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Frequently Asked Questions

 

General Questions

What are the Service Center and Shop hours?

Click here for shop and service center hours.

How do I manage my email preferences (subscribe/unsubscribe)?

Unsubscribe: If you no longer wish to receive any general emails from GSCTX, simply click the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of any of our email messages and you will be removed from our lists. Please be aware that this will stop delivery of all emails which include Tuesday’s Trefoil (our weekly newsletter), notices on special events, reminders of programs, as well as notices about general membership deadlines such as Early Bird.

Unsubscribing will NOT stop delivery of any transactional messages that are a critical part of GSCTX membership. For example, if you registered for one of our programs, you would still receive an email confirming that you had registered, even if you unsubscribed from our general emails. Unsubscribing from GSCTX general emails also does not unsubscribe you from GSUSA emails, and vice versa.

Re-subscribe: If you wish to resubscribe again later – or if you are not receiving email and would like to – please contact our Customer Care team by clicking the Contact Us link at the top of the site or calling (800) 733-0011.

I have girls in my troop of various religions/no religion. How can I accommodate them in the saying of the Girl Scout Promise?

To accommodate girls of varying faiths in saying the Girl Scout promise, volunteers are responsible for being sensitive to the spiritual beliefs of all girls, making sure that everyone in the group feels comfortable and included in Girl Scouting. Individual girls may substitute the word "God" in the Promise with whatever word is applicable to the girl's spiritual beliefs, but, like the Pledge of Allegiance, the official Girl Scout Promise includes the word "God" in both its spoken and written form.

What is GSCTX's discrimination policy?

Girls and volunteers cannot be excluded from activities based on race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, creed, national origin, marital or socioeconomic status, disability, or age. Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization. Girl Scouts of Central Texas is committed to having its membership reflect the diversity of population groups within its jurisdiction.

How can I get the best support from Customer Care?

Below are some suggestions for how to get your needs met as quickly as possible when you contact our Customer Care team for support:

  1. When you contact Customer Care team via email or our online form, you’re not just sending an email, you’re opening up a case in our system. 
  2. Please have the individual who needs the action taken contact us so that the case will link to the correct record. (Exceptions: updating how a troop appears in the troop catalog or troop transfers should be completed by the troop leader, SUR or SUD.) 
  3. We can help you best if you group together like issues into one case each. For example, if you need to check on the status of your criminal background check AND ask a question about your Girl Scout’s fall product sales, please enter these as two separate cases. 
  4. Finally, when you first email or reply to Customer Care, please don’t cc anyone else. Every time someone besides you replies to that email thread, a new case opens up in our system! 
 

Membership Registration

2018 Early Bird Incentive Winners

We are excited to announce our 2018 Early Bird Incentive winners! 

Can you tell me more about the cost, duration, and benefit of registering as a Girl Scout?

The membership dues go directly to Girl Scouts of the USA each year; girls receive all the benefits of being a member of a national organization. Currently there are 2.8 million girl and adult members. All members (girl and adult) pay membership dues annually. The membership year runs from October 1 through September 30.

Current dues for the 2017-18 year are $25. Click here for more information on the national membership dues increase.

If I register online, how does my daughter get a troop?

When you register your daughter online, you will be asked to enter your zip code and the available troops in that area will be displayed for you to select from. These troops may be established or may still be forming, needing more girls or adult volunteers. If you sign up for a forming troop, our staff will contact you with meeting details when the troop is fully formed.

What is the minimum age/grade for joining Girl Scouts?

Any girl in K-12 grade can join Girl Scouts. In order to begin, a girl must be in Kindergarten. We are so excited that parents are interested in getting their daughters involved right away and can't wait to have them as brand new Daisies once they are old enough to join!

Must I be a registered member to participate in Girl Scouts?

Yes. Anyone who wants to participate in activities such as trips, events, or meetings must be registered.

Do I need to register every year? How do we register?

Yes, all girls and adults participating in the Girl Scout Movement shall be registered as members with Girl Scouts of the United States of America and individually pay the $25 annual, or other applicable membership dues, except those adults who are lifetime members or who are working in a temporary advisory or consultative capacity. To renew membership, go to www.gsctx.org and click on "My GS". For a new membership, go to www.gsctx.org and click on JOIN. For a girl membership, you will be prompted to select a troop for your daughter based on your location or school. Become a member yourself and sign up to volunteer!

I want to know if there is a troop for my girl before I sign her up.

We encourage you not to wait until there is a troop before you sign your girl up. When you sign your girl up for Girl Scouts, you can choose the troop that will best suit your family. If the troop is forming, we will need adult volunteers in order for it to start meeting. When you click join on our website and enter your girl's information, you will be taken to the Opportunity Catalog which lists all the troops available by location. The best way to search is to search by zip code and then scroll through  the selections until you find the school or location of the troop you want your daughter placed in. If the listing shows that adult volunteers are needed, this means that we still need adult volunteers before we can form the troop. Consider signing up as a volunteer and helping out with your girls troop. You can go to GSCTX.org and click volunteer to start the process of becoming a member and being approved as a volunteer.

I have requested financial assistance for my daughter for membership. What happens next?

Financial Assistance can be requested when registering a girl for a membership by checking the financial aid box when "checking out" their registration cart. Customers should then fill out the Financial Assistance for Membership form. A staff member will review the request and then notify the customer if the financial assistance has been granted and also complete the registration from the database back office.

What materials will my daughter need to begin her Girl Scouting experience?

What your daughter needs to begin her Girl Scouting experience is a Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting, a sash or vest, membership pins, and troop numbers. GSCTX Starter Kits are a great value and have everything needed to begin the Girl Scout experience. The Starter Kit includes a Girl’s Guide, a Journey book, sash or vest, membership pins, and troop numbers. Starter kits are available at all GSCTX Council Shop locations or on our online shop. Go to the online shop to see options and prices.

How do I renew a girl or adult membership?

Click on "My GS" on our website to renew a girl or adult membership. For renewal resources, go to the Renew page on the GSCTX website.

How do I register or renew my troop members?

Click on "My GS" on our website to renew your troop members for membership. Once you are logged in as a Leader click on the “Troop” tab and renew the members who show a renew status; to opt out of renewing a specific membership for the time being change the status to ‘I’ll decide later” using the drop-down tab to the right of the person’s name.  Continue to the payment screen, enter credit or debit card information and checkout to complete the renewal.  For additional renewal resources, go to the Renew page on the GSCTX website.

Which membership registrations cannot be done online?

While the majority of memberships can be handled online, there is an exception that must be taken care of using the traditional paper method:

Checks, Money Orders, Cash - These cannot be accepted online. All online registrations require credit/debit cards. Troops leaders without a troop debit/credit card will not be able to re-register members online; however, a leader's personal debit/credit card can be used to register members and the leader can be reimbursed by a troop check. Troop leaders can submit paper forms to a GSCTX service center. Note: Paper forms take much longer to process than those completed online and may delay membership information from appearing on a troop's roster.

Where can I get paper forms for offline membership registration?

Paper membership registration forms are available in the GSCTX Forms Library.

Are there instances when a membership can be refunded?
  • Once a girl or adult pays the yearly Girl Scout membership fee the dues go directly to GSUSA and are not kept by GSCTX.
  • GSUSA policy allows for refunds to be made if 1) the wrong registration year has been chosen, or  2) a duplicate membership has been purchased for a member. 
  • Membership dues cannot be transferred.
  • There are no refunds for dues paid for a membership year in which the person participated as an active Girl Scout. 
  • All requests for refunds for membership must be made the same fiscal year the membership was purchased and cannot be processed after the membership year has ended,  i.e. 2017 membership refunds purchased during the 2017 fiscal year must be processed by September 30, 2017, please allow time for processing when submitting a request.  
  • Refund requests must be made in writing using the Contact Us form. 
Who can purchase a Lifetime Membership and what are the benefits and advantages of a Lifetime Membership?

Lifetime Membership is available to any individual who accepts the principles and beliefs of the Girl Scout Movement, pays the one-time Lifetime Membership fee, and is 18 years of age or older.

When you become a Lifetime Member, your dues are used to support the Lifetime Membership Endowment Fund, which supports programming for girls in STEM, the outdoors, entrepreneurship, and life skills—areas essential for preparing them to lead a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. Lifetime Membership fees are generally considered tax-deductible.

And ... as a Lifetime Member, you will:

  • Unleash the power of G.I.R.L. in YOU as you become one of more than 60 million G.I.R.L.s taking the lead to accomplish amazing things every day!
  • Turn your commitment into girls’ success with a welcome letter and lifetime member certificate signed by the chair of the Girl Scouts of the USA Board of Directors!
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest Girl Scout happenings with the bimonthly Girl Scout alumnae enewsletter!
  • Keep the power of G.I.R.L. close to your heart with your purchase of a Lifetime Membership pin!
  • Have fun and connect with other G.I.R.L.s at various events held at GSCTX for adult members.
What are the different types of Lifetime Memberships available?

At the National Council Session held in October of 2017, two new categories of Lifetime Memberships were approved:

  1. Lifetime Membership ($400) - available for anyone ages 18 or older who were never a girl member OR 30 or older regardless of being a girl alumnae.
  2. Young Alumnae Lifetime Membership ($200) - available for former girl members who are 18-29 years of age at the time of purchase. 

These new Lifetime Membership categories effectively replace the old Lifetime Membership (which was 25X the cost of a regular membership) and the Graduating Senior Discount Lifetime Membership (which was 16X the cost of a regular membership and could only be purchased at this price by September 30th following the year a girl graduated from high school).

How can Lifetime Memberships be purchased?

Lifetime Membership can be purchased in multiple ways:

  1. MY GS - a current adult member may choose to upgrade to a Lifetime Membership at any time through their membership portal, including during membership renewal time periods. And young women ages 18-29 may now also purchase their Young Alumnae Lifetime Membership online (the Graduating Senior Lifetime Membership had to be turned in on paper).
  2. Directly with GSUSA - this is a great option for those not currently Girl Scout members, but want to support our Movement by becoming Lifetime Members. Choosing this option avoids a registrant having to create a MY GS account.
  3. On Paper (Look for the Adult Membership Form in the Frequently Accessed Forms section at the top) - this option is still available for those that do not have reliable internet access or wish to purchase a Lifetime Membership with cash or check. 

** Note: In the case of registering through MY GS, individuals 18 and older (or with no age populated in the system) will see both Lifetime Membership options available for purchase. Individuals 30 and older will only see the regular Lifetime Membership option. Registrants purchasing the Young Alumnae Lifetime Memberships will indicate they were a girl member "on my honor."

What is the Extended Year Membership Category and how does it work?

The "Extended Year" membership is an option for NEW girls registering that allows them to join at a prorated price of $35. This price includes membership for the current and following year. This option give families a one-time incentive to have their girls start Girl Scouts in the summer (perhaps registering for a camp) and then continue participation into the fall for a troop experience. The "Extended Year" option will be available for all Girl Scout councils by March 2018 for the 2019 membership year. 

This option will not be available for renewing members, as their current membership already covers participation in the summer.

 

Membership Transfers

Are membership dues transferrable from one year to another or from one person to another?

Membership dues are non-transferrable and therefore cannot be transferred to another member or another membership year.

How is a membership transferred from one troop to another within GSCTX?

All troop transfer requests should be submitted by using the Troop Transfer Request Form, found at www.gsctx.org/forms.  This form will expedite transfers from one troop to another within Girl Scouts of Central Texas. Please fill out this form separately for each individual needing to be transferred.

You may use this Troop Transfer Request Form if:

  • You are one of the Troop Leaders receiving the Girl Scout member
  • You are the Service Unit Director or Registrar in charge of the troop receiving the Girl Scout member
  • You are a GSCTX staff member
  • You are a parent or guardian requesting a transfer of any family members to the Individually-Registered Member (IRM) / Juliette troop in your service unit (IRM/Juliettes are members not affiliated with a troop, but are affiliated with a service unit, and complete Girl Scout activities with the guidance of their families)

Do not use this form if:

  • You are a parent/guardian requesting a transfer of any family members to a traditional troop, as we will still need to hear from your new troop leader to place your Girl Scout. Please have your new troop leader fill out this form.
  • You are a troop leader sending a girl or adult to another troop. We need to hear from the receiving troop leader, or alternatively, the SUD, SUR, or appropriate GSCTX staff member.
How can I make a request to transfer a membership from another Girl Scout council INTO GSCTX?

If you need to have memberships transferred from another Girl Scout Council and into GSCTX please contact your old council to initiate the transfer process.  When you contact your former council, you will need to tell them GSCTX is "Council 578” and a “Salesforce Council."  Please note that only currently registered members can be transferred into GSCTX.   

Your former council will need the following information for any member(s) transferring INTO GSCTX: Each member's full name (indicate Girl or Adult), date of birth, former home address including zip code, current home address and zip code, email address, and current phone number (optional). Transfers into GSCTX from another council can take up to 2 weeks.

If you need assistance from GSCTX with this process, please fill out the Contact Us form and include all demographic information listed above.  

How can I make a request to transfer a membership to another Girl Scout council FROM GSCTX?

If you need GSCTX membership(s) transferred to another Girl Scout Council, please use the Contact Us form found at www.gsctx.org/ContactUs  to request this transfer. Please include each member's full name (indicate Girl or Adult), date of birth, current home address including zip code, new home address and zip code, email address.  Transfers from GSCTX from another council can take up to 1 week. Please note that at least one member of the Household must be currently registered in order to transfer a family’s Household to another council.

 

Criminal Background Checks

Do Girl Scouts run background checks on their volunteers?

Yes. Protecting the girls and young women in our care as well as the Girl Scout Movement is top priority, and screenings and checks are integral parts of our due diligence process and risk management policy. Background screening is the process of authenticating the information supplied by an applicant. At Girl Scouts, the screening of volunteers includes background checks, which are performed by Verified Volunteers, an independent, third-party agency. For more information, please visit our Criminal Background Check page.

How does someone get a criminal background check completed?

Please visit our “CBC Quick Start” guide, which gives quick instructions on how to get a CBC completed – whether someone is a volunteer, an adult member without a volunteer role, or not a member at all. For more detailed information about the criminal background check process, the Criminal Background FAQ document is now available. It explains everything from who should get a CBC, to explaining how to get the CBC process started. If additional assistance is needed, please reach out to our Customer Care team.

What is covered in a criminal background check?

Background checks, conducted by Verified Volunteers, consist of an Advanced Criminal History Record Locator Search, including any Government Watch List, and a 50 State Department of Justice Registered Sex Offender Search.

How often are criminal background checks required?

Background checks are required for volunteers every three years, with the exception of camp volunteers, who require a criminal background check annually.

How long does it take for a criminal background check to be approved?

Once an invitation to complete a background check is "answered" by a volunteer, our third party background check vendor generally takes an average of 3-5 business days to complete the background check report. In certain special circumstances, the process can take longer. Always allow yourself several weeks before a criminal background check is needed to get it completed.

 

Activity Registration - Programs, Training, Events, Camp

What is eBiz and where can I find it?

eBiz is our online registration system for Events, Training, and Camps. eBiz uses a DIFFERENT LOGIN than the one you used for MyGS (Volunteer Systems).

The link to eBiz was recently moved to the Event Calendar. You can access both the Event Calendar AND the direct eBiz login by hoverng over the word EVENTS in the green bar on our website and selecting Event Calendar from the list. The eBiz login is directly under the Legend.

What is the difference between eBiz and the My GS accounts?

eBiz is the online Registration/Reservations system for Program Events and Activities, Camps, and Trainings that are offered by the council. This system is separate from the My GS community. My GS community system is used to renew Membership and update personal demographic information

If you do not already have an eBiz account, please visit the EVENTS page on our website and click on "eBiz Login". Select the "New Online Account" button and complete the info there. If you receive an error message and are instructed to Contact the Council, please do so. This is most likely due to missing data in our database that is required for login creation, such as your date of birth. As part of the eBiz login creation, you will be asked to create a user ID and password. Do NOT use the same user id you have used for MyGS. An email is not a suitable user id for this system. eBiz user id and passwords must be a minimum of (7) alphanumeric characters long, no special characters like @,#%_, contain at least one uppercase letter and one number.

How do I reset my eBiz password?

Under Current Member Login, enter your Username, and then click on "Password?". Enter your Username again and Email. Hit Reset Password. You will receive a Password Request email from Admin with a link. Click on the link and enter your new password. Confirm password and hit Update. If you continue to have problems contact Customer Care at 1-800-733-0011 or complete and submit the Contact Us form.

I've tried resetting my password to eBiz and still can't seem to log in, what should I do?

If you are having trouble logging in to eBiz, please contact Customer Care at 1-800-733-0011 or complete and submit the Contact Us form.

How do I register for Activities (Events, Training, Camp)?

To register for an Activity:

  1. Hover over "Events" in the green bar on our website.
  2. You may select "Event Calendar" to see a calendar view of all activities for selection OR you can select "Event List" in the upper left and SEARCH for an activity based on search criteria of your choosing. For example, you can search for activities by date, program level, location, or keyword
  3. From the Event Calendar, find your activity and CLICK ON IT
  4. Then Click on the name of the activity in green when the short description pops up.
  5. This takes you to a screen with a longer description and a REGISTER NOW button. *If you have used the EVENT LIST, just click on the name of the event in green and that will take you to the same screen with the longer description.
  6. Click on REGISTER NOW and this takes you to the event in eBiz, our online registration system. You can see more information about the event, pricing, and capacity.
  7. At the  bottom of the screen, CLICK ON "LOGIN HERE" to log into eBiz. Log in with your eBiz login, NOT your MyGS login.
  8. Once logged in, SELECT REGISTRANTS by checking the box next to their name. (If you are a Troop Leader, SELECT ALL REGISTRANTS FROM THE TROOP ROSTER, INCLUDING YOURSELF AND CHILD. Also, see "How do I Register My Troop section for additional important informatin).
  9. CLICK "CONTINUE". NOTE: The Legend displays possible problems with your registration. It does not indicate that your registration actually has these issues. If one of the symbols appears NEXT to the name in your registrant list, that is the only time there may be a problem. 
  10. On the next screen, CONFIRM REGISTRANTS and CLICK CONTINUE
  11. The next screen asks for Emergency Contact Information. For a Girl, you can select the Guardian1 or Guardian2 from the drop down and the system will fill this section out for you. For Adults, you must physically enter the information.
  12. Click CONTINUE to proceed.
  13. At the Payment screen, if your order is correct, you can CHECK OUT. NOTE: Be sure there is no pop-up blocker activated in  your browser. This will prevent the payment from processing.
  14. After payment is successful, you can print a receipt of your order.

You can also view our "Ask Melissa" video on the Event Registration Process

 

How do I register my troop for an activity online?

You can register your troop in much the same way as you would register y our child. The big difference is you would select the registrants from your TROOP ROSTER, not your Family Roster.

If you have lss than six registrants to register, you merely select the registrants from the troo roster in eBiz, enter the emergency contact info by selecting their Guardian 1 or 2 from the dropdown, and continue to payment. However if you have more than six people to register, you must follow the workaround below to avoid setting off a bug in the system that will present a large SERVER VP error screen. Troop leaders registering more than SIX people for an activity must follow the following steps:

  1. After selecting your activity, SELECT UP TO SIX REGISTRANTS from your troop roster and enter their Emergency Contact Information
  2. SEARCH FOR THE EVENT AGAIN, and select the next set of up to SIX registrants, enter their emergency contact info
  3. Repeat the last step until everyone is in the Shopping Cart.
  4. Pay for the registration.

Failure to follow these steps will result in a Server VP Error screen. If you attempt the registration repeatedly without following these steps, your browser cache will need to be cleared and you will have to log out and try again. Following the steps above will allow you to successfully register your troop on the first attempt.

Troop leaders are unable to register troops for activities that have a Payment Schedule, such as summer camps or council trips.

I am getting a Server VP Error screen when registering my troop for an event. Why is this happening?

You can register your troop in much the same way as you would register y our child. The big difference is you would select the registrants from your TROOP ROSTER, not your Family Roster.

If you have lss than six registrants to register, you merely select the registrants from the troo roster in eBiz, enter the emergency contact info by selecting their Guardian 1 or 2 from the dropdown, and continue to payment. However if you have more than six people to register, you must follow the workaround below to avoid setting off a bug in the system that will present a large SERVER VP error screen. Troop leaders registering more than SIX people for an activity must follow the following steps:

  1. After selecting your activity, SELECT UP TO SIX REGISTRANTS from your troop roster and enter their Emergency Contact Information
  2. SEARCH FOR THE EVENT AGAIN, and select the next set of up to SIX registrants, enter their emergency contact info
  3. Repeat the last step until everyone is in the Shopping Cart.
  4. Pay for the registration.

Failure to follow these steps will result in a Server VP Error screen. If you attempt the registration repeatedly without following these steps, your browser cache will need to be cleared and you will have to log out and try again. Following the steps above will allow you to successfully register your troop on the first attempt.

Troop leaders are unable to register troops for activities that have a Payment Schedule, such as summer camps or council trips.

How do a I cancel an activity registration?

If you need to cancel your registration for an Activity, you must notify us within TWO WEEKS PRIOR to the event in writing. 1) Send an email requesting a cancellation to Customer Care or complete/submit the Contact Us form. If you are sending an email put "ACTIVITY CANCELLATION/REFUND" in the subject line. 2) You will be issued a refund once the Registration/Reservation has been cancelled. We are unable to honor any requests for refunds for Registration/Reservation made LESS than two weeks prior to the Activity date unless there is an emergency. All Event/Training Cancellations are subject to a $5.00 Cancellation Fee. All Summer Camp cancellations are subject to a $75 cancellation fee. 3) Once your refund has been processed, you will receive a confirmation email.

Can I use Cookie Dough to pay for an Activity?

Yes! Cookie Dough can be used to pay for a girl's program events, summer resident camps, and even travel. Unfortunately, we cannot accept Cookie Dough online using eBiz. To use Cookie Dough to pay for a program event, please complete the Council Activity Registration Fillable form (also found in our FORMS section) and send it to Customer Care. Be sure to include the entire Cookie Dough number and the amount you would like to apply in the payment section on the form.

How do I pay for an order that was added for me in the back office?

Sometimes GSCTX staff will create an order for you for an activity if you were experiencing problems doing it yourself through eBiz. When an order has been created for you and you want to pay for it online, all you need to do is log directly into your eBiz account to pay. You do not need to go through the entire registration process. This part has been done for you.

To pay for an order created by GSCTX staff, go to the Event Calendar and click on "eBiz Login". Enter your eBiz user id and password. Once in eBiz, you will see a YELLOW bar with a "Balance Due" notice and a " Pay Now" link. Just click on the "Pay Now" link to process your payment and finalize the order. If the order is not paid, the registrants name will not appear on the roster so it is best to do this step as soon as you know an order has been created for you.

Prior to paying, be sure there is no pop up blocker activated in your browser and do not use a mobile device.

 

 

Troop Support - Registration

How do I register or renew my troop members?

Click on "My GS" on our website to renew your troop members for membership. Once you are logged in as a Leader click on the “Troop” tab and renew the members who show a renew status; to opt out of renewing a specific membership for the time being change the status to ‘I’ll decide later” using the drop-down tab to the right of the person’s name.  Continue to the payment screen, enter credit or debit card information and checkout to complete the renewal.  For additional renewal resources, go to the Renew page on the GSCTX website.

If I start the renewal process but don't finish it, can I go back later?

Yes! When you log back into your account, you should receive a prompt asking if you would like to continue or start over.

What does the Status column mean on my troop's roster?

The Status column will tell you if a membership is current or not.

  • Current means the membership is active for the year shown.
  • Time to Renew means the member does not have a membership for that year.
  • In Progress may mean that the parent started the membership process but did not finish it. For adults that have selected a volunteer role, it can also mean that their background check is being processed.
  • Payment Pending means the member has not completed the payment
  • Inactive means that the member is no longer active or no longer active in your troop.
What if a girl is not returning, or is unsure if she will return to the troop next year?

Using the Renewal Choice column, options you can select are Renew, I'll Decide Later, and Do Not Renew.

  • If the girl is joining a different troop;you can choose to renew her and then have the receiving leader submit a transfer request using the Troop Transfer Request Form. If you choose not to renew her, pick I'll Decide Later.
  • If you are unsure if a member is returning , please select I'll Decide Later which will allow you to go back to renew her membership later.
  • If a girl or adult member is not continuing at all as a Girl Scout, select Do Not Renew. Note: When selecting Do Not Renew, the member will not be able to renew online until they contact the council to reset the renew option. Do Not Renew should only be selected if the member is not returning at all.
What if a member did not participate in the current year, but would like to participate next year?

If they did not participate for the ear, they can use the lapsed member instructions found on the Renew page, or request assistance from Customer Care.

What happens after I renew the troop?

You will receive an itemized email receipt. The parent of each girl will also receive renewal notification email(s), and the email will also ask the parent to update contact information if needed.

How can I help inspire others to renew or join Girl Scouts?

At the end of the renewal process, there will be an option to share on social media that you have renewed. Please help us spread the word by using this new feature!

Can I renew a 12th grade graduating girl as an Adult or purchase a lifetime membership for her?

No, not through our online registration system. If she would like to purchase a graduating senior lifetime membership at the discounted rate, the paper registration form and payment must be submitted to the Kodosky Service Center in Austin by September 1st.

How does a new girl register for my troop or how can I register a new girl?

If a friend wants to join a specific troop, ask her parent/caregiver to visit www.gsctx.org and click on “Join Today” on the website home page. The system will walk her parent through the steps to becoming a member. As long as the troop vacancies are available, new members will find troops in the Opportunity Catalog. To make it easy for someone to find a specific troop in the Opportunity Catalog, make sure they have the five-digit troop number and enter it without a space between the letters and numbers. (Ex: Troop12345 or Troop00012).

One of the parents volunteered to help with my troop! How can I add his or her volunteer role?

If the parent is already a registered member and in your roster, you can now add a volunteer role for them. Click on the green Add link in the far-right column next to the parent's name. You will then be taken to a list of volunteer roles wihin your troop. Select the appropriate volunteer role by marking the tick box on the left. Click Next. You will then see the updated participation on the Troops tab.

After the new volunteer role is added, the system will automatically check to see if there is an eligible, unexpired CBC on file for that volunteer. If not, the system will automatically authorize Verified Volunteers (GSCTX's third-party CBC vendor) to send the volunteer an email invitation to complete a CBC. The invitation will be sent to the email address the volunteer uses for Girl Scouts.

How do I get more adults to join the troop as a volunteer?

Because a parent/caregiver will select a troop whose meeting date and time fits their schedules–our hope is that they will be more likely to choose a volunteer role in the troop from opportunities on display in the Opportunity Catalog. Volunteers do not necessarily need to be the parents of the girl members in the troop; however, all adult volunteers need to pass the background screening process. If parents don’t voluntarily select a role for themselves when they register their girl online, and the troop needs leadership, Service Unit Registrars, Service Unit Directors, or GSCTX staff will contact them directly to offer them volunteer opportunities.

Should parents register as members?

Parents do not need to register for membership. However, if you register for a members only event, or if you directly participate in your daughter's troop, you will need to register. If you need to renew your membership, go to www.gsctx.org and click on "My GS". If you are registering as a new member, go to www.gsctx.org and click on "Volunteer".

What happens if girls don't renew by September 30th?

Members are encouraged to renew early – renewal on Volunteer Systems is easy! If members do not renew by September 30, their spots will open up and will be shown as openings in the Opportunity Catalog beginning October 1. Please consider renewing all girls – even those who are undecided. Oftentimes, girls will return to the troop after a busy fall season of extracurricular activities. Girls who wait to renew between October 1 and March 1 may renew to their current troop if there are openings.

What should I do if someone says they registered for my troop, but she's not listed on my troop roster?

If a parent insists that a girl is registered and is not listed on your troop roster, they may have been registered to a former troop or to another troop in your community. Contact Customer Care: please complete the Contact Us form, send an email, or call 1-800-733-0011, and they will look up the girl in the GSCTX database to see if the girl is registered. If she is not registered to the right troop, they will ensure that the girl is put into the correct troop.

How do I request a transfer from one troop to another?

All parent troop transfer requests should be submitted to Customer Care. Please include the source troop, destination troop, the girl's name, and another girl identifier (address, phone number, parent/guardian email, or DOB). The receiving troop leader will need to give permission to join the troop prior to transfer being made.

Have any of your members moved to a new address?

You can update basic contact information and the school attended for your troop members through the Troop Roster tab! Just click on the green Edit link to the right of each member's name.

 

Troop Support - Opportunity Catalog

How does the Opportunity Catalog work and what information is listed?

The listing includes the meeting time, meeting location, troop size, the troop number and age/grade level. Troop meetings held at public locations, such as a school or church, are listed with the exact address. However, when troop meetings are held at a private location such as a private residence, neighborhood, landmark, or nearby major intersections are given to obscure the exact meeting location.

How can I view all open troops in the Opportunity Catalog without having to create a fake account or pretend to register someone?

In order to view the Opportunity Catalog without having to pretend to register a girl or volunteer, you can visit the following links:

Girl Catalog:
https://girlscouts.secure.force.com/girl/GirlCatalog_TroopGroupRoleSearch

Volunteer Catalog:
https://girlscouts.secure.force.com/VolunteerCatalog_TroopOrGroupRoleSearch

This is especially helpful for Service Unit leaders that want to see which troops and volunteer jobs are currently open and available for zip codes within their service area.

 

Does the Opportunity Catalog show multi-age troops?

Yes. A troop listing can accommodate multiple age/grade levels.

What is the minimum and/or recommended troop size?

The minimum troop size is 5 girls. Exceptions are made for continuing older girl troops. Troops cannot opt-out of the Opportunity Catalog until they have a minimum of 5 girls. We recommend 12 girls per troop to provide a diverse, interactive experience for the girls. If you have room for more girls, or you have volunteer roles that need to be filled, please fill out the Troop Update Form so that your vacancies will display in the Opportunity Catalog. Troop size can be changed by submitting a Troop Update Form.

How do I update the Opportunity Catalog information for my troop?

A troop leader can update some information that appears in the Opportunity Catalog themselves. When you're logged in to MyGS, click on the Troops tab and then click on the green link VIEW/EDIT TROOP INFORMATION at the bottom of the page. Please update all of the information. The following information updates as soon as you hit the green SAVE button: Meeting Day, Frequency, Start and End Time.

  • Meeting Day, Frequency, Start and End Time can be updated from the VIEW/EDIT TROOP link.
  • Program Level, Desired Number of Girls in Troop, Meeting Location Name and Address are submitted to council to review and update manually.
  • Meeting Location Name is displayed publicly so potential members can get a general idea of where you troop meets. The exact street address is not shown - it is for internal purposes only.
  • To update the meeting location, physical meeting address, program level, grade level, number of girl openings - submit a Troop Update form.
If I have an opening mid-year in my troop, how do I share the vacancy using the Opportunity Catalog?

The Opportunity Catalog is updated in real time, so please let us know whenever you have changes to your meeting location or troop availability by completing the Troop Update Form. All troop leaders will be asked to submit any changes by April 15 of each membership year in order for all inputs to be incorporated by our Early Bird launch, which is typically at the end of April. Put troop vacancies on display in the Opportunity Catalog by completing the Troop Update Form. For example, if the desired number of girls is 12 but there are only 10 girls in the troop, two vacancies may be displayed in the Opportunity Catalog until those spots are filled. Once Early Bird registration starts, spots for all existing girls and troop volunteers for the next membership year will be reserved up until September 30th.

What if I don't know the new girl who joined my troop?

This is perhaps the best part of being a Girl Scout – making new friends! Since the system is searchable by zip code, we expect that most parents will enroll their daughter in the area where they live or near the school she attends. When a new girl joins a troop, the leader will get an email notification. The automated email will prompt the leader to reach out and welcome the new Girl Scout to the troop. This connection is really important because it serves as a warm welcome and it’s an opportunity to share important next steps, including troop meeting dates, times, and location.

Can my troop opt-out of the Opportunity Catalog?

Yes. Troop leaders can specify if their troop is closed and will not accept additional girl members (must have a minimum of 5 girls). Troops that are full will not show up on the Opportunity Catalog.

Can I close enrollment to my troop?

As long as there are 2 unrelated adults as the troop leaders and a minimum of 5 girls, a troop leader can decide when to close their troop enrollment.

How do I find Service Unit volunteer positions in the Opportunity Catalog?

Select Service Unit (SU) leadership positions are listed in the Opportunity Catalog by zip code – SU Event Coordinator, SU Troop/School Organizer, SU Team Member, etc.  SU Treasurer, SU Registrar, SU Cookie Manager, SU Fall Products Manager, and SU Scout House Manager are appointed by the SU Director. The SU Director is appointed by the Membership Development Executive. All appointed SU positions are not listed in the Opportunity Catalog.

How does a new troop leader request a particular Troop Number?

All troop numbers that are not otherwise reserved or already being used are available for assignment. This includes one-, two-, three-, four- and five-digit troop numbers. New troop leaders can request up to three possible troop number when filling out the Troop Update Form. GSCTX staff will do their best to accommodate the request by activating a desired troop number in the membership database.

What if a Service Unit wants to reserve troop numbers with special meaning?

GSCTX knows that there are some troop numbers that have special meaning or significance for some service units. Service units now have the option of reserving up to four "Legacy Troop Numbers, " depending on the size of the service unit.

Service units can update their chosen Legacy Troop Numbers yearly between March 1 and August 1. 

On 9/30 of the previous membership year, if a service unit had:

  • Less than 100 girls: may reserve 1 troop number
  • Between 101-300 girls: may reserve 2 troop numbers
  • Between 301-450 girls: may reserve 3 troop numbers
  • More than 451 girls: may reserve 4 troop numbers

The Legacy Troop Numbers will be maintained by GSCTX staff and can be activated as an active troop number for a new troop at the request of the SUD and/or SUR.

When reserving Legacy Troop Numbers:

  • If a number is not already reserved or in-use, it will be marked as reserved for that service unit.
  • If a number is already reserved or in-use, then GSCTX staff will work with the service unit to select a new number. 

Please note that a troop number will still be required to go on rest for a minimum of one membership year before it can be assigned to another new troop. 

To request a legacy troop number, A SUD or SUR may use the Contact Us form between March 1 and August 1 of any given membership year, with the subject "Legacy Number Request."

 

Troop Support - Troop Organization

What are the steps to starting a troop?

In order to start a troop, leaders must:

  1. Be a registered member of Girl Scouts.
  2. Complete the online Volunteer Application and background check.
  3. Complete online Training.
  4. Secure a second leader.
  5. Request a troop number.
  6. Open a bank account (see Volunteer Essentials, Part IV: Money).
  7. Decide when & where to meet.
  8. Recruit new girls.
  9. Hold meetings & have fun (connect with GSCTX's many forms of communication newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, support meetings, etc)!
What is the minimum number of people required for a troop? Is there a limit?

A troop must consist of a minimum of five girls from more than one family and two unrelated adults as the leaders. Troops may have an unlimted number of girls registered as long as there are enough adults, including parent volunteers, to meet the required ratios.

Can I have a multi-level troop or do I need individual troop numbers for each grade level?

Troops or groups can have multiple grade levels, but girls must participate in activities that are appropriate for their level of Girl Scouting. For example, Brownies in your group need to work on Brownie badges and Journeys while Daisies work on Daisy petals and Journeys. The appropriate girl to adult ratio needs to be met for the grade level of girls in the troop.

What are the requirements for becoming a troop leader?

All potential troop volunteers are required to register as an adult member of GSCTX, have an approved background check on file with GSCTX, complete the Leader Training Plan, have no debt owed to GSCTX or troops, and support GSCTX and GSUSA policies and procedures. A leader is appointed for one year at a time but can be reappointed annually.

Two leaders are required for a troop. The troop leader must have registered as a Girl Scout Member, completed a background check, and taken the required trainings. A troop may have as many leaders as desired, but they must all have completed the same requirements. To maintain an acceptable girl-to-adult ratio, troops may also have adult members who are not required to have completed the same training as the leader, but must be registered Girl Scouts and have a cleared background check on file.

Can relatives be troop leaders? Can men be troop leaders?

Relatives may serve as leaders. Many families work together to help support a girl's leadership experience. However, the troop will require that two (2) unrelated adults are leaders, and at least one must be female.

Men may serve as troop leaders and/or volunteers, but an unrelated female volunteer must be present at all times.

 

How are troop leaders informed of service unit meetings?

The Service Unit Director or Membership Development Executive will communicate service unit meeting dates and time to troop leaders via email or phone calls.

I am resigning from my leader position and do not have a new leader recruited, what should I do?

Resigning troop/group leaders should contact all the parents to inform them of the disbanding troop/group and to identify opportunities to place the girls in the IRM/Juliette network so girls can remain active in Girl Scouts. If this is a situation where the troop/group leader simply wants to resign, they should ask if any other parents or adults are interested in taking over as the leader.

The Membership Development Executive should be informed of the troop/group leader’s decision to resign. If a replacement troop/group leader cannot be identified and there are girls still interested in troop/group participation, their name(s) and contact information should be shared with the Membership Development Executive, who will then work with the service unit leadership to place the girls in new troops/groups.

The retiring troop/group leader should transfer all supplies, financial records, debit card, check book, bank account information and materials to the new leader. The signatures on the bank account should be changed to reflect the new troop leadership. The retiring leader will need to notify the bank of the change to authorize the new leader to be a signer on the troop/group account. Be aware that individual bank policies may vary. Please contact Customer Care and ask to work with the Finance department to change the signer’s name.

 

Troop Support - Meetings

When can a new troop start holding meetings in the Fall?

Up to 13 months of insurance coverage is provided for new Members registered in the month of September. For a new registrant who has met the requirements for membership, including payment of membership dues, insurance coverage becomes effective the date the Troop Leader receives the dues and appropriate registration paperwork. Up to 13 months of insurance coverage is provided for new Members registered in the month of September. New Members and late re-registrants joining the troop after the troop registration has been sent will be covered effective the date the Troop Leader receives their registration and membership dues.

Can Girl Scout troops meet year-round?

Girl Scouting is a year-round program, and troops are encouraged to continue meeting over the summer months. Many troops choose to take a break over the summer due to family vacations, schools not being available for meetings, etc., while other troops continue to meet. The decision to meet in the summer months is based on the availability of the leaders, girls, and space.

How long are troop meetings?

The length of a troop meeting depends on a number of factors including that age of the girls, availability of volunteers, and meeting space. An average troop meeting is 1.5 hours.

What activities do troop meetings typically include?

A typical troop meeting includes: Start-up (10 min), Opening (5-10min), Business (5-15min), Activities (30-45min), Clean-up (5-10 min), Closing (5-10min). Girls usually enjoy following this process because the girls know what is next and doesn’t have to ask every time what they will be doing during each meeting.

Where can we hold our troop meetings?

Troop meetings may be held at any location that provides a safe, clean, and secure environment that allows for the participation of all girls. A meeting place should be free, large enough to accommodate the whole group, available for your meeting dates/times, safe and clean, has toilets, allergen free, and accessible to girls with disabilities. For example; You might consider choosing meeting rooms at schools, libraries, houses of worship, community buildings, childcare facilities, and local businesses. For teens, you can also rotate meetings at coffee shops, bookstores, and other places where girls enjoy spending time.

How many volunteers must be present at every meeting/event?

An acceptable girl-to-adult ratio must be present at all troop activities. The ratio varies by Girl Scout level (girl-to-adult ratio table may be found in Volunteer Essentials). At least two adult volunteers must be present at all times when working with girls, and at least one of those volunteers must be female and not related to the other adult volunteer. Only in times of emergency can a girl be left with one volunteer.

I have a girl who is behaving inappropriately or bullying during troop meetings. How should I handle this?

Please refer to Volunteer Essentials, Chapter 3: Engaging Girls at All Levels. You may specifically refer to the sections on “Managing Conflict” and “Working with Parents and Guardians”. If you feel you need more support, please reach out to your Service Unit Director or Membership Development Executive. 

 

Troop Support - Volunteer Toolkit (VTK)

What is the Volunteer Toolkit?

The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is a great online tool which can help you lead in less time and make it easier to delegate to other parents. Depending on what you choose to do, it supplies plans, lists of materials needed, and even helps you schedule meetings and communicate with other parents. It also makes it easy to check the calendar and schedule your troop for events. VTK is designed primarily for K-5 troops; however, other levels can utilize the toolkit. For adults who do not feel they have time to be troop leaders, we have found that getting all the girls' parents and guardians involved in running the troop can make the leadership easier for everyone. Also, check the GSCTX calendar and take advantage of the various events we offer to troops. You do not have to provide all the troop activities yourself.

For more information on the Volunteer Toolkit, visit www.gsctx.org/VTK

Are multi-level troops supported by VTK?

Volunteer Toolkit is now Multi-Level Troop friendly:

Troops that are listed as Multi-level can now access Volunteer Toolkit and all the badges/year plans available! Here are some screenshots showing how this works:

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How do I access the Get Outdoors options in VTK?
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Girls Get Outside:

GSUSA added a new banner in VTK that promotes the Get Girls Outside! Release.

To make it easy to Get Girls Outside! Some meetings now give you Outdoor activity options. These activities maximize the use of an outdoor space using the same themes as the indoor activity. You’ll know it’s an Outdoor activity if it has a little tree.

10 badges now include outdoor options:

  • 2 Daisy Petals
  • Lupe
  • Clover
  • 4 Brownie Badges
  • First Aid
  • Making Games
  • Snacks
  • Senses
  • 4 Junior Badges
  • First Aid
  • Simple Meals
  • Staying Fit
  • Detective

All outdoor materials and activity details are included in the meeting plan writeup. You choose whether outdoors is right for your troop and that activity. If it looks like rain on your meeting day, simply change your selection to indoors.

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Clicking on the Agenda Item with a tree symbol allows the Troop Leader to select the inside or outside option for that activity. This screenshot demonstrates the "toggle" buttons between "Inside" and "Get Girls Outside" for the Breaking the Code activity.

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VTK Year End Reminders

Please review our VTK Year End Reminders.

 

Troop Support - Delivery to the Girls of a Quality Leadership Experience

What will a girl do as a Girl Scout?

After joining Girl Scouts, a girl can participate in any of the council's activities and events which are age appropriate. The Girl Scout leadership Journey programs and the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting are the heart of the Girl Scout program. They help girls learn Girl Scout traditions, earn recognitions, and have inspiring adventures that change their lives and make the world a better place. The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting contains a handbook and  instructions to earn badges. The three Journeys: It’s Your World, Change It!, It’s Your Planet, Love It!, It’s Your Story, Tell It!, help girls learn about themselves and the world around them and how to take action to make the world a better place. A girl can experience these programs as an individual in our Julette Network, or in a troop of girls who decide as a group what activities they engage in

How can I help the girls feel more a part of Girl Scouts and the troop?

Girl Scout has a rich history, wonderful traditions, and inspiring stories for you to share with the girls to help them feel more a part of Girl Scouts and the troop. These traditions include: the Girl Scout Sign, Girl Scout Promise, Girl Scout Law, Juliette Gordon Low, Girl Scout Birthday, Brownie Elf Story, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), Girl Scout Handshake, Friendship Circle, and songs such as "Make New Friends", the "Brownie Smile" song, and "Taps".

What does "girl-led" mean?

Girl-led means that girls of every grade level take an active role in determining what, where, when, why, and how they will structure activities, though leaders and adult members may provide guidance appropriate to the age of the girls. Girl-led processes encourage girls to bring their ideas and imaginations into the experiences, make choices, and lead the way as much as they can.

What is a Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting?

The Girl's Guide to Girl Scouting is a handbook for girls detailing Girl Scout history and traditions, a chart of all earnable awards, and a chart of badges available at each Girl Scout level, and badge requirements at the appropriate level for 7 badges.

When planning activities, what should be considered?

Please refer to Volunteer Essentials, Chapter 4: Safety-Wise. When planning activities, please consider the abilities of each girl and the progression of skills from the easiest part to the most difficult. In Chapter 4 of Volunteer Essentials there is information on how to plan activities within a troop meeting and travel activities outside of a troop meeting. You may find the section on “Providing Emergency Care” with our policies and procedures in the event of an emergency in Chapter 4 of Volunteer Essentials. 

What is a Journeys series?

A Journeys series is a 4-8 week (though they can be condensed into weekend or week-long activities) series based on the following Journeys: “It’s Your World-Change It!”, “It’s Your Story-Tell It!”, and “It’s Your Planet-Love it!”.

How can I deliver a quality Girl Scout Leadership Experience?

Please participate in the Leadership Essentials training offered by GSCTX in-person or online to learn more about the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. You may also refer to Volunteer Essentials, Chapter 2: Girl Scouting as a National Experience.  

What can leaders do to help the girls begin their journey for the year?

Leaders can start off their chosen journey by facilitating a discussion or debate on the Journey's theme and what it means to the girls. Probe to find out what they are most interested in accomplishing during their time together, and then help them connect those interests to their Journey.

What is the difference between "service" and "take action"?

When girls do service, they help to fulfill an immediate need. This service is a necessary response to a basic need, such as food, clothing, shelter, and care. Examples of community service projects are collecting food for a local pantry or collecting clothing for a local homeless shelter. When girls take action, they team up with others in an effort to solve a problem and create long-lasting change. When girls take action, they seek to understand the cause of the problem and decide upon the scale and scope of their project, based on a realistic assessment of their resources. They also enlist others from the community to get involved. Examples of Take Action projects include fixing up an animal shelter or creating a center where children who need tutoring can always get it. In other words, service makes the world better for some people “right now.” Taking action makes the world better for more people for a much longer time.

Can my daughter work on badges, journeys, and awards without her troop?

Yes, a girl may independently work on badges, journeys, and awards without her troop or while being an Independently Registered Member (IRM). If your daughter is in a traditional troop and works on these projects without her troop, the Troop Leader will still need to sign off on her work done. 

What are SWAPS?

SWAPS are “Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere”. They are small handcrafted keepsakes designed to exchange with other Girl Scout members. SWAPS are the perfect way for Girl Scouts to meet each other and promote friendship which is why they are great for community events, camp, etc. Each one is a memory of a special event or Girl Scout Sister!

What are Bridging Ceremonies?

Bridging ceremonies are events during which girls move from one program level to the next (for example: Daisies to Brownies, Juniors to Cadettes, etc.).

What are Destinations?

Destinations are regional, national or international travel activities/events for Girl Scouts. For national events, girls and/or adults apply to, and are selected by, the sponsoring council. For international events, girls and/or adults apply to, and are selected by, GSUSA.

What is Volunteer Essentials?

Volunteer Essentials is a resource for volunteers which details the policies and procedures of Girl Scouts of Central Texas (GSCTX) and Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA). Every leader should have access to a copy of Volunteer Essentials.

 

Troop Support - Safety and Insurance

Where can I find the safety guidelines for a troop?

Safety guidelines may be found in Volunteer Essentials, Part III: Safety Guidelines and the In Case of Emergency (ICE) Toolkit. For guidelines related to outdoor activities, please refer to the Safety Activity Checkpoints.

What are Safety Activity Checkpoints?

The Safety Activity Checkpoints are a resource for volunteers which provides general and specific guidelines to ensure that girls can participate in a safe, high quality Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

Should I have a copy of the 'In Case of Emergency Toolkit" available at all troop activities?

Troop volunteers should keep a copy of the ICE – In Case of Emergency Tool Kit on hand during all Girl Scout activities.

Can volunteers who work in the healthcare field serve as First Aiders?

Yes. Healthcare providers may serve as Level 1 or 2 first-aiders. These include physicians, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, paramedics, military medics, and emergency medical technicians.

Where can I take CPR classes? Does online CPR training fulfill GSCTX requirements?

GSCTX encourages volunteers to take advantage of first-aid/CPR training offered by the American Red Cross, CPR Resources, American Heart Association, or other recognized organizations approved by GSCTX or GSUSA. To ensure you are in GSCTX compliance please request a ASHI (American Safety and Heath Institute) card  Try to take age-specific CPR training, too - that is, take child CPR classes if you’re working with younger girls and take adult CPR classes when working with older girls and adults.

First-aid/CPR training that is available entirely online does not fulfill Girl Scouts’ requirements because these courses do not offer enough opportunities to practice and receive feedback on your technique.

What type of insurance is provided by GSUSA and who is covered?

GSUSA provides an automatic basic accident insurance benefit for every registered member through Mutual of Omaha Plan 1. This benefit provides up to a specified maximum dollar amount for out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred as a result of an accident while a member is participating in an approved, supervised Girl Scout activity, after the individual’s primary health insurance pays out. More information about the Mutual of Omaha insurance plan options can be found in "Volunteer Essentials Chapter 4: Safety-Wise."

GSCTX liability insurance defends all adults from law suits whether or not they are registered adult Girl Scout members as long as they are obey the law and are performing duties related to Girl Scouts during supervised activities in keeping with the Girl Scout Volunteer Essentials and Safety Activity Checkpoints. The Volunteer Essentials and Safety Activity Checkpoints are common sense rules that everyone should follow.

Where is the insurance form (Mutual of Omaha)?

Contact the Volunteer Services Department at GSCTX to request additional insurance or a claim form.

If a new member joins before the start of a membership year, are they covered under insurance? What about lapsed members?

A new girl can join a troop for the upcoming membership year at any time after Early Bird starts in April. Her membership year officially starts on October 1; however, she can be welcomed into the troop at the start of the new troop season in September for back-to-troop activities or troop meetings. Starting September 1, she will be covered by Girl Scout insurance as a girl member. If her participation in the troop begins earlier in the spring or summer (involvement in any troop meeting, activity, or summer camp), she should register for the current membership year, as well.

 

Troop Finance

Can my troop/group participate in additional money earning programs?

Yes. Troops/Groups may participate in additional money earning program if other conditions are met. Daisies are not permitted to participate in additional money earning programs.

How do I handle girl(s) transferring to other troop(s)?

Does the money she has raised go with her? First Guiding Principle – Troop funds collected and earned by the girls belong to the troop. The funds never belong to one individual. When a girl(s) decides to leave a troop and join or start a new troop, the troop funds will be split equally according to the number of registered girls in the troop at the time of the split. An equal portion of the total troop treasury divided by the number of girls will be distributed to the troop(s) that the splitting girls transfer to. In the case of older girls working on GS Higher awards (Gold and Silver) or planning to attend Destinations or SU/Council Sponsored Travel the amount each girl has earned for the activity minus any non-refundable deposits will be transferred to her new troop.

My troop/group is disbanding. What should we do with our funds?

First Guiding Principle: Troop funds collected and earned by the girls belong to the troop, never belong to one individual and should never be distributed to the girls in any form. A Troop/Group may disband when the girls in a troop have reached the maximum age for Girl Scout Troop Participation (12th Grade) and are graduating from high school or when the entire troop decides not to continue in Girl Scouts. Girls should vote on how the remaining funds in the troop account will be spent. Examples of appropriate use of funds would be a final troop trip, donating to the GSCTX FoGS campaign, GSCTX Master Property Plan or donating to the service unit, etc. The troop leader will complete a Troop Disbandment Worksheet and a Troop Report of Banking Activity. Both forms are to be submitted to the Service Unit Director or Service Unit Treasurer to transfer any remaining funds to the Service Unit bank account. Remaining funds in the account will be deposited into the Service Unit bank account to be forwarded to new troops if any of the girls transfer to another troop. The amount forwarded will be determined by dividing the remaining funds equally among the girls who were registered with the troop at the time it disbands. The funds will remain available in the Service Unit bank account for one full program year. Funds remaining in the Service Unit bank account after one full program year will become part of the Service Unit’s operating budget.

May I accept donations (sponsorships) to my troop/group?

Girls are not allowed to solicit cash, service, or in-kind gifts. However, if a local business, community organization, or individual wishes to support a troop or group, the following guidelines must be followed: Donations of $250 or more must be turned in to the council along with a SUD-approved Financial Sponsorship Form. Gifts of $250 or more require appropriate acknowledgement from the council to maintain donor and IRS standards. Once receipted by council, the funds will be redistributed to the troop/group in accordance to the wishes of the donor. Donations of less than $250 can be received by the troop/group and deposited directly into the troop’s council approved checking account. The troop/group thanks the local donor with a special thank you note from the girls of all gifts below $250. Donations of less than $250 that require donor acknowledgement from the council must be receipted by the council. The donation will be redistributed to the troop/group. All troop/group donations received by Council through PayPal or other credit card processing company will be sent to the troop/group, electronically or by check, minus any credit card processing charges incurred by the council.

One of the parents in my troop works for an employer that offers matching gifts and volunteer service hours. How does she ensure that the funds are donated to our troop?

Some employers offer matching gifts and volunteer service hours to their employees. Employers may match the employee’s donations or give monetary gifts in proportion to employee volunteer hours to 501(c)3 charitable organizations. Corporate or Volunteer Match programs specified for designation to a specific troop/group by the company making the donation will be receipted by the council and distributed to the designated troop/group. A Corporate or Volunteer Service Match Program Form must be filled out and submitted to your Membership Development Executive. Acknowledgement will be provided to the company for its donation of any amount. Matching donations received that are not specifically designated to a troop or group will be considered unrestricted donations and retained by the council to carry out the Girl Scout Mission.

What approval is needed to participate in additional money earning programs?

Troop/Group should submit a Money Earning Application to their Service Unit Director for approval. Service Unit Director approves/disapproves the application and sends to Membership Development Executive, who forwards to Fund Development Department for final approval. The Money Earning Application form can be found under Financial Management Forms on the GSCTX website.

What can girls use Girl Scout Dough for?

Girl Scout Dough earned by girl members through their participation in the Fall Product or Cookie Program may be used for approved Service Unit events, Troop Trips, GSUSA Destination trips, GSCTX council sponsored trips, Council events (ebiz), GSCTX camp, GSCTX shop and/or donated to support GSCTX Master Property Plan. Girl Scout Dough may not be used towards GSUSA membership. The Girl Scout Dough Activity Form can be found under Cookie Product Sales.

What are troop dues?

Troop dues are monetary collections which are deposited into the troop bank account for future use (for example: activities or council events). The amount collected is set by the girls and leaders of a troop to be provided by members weekly, monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually to finance the programs and activities of the troop.

 

Retail (GSCTX Shop)

How do I know what uniform and uniform pieces to get my new Girl Scout?

The shop can serve you in several ways. The staff in all three shops are very knowledgeable and the shops carry everything for each level Girl Scout. The Austin shop (austinshop@gsctx.org) does ship, so we can help you over the phone or via e-mail. There is also an online shop through GSUSA in New York, which you can visit by going to www.girlscoutshop.com.

What is the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) and how can the shops help?

The GSLE is center of the Girl Scout program and a collection of activities and experiences that include earning badges and high awards, selling cookies, going on trips, exploring the outdoors and learning to do Take Action projects. To learn more, visit http://www.girlscouts.org/en/our-program/our-program.html.

The shop staff is extremely knowledgeable of the GSLE and shares the collective history of Troop Leader, Volunteer and Girl experiences.

Do the GSCTX shops have Girl Scout t-shirts and other items besides Uniforms?

The shops carry the full line of Core items like Uniforms and Badges, but they also carry Girl Scout and Girl Scouts of Central Texas t-shirts, totes, accessories, and gifts. Depending on the season or the Girl Scout calendar, the shop carries items to compliment experiences. For instance, in the summer, the shops offer fun Camp Kits. During Cookie Season, the shops carry Cookie Selling Support items such as Cookie t-shirts, Cookie booth items, yard signs, buttons and other tools to help a girl reach her sales goal.

When I buy online, does that money benefit only GSUSA?

The online shop sales also benefit the Girl Scouts of Central Texas (GSCTX) Council and help fund programs in our Council. However, specific GSCTX items cannot be found in the online shop. To see a sampling of GSCTX items, visit our Facebook page GSCTXshop. Keep in mind that if you see something you like, the Austin shop can ship items. Send us an email to austinshop@gsctx.org to place an order.

Can I use GSCTX Girl Scout dough online?

GSCTX Girl Scout dough cannot be used on the GSUSA online shop. But the Austin shop is able to process your order and ship if you cannot get to a GSCTX shop. Remember GSCTX Girl Scout dough can be used for Troop Trips, GSUSA Destination trips, GSCTX council sponsored trips, Council events (ebiz), GSCTX camp, GSCTX shop and/or donated to support GSCTX Master Property Plan.

 

Product Program (includes Cookies)

How do Individually Registered Girl (IRG) members participate in fall/cookie product sales?

Individually Registered Girls (IRG) can participate in Product Program by pairing with another troop or selling through their service unit.

What is the Fall Product Sale?

The Fall Product Sale allows Girl Scouts the opportunity to sell Nuts, Candy, Magazines, and more! Troops earn start-up funds: 35% on Nut and Candy items; $2 for each magazine subscription. High-selling Girl Scouts can also receive Girl Scout Dough earlier in the year!gives girls the opportunity to sell candy, nuts, magazines and other snacks.

Besides earning money, what are the benefits of participating in the Cookie Program?

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the world. Girls will learn life skills such as entrepreneurship and financial literacy. By participating in the Cookie Program, Girl Scouts also learn the Five Skills of Product Programs: Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics!

Does my daughter have to sell cookies?

The Girl Scout Cookie program is the largest girl-led business in the world. Through this program girls learn entrepreneurial and financial literacy skills including decision making, goal setting, money management, people skills and business ethics. In addition, girls earn program credits, which they can use to pay for membership, program materials in the Council shop, or participation in GSCTX programs. However, girls and parents decide how they want to create their own Girl Scout experience and selling cookies is not required.

How/Where do I go about getting a cookie booth?

Contact your Service Unit Cookie Manager for more information or email Products@gsctx.org. Troops/parents should not contact any possible booth location(s); all location(s) are contracted by the Service Unit Cookie Manager.

What is the Cookie Captain Program?

The Cookie Captain Program provides service-oriented Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors the opportunity to mentor Daisy and first-time selling Brownie Girl Scouts in the art of selling Girl Scout Cookies. Along with providing guidance, Cookie Captains teach younger Girl Scouts about the 5 Skills of Selling Cookies: Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics! All Cookie Captains receive a patch and T-shirt; those who complete 20 hours of service earn the Service to Girl Scouting Bar, our Cookie Captain pin, and an end-of-year pool party at Camp Kachina!

What is Girl Scout Dough?

Girl Scout Dough is an incentive card with credits that girls earn during Fall and Cookie Sales. It can be used for Troop Trips, GSUSA Destination trips, GSCTX sponsored trips, GSCTX events (ebiz), GSCTX camp, GSCTX shop and/or donated to support GSCTX Master Property Plan.

What should girls do when earning money for their troop/group outside of council-sponsored product sales?

When additional forms of money earning are needed, troops should follow the Money Earning Guidelines (Volunteer Essentials, Chapter 5) and complete the Concession Monday-Earning Application found at www.gsctx.org/forms.

How does a leader get a Troop Cookie Toolkit?

The Troop Cookie Toolkit is available online, at www.gsctx.org. Click forms on the top of the page and then type "Troop Cookie Toolkit" in the search bar. 

What can a troop leader do if a girl is not participating in the Cookie Program?

There are several ways a girl can participate in the sale even if she chooses not to sell cookies, such as by making signs, leading a calling campaign, helping with pick up and delivery, and participating in the troop's cookie booth. It is important to remember, all troop funds are for the entire troop, not just the girls who sold product.

My daughter sold over 1000 boxes of cookies. How does she earn a free week of camp?

There are several ways a girl can participate in the sale even if she chooses not to sell cookies, such as by making signs, leading a calling campaign, helping with pick up and delivery, and participating in the troop's cookie booth. It is important to remember, all troop funds are for the entire troop, not just the girls who sold product.

 

Camp/Outdoor Program

What is Doubleknot?

Doubleknot is our new online registration system for our Weekend Camp Reservation system and we will be using it for Summer Resident Camp registration starting in January 2018. We are very excited about this and hope you enjoy the experience. Thus far the feedback has been very positive.

You WILL require a different login for Doubleknot. It is a different system than eBiz, which you have been using for event and training registration or Volunteer Systems (MyGS) which you usde for Membership and Volunteer Toolkit. If you already have a Doubleknot login because you have reserved one of our camps, you should use the same login when you register your daughter for Summer Camp. If you do NOT have a Doubleknot login, you will be able to easily create one at the start of your Summer Camp registration.

How do I make a reservation for the weekend at a camp?

If you are a Girl Scout troop or Service Unit, you can use our online reservation system, Doubleknot, to make a reservation for Camp Texlake, Camp Kachina, or Zilker Cabin during the months of September through May. Instructions on how to use Doubleknot can be found in on the first screen of each camp. It is a very user friendly system. If you want to change the camp you are looking at, simply hover over the camp name in the green tabs at the top. You can Search by Date (this is the default view) or if you have a certain lodging in mind, you can Search By Lodging.

We also suggest reading the Camp Reservation Guide prior to starting the reservation process. The Reservation Guide can be found in several locations throughout the "Rent Our Camps" page - in the initial description above all the camp links, in the "About Camp..." dropdown for each camp, and again on the "Reserve Camp..." dropdown. 

If you require assistance, contact the Camp Registrar at 800.733.0011. If you would rather register by paper form, please complete the GSCTX Camp  Reservation Form and email it to Customer Care.

If you are not a Girl Scout member, please contact our Camp Registrar at 800.733.0011. We will be happy to assist you with lodging and non-member pricing information.

How many activities can my troop do during a weekend reservation?

We recommend no more than three daytime activities for troops who have weekend reservations. This year we are offering separate Activity Passes for our Special Activities, which include Horses, High Ropes, Challenge Course, and Kayaks/Canoes. You will be able to select the exact session for these activities during the registration process so that you can better plan your day. We are still offering the Basic Activity Pass that includes between 3-4 activities, as well as a NEW Daisy Pass, that includes two Daisy appropriate activities for a lower cost.

For more information, please see our Camp Reservation Guide.

What if I don’t know how many girls are going to do a particular activity?

Add as many participants as you think will be able to do kayaking, horseback riding, high ropes or general activities to hold the spots. Estimate on the high end since it is easier to release passes than order them later in the season when they may no longer be available. Up to 21 days prior to your campout you can adjust the numbers. Any additonal deposits paid for the extra passes will be applied to your camp balance.

Can adults participate in the activities?

Yes! Any adult who wishes to participate will need to have purchased their own activity pass. For horse passes, adults must not exceed the weight limitation set by the veterinarian (200 lbs). 

I have girls with special dietary needs, can we still purchase a meal pass?

Yes! Our camps are able to handle Gluten Free and Vegetarian diets. We require notification of the request no later than 2 weeks prior to your camp out. After that time we cannot guarantee that we can accommodate the special request.

Is Weekend Camping reserved only for Girl Scouts?

No. We also welcome reservations for various outside groups. This means not all campers at camp will have a Criminal Background Check like registered Girl Scouts do. At all times keep to your Safety Checkpoint guidelines to help ensure a fun and safe visit to camp.

 

Does my daughter need to be a Girl Scout to attend Girl Scout Summer Resident or Day camp?

Yes. If your camper currently is not a Girl Scout, she will need to purchase a Girl Scout membership. Go the "Join" page for new members, or use "MY GS" login for former lapsed members.

How do I register for Summer or Day Camp?

Please refer to the 2018 Summer Camp Guide on our Summer Camp Registration page for everything you need to know about our camps. Once you have decided on a camp for your child, you can register for the camp by selecting the camp week from our Event Calendar or by  visiting our Summer Resident Camp page on our website. The Event Calendar provides a direct route into Doubleknot where you will be able to further search for camps. If you start from our Summer Camp website page, you will be able to narrow down your camp session search.

If you prefer to submit a paper form, complete the 2018 Summer Camp Registration form and submit to Customer Care. After your registration is complete, you will receive an email confirmation that contains information on the required Health forms.

Can I see photos of the camp facilities?

Photos of individual lodgings are available for each camp on the "EXPLORE OUR CAMPS" page in the Camps section of the website. Additionally, photos are available in the LODGINGS dropdown for each camp in the "RENT OUR CAMPS" section. and also during the reservation process if you click on "More" at the end of each lodging description. You may call our Camp Registrar at 1.800.733.0011 or view our Camp Reservation Guide for more information.

How do I apply for financial assistance for camp for my daughter?

We strive to help every girl experience Girl Scouts! If you need financial assistance for your camper to attend camp, we are happy to help. Please complete the Financial Partnership Form and send to Customer Care to start the process. Or you may mail the forms to the Austin Kodosky Service Center at 12012 Park Thirty Five Circle, Austin, TX 78753, Attn: Camp Financial Assistance

Financial Partnership Forms should be completed at least 4 weeks in advance of the camper's camp session. 

Financial Partnership FAQ

Can I register my daughter for a camp session that is designated for girls older/younger than she is?

No. Please do not register your daughter for a session that is designated for girls in grades older/younger than she is. We carefully designate session grade levels depending on what the session content will be and badges that will be earned as well as the length of the activities in that session. Registration in a session that does not fit your child's grade level may result in the camper being removed from the session.

Can my daughter be placed on a waitlist?

Currently, we do not keep waitlists for camp sessions.

I have Cookie Dough that I would like to use for my camp session. How do I do this?

If you would like to apply Cookie Dough towards your summer camp registration, please complete the Summer Camp Cookie Dough Form and email it to Customer Care or mail it to:
Girl Scouts of Central Texas
Attn: Camps Registrar
12012 Park Thirty Five Circle
Austin, TX 78753

What special precautions are taken to deal with the extreme Texas summer heat?

Given proper hydration, the body can  handle temperatures over 100 degrees without a problem. We encourage the girls to drink plenty of water throughout the day and make sure they do. All our program areas have access to shade. The girls go swimming each day and have down time after lunch where they can rest in their air conditioned lodging, or if they do not have air conditioning, they can go stay in a building that does. At times the girls can play water games or even get an extra session in the pool. We encourage campers staying in non-air conditioned units to bring a small, portable fan to help them keep cool.

 

Girl Awards

What are the Bronze/Silver/Gold awards?

The Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards are Girl Scouting’s highest awards. They also engage girls in building networks that not only support them in their award projects, but in new educational and career opportunities. For more information, visit our Highest Awards and Scholarship page.

What is the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn?

The highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn is the Girl Scout Bronze Award.

What is the highest award a Cadette Girl Scout can earn?

The highest award a Cadette Girl Scout can earn is the Girl Scout Silver Award.

How do I get started with the Silver Award project?

Participate in a Silver Award Workshop or complete the Silver Award Workshop online and complete the evaluation.

Meet with a Silver Award Consultant with your project idea and proposal.  All Silver Award Projects are approved by a SAC.

Where can I find my Silver Award Consultant?

Please review the Silver Award page, select Find your nearest Silver Award Consultant under the Resources tab.

What is the highest award a Senior/Ambassador Girl Scout can earn?

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a Senior/Ambassador Girl Scout can earn.

How do I get started with the Gold Award project?

Participate in a Gold Award Workshop or complete the Gold Award Workshop online and complete the evaluation.

Choose to participate in a proposal workshop to discuss ideas and fill out paperwork. Collaborate with a community partner to find a project advisor.  Request a letter of support and sustainability form your project advisor.

Submit your completed project proposal and letter to the Gold Award Committee.  All Gold Award Projects are approved by the GAC.

Does GSCTX offer scholarships for Gold Award recipients?

GSCTX offers scholarship opportunities to graduating seniors in our council. GSCTX also posts additional scholarship opportunities on our website. For information on how to apply or to view additional opportunities click here.

Where can I find the paperwork needed for the Bronze/Silver/Gold awards?

Please click on Highest Awards & Scholarships Page and select the award you are interested in earning.  Once you are on the specific award page, please download the forms. 

Where do I turn in my Bronze/Silver/Gold award paperwork?

All Bronze Award paperwork is submitted, approved and kept by the Troop Leader. Silver Award paperwork is submitted and approved by your Silver Award Consultant/Committee.  All Gold Award paperwork is approved and submitted to the Gold Award Committee.

When are the Girl Scout Silver and Gold Award deadlines?

Silver Award: Girls have until September 30th of the year they finished 8th grade to submit their Final Report.

Gold Award: The deadline for Gold Award Final Reports to be submitted in order to be included in the spring ceremony is March 1st.

How do I get my award letter and pin?

Troop Leaders must submit an online request by selecting GSCTX Bronze Award Request Form (also found under the forms tab on the Bronze Award page).  Silver Award Consultants must submit an online request by selecting Consultant Reporting Log & Certificate Request Form (also found under the Forms tab on the Silver Award page).