volunteer faqs

New Volunteers

Who can volunteer?
Membership is open to women and men 18 and over who accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law.

Are there volunteer opportunities for corporate employee groups?
Yes. Corporate employees can request special girl projects related to their industry or profession. Such projects may include a fashion workshop sponsored by a group of individuals specializing in design; a series of math and science workshops sponsored by a group of engineers; or a money management program sponsored by a group of financial consultants. Contact Katie Pedersen at kpedersen@gscm.org if you are interested in volunteering as a corporate group. Your employer may even participate in the Dollars for Doers program. Ask your HR department if they participate. Contact the Fund Development Team at funddevelopment@gscm.org for more information about the Dollars for Doers program.

Why do I need a background check?
Protecting the girls and young women in our charge as well as the Girl Scout Movement is a top priority, and screenings and reference checks are integral parts of our due diligence process and risk management policy. Background screening is the process of authenticating the information supplied to a potential employer by an applicant on his of her resume, application and during interviews. At Girl Scouts, the screening of volunteers (and employees) includes reference checks and criminal background checks, which are performed by an independent, third-party, background-screening agency.

If I already completed a background check for my place of employment do I need to complete another one?
Yes, you do need to complete another one. A background check is confidential. Just as GSCM would not give your background check to anyone else, your place of employment will not release that information to GSCM.

What happens when you select new volunteers?
If the interview and background screening results are successful, we will notify volunteer candidates of their appointment.

How can I found out more about volunteering policies and procedures with Girl Scouts of Central Maryland?
New volunteers will receive a copy of GSCM Council and Volunteer policies as a part of their volunteer binder at the beginning of their volunteer service. They are also available upon request from the Volunteer Resource Center at vrc@gscm.org

Am I required to attend training before volunteering?
Yes. Based on the volunteer’s placement, additional training may be necessary. If so, the Volunteer Training and Placement Coordinator will inform the new volunteer of the training/learning requirements, schedule, and location.

Volunteer Training

Do I have to register for training?

Yes, registration is required for all courses. 

Registration is necessary to ensure there are sufficient training materials and the Adult Learning facilitator knows how many participants to expect. Only those with confirmed registrations can attend training. Please phone GSCM’s Adult Learning Services department at 410-358-9711 or 1-800-492-2521, ext. 220 with questions about confirmations. In the event of a course cancellation or location change, only registered participants will be notified. No walk-ins, please.

How Do I Register?
Registration for training courses can be done online, by mail, e-mail or fax.

To register online: Register online through our Online Registration system. The link to the registration page appears throughout the website.

  1. For your first use, you will need to create a log in. Please follow the instructions to create your log in.
  2. After logging in to Online Registration, choose the Activities Tab in the upper left section of the page. This will bring up a menu of options.
  3. If you’re looking for a listing of all adult trainings, check the box Learning and Training.  If you’re looking specifically for First Aid or Outdoor training, you may just select those boxes under the main category of Learning and Training.
  4. When you have the list of trainings, changing the sort to view “oldest to newest” will give you a chronological listing. Home Studies and Girl Scouting 101 will be listed first since they are ongoing throughout the year.
  5. Only Grade Level and First Aid Training can be further narrowed down by county if you want to see what’s available in a specific area.
  6. Please be sure your current email is on file so you will receive the automatic confirmations.
  7. If you have trouble accessing online registration, please email onlineregistration@gscm.org with your specific error message. In the meantime, you can register for trainings using form 08-1466 available on our website.
  8. Registration for trainings closes one week prior to the class so please plan ahead.

New volunteers who are not yet registered members will need to register by mail, e-mail or fax.

To register by mail, e-mail or fax: Download the Training Registration form. The completed form + full payment (if required) must be received by the Council office at least two weeks before the course. Late registrations will only be accepted if space is available.

Send completed form and applicable fees to:
Girl Scouts of Central Maryland
Manager of Adult Learning Services
4806 Seton Drive
Baltimore, Maryland 21215
Fax Number: 410-358-9918

Do you accept walk-ins for trainings?
We do not accept walk-ins. Remember to register early! Space is limited. Only registered participants will be notified of changes to the courses.

How will I know if I’m officially registered for a course?
Once you register for a course, you will have a notification that your registration was successful. A course confirmation with detailed information will be emailed to you one week prior to the course if you have provided us with an email address. Otherwise you will receive your confirmation by mail or phone. If you do not receive your confirmation, please email vbrooks@gscm.org or call 410-358-9711.

What if I am unable to attend?
Please notify the Adult Learning Specialist at vbrooks@gscm.org or 410.358.9711 ext. 220 if you are unable to attend. If a course or workshop is cancelled, rescheduled or there is a change in time or location, all registered participants will be notified.

Why is there a Fee?
Most courses are funded by your contributions to SHARE, and are available to you at no additional cost.

At the Basic Troop Camping pre-session you will be asked to contribute toward the cost of food and supplies (usually between $10 and $15).

First Aid/CPR courses and certain workshops have a fee. 

Fees must be submitted with registration forms.

What if I cannot afford the training fee?
If training is required for troop operation such as First Aid/CPR or Basic Troop Camping, the cost of the training is a legitimate troop expense and could be paid for by the troop, if the troop members agree to the expense.

In addition, individual financial assistance is available. Complete the Financial Assistance Form (which can be downloaded here or can be obtained by contacting the VRC at 410.358.9711) allowing 45 days prior to the course and submit with the registration. Registration for courses close one week prior to the training event. After that time, you may call Adult Learning Services to see if additions will be accepted,

Do you have a refund policy?
Refunds are given only in the following instances:

  • Training course is full
  • Training course is cancelled by the Adult Learning Services (minimum number not met, weather conditions prohibitive)
  • Training date/time changed by the Adult Learning Services to a time not convenient for participants.

Refunds or a one-time course transfer will only be allowed when requested at least two business days before the course, or when a class is filled. In some instances, refunds may not be available after registration closes. Refund information will be listed in the online course description.

What happens in the case of a cancellation?
Courses that do not meet the minimum number of participants are subject to cancellation five business days prior to the course. If a course is full, cancelled, or there is a change in time or location, you will be notified by email, telephone or mail. Remember, we cannot call you if you are not registered. If a course you’ve registered for is cancelled, you may reschedule or request a refund. If you are registered for a grade level course that has been cancelled, you may request a home study. 

If you cannot attend, please call the Council office to cancel. By canceling in advance, you allow others to register for the training. To cancel, call 410.358.9711 ext. 220 or 1.800.492.2521. You can leave a message 24 hours a day.

What happens if there is a weather cancellation?
If the public school where the training is scheduled to take place is cancelled or their evening activities are cancelled, then the training will be cancelled. The course may be rescheduled based on trainer availability and the training schedule.

Volunteer Support & Resources

Where can I find forms and other paper resources?
Visit our Volunteer Resources page (link to volunteer resources page) for resources most frequently used by volunteers at the troop level, or our full Resources page (link to resources page) for all other downloadable materials. Can’t find what you’re looking for or prefer a paper copy? Contact the Volunteer Resource Center at vrc@gscm.org.

Are materials available for ceremonies/events and/or programs?
Yes, a number of materials are available for loan from the Volunteer Resource Center, including Traveling Trunks, DVDs, books, world flags, and more. To learn more or to request materials from the VRC call 410.358.9711 or email vrc@gscm.org.

Are volunteers recognized for their service?
Yes. Collectively, volunteers contribute thousands of service hours each year at every level and in a number of ways. For this reason, we believe that volunteer recognition or appreciation should happen periodically, not only at the end of each year. Visit our Appreciation & Recognition page to learn more about our available Volunteer Awards and how to nominate a volunteer.

I am creating promotional material for a Girl Scout event. How do I get the GSCM logo?
The GSCM logo is available for download on our Brand Resources page along with guidelines for using the GSCM logo.

Council Service Fee

Does the Council Service Fee apply to both girls and adults? 
No, the Council Service Fee (CSF) applies only to girl registrations.  The total cost for girl participation including annual membership fee and CSF is $22.

Will financial assistance be available to cover the CSF?
Girls who receive financial assistance will be exempt from the fee since GSCM covers the cost of their annual membership dues whether in part or full.

How will the new CSF impact adults?  
The CSF does not affect adult membership.  Adult registration fee remains at $12 currently which will increase at Early Bird registration time in April 2013 to $15 per adult member.

Why don’t adult members pay the CSF?
The CSF applies only to girl members because our service is to the girls. Well-trained adult volunteers are part of the service we provide to girls but the direct service is delivered to the girls.

What, if any impact will the CSF have on lifetime members?
As lifetime membership is only available to adults, the CSF has no affect on lifetime membership.

What benefits will girls receive from the Council Service Fee?
The CSF enables the council to sustain and support the Girl Scout Leadership program for girls at the local level.  This fee also ensures the quality of service to and the safety of girls.

Why is the Council Service Fee being implemented at this time?
Economic realities face us all, therefore councils need sustainable income to ensure the quality of service to and the safety of girls. At the 52nd National Council Session in November 2011, delegates were given the opportunity to take action in response to this issue. GSCM’s Council delegates along with delegates across the nation voted to approve the CSF.

How was the amount of the CSF decided?  
The decision was made by our Council’s Board of Directors to implement the CSF after feedback was received from GSCM Delegates.  The fee was determined based upon the funds needed to serve each girl, while keeping within the parameters set by GSUSA.  The CSF can not exceed GSUSA’s annual membership fee.

When will the CSF take affect and how will it be collected?  
The CSF will be implemented for the 2013 membership year beginning with the early bird registration in spring 2013.  The CSF will be collected at the same time as the annual membership fee.

Is the CSF being implemented in all Girl Scout councils across the country?  
Each Council will make the decision regarding timing of implementation and the amount of the fee based on their budget needs.

Will the CSF cause a decrease in girl membership?  
Girl Scouts of Central Maryland ranks among the highest nationally in retaining girls from year to year. Research indicates finances are not a key factor for girls leaving. Reasons girls have provided for leaving the organization include: lack of time, too many other commitments, the lack of an adult volunteer to facilitate the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and troop disbandment. GSCM allocates resources to retain girls from year to year and we believe the CSF will not significantly impact retention. It is important to remember that financial assistance will still be available to qualifying girls.

Will the CSF amount change each year?
The amount of the CSF is based on two factors: (1) The maximum amount of the CSF can be no more than the annual membership fee set by GSUSA and (2) A decision by our Council’s Board of Directors.

How about transfers from Council to Council? Will you charge the service fee?
At this time, if a girl transfers from one Council to another, the receiving Council will not charge a CSF.  If you plan on moving, please contact the Council so we can facilitate your transfer.

Will there still be an Annual Family Campaign?
Yes. The CSF, along with product sales, corporate and foundation support and gifts from families and friends to the Annual Fund Campaign, gives us the combined resources needed to get to the current $197.04 per girl cost locally that is necessary to deliver the premier leadership program for girls.

What specifically will the income from the CSF support?
The CSF will support the operation of our local council, including general operating expenses, property improvements, supporting technology initiatives, providing quality customer care and service to our members, initiating background checks of volunteers and staff, providing liability insurance, providing outdoor experiences for girls and processing girl membership.


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