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Policies

All members, volunteers, families, and general public are responsible for compliance with these policies when acting as a Girl Scout or interacting with Girl Scouts of the USA, Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, or any other Girl Scout council.

Girl Scouts of the USA Policies

All Girl Scout councils, members, volunteers, families, and the general public are bound by the policies set forth by Girl Scouts of the USA in its official publications when acting as a Girl Scout, or when interacting with Girl Scouts of the USA or any Girl Scout council. These policies are found in the Blue Book of Basic Documents English (PDF) or Español (PDF).

Girl Scouts River Valleys Policies

Members, volunteers, families, and the general public are further bound by the policies set forth by the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys (hereinafter referred to as “River Valleys”), as set forth here. In the event the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys policy provides further detail than the Girl Scouts of the USA policies, the policy of Girls Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys prevails.

Background Check Policy

All River Valleys members serving in a volunteer role that involves interacting with girls, handling money, and/or having access to member data are required to pass a background check every three years.

Standards

  • The background check is defined as a check of criminal history conducted by River Valleys’ approved vendor, authorized by the member, and does not include a credit check.
  • The background is a required component of the River Valleys’ volunteer screening procedure.
  • All prospective and returning volunteers must authorize River Valleys to perform a background check when they begin, and every three years thereafter.
  • Volunteers are asked to provide their social security number as part of the background check process. Volunteers may bypass the social security number.
  • All background check invitations and instructions are sent via email.
  • To obtain or renew a volunteer appointment, members must follow background check instructions provided by River Valleys’ approved vendor.
  • River Valleys will take necessary measures to ensure that member data is secure.
  • River Valleys pays the full cost of background checks.
Cookie Credits & Fall FUNds Policy

Cookie Credits and Fall FUNds are issued and redeemed at the discretion of River Valleys.

Standards

  • Cookie Credits and Fall FUNds (Credits) can be redeemed only within the printed expiration date and for approved uses.
    • Credits expire on September 15 following the calendar year they are issued.
    • An extension period of two years after the original printed expiration date is granted for council-approved Girl Scout Junior, Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador extended troop trips, as well as GSUSA lifetime memberships.
  • Girls must be active members of Girl Scouts in order to earn or redeem credits.
  • Credits are earned by girls as a reward for product sales or council-sponsored contests.
  • Credits are issued by the council only and cannot be duplicated.
  • Credits can be redeemed for the following:
    • Event fees associated with council-approved day camp and service unit-sponsored encampments
    • Council-sponsored program events and camps
    • River Valleys shops and trading posts, including the mobile shop
    • GSUSA membership dues and lifetime membership
    • GSUSA Destinations travel
    • River Valleys-approved Girl Scout Junior, Girl Scout Cadette, Girl Scout Senior, and Girl Scout Ambassador extended troop trips
    • Completed Girl Scout Bronze Award projects
    • Approved and completed Girl Scout Silver and Girl Scout Gold Award projects
  • Credits must be submitted at the time of payment for council-sponsored camp/program event registration, membership dues, or in council shops and trading posts. Change will not be issued. Any refunds will be issued in the form of Credits or gift certificates.
  • For other approved uses, a fully completed reimbursement form is required.
    • Include with the form for reimbursement:
      • Credits
      • Copies of receipts/supporting documentation for all expenses.
  • Credits will not be replaced for any reason.
Definition of a Volunteer Policy

All adults who work directly with girls, manage Girl Scout (council, service unit, or troop) finances, and/or perform tasks in support of Girl Scouts must register as Girl Scout members and must be appointed to a River Valleys volunteer role.

Standards

  • Any adult may register as a member of Girl Scouts of the USA.
  • Girl Scouts adult members who wish to perform any of the above defined activities must be appointed to a River Valleys volunteer role.
  • Prior to appointment, prospective volunteers must comply with screening policies and training as required by their role.
  • Appointed volunteers must renew their volunteer role each year, and must have their correct role recorded with Girl Scouts River Valleys.
Diversity & Inclusion Policy

Diversity and inclusion have been core values of Girl Scouts since its founding in 1912. Girl Scouts River Valleys and Girl Scouts of the USA value diversity in all its forms and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, alienage or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability, gender, marital status, familial status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, public assistance, local human rights commission activity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws. Girl Scouts River Valleys will not tolerate discrimination thus defined by its staff, volunteers, members, partners, or participants.

Standards

  • River Valleys is committed to creating an environment where all girls have the opportunity to participate in a movement that encourages them to overcome barriers and become leaders in their community and world.
  • All River Valleys staff, volunteers, and members are expected to think, speak, and act in ways that ensure all people feel they belong and can meaningfully participate in all aspects of Girl Scouting, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, alienage or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability, gender, marital status, familial status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, public assistance, local human rights commission activity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.
  • River Valleys is committed to inclusion and will make reasonable efforts to provide accessibility to girls of all levels of ability.
  • Any discrimination against a girl by an adult involved in Girl Scouts on the basis of her race, color, creed, religion, alienage or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability, gender, marital status, familial status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identification, genetic information, public assistance, local human rights commission activity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws will be grounds for (depending on membership status) either volunteer removal or prohibiting presence of a non-member adult at all Girl Scout activities.
Events: Animals Policy

Pets are not allowed on any GSRV property or camp. Exceptions are made for service animals.

This policy applies to all Girl Scouts River Valleys events, camps, programs, meetings and trainings, whether they are held on Girl Scouts River Valleys properties or at community locations.

Events: Behavior Policy

Attendees to all Girl Scouts River Valleys (GSRV) events are expected to follow the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Girls and adults cannot bring or use weapons, alcoholic beverages, drugs (other than those prescribed by a physician), or tobacco products to any Girl Scout event or onto any Girl Scouts River Valleys’ property.

If, for any reason, an attendee’s behavior is not within our expectations, they will be asked to leave as soon as possible. We will expect a parent/guardian to pick up a girl as soon as possible, and adults will need to provide their own transportation. This is at the expense of the parent/guardian or adult attendee. We will not refund session fees.

This policy applies to all Girl Scouts River Valleys events, camps, programs, meetings and trainings, whether they are held on Girl Scouts River Valleys properties or at community locations.

Events: Personal Items Policy

Participants are responsible for all items brought to events or camps and GSRV cannot be held responsible for the loss or damage to a participant’s personal belongings. It is best to have your name in all items. Any items left behind will be kept at camp for one month and then donated to a local charity.

Please check in with your camp’s director before bringing any personal sports equipment to camp or adult trainings.

This policy applies to all Girl Scouts River Valleys events, camps, programs, meetings and trainings, whether they are held on Girl Scouts River Valleys properties or at community locations.

Events: Program Event Registration & Customer Cancellation Policy

River Valleys reserves the right to define registration and cancellation parameters for council-led/sponsored program events.

Registration

  • Girls registering for program events are required to have a current Girl Scout membership, unless otherwise specified in the program event description.
  • Program event registrations are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis by phone, online, or by paper form.
    • The date a registration is received by Girl Scouts River Valleys is the date used for priority.
    • Submitting a paper form takes additional processing time and does not guarantee registration.
  • Individuals or troops must register before the registration close date and time listed on the River Valleys website.
    • Registrations will not be accepted after the listed close date and time.
    • Registration may close early if an event is full.
  • Adults registering for a program event as a chaperone to meet required adult-to-girl ratio guidelines must have a current Girl Scout membership, be appointed to a volunteer role, and have an eligible background check on file.
    • Membership and volunteer role requirements do not apply to adults attending a program event with only their girl.
  • Only girls and adults who are registered for a specific program event are permitted to attend.
  • Full payment is due at the time of registration.
  • Payment will be accepted in the form of credit/debit card (by phone or online), check, Juliette Program Credits, or unexpired Cookie Credits and Fall FUNds.
  • Financial assistance may be available by request for qualified individuals.

Cancellation

  • Program event registrations can be changed (including transferring to another program event) or cancelled by the customer until 30 days prior to the first scheduled date without penalty.
    • If 30 days falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be the next business day.
    • Cancellations are accepted in writing, over the phone, or in person.
    • No refunds will be granted for customer cancellations less than 30 days prior to the event date.
      • Requests related to communicable illness or medical emergency will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Program events offered with a partner organization where the partner collects registration information and fees will follow the cancellation policy of that organization.
  • No partial refunds will be issued for participants sent home early.
  • River Valleys reserves the right to cancel a program event up to and including the event date. In this case, all registration payments will be refunded or transferred to another applicable program event.
Events: Resident/Troop Camp Registration & Customer Cancellation Policy

River Valleys reserves the right to define registration and cancellation parameters for resident and troop camp sessions.

Registration

  • Camp registrations are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis by phone, online, or by paper form, which are accepted based on when they arrive.
    • Submitting a paper form takes processing time and does not guarantee registration.
  • Individuals or troops must register before the registration close date and time listed on the River Valleys website.
    • No more registrations will be accepted after this time.
    • Registration will close early if capacity is met.
    • River Valleys does not offer waitlists for camp sessions.
  • Adults registering for a camp session as a chaperone to meet required adult-to-girl ratio guidelines (example: troop camp) must have a current Girl Scout membership, be appointed to a volunteer role, and have an eligible background check on file.
    • Membership and volunteer role requirements do not apply to adults attending a camp session with only their girl (example: Adult + Me camp).
  • Only girls and adults who are registered for a specific camp session are permitted to attend.
  • Payment requirements:
    • Full payment is due at the time of registration for troop camp sessions.
    • Payment of a specified non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration for resident camp sessions, with full balance due 30 days prior to the first scheduled date.
    • Financial assistance may be available by request for qualified individuals.
    • Payment will be accepted in the form of credit/debit card (by phone or online), check, Juliette Proceed Credits, or unexpired Cookie Credits and Fall FUNds.
    • Submitting initial payment in the form of check or Cookie Credits, Fall FUNds, or Juliette Proceed Credits requires processing time; only credit/debit card payment will hold a camp session space immediately.
  • Any promotional codes or coupons can only be used within the defined date parameters, and for the reason(s) specified.
  • Payment and/or any promotional coupons will not be accepted at camp or at the bus stop.

Cancellations/Refunds

  • Camp registrations can be changed (including transferring to another session) or cancelled by the customer until 30 days prior to the first scheduled date without penalty.
    • Cancellations within this timeframe will be refunded less any applicable non-refundable deposit.
    • If 30 days falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be the next business day.
    • Cancellations are accepted in writing, over the phone, or in person.
    • No refunds will be granted for customer cancellations less than 30 days prior to a camp session.
      • Requests related to communicable illness or medical emergency will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Lice: All overnight camp participants are screened for lice upon arrival at camp or at the bus stop. Any individual found to have lice or nits will be required to leave camp.
    • Individuals are allowed to return to camp after 24 hours if they are found to be lice-free. There are no partial refunds for days missed.
    • If an individual is unable to attend camp because of lice, their registration may be transferred to another applicable camp session if one is available. No refunds will be issued if another session cannot be determined.
  • No partial refunds will be issued for campers sent home early.
  • River Valleys reserves the right to cancel a camp session up to and including the session date(s). In this case, all registration payments will be refunded or transferred to another applicable option.
Events: River Valleys Cancellation of Council-Led/Sponsored Program Events & Camp Sessions Policy

All River Valleys council-led/sponsored program events and camp sessions are subject to cancellation.

Standards

  • River Valleys may decide to reschedule or cancel a council-sponsored program event or camp session for reasons including but not limited to: Weather emergencies, inclement weather that is not ideal for the activities planned for an event, low registration numbers, etc.
  • If the cancellation is due to weather, the decision to cancel will take into consideration current or predicted conditions (e.g. inclement weather, power outage, flooding, etc.), school closures, and road closures specific to the geographic area of the event location.
  • If a program event or camp session is cancelled by River Valleys, registrant options are either full refund or transfer of registration to an alternate session of the same event (if applicable). Transfers to an alternate program event or camp session are final and are not eligible for refund or additional transfers.
  • Program events or camp sessions hosted by outside partner organizations are subject to that organization’s cancellation and refund policies.
  • River Valleys will make every effort to communicate up-to-date information about cancellations and refunds to registrants as soon as possible.
Events: Weather Policy

Severe Weather and Emergencies

GSRV staff monitor weather alert radios, and our service centers and camps have storm shelters for use during severe weather. During weather alerts, phone lines need to remain open – please do not call during severe weather.

GSRV occasionally cancels events due to severe weather. Registered attendees will be notified, and you can call us at 800-845-0787 to check on events before leaving.

Dress Appropriately

Please review the description of your event to learn about the activities and whether it is held outdoors. Outdoor events are usually held “rain or shine,” so please dress/pack appropriately for the weather and season.

  • If your event is outdoors in the summer, consider bringing along sunscreen, bug spray and hats.
  • If your event is outdoors in the winter, bring warm clothing and dress in layers.
  • Bring sturdy walking shoes – participants often walk long distances at outdoor events.
  • Please see Camp.GirlScoutsRV.org/Packing-Lists for camp packing lists.

This policy applies to all Girl Scouts River Valleys events, camps, programs, meetings and trainings, whether they are held on Girl Scouts River Valleys properties or at community locations.

Juliette Girl Scout Money Management Policy

In accordance with the Internal Revenue Service and Girl Scouts of the USA, Juliette Girl Scouts are not allowed to have bank accounts or hold cash. Therefore, Juliette Girl Scouts may hold funds in the form of council issued Juliette Program Credits.

Standards

  • Juliette Program Credits (JPCs) are issued and redeemed at the discretion of River Valleys.
  • JPCs are issued for proceeds earned in the Cookie or Fall Product sales, for funds raised from other Girl Scout money-earning activities, or as a result of a girl leaving a troop to participate as a Juliette (see Troop Funds Distribution policy).
    • The Juliette Program Credit Deposit Form must be submitted in order to be issued JPCs for money-earning activities or funds from a former troop.
  • The Juliette Program Credit Deposit Form (PDF) must be submitted in order to be issued JPCs for money-earning activities or funds from a former troop.
  • JPCs cannot be replaced for any reason and cannot be exchanged for cash.
  • It is the responsibility of each Juliette Girl Scout, along with her mentor, to manage her own JPCs. They are not individually tracked by River Valleys.
  • Approved JPC uses:
    • River Valleys resident camp sessions
    • Council-approved day camps and official service unit encampments
    • Council-sponsored program events
    • Girl Scout shops and trading posts, including the mobile shop
    • GSUSA membership dues and lifetime membership
    • GSUSA Destinations travel
    • Council-approved Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador extended Girl Scout trips
    • Girl Scout-related field trips or activities (girl and one adult chaperone)
    • Completed Girl Scout Bronze Award projects
    • Approved and completed Girl Scout Silver and Gold Award projects
  • JPCs must be submitted at the time of payment for council-sponsored camp/program event registration, membership dues, or in council shops/trading posts. Change will not be issued. Any refunds will be issued in the form of JPCs or gift certificates.
  • For other approved uses, a fully completed Juliette Program Reimbursement Form (PDF) is required.
    • Include with the form for reimbursement:
      • JPCs
      • Copies of receipts/supporting documentation for all expenses.
Limiting Participation of Non-Member Adults Policy

River Valleys reserves the right to limit or prohibit the presence of non-members at Girl Scout activities whose actions put member safety or well-being in jeopardy, and/or negatively impact Girl Scouts River Valleys’ financial or organizational health.

Standards

  • Parents/guardians and any non-members are expected to support and act in accordance with the Girl Scout Promise and Law while involved in Girl Scout activities.
  • The best interests of our girl members guide limitation or prohibition decisions.
  • Reporting, review, management, and decisions regarding limiting or prohibiting participation will follow the same procedures and work instructions as the Volunteer Removal Policy.
Membership Dues Policy

To be registered as members of Girl Scouts, individuals must pay annual, lifetime, or other applicable membership dues.

Standards

  • Membership dues are paid to Girl Scouts of the USA. River Valleys does not retain any portion of membership dues.
  • Membership dues rates are set by Girl Scouts of the USA.
  • The Girl Scout membership year is October 1 through September 30.
  • Membership dues must be paid in full at the time of registration.
    • Financial assistance is available and must be requested at the time of registration.
  • Membership dues are refundable in the following cases:
    • No acceptable participation option is identified (e.g. no troop is available in a family’s area).
    • A membership is purchased in error (e.g. purchased for wrong person, wrong membership year, etc.).
  • Requests for refunds must be received within 90 days of registration and are approved on a case-by-case basis.
  • Membership dues of one person may not be transferred to the credit of another person.

See Girl Scouts of the USA’s Blue Book of Basic Documents English or Español for full and up-to-date annual and lifetime membership dues policies and rates.

Ownership of Assets Policy

Assets, including property, that are received in the name of and for the benefit of Girl Scouting must be held and authorized by River Valleys.

Standards

  • River Valleys defines an asset as an individual item valued at $500 or greater (whether purchased or donated).
    • Such assets are the property of and are administered by River Valleys, not individuals, troops, service units, or groups (such as service units working in cooperation).
  • River Valleys individual members, troops, service units, or groups may own individual items valued at less than $500 without express authorization of the council.
  • Regardless of value, ownership of anything that requires a license or registration, such as vehicles, boats, or trailers is prohibited.
  • River Valleys is not responsible for loss or damage of property or items owned by service units, troops, individual members, or groups.
  • Service units and troops may be required to include an inventory list of all owned items as part of their annual finance reporting.
  • River Valleys reserves the right to further define parameters for ownership of items, regardless of value, in the name of and for the benefit of Girl Scouting.
  • Policy violations will be addressed by River Valleys staff on an individual basis.
Properties & Facilities: Weapons Policy

Girl Scouts River Valleys strictly prohibits possession of any form of weapons or explosives restricted by local, state, or federal law at any time while engaging in Girl Scout activities or programs, or while on any River Valleys properties. Exempted from this policy are Law Enforcement Personnel when acting in a professional capacity.

Standards

  • Pocketknives, kitchen knives, hatchets used for cutting wood, archery equipment, and other such tools are allowed under adult supervision and with proper instruction.
  • Anyone using archery equipment on River Valleys property must follow all Girl Scout Safety Activity Checkpoints, including having an archery instructor trained by River Valleys or who holds a current certification from USA Archery or an equivalent organization.
  • Permission must be obtained from River Valleys for any weapons-related programs.
Properties & Facilities: Illegal Drug & Use Tobacco Products Policy

River Valleys is a 100% tobacco and illegal substance-free environment. Smoking, use of other tobacco products, and illegal substance use or possession are not permitted on River Valleys properties. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes or vaporizers.

Standards

  • Smoking or use of other tobacco products is not permitted in or around River Valleys buildings or grounds. This includes inside personal vehicles in any parking lot.
  • Anyone wishing to smoke or use other tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes or vaporizers, must do so outside the perimeter of the property.
  • River Valleys will not tolerate any use or possession of illegal substances on its properties.
Properties & Facilities: Service Centers & Edith Mayo Program Center Policy

Current River Valleys Girl Scout members (troops, service units, volunteer groups) may use designated areas in River Valleys service centers, free of charge and based on availability, for Girl Scout activities or events.

Standards

  • River Valleys service centers (St. Paul, Brooklyn Center, and Mankato) and the Edith Mayo Program Center are limited to day use only. No overnights are allowed.
  • Anyone using a service center for a meeting or event must comply with all posted or otherwise communicated rules and guidelines, including completing a cleaning checklist for all rooms used.
  • No group may occupy a service center between the hours of 10:00pm and 6:00am.
  • Girls must be under adult supervision at all times.
  • Individuals are prohibited from entering employee office spaces.
  • Noise on patios and in other outside spaces should be kept to a speaking level after dark out of respect for neighboring houses and businesses.
  • See also: Kitchen Use and Food Preparation Policy
Properties & Facilities: Trespassing Policy

No person is allowed on River Valleys property without permission, express or implied, as defined by River Valleys.

Standards

  • Individuals trespassing on River Valleys property will be asked to leave or removed. Failure to comply will result in involvement of law enforcement.
  • Express permission:
    • Individuals with a facility reservation, during the reserved period.
    • Girls and adults registered for a council-sponsored program event or camp session.
    • Someone who has received permission from River Valleys to be at a facility during a specific period of time for a specific reason (e.g. building contractors).
  • Implied permission:
    • Current background-checked adult Girl Scout members who are involved with the troop or Service
    • Unit using the facility or property.
    • Individuals affiliated with a group that has a facility reservation, during the reserved period.
    • Parents/guardians who are chaperoning a minor.
    • Adults picking up or dropping off youth during a designated or previously agreed upon timeframe.
Properties & Facilities: Pets Policy

Pets are not allowed on River Valleys properties, with the exception of service animals*.

*Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. (Source: https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm)

Properties & Facilities: Girl Scout Use Policy

A troop, service unit, or volunteer group made up of current Girl Scout members in good standing may rent River Valleys properties and facilities, based on availability, for Girl Scout activities or events at a rate specified by River Valleys.

Standards

  • Girl Scout groups are required to follow all current policies and guidelines listed on the River Valleys website and any other policies communicated by mail, email, or through the online reservation system.
  • Girl Scout groups are required to follow guidelines outlined in Safety-Wise and any applicable Safety Activity Checkpoints.
  • Girl Scout groups are responsible for purchasing additional insurance if any non-members will be present at their event and providing proof upon request.
  • All provided items (kitchen items, mattresses, furniture, cots, etc.) must be left in their original condition and location.
  • Groups are responsible for all set-up and clean-up and are subject to additional fees, at River Valleys’ discretion, for any damage to buildings or property.
  • Quiet hours at all River Valleys facilities span from 10:00 p.m.- 7:00 a.m. During this time rental groups must keep loud activities inside and should not exceed a volume of regular speaking voices outside.
  • Activities that could damage the property or its facilities, harm the natural beauty of the site, or disturb others are strictly prohibited.
  • Alcohol is not permitted on River Valleys property unless express permission and a written permit are obtained. Alcohol is never permitted for any event where Girl Scout programming or activities are delivered. Full alcohol policy is available upon request.
Properties & Facilities: Non-Girl Scout Use Policy

Non-Girl Scout use of River Valleys camp properties is allowed, with permission and based on availability, at a rate specified by River Valleys.

Non-Girl Scout use is defined as any outside group not affiliated with Girl Scouts, or current Girl Scout members using the rented facility for an activity not related to Girl Scouts such as a family reunion, wedding, or family campout.

Standards

  • River Valleys reserves the right to deny any request to use facilities.
  • Non-Girl Scout groups are required to adhere to all policies listed on the River Valleys website and any other policies communicated by mail, email, or through the online reservation system when using River Valleys properties.
  • Use of properties must not conflict with the Girl Scout mission, Promise and Law, or programming needs, and must not harm or damage the property’s facilities or natural environment.
  • Activities that could damage the property or its facilities, harm the natural beauty of the site, or disturb others are strictly prohibited.
  • Non-Girl Scout groups using a camp for purposes of role playing games or activities, weddings, adult retreats, or those planning activities that may be disruptive or inappropriate for Girl Scout troops to be around are required to rent the entire camp.
  • All non-Girl Scout rental groups will be required to sign a Property Rental Agreement prior to their rental date that includes proof of at least $1,000,000 liability insurance with River Valleys listed as an additional insured.
  • All provided items (kitchen items, mattresses, furniture, cots, etc.) must be left in their original condition and location.
  • Groups are responsible for all set-up and clean-up and are subject to additional fees, at River Valleys’ discretion, for any damage to buildings or property.
  • Quiet hours at all River Valleys facilities span from 10:00pm – 7:00am. During this time rental groups must keep loud activities inside and should not exceed a volume of regular speaking voices outside.
  • Alcohol is not permitted on River Valleys property unless express permission and a written permit are obtained. Alcohol is never permitted for any event where Girl Scout programming or activities are delivered. Full alcohol policy is available upon request.
Properties & Facilities: Waterfront Policy

Girl Scout and non-Girl Scout users may reserve a camp waterfront for swimming or boating activities, based on season and availability, and are required to adhere to all Girl Scout standards.

Standards

  • Rental parties must either request and pay for a River Valleys staff lifeguard or provide their own certified lifeguard(s) for swimming.
  • Girl Scouts are required to follow Girl Scout Safety Activity Checkpoints.
  • The renting party is required to provide proof of lifeguard certification. A copy may be emailed or mailed to River Valleys and must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the rental date, or at the time of reservation if reserving less than 60 days prior to the rental date.
    • The waterfront will not be available until certification is provided.
  • Either a lifeguard with boating experience or a person certified in Small Craft Safety is required in order to use kayaks, canoes, sailboats, or rowboats, and must be present at the waterfront. The lifeguard(s)/certified Small Craft Safety person(s) are not allowed to participate in recreational waterfront activities while supervising.
  • One certified lifeguard is required for every 25 people for swimming (including paddle boarding) as well as one adult per every 10 swimmers to act as a watcher.
  • Lifeguards and individuals certified in Small Craft Safety must be at least 16 years of age, with at least one certified person present who is 18 or older.
  • River Valleys staff will have control of the waterfront during any use by rental groups during the summer camp season (June-August). Renting parties must request and pay for River Valleys staff lifeguards during this time.
Properties & Facilities: Cancellations & Refunds Policy

River Valleys reserves the right to define rental cancellation and refund parameters for council properties and facilities, which are subject to change.

Standards

  • Reservations can be cancelled by the customer up until 6 months before the rental date for full refund of any deposit or balance paid.
    • This includes changes to existing reservations that involve reducing the number of facilities rented.
    • Cancellations are accepted by phone, in writing, or in person.
  • If all or a portion of a reservation is cancelled between 6 and 2 months (60 days) before the rental date, the 20% deposit for all cancelled portions of the reservation is retained by River Valleys.
  • All deposit and balance payments are non-refundable after the 60-day cancellation requirement and the full balance is due.
  • Approved refunds will be issued to the primary contact on the reservation unless otherwise requested by that individual.
  • Refunds will be processed in the form of credit/debit card reimbursement whenever possible. When this is not possible, refunds are issued as a check.
Properties & Facilities: Multiple Groups at Camp Policy

River Valleys properties may be used by more than one group at a time. Parties wishing to have private use of a camp must rent the entire camp, including all of its seasonally available facilities.

Standards

  • When there are multiple groups at a camp during the same period of time, the expectation is that all parties present will be courteous and mindful of others and shared spaces.
  • Renting parties are expected to adhere to their reserved times for activity areas, observe quiet hours, and be respectful of other groups’ time and space.
Properties & Facilities: Safety & Emergencies Policy

All groups or individuals using Girl Scout facilities are required to adequately plan for safety and have an emergency plan in place during their period of use, up to and including cancellation of their event.

Standards

  • All groups are responsible for providing their own emergency care and transportation or contacting 911 in case of emergency.
  • Girl Scout use groups are required to:
    • Follow all applicable Safety-Wise guidelines.
    • Follow the adult-to-girl ratio and male/female sleeping arrangement guidelines outlined in Safety-Wise, and are recommended to have at least one adult on-site that has current CPR and first aid certification from a nationally recognized provider appropriate to the ages of participants in the group.
    • Have the responsible party fill out an accident/incident report if any accidents or emergencies occur and submit to River Valleys. Paper copies of the form are available in first aid kits, electronic format is available on the River Valleys volunteer website.
Properties & Facilities: Arrival & Departure Times Policy

All groups using River Valleys properties or facilities are required to adhere to the arrival and departure times specified in their reservation confirmation.

Standards

  • Standard arrival time for overnight reservations is no earlier than 4:00pm on the first day of the reservation.
  • Standard departure time for overnight reservations is no later than 2:00pm on the last day of the reservation.
  • Early arrival and late departure require renting the facility the night before or after.
  • Arrival and departure times for meeting space and other approved day use (where available) will be agreed upon with River Valleys at the time of reserving.
Properties & Facilities: Facility Closure Policy

River Valleys reserves the right to close a facility or property and cancel any reservations due to severe weather or other safety concerns.

Standards

  • Weather-related closure decisions will take into consideration current or predicted conditions (e.g. inclement weather, power outage, flooding, etc.), school closures, and road closures specific to the geographic area of the facility.
  • Parties with facilities reserved on the date of a camp closure will be notified as soon as possible and will receive a full refund for all missed days.
Properties & Facilities: Reservation Deposit & Payment Policy

River Valleys reserves the right to define rental deposit and payment parameters for council properties and facilities, which are subject to change.

Standards

  • A deposit of 20% of the total balance is due at the time of reservation.
  • Full payment is due 60 days prior to the rental date.
    • If a reservation is made within 60 days of the rental date, the full balance is due at the time of reservation.
  • The person whose name appears on the reservation is the primary contact and is responsible for payment. This person is responsible for notifying River Valleys if the primary contact changes.
    • Other members of the group are allowed to make payments.
  • Payments can be made online in ActiveNet, by phone, check/cash, or Juliette Program Credits.
  • Cookie Credits and Fall FUNds cannot be used to pay facility rental fees.
  • See also: Cancellations and Refunds Policy
Properties & Facilities: Kitchen Use & Food Preparation Policy

All parties using River Valleys facilities are required to follow all council kitchen standards.

Standards

  • Reserving parties may only use the kitchen(s) in the building(s) they have rented.
  • Groups running individual girl events (ex: not attending as a troop) are prohibited from preparing food for paid participants in non-commercial kitchens on River Valleys properties. The following kitchens are classified as commercial:
    • Lakamaga dining hall
    • Elk River dining hall
    • Singing Hills dining hall
    • Northwoods Thunderbird Lodge dining hall
    • Upper Level commercial kitchen at Camp Edith Mayo: please inquire with River Valleys for terms of use.
  • Parties renting a dining hall who wish to use the commercial-grade kitchen must attend kitchen orientation with Program or Property staff prior to their reservation.
    • It is recommended that at least one person from each group using a commercial kitchen complete the $15 online ServSafe training before using the kitchen to encourage food safety.
  • A troop or other small group staying overnight in a cabin, tent, or troop house may use the kitchen in the space they have rented to prepare food for their group following all Girl Scout safety guidelines found in Safety-Wise, the River Valleys Girls Cook In self-study training, and any applicable safety activity checkpoints.
  • Small overnight groups of 30 or fewer, including those associated with a paid program, are allowed to prepare meals for themselves using any River Valleys facility kitchen, as long as no paid participants are included.
  • Troops attending troop based events, such as service unit events and encampments, may plan and prepare food for themselves in non-commercial kitchens on River Valleys properties.
  • Any group preparing food in a commercial camp kitchen, or small overnight groups associated with a paid program, are required to have a kitchen manager trained in food safety, and are required to follow all food safety standards and practices outlined in the River Valleys Kitchen Manual and Cooking Guidelines.
  • Outdoor campfire cooking by participants associated with a paid program (such as a volunteer-led Day Camp) as an activity is allowed, but no food may be prepped (ex: cutting or heating) indoors. Food may be divided and portioned out to send to individual units for outdoor cooking.
    • Outdoor cooking is not considered food service because girls prepare and cook their own food as an activity.
  • Catered food is allowed, as well as bag lunches brought by campers from home.
  • Snacks not requiring preparation, such as whole fruits and vegetables and packaged snacks, are allowed.
  • Failure to comply with these standards will jeopardize the ability to rent River Valleys facilities in the future.
Recording Custodial Relationships Policy

River Valleys uses Girl Scout membership and participation systems to ensure safety of girls and communicate with members. This requires the contact and relationship information documented in Girl Scout membership and participation systems to reflect legal and/or custodial relationships.

Standards

  • Within River Valleys' membership and participation systems, a household refers to a collection of contact records.
  • Girl member contact records may only be placed in households with adults who have legal and/or custodial relationships with the girl.
  • Contact information within a household must reflect the accurate contact information of legal and/or custodial adult members.
  • River Valleys will adjust household records to reflect changes to legal and/or custodial relationships.
  • River Valleys may request documentation related to legal and/or custodial arrangements at any time.
  • River Valleys will accept payments from third parties for any girl to register for Girl Scout membership or any Girl Scout events or camps. Third parties do not have direct online access to the girl’s records, but they may make payment by phone, mail, or in person.
    • Registration confirmation, girl permission or releases, and invoices are sent to the legal and/or custodial contact on the girl’s record.
Safety-Wise Policy

All adults who work directly with girls, manage Girl Scout (council, service unit, or troop) finances, and/or perform tasks in support of Girl Scouts must understand their responsibilities and follow the guidelines set forth in the Girl Scouts River Valleys Safety-wise (PDF) document.

Sustainability Policy

River Valleys is committed to finding ways by which we can reduce the environmental impact of our work in our council offices, program events/activities, camp properties, and community. We are committed to helping our members, volunteers, partner organizations, and community reduce environmental impact by promoting and modeling good sustainability practices.

Standards

  • River Valleys as an organization will strive to:
    • Integrate sustainability considerations into our business decisions.
    • Ensure that staff, volunteers, and members are fully aware of our Sustainability Policy and are committed to implementing and improving it.
    • Maximize the impact of sustainability in properties and transportation activities.
    • Make clients, vendors, and suppliers aware of our Sustainability Policy, and encourage them to adopt sound sustainably management practices when working together.
    • Review, report annually, and continually strive to improve our sustainability performance.
Tax Exempt

River Valleys troops, service units, and volunteers are required to adhere to all applicable state and federal tax laws and policies, as well as those put in place by River Valleys council and Girl Scouts of the USA.

Standards

  • Girl Scouts River Valleys is a nonprofit corporation holding 501(c)(3) status as determined by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States Government.
    • 501(c)(3) status exempts River Valleys from federal income taxes at the council, service unit, and troop levels.
    • River Valleys is also exempt from state income taxes.
  • All money raised or earned, and other assets received in the name of or for the benefit of Girl Scouts must be authorized by a Girl Scout council (or GSUSA) and used for the purposes of Girl Scouting. These assets or money are not the property of individuals, units, or communities within a Girl Scout council.
  • Service units, troops and groups are subordinate units of River Valleys.
    • Subordinate units are not separate legal entities and have no independent existence for tax purposes.
    • River Valleys troops, service units and groups should not have their own Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
  • Troops, service units and groups are required to use River Valleys' Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) when opening bank accounts.
    • Doing so exempts any interest earned on the account balance from income taxes.
    • Estimates of the bank accounts opened by troops, service units and groups are included on River Valleys’ financial statements as an asset and liability.
  • River Valleys is exempt from paying Minnesota and Wisconsin sales and use taxes.
    • Purchases not included in the sales tax exemption are prepared food, soft drinks, candy, catered food, lodging, rentals of most motor vehicles, 9.2% car rental tax and 5% car rental fee.
  • Current River Valleys volunteers in good standing may use River Valleys’ sales tax exemption to purchase Girl Scout-related program supplies at third-party retailers.
    • Purchases must be used for activities that promote and further River Valleys’ mission.
      • When purchases are made for activities that promote and further River Valleys’ mission, volunteers are making purchases as River Valleys or on behalf of River Valleys.
      • Purchases made for the benefit of a specific person (gifts, badges, patches, etc.) are not eligible for sales tax exemption.
    • Purchases must be paid for with the troop’s, service unit’s, or group’s bank account.
      • An individual using their personal bank account/credit card to purchase program supplies and receive reimbursement cannot utilize River Valleys’ sales tax exemption.
    • The Minnesota/Wisconsin Department of Revenue does not allow River Valleys’ sales tax exemption to be used by volunteers or other Girl Scout members for personal purchases, or for use by an organization other than River Valleys.
  • Girl Scout volunteers may not use the council’s sales tax exemption for purchases made at River Valleys’ retail shops.
Volunteer Eligibility Policy

River Valleys reserves the right to determine volunteer eligibility, loss of eligibility, and reinstatement of eligibility in its sole discretion. Its decisions shall generally be guided by this policy and related policies and shall reflect its paramount commitment to the safety and well-being of River Valleys’ girl members.

Standards

  • All volunteers must be currently registered members with Girl Scouts of the USA.
  • Prospective volunteers must meet all requirements of their intended or appointed position, which varies by role.
  • Volunteers who have been previously removed are eligible for reappointment in accordance with the Volunteer Removal Appeal policy.
  • Volunteers must provide and maintain accurate personal and contact information.
  • Volunteers must meet position expectations to be reappointed, promoted, or reinstated.
  • Girl Scouts River Valleys will not approve a background check, nor appoint an adult to a volunteer role who has been charged and/or convicted of, pled guilty to, received adjudication for, or pleaded no contest to the following within the prior five years:
    • Sex crimes (charged and/or convicted, at the council's discretion)
    • Driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, or equivalent
    • Crimes against children (charged and/or convicted, at the council's discretion)
    • Felony offenses against persons
    • Felony offenses against a family member
    • Crimes defined as public indecency
    • Crimes involving the use of weapons
    • Any violent crime
    • Any felony drug-related offense
    • Any other felony conviction
  • For all other criminal offenses and for situations described above that occurred more than five years ago, Girl Scouts River Valleys will review the applicant’s situation and may decide to allow appointment to a volunteer role. This is at the sole discretion of River Valleys and may change without notice. Considerations include, but are not limited to:
    • The nature and severity of the criminal conduct or charge
    • The position for which the person seeks to volunteer
    • The length of time since the criminal conduct or charge occurred
    • The circumstances under which the crime was committed or the charge made
    • The degree of rehabilitation
    • The likelihood that the person will commit a crime in the future
    • The number of crimes committed or charges made
  • Registered sex offenders will not be allowed to participate in any capacity with Girl Scouts River Valleys. Any adult listed on a sex offender registry (past or present) will not be appointed to serve as a Girl Scouts River Valleys volunteer nor may they participate as a parent.
  • Persons who reside in the same household as a registered sex offender or someone charged and/or convicted of criminal sexual conduct (past or present) are not eligible for a volunteer role.
    • They may be eligible to participate as a parent.
    • If the status of the charged individual changes, reappointment may be considered in accordance with the Volunteer Removal Appeal policy.
  • River Valleys will audit volunteer eligibility to ensure compliance.
  • The best interests of our girl members guide all volunteer eligibility decisions.
  • River Valleys’ records and actions regarding volunteer eligibility are available only to those with a legitimate need to know and as required by applicable law or court order.
  • All decisions regarding volunteer eligibility are at the sole discretion of River Valleys.
  • This policy and the standards related to volunteer eligibility may change without notice.
Volunteer/Member/Non-Member Debt Policy

Volunteers, members, or non-members may not be indebted to River Valleys. River Valleys has the authority to release, deny, or limit an individual’s participation if in violation of this policy.

Standards

  • River Valleys defines indebtedness as:
    • Checks written with insufficient funds.
    • Unpaid product sale proceeds owed to the organization or a troop/service unit/group past the specified due date.
    • Other amounts owed for products or services including but not limited to camp, facility rental, and program events past the specified due date.
  • Any debt over $5,000 will be considered misappropriation and will follow the Troop and SU Funds Misappropriation policy.
  • River Valleys reserves the right to pursue collection efforts and/or take legal action on any debt owed to the council.
    • River Valleys will first attempt to collect funds owed from the responsible party(ies).
    • If not paid within 45 days of the specified due date:
      • Any past due amount less than $1,000 will be sent to a collections agency.
      • Any past due amount greater than $1,000 will be subject to legal action.
  • A volunteer holding any service unit role with a debt of more than $500 or more not paid within 45 days of the specified due date will be removed from and/or denied appointment to that role(s). See policy: Volunteer Removal
  • A volunteer in a money-managing troop role with a debt of $500 or more not paid within 45 days of the specified due date will be removed from and/or denied appointment from that role(s). See policy: Volunteer Removal
    • Money managing troop roles include: troop leader, troop cookie/fall product manager, troop treasurer, troop family giving, and Juliette mentor.
  • Any volunteer that is prohibited from managing Girl Scout finances and product must remove their name and authorization as a signer from all Girl Scout bank accounts within 10 business days of removal notification. This generally involves both account signers going to the bank together.
  • In addition to being removed or denied appointment, an individual’s indebtedness will result in the following restrictions:
    • Any adult in the indebted household is prohibited from managing Girl Scout finances and product.
    • Any girl in the indebted household is limited to troop participation only (troop cookie booths, troop door-to-door sales) during product sales activities, and may not hold inventory.
    • Indebted households may not be eligible for financial assistance.
  • If a debt is paid in full, the member may apply or re-apply for appointment to a service unit volunteer role or money-managing troop role. Appointment or re-appointment is at the discretion of River Valleys.
  • In the instance of indebtedness related to product sales, a troop or Juliette may consult with River Valleys to discuss options for resolution.
  • Finance case records and actions are confidential. Information pertaining to a case will be reviewed only by the Troop Finance Specialist, relevant council leaders, the Volunteer Relations Committee, and Executive Leadership.

Additional Girl Scouts River Valleys Policies for Volunteers

Current volunteers can find these and additional, volunteer-only policies at Volunteers.GirlScoutsRV.org/Policies.

Girl Scouts of the USA Guidelines

Volunteer Essentials (PDF) outlines guidelines for Girl Scout activities and information about the Girl Scout program and experience.