Girl Scouts strives to provide you with the necessary information to successfully manage your group of girls and to let you know how and where you can get additional information on certain topics when you want to learn more. Volunteer learning is offered in a variety of ways to best meet your unique learning styles: written resources, face-to-face learning, interactive online learning—and additional methods are being developed and tested all the time.
Adult Learning/Training Calendar
To see a calendar of Adult Learning/Training courses or to register, click here.
Volunteering and Training
GSHPA Volunteer Training Standard: All GSHPA volunteers are encouraged to complete Volunteer Orientation. However, all troop leaders and assistant leaders are required to complete Volunteer Orientation with their Membership Associate prior to starting their troop meetings.
Volunteer Orientation: Volunteer Orientation is the only required GSHPA course, however, for volunteers or parent/adult helpers who wish to serve as a first-aider or outdoor program trained adult for a troop/group, additional learning courses are offered for these adults to become certified in this capacity. To find out how to register/sign up for this course, contact your local Member Associate, or call 1.800.692.7816.
Girl Scouting 101: This online course presents an overview of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and ways adults can facilitate girl-led experiences. Included in this course is an opportunity to explore grade-level Journey Books and Guides for leaders. Click here to take the course online now. The password is aboutGS101 (case sensitive). If you do not have internet access, please contact your local Membership Associate.
Outdoor Basics:Required to take troop/group camping. Outdoor Basics will provide you with the skills necessary to take your troop camping. You will learn about fire safety and how to build a fire. You will have the opportunity to cook a snack, lunch and dinner over the fire. We will be using different techniques to cook each meal. While we are waiting for our meals to cook, we will go over common Girl Scout songs, down-time games, tent care and finish up with proper cleaning practices to ensure the health and safety of each camper. Outdoor Basics replaces Outdoor Skills.
Outdoor Skills Training Exemption for volunteers transferring into GSHPA from another Girl Scout Council:Any adult transferring from another Girl Scout Council into GSHPA who wishes to serve in a volunteer role is required to complete Volunteer Orientation with their Membership Associate. Those who have completed outdoor learning courses/training/certification in another Girl Scout Council may be exempt from Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania outdoor education courses. Even if a volunteer has taken a camping course in another council and is granted an equivalency, they will still need to work with their Membership Associate in order to familiarize themselves with GSHPA property policies and guidelines. A training card or letter from another council will serve as documentation. Contact the Outdoor Program Department at 1-800-692-7816 to speak with a GSHPA staff member about the possibility of exemption. Prerequisite: Volunteer Orientation
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.
For more detailed information concerning first aider requirements, please contact your local Membership Associate.
A first-aider is an adult volunteer who has taken Girl Scout-approved first-aid and CPR training that includes specific instructions for child CPR. If, through the American Red Cross, National Safety Council, EMP America, or American Heart Association, you have a chance to be fully trained in first-aid and CPR, doing so may make your activity-planning go a little more smoothly. The Safety Activity Checkpoints always tell you when a first-aider needs to be present.
Activities can take place in a variety of locations, which is why first-aid requirements are based on the remoteness of the activity—as noted in the Safety Activity Checkpoints for that activity. For example, it’s possible to do a two-mile hike that has cell phone reception and service along the entire route and EMS (Emergency Medical System) is, at maximum, 30 minutes away at all times. It is also possible to hike more remotely with no cell phone service at a place where EMS would take more than 30 minutes to arrive. It’s important that you or another volunteer with your group has the necessary medical experience (including knowledge of evacuation techniques) to ensure group safety.
The levels of first aid required for any activity take into account both how much danger is involved and how remote the area is from emergency medical services. See below:
Access to EMS
Minimum Level of First Aid Required
Less than 30 minutes
More than 30 minutes
Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or Wilderness First Responder (WFR)*
*Although a WFR is not required, it is strongly recommended when traveling with groups in areas that are greater than 30 minutes from EMS.
It is important to understand the differences between a first-aid course, and a wilderness-rated course. Although standard first-aid training provides basic incident response, wilderness-rated courses include training on remote-assessment skills, as well as the emergency first-aid response, including evacuation techniques, to use when EMS is not readily available.
Note: The presence of a first-aider is required at resident camp. For large events—200 people or more—there should be one first-aider for every 200 participants. The following healthcare providers may also serve as first-aiders physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, paramedic, military medic, and emergency medical technician.
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, Volunteer Orientation will be taken at least two weeks prior to holding the first troop/group meeting.
Volunteers with questions about specific trainings should contact their local Membership Associate.