Girl Scouts welcomes and serves girls and families from a wide
spectrum of faiths and cultures. When girls wish to participate in
discussions or activities that could be considered sensitive—even for
some—put the topic on hold until you have spoken with parents and
received guidance from your council.
When Girl Scout activities involve sensitive issues, your role is
that of a caring adult who can help girls acquire skills and knowledge
in a supportive atmosphere, not someone who advocates a particular
You should know, GSUSA does not take a position or develop materials
on issues relating to human sexuality, birth control, or abortion. We
feel our role is to help girls develop self-confidence and good
decision-making skills that will help them make wise choices in all
areas of their lives. We believe parents and guardians, along with
schools and faith communities, are the primary sources of information
on these topics.
We at Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails strongly recommend obtaining
and keeping the Parent Information and Permission Form for sensitive
issues before girls begin a discussion on sensitive topics. When
discussing sensitive topics related to values, GSUSA and GSNMT
recommend that volunteers encourage girls to talk with resource
individuals such as family members, religious leaders, and appropriate
subject matter experts.
Parents/guardians make all decisions regarding their girl’s
participation in Girl Scout program that may be of a sensitive nature.
As a volunteer leader, you must get written parental permission for
any locally planned program offering that could be considered
sensitive. Included on the permission form should be the topic of the
activity, any specific content that might create controversy, and any
action steps the girls will take when the activity is complete. Be
sure to have a form for each girl, and keep the forms on hand in case
a problem arises. For activities not sponsored by Girl Scouts, find
out in advance (from organizers or other volunteers who may be
familiar with the content) what will be presented, and follow your
council’s guidelines for obtaining written permission.
Volunteer Essentials: When Sensitive Topics Come Up, page 59-60
Contact Melissa Bruney, COO at [email protected]