: When traveling on an overnight trip (one night or longer) with a troop or group, an adult associated with the troop/group who has completed the Ready, Set, Go! travel course must accompany the troop/group on their trip. It is highlly recommended that the travel certified adult and the first-aider not be the same person, as in case of emergency, the troop or group is not left without their travel certified adult.
Outdoor Certified Adult: When participating in outdoor trips, a troop/group adult who has completed the appropriate level of outdoor certification (for that specific type of outdoor trip) must accompany the troop/group on their trip. It is highly recommended that the outdoor certified adult and the first-aider not be the same person, as in case of an emergency, the troop or group is not left without their outdoor certified adult.
Adult Learning/Training Calendar
To see a calendar of Adult Learning/Training courses or to register, click here or on the E Council link below.
Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania has the following policy and standard concerning training:
Policy: Each operational volunteer will complete or be exempted from any training designated as mandatory for her/his position. Refusal or inability to participate in this training can result in a volunteer's release from or non-appointment to a position.
Standard: The specific time frame for completing required training for each volunteer position will be identified in each position description. For volunteers working directly with girls in a troop/group setting, Welcome to Girl Scout Orientation will be taken at least two weeks prior to holding the first troop/group meeting. The Leadership Essentials course will be taken within three (3) months of the first troop/group meeting.
What if I had training or hold certifications from another Girl Scout council or youth serving organization, do I have to retake training?
Volunteers who have completed adult learning courses/training/certifications in another Girl Scout council may be exempt from Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania basic leadership training, and in some cases outdoor education courses. All volunteers transferring into GSHPA from another council are required to take Welcome to Girl Scouting Orientation, Part 2 in order to learn about our council and their local service unit. In addition, if a volunteer has taken a camping course in another council and is granted an equivalency, they will still need to complete Outdoor Recertification in order to familiarize themselves with GSHPA property policies and guidelines. A training card or letter from another council will serve as documentation. If an exception or equivalency is granted, a letter noting that fact will be sent to the volunteer and credit will be given in the GSHPA database.
Please note, all travel trips/camping trips MUST have a first aider in attendance.
First Aid Requirements
A Girl Scout first aider is an adult who has taken and is current in Girl Scout Council approved first aid and CPR (for adult and child.) A Girl Scout first aider is needed anytime a troop/group travels away from their normal meeting location.
There are two levels of first aid courses (including first aid and CPR.)
Level 1: First aid is required of the adult acting as the primary first aider for the Girl Scout group activities indicated in the activity checkpoints in Safety-Wise.
Level 2: First aid is required of the adult acting as the first aider at a resident camp, in core staff and family camping, at day events, overnights, and camping events with more than 200 participants, and when activity checkpoints in Safety-wise indicate a level 2 first aider is needed.
For more detailed information concerning first aider requirements, please contact your Associate, Membership Services.