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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)?

To receive or stop updates from Girl Scouts of Central Texas for members of your household, log in to myGS, select My Household in the left navigation panel, find the household member whose preferences you wish to change and click Edit Profile, then scroll to the bottom of the page to adjust Communication Opt-Ins. Note that if youth members are opted out of communications, you, as the caregiver, will not receive any general communications related to the youth’s membership, such as notices for special programs for a specific Girl Scout level or rewards opportunities.

Unsubscribe: If you no longer wish to receive any general emails from GSCTX, you may adjust your communications preferences by logging into myGS, selecting My Profile in the left navigation panel, and adjusting your Communication Opt-Ins at the bottom of the page. Please be aware that opting out of emails will stop delivery of all emails including notices for upcoming events, notice of special offers, general survey invitations, and council updates such as information about the cookie program.

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 Girl Scouts of the USA emails, and vice versa.

Resubscribe: If you wish to resubscribe again later, follow the steps outlined above to opt in to communications.  If you are not receiving email and believe you should be, contact us.  

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

To accommodate Girl Scouts of varying faiths in saying the Girl Scout Promise, volunteers are responsible for being sensitive to the spiritual beliefs of all members and making sure that everyone in the group feels comfortable and included in Girl Scouting. Individual members may omit the word “God” or substitute the word "God" with whatever word is applicable to their 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?

Girl Scouts and volunteers cannot be excluded from membership or 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?

Our Customer Care team is here to help you.

  • Contact us to request support. This opens a trackable support request in our system that is monitored every business day.
  • We can also be reached via phone Monday – Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at (800) 733-0011.
  • We can help you best if you group related issues into one support request and submit separate requests for unrelated issues. For example, if you need to check the status of your criminal background check and ask a question about your Girl Scout’s fall product sales, please contact us twice.
  • When you email or reply to customer care, don’t cc anyone else. Every time someone besides you replies to that email thread, a new support request opens in our system. This creates confusion and slows our response time.
 

Membership Registration

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

Girl Scout membership dues are paid directly to Girl Scouts of the USA. Girl Scout members receive all the benefits of being a member of a national organization including the ability to participate in all national and regional programming and basic liability insurance coverage while participating in all approved Girl Scout activities. All members (youth and adult) pay membership dues annually. Annual dues for each year are $25 and the Girl Scout year runs from October 1 through September 30.

Additionally, Girl Scouts of Central Texas offers over 400 council events annually that members can enjoy with their troop or as individuals. Visit our event calendar to learn more.

Extended Year Membership
Beginning April 1 of each year, new members may purchase an Extended Year Membership.

The Extended Year Membership registers the new member for the remainder of the current Girl Scout year and for the entire next membership year; the cost is $35.

  • Only new members may purchase Extended Year Membership – this means it is available to youth and adults who have not been Girl Scouts in the past.
  • When registering online, the Extended Year Membership is available April 1 through July 31.
  • Girl Scout youth members must be going into K-12 grades in the fall and must be at least four years old to purchase this membership.
  • Girl Scout youth members entering Kindergarten in the upcoming fall will be able to choose Pre-K as their school grade when purchasing Extended Year Membership between April 1 and July 31. Note: Pre-K is not a program grade level; Pre-K indicates the youth’s grade in school.
  • Those who purchase Extended Year Membership may officially participate in Girl Scout activities starting on April 1.
If I register online, how does my girl get placed in a troop?

When you register for Girl Scouts online, you will be asked to enter your zip code and the available troops in that area will be displayed for your selection. These troops may be established or may still be forming, needing more youth members or adult volunteers to complete the troop. If a troop you select has a troop leader, you should be contacted shortly by that troop leader to get started. If you can't find a troop that works for your family, you can still complete the registration process by selecting Apply to Participate Without a Troop or Apply to Start Your Own. You can then contact us and a staff member will help find the right troop for your family or assist you in setting up a new troop.

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

Any girl in K-12 grade can join Girl Scouts. The earliest they can join is in kindergarten. Incoming kindergarteners may join Girl Scouts as early as April 1 of their pre-K year, by registering for Extended Year Membership.

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 members (youth and adult) participating in Girl Scouts must register annually and individually pay the $25 annual 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 myGS. For a new membership, go to www.gsctx.org and click on Join.

I want to know if there is a troop available before I register.

We encourage you not to wait until there is a troop before you register. When you register for Girl Scouts, you can choose the troop that will best suit your family. During the registration process, you will be taken to the participation catalog which lists all the troops available near your zip code. 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 the troop. You can register yourself as an adult to start the process of becoming a member and being approved as a volunteer. In fact, we encourage all adults to participate with the troop in some capacity for the best experience for all.

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

Financial assistance is a two-step process.

Once both steps are completed, a Customer Care Specialist will review your request and notify you if financial assistance has been applied to your membership registration dues.

What materials will my Girl Scout need to begin their Girl Scouting experience?

Supplies needed to begin a Girl Scouting experience include, at a minimum, a Girl Scout membership pin. Many Girl Scouts also like to have a sash or vest, troop numbers, and a copy of Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting. GSCTX starter kits are a great value and have everything needed to begin the Girl Scout experience. Starter kits are available at the GSCTX council shop or on our online shop.

How do I renew a membership?

To renew a membership, log in to your myGS account. You will be able to renew memberships for all members of your household or members of your troop. For renewal resources, visit the renew page.

How do I register or renew my troop members?

To register a new member to your troop, log into your myGS account and go to your troop roster. Scroll to the bottom of the roster and click on Register a New Troop Member. Follow the prompts.

To renew troop members, log into your myGS account and go to My Account, and then My Troop(s) in the left navigation. Under Member Details, check the boxes on the left of each person you wish to renew. Alternately, if all troop members are renewing, check Select All at the top of the girl and adult rosters. If you are unsure if someone is planning to return, leave the check box blank. If you know that someone is definitely not planning to return, you can check Not Returning next to their name. Scroll to the top of the Member Details section and click on the green Renew button to continue to the payment screen.

Which membership registrations cannot be done online?

Most membership registrations can be handled online. However, online registrations require credit or debit cards. Troops leaders without a troop debit/credit card will not be able to register or renew 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. Members needing to pay with check, money order, or cash will need to contact us to register. 

Are there instances when a membership can be refunded?

Once a member pays the annual Girl Scout membership fee, the dues are paid directly to Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and are not kept by GSCTX.

GSUSA policy only 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.

All requests for refunds for membership must be made the same membership year that the membership was purchased and cannot be processed after the membership year has ended. 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 MemberLifetime 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.

Lifetime Membership dues support the Lifetime Membership Endowment Fund, which helps to fund Girl Scouts’ programming. When you sign up as a lifetime member, $25 of your contribution automatically funds a year of membership for a Girl Scout in an underserved community in your area. Lifetime Membership fees are generally considered tax-deductible.

As a Lifetime Member you will receive:

  • A lifetime membership card and pin
  • Invitations to special GSUSA events
  • Monthly Girl Scout Network newsletter
  • 10% discount off Girl Scout merchandise purchased online
What are the different types of Lifetime Memberships available?

There are two categories of Lifetime Memberships:

  1. Lifetime Membership ($400) - available for anyone age 18 or older.
  2. Young Alum Lifetime Membership ($200) - available to Girl Scout alums 18-29 years of age at the time of purchase and to currently registered volunteers with ten or more years of service.
 

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 through the Troop Updates and Transfers Form.  This form will expedite member 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 the Troop Updates and Transfers Form if:

  • You are one of the troop leaders receiving the Girl Scout member
  • You are the service unit director, service unit registrar, or service unit lead of membership and volunteer support overseeing the troop in your service unit that is receiving the Girl Scout member
  • You are a GSCTX staff member
  • You are a caregiver requesting a transfer of any family member to the Independently Registered Girl (IRG) troop in your service unit (Independently Registered Girls 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 caregiver requesting a transfer of any family member to a different troop, as we will still need to hear from the 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 service unit director, service unit registrar, or service unit lead of membership and volunteer support, or the appropriate GSCTX staff member.
How can I make a request to transfer a membership from another Girl Scout council into GSCTX?

To transfer your membership from another Girl Scout council into GSCTX:

  • Login to myGS
  • Select My Household
  • Select the Change My Participation button next to the name of the member you are transferring
  • Enter the zip code for your new residential address
  • If you do not have troop information at this time, scroll to the bottom of the troop listings and select Apply to Participate Without a Troop
  • Confirm the transfer
  • Complete the same steps for all participating members who require a council transfer
  • Request that your previous council submit a case to GSUSA to transfer your gsLearn account to GSCTX

NOTE: This process is not automatic, as the transfer needs to be approved by the receiving council.

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

To transfer your membership from GSCTX to a new Girl Scout council:

  • Login to myGS
  • Select My Household
  • Select the Change My Participation button next to the name of the member you are transferring
  • Enter the zip code for your new residential address
  • If you do not have troop information at this time, scroll to the bottom of the troop listings and select Apply to Participate Without a Troop
  • Confirm the transfer
  • Complete the same steps for all participating members who require a council transfer
  • Contact us to request that a case be submitted to GSUSA to transfer your gsLearn account to your new council

NOTE: This process is not automatic, as the transfer needs to be approved by the receiving council.

 

Spring Renewal (April - June)

What are the Spring Renewal incentives and what are the deadlines for taking advantage of them?

We have lots of great Spring Renewal incentives! For details, visit our renew page.

Can my Girl Scout use Program Credits earned during the cookie program to pay for their membership renewal?

Yes, Girl Scout youth members who earned Program Credits during the 2022 Cookie Season can use them for Girl Scout membership renewal from April 1, 2023 through June 30, 2023.

To use Program Credits for membership renewal, simply log into myGS, follow the prompts to renew your Girl Scout's membership, and select 'program credits' as the payment method at checkout. You will not be asked to provide a card number. Our staff will verify that the Girl Scout has enough Program Credits to cover the $25 renewal fee and will reach out if they need an additional form of payment. Program Credits cannot be used for adult membership renewals with the exception of graduating ambassadors purchasing an adult membership or Lifetime Membership.

How do I renew my Girl Scout's membership using Program Credits when they haven’t yet received their new Program Credit card number?

To use Program Credits for membership renewal, simply log into myGS, follow the prompts to renew your Girl Scout's membership, and select Program Credits as the payment method at checkout. You will not be asked to provide a credit card number. Our staff have a process in place to verify that the Girl Scout has earned enough Program Credits to cover the $25 renewal fee. We will reach out if an additional form of payment is needed. Note that this option is only available through June 30.

I don't know how many Program Credits my Girl Scout earned. How do I find out?

If you are unsure about your Girl Scout’s current Program Credit balance, please click here to check the balance. Alternately, you can contact us to request a balance check.

Can Girl Scouts use carryover Program Credits earned in previous years to renew their membership?

No. Carryover Program Credit accounts are set up as a way for Girl Scouts to help save for large Girl Scout experiences such as travel or camp. They cannot be used for membership renewal.

Graduating ambassadors, however, may use carryover credits to purchase Lifetime Memberships as they bridge to adult Girl Scouts.

If a Girl Scout has less than $25 in Program Credits, can they still use Program Credits to renew their membership?

Yes, Program Credits can be used to defray the cost of youth membership renewal even if the Girl Scout does not have enough to cover the full amount. If your Girl Scout's Program Credit balance is not enough to cover the cost of membership renewal, our staff will reach out for another form of payment to cover the balance. Please note that the membership is not considered complete and active until this additional balance is paid.

Can I apply for financial assistance if my Girl Scout has Program Credits?

Girl Scouts of Central Texas' goal is to make Girl Scouts accessible to all those who want to participate. Financial assistance is available for membership, uniform components, and handbooks, GSCTX summer camp, and GSCTX and service unit events. More information on financial assistance and financial partnerships is available here.

Please note that active Program Credits will be used first prior to applying financial assistance to youth membership renewal.

I'm a troop leader and would like to renew all of my Girl Scouts. Some have Program Credits and some do not. Can I still renew them all?

Yes! Simply log into myGS, renew memberships for those Girl Scouts in your troop who are continuing, and select Program Credits as the payment method for those who earned them during the cookie season. Select Credit Card for those who do not have Program Credits available. You will not be asked to provide Program Credit card numbers. Our staff will verify that these Girl Scouts have enough Program Credits to cover the $25 renewal fee and will reach out if they need an additional form of payment.

Can my Girl Scout use Program Credits earned during the cookie program to buy a Girl Scout membership for someone else?

Program Credits are an individually earned reward for participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program. At this time, they can only be used to renew membership for the Girl Scout who earned them. Additionally, Program Credits cannot be used for adult membership renewal.

What is a Young Alum Lifetime Membership and who is eligible to purchase one? Can I use Program Credits or carryover credits to purchase it?

Girl Scout Young Alum Lifetime Memberships are special, reduced price ($200) lifetime memberships for Girl Scout alums. To be eligible, you must have been a registered Girl Scout youth member for at least one membership year, be at least 18 years old (or a high school graduate or equivalent), and be under the age of 30.

Current GSCTX Girl Scout Ambassadors who are graduating high school and/or bridging to Adult Girl Scouts are able to use current Program Credits or carryover funds to purchase their Young Alum Lifetime Membership between April 1 and September 30.

To purchase your Young Alum Lifetime Membership, simply log into myGS. Lifetime Membership will show as a membership option if you are eligible. Add it to your cart and select Program Credits as the payment method at checkout. You will not be asked to provide a credit card number. Our staff will verify that you have enough Program Credits or carryover credits to cover the $200 fee and will reach out if they need an additional form of payment.

I'm considering becoming a new troop leader but I'm concerned about the cost of membership. Is there assistance available?

We are excited that you are interested in becoming a Girl Scout troop leader! If you are concerned about the cost of membership, please contact us. We can provide you with additional resources and forms of assistance.

I'm a Lifetime Member and also a troop leader. What incentives am I eligible for?

Thank you so much for your dedication to Girl Scouts! Please make sure to go to myGS and renew your troop leader role and any other roles that you hold. If you renew your role within the specified spring renewal timeframes, you will be eligible for all individual incentives.

I've already renewed myself and/or my Girl Scout for Membership Year 2024. Is there still a way to take advantage of the Spring Renewal incentives?

Yes, if you have renewed membership, you are eligible for all of the non-monetary incentives, including special items and programs depending on the date of your renewal. For monetary incentives such as Program Credits, unfortunately, once a membership renewal is completed, we are not able to process a refund and change the payment method. If your Girl Scout has earned Program Credits, please visit our Program Credit page or our GSCTX shop for lots of great ways to use earned Program Credits.

How are renewal percentages calculated for troop and service unit incentives?

For troop incentives:

To qualify for troop renewal incentives, at least one leader must renew or register for membership year 2024 by June 30, 2023 and the troop must either meet the minimum troop number requirement or be open in the catalog with spaces to meet the requirements. Percentages are based on the number of youth and adults registered in the troop as of March 31, 2023.

For service unit incentives:

To qualify for service unit incentives, key service unit positions (service unit directors, service unit registrar, service unit treasurer, or equivalent leads) must be filled with volunteers who have renewed or registered for membership year 2024 by June 30, 2023. Percentages are based on the number of youth and adults registered in the service unit as of March 31, 2023.

I'm not part of the Girl Scouts of Central Texas council. Can I still take advantage of these offers?

No. Spring Renewal incentives are only available to current members of Girl Scouts of Central Texas. See our new member incentives for information regarding offers available to members joining Girl Scouts for the first time.

 

Criminal Background Checks

Do Girl Scouts run background checks on their volunteers?

Yes. Protecting our members and 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 Sterling Volunteers, an independent, third-party agency.

How does someone get a criminal background check completed?

Criminal background checks (CBC) are integrated fully into our council membership database. Choosing a volunteer role (ex., troop leader or troop friends and family) during the registration process will initiate our registration system to automatically check for an eligible, unexpired background check on file. If one is not found, the system will authorize Sterling Volunteers (GSCTX’s third-party CBC vendor) to send the volunteer an email invitation to complete a CBC.

If an adult requires a background check and did not initially register as a volunteer, they should log in to their myGS account and add a volunteer role, such as troop friends and family, to their profile. This will trigger the background check process through the system.

If a volunteer’s background check expires in the middle of the membership year, they can contact us to request that a new background check invitation be sent.

What is covered in a criminal background check?

Background checks, conducted by Sterling Volunteers, consist of:

  • Advanced Criminal History Record Locator Search
  • Government Watch List Search
  • 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 overnight 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 addressed by a volunteer, our third-party background check vendor generally takes an average of three to five 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.

 

Event Registration - Program Events, Volunteer Training, Camp

How do I use the Event List or Event Calendar to find events?

The Event List and Event Calendar have the most updated information on current program events and trainings available for registration.

The Event List provides a list of all events with color-coded thumbnails next to them letting you know the event’s primary focus area. You can use the Advanced Search feature to filter events by date, program level, or focus category.

The Event Calendar shows all events by date.

What are the steps to register for an event/training using the Event List or Event Calendar?

To register for an event using the Event List:

  • Select the event you would like to register for and click on the name of the event in green to see additional information.
  • Select Register Now.
  • Follow the on-screen directions to register. If the event is in gsEvents, you will login with your email address and myGS password. If registration is through a third-party vendor (for example, tickets to a sporting event), you will be directed to that vendor’s site to make your purchase.

To register for an activity using the Event Calendar:

  • Select the event you would like to register for and click on the name of the event on the calendar.
  • A box will pop up with a short description of the event. Click on the name of the event in green to see additional information.
  • Select Register Now.
  • Follow the on-screen directions to register. If the event is in gsEvents, you will login with your email address and myGS password. If registration is through a third-party vendor (ex., tickets to a sporting event), you will be directed to that vendor’s site to make your purchase.

Need more help? Review a step-by-step demonstration of the registration process or contact us.

What are the steps to register for an event using Find Events in gsEvents?

To search for an event directly in gsEvents:

  • Go to myGS and log in using the email address and password you used when purchasing your Girl Scout membership.
  • Click the Girl Scouts brand mark at the top left of the screen.
  • Select Find Events.
  • Enter your zip code, or a zip code for the area in which you would like to find an event, and any other search criteria. Click Search. (For GSCTX virtual events, enter zip code 78753 and make sure that “Include virtual events in my search” is checked.)
  • Explore the list of available events, adjusting search radius and other criteria as needed. Note that the pin on the map may not be completely accurate. It is directed at the center of the zip code in which the event is located.
  • Select Event Details for the event you are interested in.
  • Make sure to click Read More in the description section to see all relevant information.
  • Choose the number of Girl Scout and adult spots needed and click Add Events.
  • Complete the participant information for each participant. (Note, if you are a troop leader registering members from both your household and your troop, you must select “My troop member” from the "Assign attendees" section and register all participants from your troop list rather than your household list.)
  • Select your payment method. You will be required to select a payment method even if the event is free.
    • If Program Credits are offered for the event and selected, please allow one to two business days for Program Credit requests to be processed. Event registration is not complete or guaranteed until the Program Credits are applied and any remaining balance is paid.
    • The majority of our events do not require a deposit but larger events like summer camp and council trips may. If an event has a deposit, you will be required to pay the deposit via credit card and can then select Program Credits or financial aid, if offered for the event, to assist with the remaining balance. Once the deposit is paid, the spot is guaranteed as long as final payment is received by the deadline.
  • Click Submit Member Details.
  • Review your cart, check the box to agree to the Girl Scout Promise and Law, and click Add Payment Details.
  • Enter payment information and click Submit Payment.

Need more help? Review a  step-by-step demonstration of the registration process or contact us.

Why am I being redirected to another site to finish my registration?

Registration or ticket purchasing for some of our events is processed through third-party vendors (for example, sporting events). When this is the case, you will be directed to the third-party vendor’s site directly to register or purchase your tickets.

How do I register my troop for an activity online?

With gsEvents, registering your troop is easy!

  • Find the event you want to register for.
  • Select the number of girl and adult spots needed for everyone you are trying to register.
  • Click Log In or Add Events if you are already logged in.
  • Under Assign Attendees, select “My troop member” and choose the first attendee from the dropdown list. Note: If you are registering members from both your household and your troop, you must select “My troop member” and register all participants from your troop list rather than your household list.
  • You will enter information and select a payment method for each registrant. If Program Credits are offered for the event, you will have the ability to select them as payment for Girl Scouts who wish to use them and select credit card for adults and other Girl Scouts.
  • Click Submit Member Details.
  • Review your cart, check the box to agree to the Girl Scout Promise and Law, and click Add Payment Details.
  • Enter payment information and click Submit Payment.

Need more help? Review a step-by-step demonstration of the registration process or contact us.

How do a I cancel an event registration?

We require two weeks notice in writing for any cancellation request to be eligible for a refund. We appreciate two weeks notice in writing for any cancellation of a free event so we can make the spot available to other Girl Scouts wishing to attend.

All cancellations of paid events are subject to a $5 cancellation fee, unless otherwise stated on the event page. If an event requires a deposit (for example, summer camp, council trips), this deposit is non-refundable. We are unable to honor any requests for refunds made less than two weeks prior to the event date unless there is an emergency or medical need (including COVID quarantine).

To notify us of a cancellation and/or request a refund, please contact us with the subject line “Event/Camp cancellation.” You will receive an email once the refund and cancellation have been processed.

Can I use Program Credits to pay for a program event?

Yes! Current, non-expired GSCTX Program Credits can be used to pay for many of our council-led program events and our GSCTX summer camps. There are three ways to use Program Credits for events:

  • For events in gsEvents that are eligible for Program Credit use, you can select Program Credits as your payment method at checkout. Please allow one to two business days for Program Credit requests to be processed. Event registration is not complete or guaranteed until the Program Credits are applied and any additional balance is paid.
  • Register for the event in gsEvents and request to be reimbursed. Register for the event and pay in full (or pay the deposit, if applicable). Then complete the Program Credit Request Form selecting GSCTX Council Event Reimbursement or GSCTX Summer Camp Balance Application to have your payment converted to Program Credits and refunded or to have part, or all, of your outstanding balance paid with Program Credits. Carryover credits can only be applied to summer camp and council trips, not to program events. Your spot will be guaranteed from the moment you pay. Once your Program Credits are applied and your payment refunded, you will be notified via email. Note that we are unable to refund payment for events that have already occurred.
  • Request that GSCTX staff register you for the event using Program Credits. Complete the Program Credit Request Form selecting GSCTX Council Event Registration. Please allow one to two business days for the form to be processed. If the event requested fills prior to the form being processed, you will be contacted and offered an alternate event. You will be notified via email once your registration is created. Your spot is not guaranteed until the form is processed and any additional balance is paid.

At this time, Program Credits are not transferable between councils and we are only able to take Program Credits issued by Girl Scouts of Central Texas. Likewise, Girl Scouts of Central Texas Program Credits cannot be used towards events or camps hosted by other councils.

The event says that there are waivers that need to be completed. How do I find these?

To see all waivers required for an event:

  • Log in to myGS.
  • Click the yellow My Account button at the top right.
  • Click My Events in the left navigation menu.
  • Click on the event to bring up additional details.
  • You will see a section titled Additional Documentation that will have links to the required waivers and paperwork.
How do I pay the balance due for an event?

To pay a balance due for an event:

  • Log in to myGS.
  • Click the yellow My Account button at the top right.
  • A balance due notice will pop up across the screen.
  • Click Pay Now.
  • Enter the amount you’d like to pay towards each outstanding line item.
  • Follow the steps to complete the payment.
I accidentally added an event or extra person that I don’t need. How do I clear it out of my cart?

If you are still in the Add Your Details screen, scroll to the bottom and click Remove Participant located in the center of the screen between the Submit Member Details button and the cart total.

If you have already submitted member details, click Review Cart or enter your cart by clicking the trefoil at the top right of the My Account screen and then clicking Review Cart. Under the registrant’s name, you can click Remove. A pop up will appear asking if you are sure that you want to remove the event. Click Yes I’m sure.

I’m having some trouble with gsEvents. How can I get help?

If you are experiencing trouble finding events or registering for events in gsEvents, please check out this list of common tech support questions. If your concern is not here, or you continue to have difficulty, contact us .

I’m searching for an event in gsEvents and it is saying there are no events that match my search. First try refreshing your screen. If no events populate, try adjusting your search filters or expanding your search radius. If you are still not seeing events, please clear your cookies or try a different browser. You can also find all GSCTX upcoming events on our Event List or Event Calendar.
I’m registering for an event and the Add Payment Details or Submit button is greyed out. Make sure that you check the box accepting the Girl Scout Promise and Law at the bottom of the screen. Once that box is checked, the Add Payment Details or Submit button should turn green and allow you to click it.
I’m trying to register my Girl Scout/a Girl Scout from my troop for an event. I see their name in the dropdown, but they are greyed out and I cannot select them. If you see a Girl Scout’s name in the dropdown and the grade level and Council: 578 are displayed in parentheses or it says inactive, this means that the Girl Scout does not meet the criteria for registration for that event. Their grade level may not match the grade levels required for registration or their membership may not be up to date. Check their information in My Account. If there is an error in the profile, please contact us.
I’m in my myGS account. How do I get back to search for events or see the event I was trying to register for? The easiest way is to click the Girl Scouts service mark at the top left of the screen and then select Find Events. You can also go back to the Event List or Event Calendar link and press Register Now.
I’m a leader and I’m trying to register my troop members for an event. However, I am only seeing the members of my household. Why can I not see my troop members?

This can happen for a variety of reasons:

  • Your troop leader role is not currently active. You can check on this in My Account. If you see that your role is not active, contact us .
  • You already registered one participant for the event using the My Household dropdown. If this is the case, you will probably need to cancel all participants and start the registration over, selecting all participants from the My Troop Member dropdown. If you need assistance, please give us a call at (800) 733-0011.
  • There is an issue with your account not syncing correctly between systems. If your role is active and you have not yet registered a household member for that event, please contact us to let us know that you are an active leader who cannot see their troop on gsEvents. We will submit a ticket with GSUSA to fix this error. If you are worried about spaces in the event filling up while we get that fixed, check with your co-leader to see if they have access to register all troop members, ask individual caregivers to register their Girl Scouts, or call us at (800) 733-0011 and we can assist you.
 

gsLearn and Volunteer Training

What volunteer trainings are offered online vs. in-person?

Online education allows for volunteers to complete their required training on their own time. The online training platform, gsLearn,  allows volunteers to access training opportunities from GSCTX as well as GSUSA.

However, there are certain trainings that require hands-on learning to be effective. These include CPR/first aid and Let’s Go! 3.  We offer opportunities to take these trainings multiple times throughout the year. These opportunities can be found on our Event Calendar or Event List when available. Other volunteer training, such as Let’s Go! 2, are available both online and in-person.

Additionally, GSCTX has two opportunities for volunteers to come together, learn new skills, share ideas, network, and complete some training requirements. These are the Volunteer Enrichment Conference held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting over the summer (typically in early July) and Trailblazers held in the fall (typically in late September). Information and registration for these events is shared in our newsletters and can be found on the Event Calendar or Event List as the dates approach.

What is gsLearn?

gsLearn is the official Girl Scouts online, on-demand training forum. Learners can complete training when and where works best for them. By adopting the gsLearn platform, GSCTX and other Girl Scout councils now have access to nationally consistent training content and can also host our own training resources on the same site.

Where can I find gsLearn?

gsLearn can be found by logging into your myGS account. Once logged in, select My Account and then click gsLearn from the left-hand navigation.

Who has access to gsLearn?

Every registered adult member with a completed membership registration can access gsLearn. If your membership status is set to payment pending, unresponsive, ineligible, or opted out (chose to halt the membership process), you will not have access to gsLearn. If you do not renew your membership for the next Girl Scout membership year, you will lose access to gsLearn on October 1. Please be sure to renew your membership prior to October 1 each year to avoid disruption.

I am a registered adult member and I don't have access to gsLearn. What do I need to do?

All registered adult members whose membership status is not in payment pending, unresponsive, ineligible, or opted out (customer has expressed they no longer wish to continue in the membership process) should have access to gsLearn. If you are having trouble, please contact us.

Why do I not see anything in the content library when I log into gsLearn?

If you are a new member and do not see any courses in the content library, this is because your account was just activated. The system is now in the process of setting up your account as a general learner. Please wait approximately 30 minutes for the system to set up your account and populate the content library and then try again. You should be able to see our Welcome to gsLearn course on your Learner Dashboard. Please take this course prior to any other courses. All the other available courses and learning paths should now be in the content library. If after 30 minutes you still need assistance, please contact us.

Is gsLearn mobile friendly?

gsLearn is mobile responsive, which means it will resize the screen and adjust the experience a little bit so it can work on your phone or tablet.

I am taking the training on my tablet or on a smaller screen and I can't see the entire screen at once, what do I do?

If you're unable to see a training in its entirety on your screen, you'll want to zoom out your view temporarily. On Google Chrome, hold down the Ctrl, Shift, and "-" (minus) keys to zoom out until you can see the whole screen. When you're done with training, hold down Ctrl, Shift, and "+" keys to zoom back to 100 percent.

How do I know what courses are required for me?

We have built a learning path specifically for troop leaders called 578 Essential Troop Leader Training. This learning path is required to be considered a trained troop leader and should be completed within three months of taking on this role.

We have also created courses for troop treasurers (578 Money Manager and 578 VTK Finance Tab Volunteer Training) and strongly recommend taking these courses in this role. We are currently working on creating a service unit volunteer learning path and will announce more details soon!

You can also find many new courses developed by GSUSA and GSCTX. Feel free to check them out! Everything can be found in the content library. If you are unsure which courses you need to take for your role, you should contact your membership staff and they can assist you.

Can I take any courses I want?

Yes, you may take any course you want in gsLearn. You might want to explore courses meant for other volunteer roles that might interest you. However, if you require specific training for your role, we recommend completing that training first. We are adding new courses all the time, so be sure to check both the courses and learning paths in the content library regularly.

What is the gsLearn content library?

The gsLearn content library is where you can find all the courses and learning paths that have been created. If you are looking for a learning path, simply select content library on the left.  All of our content will display, with learning paths at the top, followed by courses. You can scroll through the list or use the search criteria on the left if you are looking for something specific.

Once you find what you want to take, select the learning path or course, and it will be added to your learner dashboard.

What is the difference between a course, a module, and a learning path?

In gsLearn, courses are comprised of modules, which are smaller units of learning, sort of like a chapter in a book. The course is the book, and the modules are the chapters. A learning path is a collection of courses that has been curated and assembled specifically for a certain volunteer role, like a troop leader or a service unit volunteer.

What happens if I need to stop in the middle of a module?

If you need to exit a module before you are complete, that is fine. This is one of the best things about gsLearn. All you need to do is click Exit in the upper right corner. You can click on Home to go back to your dashboard and Log Out.

When you are ready to start up again:

  • Log back into myGS and go to gsLearn.
  • Select the course from your dashboard. It will open, displaying all your modules, completed and incomplete.
  • Select Continue this Course. The module you were working on will start where you left off.
  • If you were working in a learning path, you can select Continue the Learning Path and it will continue with the module in the course you were working on.

The completion percentage will display on the right. For a standalone course, the completion percentage will show 100 percent when you have completed the course. However, when working in a learning path, the individual courses will have their own completion percentages, but the learning path will only show 100 percent complete when all the courses in the learning path have been completed.

What is the TOC button for?

While you are taking a course, you may notice a TOC button in the playbar at the bottom of the screen. TOC stands for Table of Contents. If you click on it, you will see all the slides in the module. Each one you have completed will be marked with a check. If you feel the need to go back a few slides to listen to something again, use the TOC button and select that slide. It will automatically start to play.

If you need to refresh your memory for a course you have taken in the past, you can go back to it, find the module you need, and click on it. Then select Review Content, click on TOC at the bottom, and select the section you want to review.

What happens after I complete a course?

Once you have completed a course, a few things will happen. First, you will receive an email confirmation of the completion from gsLearn. You will also earn an achievement for this completion. Your achievements can be displayed if you select Achievement in the left pane. gsLearn will keep track of your training history.

Additionally, gsLearn will send your course completion notification in a case to our Customer Care department. They will attach that case to your account, thus making it an additional record of your training history. This will make it easier for Customer Care to verify any training requirements for Activity and Travel Applications.

What if I would like to take a completed course or module over again?

If you would like to take a completed course, or module in a course, over again as a refresher, you can find the completed course in your Completed section.

Your first step will be to click on the courseThen you will have two choices. You can either:

A. Start Over: You can click on the first module and select Start Over. This will allow you to take the module over again.  If you had any assessments that were scored, your score will be reset.

B. Review Content: If you only want to review certain parts of the module:

  • Click on the module and then click on Review Content.
  • Click on the TOC button in the playbar at the bottom when the first slide displays. When you select TOC, the Table of Contents displays and you can see all of the training sections and training time lengths for the particular training module. 
  • Select the part of the module you want to review. It will start automatically for you.
  • If you had any assessments that were scored, your score will be retained.

Note: At any time during a module, if you want to go back to a previous slide, you can use the |< button in the playbar or you can use the TOC button and select a specific section. Your module will resume from that slide.

Can I take CPR in gsLearn?

CPR/First Aid courses are in-person trainings. We offer opportunities to take this training multiple times throughout the year. These opportunities can be found on our Event Calendar or Event List when available.

Why are there numbers before the courses?

The three-digit number (578) before many gsLearn course names or learning paths is our Girl Scouts of Central Texas council code. This helps GSUSA keep track of the owner/creator of each course that has been added to the system.

How does gsLearn correlate to my previous trainings?

gsLearn will include some courses you have already taken such as Let's Go! 1 - Out and About. However, we have added some new courses from GSUSA and GSCTX that will replace some of our previous trainings. The information/resources in the updated and new courses provides information not previously available or that pertains to new processes and policies. If you have additional questions about a specific training, please contact us.

Can youth members access gsLearn?

GSCTX does not have any training currently available for youth members.

Girl Scout councils may provide access via a direct log-in link to a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador for training. Council can only provide access if the Girl Scout is a current Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador, is at least 13 years old, and, if the Girl Scout resides outside the United States, is at least 16 years old and has a separate and unique email address.

What are achievements?

In gsLearn, achievements are a record of course completions. From the achievements selection in the left pane on your home screen, you can display all of your course completions and download a copy of your Certificate of Completion, if so desired.

Do I need to keep a copy of my certificates?

gsLearn will keep your course completion certificates in your account online. You can download and print the certificate if you would like, but you are not required to do so.

When do I have to re-take a course?

Currently only CPR/First Aid and Let’s Go! 1 courses require recertification. If your CPR/First Aid is expired (varies by provider, generally two years) or Let's Go! 1 training is older than three years, you must take these courses over again. 

Will my previous training records be stored in gsLearn? Where will in-person training event records and non-gsLearn online records be tracked?

Relevant volunteer training records, specifically CPR/First Aid, Let’s Go1 1, Let’s Go1 2, and Let’s Go1 3 trainings from 2019 and later, were uploaded to gsLearn on October 1, 2020.

In-person training records will be manually entered into gsLearn after the training has concluded. Please allow up to four weeks for any training records to be manually entered by GSCTX staff.

I'm a service unit director or service unit lead of membership and volunteer support. How do I view the gsLearn training records for volunteers in my service unit?

The gsLearn Summary Dashboard is available in Looker.

The SU Roster: gsLearn Summary Dashboard displays course information for your assigned service unit and the Supplemental Learning from gsEvents, such as Trailblazers.

What if I am transferring between councils? Will my learning history transfer to my new council?

If you have moved from one council to another, please contact your previous council and request that your gsLearn records be transferred.  Learner history in gsLearn stays with the learner.

Council-specific courses vary from one Girl Scout council to another. Learners will want to take council-specific training courses that apply to their volunteer roles when transferring memberships from one council to another.

What trainings from other councils are accepted by our council? What GSCTX trainings are accepted by other councils?

GSCTX will accept any of the courses from other councils created by GSUSA such as the program leader essentials, service unit core trainings, recruitment series, etc. For outdoor training, we will not accept outdoor training courses from other councils. You must take the GSCTX Let's Go! series of courses to participate in activities outside of regular troop meetings, including day trips, overnights, and camping. If you are new to our council, we definitely recommend that you take the GSCTX Orientation course.

The same criteria above would be true for the transfer of GSCTX courses going to another council. GSUSA courses will always transfer. Council created courses will vary from council to council. Each Girl Scout council will have their own guidelines concerning trainings they will accept from other councils.

What if I find an error in a training?

While we strive for the best, if you notice an error, please contact us or click to provide feedback within the course itself. We appreciate your feedback and suggestions!

I have ideas for additional trainings! Who do I tell?

We would love to hear your suggestions! We are always looking to improve your training experience if we can. Please contact us with your ideas and we will share them with the appropriate staff.

 

Troop Support - Troop Travel

What is the Activity and Travel Application (ATA)?

The Activity and Travel Application (ATA) captures all pertinent information needed to document troop travel and large gathering requests. ATAs for troop travel are submitted by a troop leader, or other volunteer, between two weeks and three months prior to the date of travel. ATAs for large gatherings are submitted by the organizer, typically a service unit volunteer, between two weeks and three months prior to the date of the event.

What is the difference between troop travel and a large gathering? Can a service unit campout be a large gathering?

Troop travel requiring an ATA can include any of the following:

  • An overnight trip lasting one or more nights
  • A day trip where the Girl Scouts anticipate staying out past midnight
  • A day trip more than 100 miles from the troop meeting place or outside of the state of Texas
  • A day trip or event with high-risk activities
  • A council event in which all troops attending have been instructed to fill out an ATA

Large gatherings are defined as single-day troop or service unit events that will include non-members or be open to the public. An example of a large gathering would be a service unit recruitment event.

While a service unit campout will likely include large numbers of people, troops need to submit individual ATAs to be approved to attend the service unit campout. Each troop needs to meet the adult-to-girl ratio, have current CPR/first aid certificates, and the appropriate Let’s Go! trainings to attend. 

What does customer care look for in my ATA?

The Customer Care team reviews each ATA to make sure that GSCTX has all the necessary information related to the trip or activity. In particular, they are looking at:

  • Appropriate adult-to-girl ratio
  • Current adult memberships and eligible/current background checks
  • Current Girl Scout youth memberships
  • Driver forms
  • CPR/first aid certifications
  • Let's Go! certifications, if applicable
  • High-risk certifications, including lifeguard certifications, if applicable
  • Risk level of international destinations

The customer care team will also look at your insurance needs and start the process if additional insurance is required.

How do I make changes to an ATA after it has been submitted or approved?

Once you have received a reply from a Customer Care Specialist indicating that your ATA is being reviewed or is approved, you can submit any changes in a reply to that email.

Changes that can be submitted late include, but are not limited to:

  • Updates to your troop travel roster
  • Date changes for your travel
  • Changes to your travel destination
  • Additional certifications
What is a high-risk activity?

High-risk activities are those that, if practiced unsafely or in an unsafe environment, could cause serious injury or death to a participant or could require crisis communication if an injury occurs.

For a full list, and additional information, on high-risk activities, please refer to the safety section of Volunteer Essentials. Some examples of high-risk activities frequently engaged in include:

  • Activities where water safety is involved, including swimming in large bodies of water or locations that do not have a lifeguard on staff, rafting, tubing, and diving.
  • Activities involving large animals, including horses and livestock
  • Activities involving heights, including rock walls, ziplines, high rope courses, and indoor skydiving.
When do I need to provide evidence of certification for my troop's high-risk activity? What do I need to submit?

If your troop is participating in a high-risk activity and the activity is not being performed at a GSCTX property or a location on the List of Approved High Risk Sites, you will need to provide evidence of the site's certification for the high-risk activity you are participating in.

Proof of high-risk certification can include:

  • A screen shot from the facility's website that includes verification of instructor knowledge and experience (for example, "Our horseback riding instructors have current certification from the Certified Horsemanship Association and hold a minimum of three years' experience successfully instructing in a general horseback riding program.")
  • A screen shot from the facility's website careers page (for example, lifeguard job posting for a water park).

An email from the director/manager of the facility stating that their staff have the proper certifications to guarantee the safety of the Girl Scout youth and adults participating.

What is the Volunteer Driver Form and when is it required?

To remain in compliance with our insurance provider, GSCTX requires additional information from adults who will be transporting non-familial Girl Scout youth. This form is submitted once per Girl Scout Year (October 1 to September 30) unless your personal information changes.

If each Girl Scout youth member will be transported by their own family member, you do not need to submit the Volunteer Driver Form. If Girl Scouts will be riding together/carpooling or plan on a combination of carpooling and family transport, it is required that the Volunteer Driver Form be submitted for each designated adult driver. Drivers under the age of 21 are not permitted to drive other Girl Scouts youth members.

What is the proper adult-to-girl safety ratio? How do I know how many adults I need for my ATA?

The adult-to-girl safety ratio is the minimum number of adults needed to supervise a specific number of Girl Scout youth. It was developed to ensure the safety and health of the participants - if one adult has to respond to an emergency, a second adult is always on hand for the rest of the participants. The adult-to-girl safety ratio changes based on the Girl Scout program level and the number of participants.

To calculate how many adult volunteers you need for your ATA, please visit the Adult-to-Girl Ratios page on our website.

My troop is planning to stay at an Airbnb, VRBO, or similar private rental. What do I need to provide as documentation of liability insurance?

To have your ATA approved, you must provide documentation of liability insurance from the rental host which covers premises for commercial use, with a minimum of $1,000,000 general liability insurance. This can include:

  • Screen shot from rental website where statement of $1,000,000 general liability insurance is automatically applied to property, regardless of pre-existing homeowners’ policy. (Example: statement from VRBO, “This liability policy applies to you regardless of whether you already have a homeowners’ policy. Unlike many homeowners’ policies, this policy responds when you use your home as a short-term rental, provided the reservation was processed online through HomeAway checkout." or statement from Airbnb, "Host liability insurance, a part of AirCover, provides Hosts with $1 million in coverage in the rare event a guest gets hurt or their belongings are damaged or stolen while they’re staying at your place. People who help you host, like Co-Hosts and cleaners, are also included, so you can feel confident hosting on Airbnb.”)
  • Screen shot of the property owner's liability insurance for their rental.
  • Emailed copy of $1,000,000 general liability insurance certificate from the property owner.
COVID-19 and troop travel: Where can I find more information about GSCTX's COVID-19 guidelines so I can better prepare for my trip?

Girl Scouts of Central Texas health, safety, and facilities consider GSUSA guidelines, Governor Abbott’s orders for opening businesses, youth camps, youth activities, and outdoor events, local officials’ orders, guidance from the CDC, guidance from the American Camp Association, and our ability to create safe spaces for Girl Scouts, staff, and volunteers.

For the most up to date COVID-19 guidelines, please visit the GSCTX COVID-19 Information page on our website. For international travel, please visit the US Department of State Travel Advisories page and enter your destination. GSCTX will not approve travel to locations listed as Level 4, regardless of whether this advisory level is related to COVID-19 or other factors.

What do I need to know to plan international troop travel, including cruises?

Domestic and international travel is permitted as long as the destination allows visitors from the home country/state/county/city and is not listed as a Level 4 travel risk. Groups should check the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories and CDC Travel Recommendations for international destinations and cruises.

Groups will need to demonstrate that the destination permits visitors from the United States and/or the State of Texas.

Travel to destinations listed by the US Department of State as Level 4 travel risk will not be approved, regardless of whether this designation is due to COVID-19 or other factors.

Additional information for Girl Scouts traveling abroad can be found on the GSUSA travel page.

What is a tagalong?

Tagalongs are defined as any child (sibling, friend, etc.) that does not meet the specific requirements for participation in the event or who does not wish to participate, regardless of eligibility. Tagalongs are not able to be covered under Girl Scout insurance. All tagalongs in attendance must have a completed Tagalong Release of Liability Waiver.

My troop travel roster includes non-member children that can participate in the troop's activities. Are there any additional procedures I need to follow?

If your ATA includes siblings or other non-member children that are able to participate in the activities, they are not considered tagalongs. They should be included in your troop travel roster as non-member children. Additional accident/injury insurance will need to be purchased to cover non-members for the duration of your trip or event.

I do not have a Windows computer and am not able to download the Excel file for the Troop Travel Roster. What can I do?

To submit your Troop Travel Roster with a Mac/Linux computer:

  • Download the Participant/Travel Roster
  • Open Google Sheets
  • Start a new spreadsheet and select Blank
  • Select File and then Import
  • Under Import File, select the Upload tab
  • Drag the Participant/Travel Roster file into this field
  • Select Import Data to complete the upload
  • Once you have completed the roster, select File and then Download, and then Microsoft Excel (.xlsx)
When do I need to purchase additional insurance for my troop travel or gathering? Who is covered?

Every registered Girl Scout youth member and registered adult volunteer in the Girl Scout Movement is automatically covered under the basic plan for an approved and supervised activity lasting two consecutive nights or less. You will require additional insurance if:

  • The event or troop travel lasts two consecutive nights or less and includes non-member minor children who are actively able to participate in the same activities as the Girl Scouts in attendance.
  • The event or troop travel lasts three or more consecutive nights.
  • The event or troop travel includes international travel, including cruises, regardless of the length of the trip.

As of October 1, 2021, GSCTX requires any adult participating with a troop or attending an event as a Girl Scout adult volunteer to have a current year Girl Scout membership and a current/eligible criminal background check (CBC).

What training courses/certifications do I need for my ATA?

For information on Girl Scout training courses and requirements, please visit our training page. Certifications typically required for ATAs include:

CPR/First Aid

  • CPR/first aid certifications typically expire two years from the date the course is taken, but this may vary by provider.
  • CPR/first aid classes completed entirely online do not satisfy Girl Scout requirements for certification as they do not offer enough opportunity to practice and receive feedback on technique.
  • Your troop’s adult first aider is required to have both the CPR and First Aid trainings, not one without the other.

Let’s Go! 1 Out and About

  • This course trains volunteers to lead Girl Scouts on adventures including field trips, basic day hikes, and simple overnights in buildings with their own heat source, electricity, and running water.
  • This course is required for day trips and overnights in climate-controlled environments (buildings/RV Campers).

Let’s Go! 2 Food, Fire, and Fun

  • This course trains volunteers to build fires, cook a simple one-pot meal, and make s’mores. 
  • This course is required if you are planning on building a campfire and/or cooking food over your fire. 

Let’s Go! 3 Outdoor Skills

  • This course trains volunteers to expand their horizons and move out of buildings and into the outdoors. Participants will learn the eight basic camping skills, how to include the Girl Scouts in planning, budgeting, packing for an overnight trip, safety, fire-building, cooking, sanitation, and many other activities.
  • This course is required for overnight trips in an outdoor setting and for cooking more extensive meals over an open fire.

Let’s Go! the Extra Mile

  • This online course prepares the Girl Scouts and their advisers to explore beyond their local region and plan for trips that are national and even international. It provides more information about budgeting for larger trips, how to plan for accommodations and travel, and other pertinent information.

This course is required for travel more than two days and three nights, whether it’s in-state, regional, national, or international.

Do my training/certifications expire?

CPR/first aid certifications expire two years from the date the course is taken (although this may vary by provider).

Let's Go! 1 expires every three years. The course is available online through our gsLearn platform.

 

Troop Support - Registration

How do I register or renew my troop members?

To register a new member to your troop: Log into myGS and go to your troop roster. Scroll to the bottom of the roster and click on Register a new Troop Member. Follow the prompts.

To renew: Log into myGS, go to My Account, and then My Troop(s). Under Member Details, check the boxes on the left of each person you wish to renew. Alternately, if all members are renewing, check Select All at the top of the girl and adult rosters. If you are unsure if someone is planning to return, leave the check box blank. If you know that someone is definitely not planning to return, you can check Not Returning next to their name. Scroll to the top of the Member Details section and click on the green Renew button to continue to the payment screen.

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 caregiver 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 member is not returning, or is unsure if they will return to the troop next year?

If a member is joining a different troop, you can choose to renew their membership and then have the receiving leader submit a Troop Updates and Transfers Form. If you choose not to renew their membership, leave the check box next to their name blank when you renew your other troop members.

If you are unsure if a member is planning to return, leave the check box next to their name blank when you renew your other troop members.

If you know that a member is definitely not continuing as a Girl Scout, you can check the Not Returning box next to their name. Note: Once Not Returning has been checked, the member will not be able to renew online until they contact council to reset the renew option. The Not Returning checkbox should only be selected if the member is not planning to return at all.

What if a member did not participate in the current year, but would like to participate next year?

If they are not currently registered and did not participate for the current year, they can contact us.

What happens after I renew the troop?

You will receive an itemized email receipt. The caregiver of each Girl Scout will also receive a renewal notification email, and this email will ask the caregiver 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! You can also connect with our recruitment team for additional ways you can help inspire others to renew or join.

Can I renew a 12th grade graduating Girl Scout as an adult or purchase a Lifetime Membership for them?

Current GSCTX Girl Scout Ambassadors who are graduating high school and/or bridging to Adult Girl Scouts can renew as adults or purchase their Young Alum Lifetime Membership through their, or their caregiver’s, myGS account. Once logged in, both should show as membership options if they are eligible.

If the option is not available, or you have difficulty, please contact us.

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

If a friend wants to join a specific troop, ask their caregiver to visit our Join Page. As long as the troop has openings available, prospective members will find the troop in the participation catalog. To make it easy for someone to find a specific troop in the participation catalog, make sure they have the five-digit troop number (ex. Troop 12345 or Troop 00012). The system will then walk the caregiver through the steps to becoming a member.

Alternatively, the troop leader can log into their myGS account, click on My Troop(s) in the left navigation bar, choose the troop, click on the link on bottom of the troop roster Invite Friends to join your troop,  fill out the form with email addresses, and submit the request.  A direct link to the troop registration page will be sent. The troop URL link can also be found in the troop catalog. After searching for the troop, you can find the URL icon above the troop number on the troop tile. Clicking the icon will copy the URL to the clipboard so it can be shared by email or text message.

One of the adults volunteered to help with my troop! How can I add their volunteer role?

If the adult is already a registered member and listed on your troop roster, you can add a volunteer role for them. Click on the Edit Details link to the right of the volunteer's name. Scroll down and you will see the volunteer’s current role(s) in the troop, click on Add a New Role. You will then be taken to a list of volunteer roles within your troop. Select the appropriate volunteer role by marking the check 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 Criminal Background Check (CBC) on file for that volunteer. If not, the system will automatically authorize Sterling 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 volunteers?

Because a 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 participation catalog. Volunteers do not necessarily need to be the caregivers of the members in the troop; however, all adult volunteers need to pass the background screening process. If adults don’t voluntarily select a role for themselves when they register online, and the troop needs leadership, service unit registrars, service unit directors, service unit leads, or GSCTX staff will contact them directly to offer them volunteer opportunities.

Should caregivers register as members?

Caregivers do not need to register for membership. However, if you plan to attend a member-only event, or if you directly participate in a troop, you will need to register for Girl Scouts. If you need to renew your membership, go to myGS. If you are registering as a new member, visit our Volunteer Page for more information on ways you can be involved.

As of October 1, 2021, GSCTX requires any adult participating with a troop or attending an event as a Girl Scout adult volunteer to have a current year Girl Scout membership and a current/eligible criminal background check (CBC).

What happens if members don't renew by September 30?

Members are encouraged to renew as early as April 1 for the upcoming membership year. If members do not renew by September 30, their spots will open up and will be shown as openings in the participation catalog beginning October 1. Please consider renewing all members, even those who are undecided. Members who wait to renew between October 1 and April 1 may renew to their current troop if there are openings.

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

If a member insists that they are registered and is not listed on your troop roster, they may have been registered to a former troop or to another troop in your area. Contact us and we will look up the member in the GSCTX database to see if they are registered. If they are not registered to the right troop, we will ensure that the member is put into the correct troop.

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

All troop transfer requests should be submitted by using the Troop Updates and Transfers Form.  This form will expedite member 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 the Troop Updates and Transfers Form if:

  • You are one of the troop leaders receiving the Girl Scout member
  • You are the service unit director, service unit registrar, or service unit lead of membership and volunteer support overseeing the troop in your service unit that is receiving the Girl Scout member
  • You are a GSCTX staff member
  • You are a caregiver requesting a transfer of any family member to the Independently Registered Girl (IRG) troop in your service unit (Independently Registered Girls 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 caregiver requesting a transfer of any family member to a different troop, as we will still need to hear from the 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 service unit director, service unit registrar, or service unit lead of membership and volunteer support, or the appropriate GSCTX staff member.
How do I update an address after I, or one of my troop members, moves?

You can update basic contact information and the school attended for your household or troop members through the My Household or My Troop(s) tab on your myGS account. Just click on the Edit Details link to the right of each member's name.

 

Troop Support - Participation Catalog

What information is listed in the participation catalog for my troop?

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. To edit or update the information for your troop, please submit a Troop Update Form.

How can I view open troops in the participation catalog?

To view the participation catalog, visit the Registration Landing Page. To see troop openings, select Find Troops. To see volunteer openings, select Volunteer.

Does the participation 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 five Girl Scouts. Troops cannot opt-out of the participation catalog until they have a minimum of 5 Girl Scouts.

We recommend 12 Girl Scouts and/or openings per troop for grades K-5. We recommended 10 Girl Scouts and/or opening per troop for grades 6-12.

If you have room for more members, 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 participation catalog. Troop size can also be changed by submitting a  Troop Update Form .

How do I update the participation catalog information for my troop?

A troop leader can update some information that appears in the participation catalog themselves. When you're logged in to myGS, click on My Troop(s) in the left navigation, select the correct troop, and click Edit Meeting Details. Please update all of the information. The following information updates as soon as you click Save: meeting location, meeting day, frequency, start and end time.

To update other information including program level, grade, desired number of Girl Scouts in the troop, affiliation, and open volunteer roles, you will need to submit a Troop Update form.

If I have an opening mid-year in my troop, how do I share the vacancy using the participation catalog?

The participation 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 1 of each membership year in order for all inputs to be incorporated by our spring renewal launch. Put troop vacancies on display in the participation catalog by completing the Troop Update Form. For example, if the desired number of Girls Scouts is 12 but there are only 10 Girl Scouts in the troop, two vacancies would be displayed in the participation catalog until those spots are filled. Once spring renewal registration starts, spots for all existing members for the next membership year will be reserved until September 30.

What if I don't know the new member 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 caregivers will enroll their Girl Scouts in the area where they live or near the school they attend. When a new member 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 participation catalog?

Yes. Troop leaders can specify if their troop is closed and will not accept additional members (must have a minimum of five Girl Scout youth members). Troops that are full will not show on the participation catalog.

Can I close enrollment to my troop?

As long as there are two unrelated adults as the troop leaders and a minimum of five Girl Scout youth members, a troop leader can decide when to close their troop enrollment.

How do I find service unit volunteer positions in the participation catalog?

The majority of service unit (SU) leadership positions are listed in the participation catalog by zip code – service unit event coordinator, service unit school organizer, service unit team member, etc.  However, service unit director, treasurer, registrar, leads, cookie manager, fall product manager, cookie booth manager, cookie warehouse manager, and Scout House manager are appointed positions. Appointed service unit positions are not listed in the participation catalog and a volunteer needs to work with their membership staff to be designated in appointed roles.

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 and Transfer Form. GSCTX staff will do their best to accommodate the request by activating a desired troop number in the membership database.

 

Troop Support - Troop Organization

What are the steps to start a troop?

To get started and connect with membership staff from your area, select Create a Troop from the registration landing page or contact us.

In order to start a troop, leaders must:

  1. Be a registered member of Girl Scouts.
  2. Complete a criminal background check.
  3. Start your online training.
  4. Secure a second leader.
  5. Request a troop number.
  6. Open a bank account.
  7. Decide when & where to meet.
  8. Work with council and service unit to recruit new members.
  9. Hold meetings & have fun!

For more information, check out our Leader Guide!

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

Troops can have multiple grade levels, but Girl Scouts must participate in activities that are appropriate for their level of Girl Scouting. For example, Brownies in your troop need to work on Brownie badges and journeys while Daisies work on Daisy petals and journeys. The appropriate adult-to-girl ratio needs to be met for the grade level of 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 Troop Leader Training learning path, 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. A troop may have as many leaders as desired, but they must all have completed the same requirements. To maintain an acceptable adult-to-girl 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 Scout’s leadership experience. However, the troop will require that two unrelated adults are leaders, and at least one must be female. All must be registered members and have a cleared background check on file.

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?

Service units communicate meeting dates and times through a variety of avenues such as email, text, phone calls, and social media. Your membership staff will also have service unit meeting information, so please contact us if you have questions.

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

Membership staff should be informed of the troop leader’s decision to resign. If a replacement troop leader cannot be identified and there are Girl Scouts still interested in troop participation, staff, service unit leadership, and the resigning troop leader will work together to place Girl Scouts in another open troop.

The retiring troop leader should transfer all supplies, financial records, debit card, check book, bank account information, and materials to the new leader or service unit leadership. The retiring troop leader will need to submit a Bank Account Request form to authorize the new leader as a signer of the troop account. Be aware that individual bank policies may vary. Please contact us 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 member who has met the requirements for membership, including payment of membership dues, insurance coverage becomes effective the date the troop leader is identified as a leader in the GSCTX database.

How long are troop meetings?

The length of a troop meeting depends on several factors including the age of the Girl Scouts, 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, business, activities, clean-up, and closing and lasts approximately one to 1.5 hours. 

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 members. A meeting place should be free or low-cost, large enough to accommodate the whole group, available for your meeting dates/times, safe and clean, have toilets, be allergen free, and accessible to members with disabilities. You might consider choosing meeting rooms at schools, libraries, places of worship, community buildings, childcare facilities, and local businesses. For older troops, you can also rotate meetings at coffee shops, bookstores, and other places where they enjoy spending time.

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

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

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

Please refer to Volunteer Essentials: Engaging Girls & Families. You may specifically refer to the sections on Creating a Safe Space for Girls, Communicating Effectively with Girls of Any Age, and When Sensitive Topics Come Up. If you feel you need more support, please reach out to your service unit leadership or membership staff.

 

Troop Support - Volunteer Toolkit (VTK)

What is the Volunteer Toolkit (VTK)?

The Volunteer Toolkit (VTK) is an online tool designed for all program levels to support troop leaders in planning and delivering a troop meeting, which can help you lead in less time and make it easier to delegate to other volunteers. Depending on activities chosen, it supplies plans, materials needed, and even helps you schedule meetings and communicate with families to keep them involved and informed. It also makes it easy to check the calendar and schedule your troop for events. 

Are multi-level troops supported by VTK?

Volunteer Toolkit is multi-level troop friendly.

Troops that are listed as multi-level can access Volunteer Toolkit and all the badges/year plans available!

 

Troop Support – Girl Scout Programming and Leadership Experience

What will a member do as a Girl Scout?

After joining Girl Scouts, a member can participate in any of the council's activities and events which are age appropriate. Girl Scouts will have opportunities to meet new friends, try new things, work toward badges, learn to make a difference in their community, hone business skills, explore nature, solve issues they care about, and so much more.

The Girl Scout leadership Journey programs and the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting are the heart of the Girl Scout program. They help members 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 Journeys help Girl Scouts learn about themselves and the world around them and how to take action to make the world a better place. A Girl Scout can experience these programs as an individual or in a troop that decides as a group what activities to engage in.

For more information on badges and journeys, please visit the Badges and Journeys section of our website.

For council-led activities and events, please visit our Event Calendar.

How do I learn more about new program content from GSUSA?

New program content is constantly being created! To learn more about new badges and journeys, and to find answers to other questions you may have, check out the Badges and Journeys Page

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

Girl Scouts has a rich history, wonderful traditions, and inspiring stories for you to share with the members 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 Girl Scouts of every grade level take an active role in determining what, where, when, why, and how they will structure activities, although leaders and adult members may provide guidance appropriate to their age. Girl-led processes encourage Girl Scouts 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 detailing Girl Scout history and traditions, a chart of all earnable awards, and a chart of badges available at each Girl Scout level, as well as badge requirements at the appropriate level for several badges.

When planning activities, what should be considered?

Please refer to safety section of Volunteer Essentials. These resources include information on how to plan activities within a troop meeting and travel activities outside of a troop meeting. When planning activities, please consider the abilities of each member and the progression of skills from the easiest part to the most difficult.

What is a Journey series?

A Journey series is a four-to-eight-week series of related activities around a theme. Journeys can also be condensed into a weekend or week-long activity. For more information, check out our Badges and Journey page.

How can I deliver a quality Girl Scout Leadership Experience?

More information can be found in Volunteer Essentials on the Girl Scout Experience page

What can leaders do to help the troop 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 Girl Scouts. 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 Girl Scouts 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 Girl Scouts take action, they team up with others in an effort to solve a problem and create long-lasting change. When Girl Scouts 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. Take action projects always include a plan for sustainability. 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 Girl Scout work on badges, Journeys, and awards without their troop?

Yes, a Girl Scout may independently work on badges, Journeys, and awards without their troop or while being an Independently Registered Girl (IRG). If your Girl Scout is in a traditional troop and works on these projects without their troop, work with the troop leader to document completion of these achievements.

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 Girl Scouts 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, Girl Scouts apply to, and are selected by, the sponsoring council. For international events, Girl Scouts apply to, and are selected by, GSUSA. For more information, visit the Destinations page.

What is Volunteer Essentials?

Volunteer Essentials is a resource for volunteers which details the policies and procedures of Girl Scouts of Central Texas and Girl Scouts of the United States of the USA. 

 

Troop Support - Safety and Insurance

Where can I find the safety guidelines for a troop?
What are Safety Activity Checkpoints?

Safety Activity Checkpoints are a resource for volunteers which provides general and specific guidelines to ensure that members can participate in a safe, high quality Girl Scout Leadership Experience. These can be found within the safety section of Volunteer Essentials.

What should I do in the case of an emergency during a troop activity?

Troop volunteers should refer to the incident reporting guidelines  in Volunteer Essentials for handling of emergency situations.

Can volunteers who work in the healthcare field serve as first aiders?

Yes. Healthcare providers may serve as Level 1 or Level 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/first aid classes? Does online CPR/first aid training fulfill GSCTX requirements?

GSCTX encourages volunteers to take advantage of CPR/first aid 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 Health Institute) card. Try to take age-specific CPR training - take child CPR classes if you’re working with younger Girl Scouts and take adult CPR classes when working with older Girl Scouts and adults.

CPR/first aid training that is available entirely online does not fulfill Girl Scout’s 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.

GSCTX liability insurance defends all adults from law suits, as long as they 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.

There are additional insurance options that can be purchased for events or travel. To get an estimate and/or request additional insurance, visit our insurance page.

Where is the insurance form (Mutual of Omaha)?

To get an estimate and/or request additional insurance, click here.

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

Up to 13 months of insurance coverage is provided for new members registered in the month of September. For a new member who has met the requirements for membership, including payment of membership dues, insurance coverage becomes effective the date the troop leader is identified as a leader in the GSCTX database.

 

Troop Support - Bank Accounts

What is involved in a bank account request?

The Bank Account Request Form can be submitted by a troop volunteer (typically troop leader or troop treasurer) to request any of the following actions:

  • Open a bank account
  • Change a bank account (only to be used for changing signers)
  • Close a bank account (to be used for retiring troops and/or changing banks)

After approval of the bank account request, the troop volunteer (with the service unit leadership copied) will receive a bank account letter, along with the most recent board resolution letter, via email. Bank account signers are instructed to meet at the bank and take one copy of the approval letter to the bank in order to complete the process.

Are there different forms for troop bank accounts and service unit bank accounts?

No. The Bank Account Request Form may be used for both service unit and troop bank account requests.

How many cards are issued for a troop and/or service unit bank account?

Two debit cards may be issued for troop and service unit bank accounts.

Will there be service charges toward my troop and/or service unit bank account?

Girl Scouts of Central Texas, as a non-profit organization, will request that the bank or credit union waive service charges on Girl Scout accounts.

What are the requirements for signers on a troop bank account?
  • All signers must be registered Girl Scouts and have a current criminal background check.
  • Each account must have a minimum of three signers.
  • Two of the signers should be troop volunteers (often troop leader or troop treasurer).
  • One of the signers must be a service unit volunteer.
  • Signers must not be related to one another or living in the same household.
  • Signers cannot have their personal bank accounts linked to their troop bank account.
  • The account must be titled: “Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Troop #####”.
What are the requirements for signers on a service unit bank account?
  • All signers must be registered Girl Scouts, have a current criminal background check, and have an active service unit level role.
  • Each account must have a minimum of two signers.
  • Signers must not be related to one another or living in the same household.
  • Signers cannot have their personal bank accounts linked to their service unit bank account.
  • The account must be titled: “Girl Scouts of Central Texas, Service Unit ###”.
I am changing signers on my troop's/service unit's bank account. Where can I list the signer(s) I want removed?

Please utilize the “additional information” field at the end of the Bank Account Request Form to indicate which signer(s) will be removed and which signer(s) will be added to the account.

My troop is disbanding and I need to close our bank account. What should I do first?
  • Before submitting a Bank Account Request Form to close out your bank account, be sure to submit a Troop Updates and Transfers Form to request that your troop be retired in the database. Any active members remaining in your troop will be transferred out with the help of GSCTX membership staff.
  • Once the troop is officially retired in the database, you may submit your Bank Account Request Form. The requestor will need the name, address, and phone number for at least two signers listed on the Girl Scout bank account.
  • During the processing period, the service unit leadership will be informed of the request to close a Girl Scout bank account.
  • Once the form is processed by GSCTX, the requestor and service unit leadership will receive a bank account letter, along with the most recent board resolution letter, via email. The designated person should take account closure authorization paperwork to the bank to close the account.
  • If closing the bank account and there are still funds present, please follow the guidelines for division of funds listed in the managing troop funds section of Volunteer Essentials.
  • The troop treasurer will gather bank statements, receipts, unused checks and complete a final annual Troop Financial Report for submission within 30 days of account closure. The final annual Troop Financial Report must have a final bank statement attached showing a $0 ending balance.
My troop is not disbanding but I need to close our bank account because we are changing banks. What should I do first?
  • Submit the Bank Account Request Form and utilize the “additional information” field at the end of the form to indicate that you are not retiring your troop but instead changing banks.
  • After approval of the close Bank Account Request Form, the troop volunteer and service unit leadership will receive a bank account letter, along with the most recent board resolution letter, via email. Bank account signers are instructed to meet at the bank and take one copy of the approval letter to the bank in order to complete the process.
  • Once your bank account has been closed out at the previous bank, you are eligible to submit another Bank Account Request Form to open a new bank account.
I am closing a bank account for a troop that retired before the current membership year and my signers do not have an active membership or background check. What do I do?

In the case of account closure, it is understood that the number of people needed to close the account may be less than when opening or changing an account.

As long as a service unit volunteer with an active membership and current background check is requesting the account closure, they will be added to the close bank account letter as an approved signer so the bank will accept their authorization to close the bank account.

If your bank requires additional information, please contact us for assistance.

 

Troop Finance

Can my troop participate in additional money earning programs?

Yes. Troops may participate in additional money earning activities if other conditions are met. Daisies are not permitted to participate in additional money earning programs. For more information visit Volunteer Essentials or the money-earning request page.

I have members transferring to other troops? Does the money they have raised go with them?

First guiding principle: Troop funds collected and earned by the members belong to the troop never belong to one individual, and should never be distributed to the individuals in any form.

Please see Volunteer Essentials for further guidelines on transferring and splitting troop finances.

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

First guiding principle: Troop funds collected and earned by the members belong to the troop never belong to one individual and should never be distributed to the individuals in any form.

A troop may disband when the members in the troop have reached the maximum age for Girl Scout troop participation (grade 12) and are graduating from high school, or when the entire troop decides not to continue in Girl Scouts. Troop members should vote on how the remaining funds in the troop account will be spent. Please see Volunteer Essentials for further guidelines on using or transferring remaining funds.

The troop leader should complete the following steps:

Step 1 – Work with membership staff to move all registered members to new troops or to IRG status (to finish out membership year, since a troop won’t be marked as retired in the system as long as there are individuals with active memberships listed in the troop).
Step 2 – Submit the Troop Update Form to mark the troop as retired in the system.
Step 3 – Submit the Bank Account Request Form to officially close the bank account.
Step 4 – Close the account at the bank (in conjunction with service unit leadership).
Step 5 – Turn in all assets, together with financial reports, cancelled checks, and all unused checks to the service unit leadership. If Girl Scouts from the disbanded troop continue in a new troop, all assets are apportioned between the treasuries of each new troop as described in Volunteer Essentials. The service unit team, pending reorganization of the troop, will hold assets for members not continuing in Girl Scouting for a period of 90 days. If reorganization does not occur, the assets will be used in the interest of Girl Scouting in the service unit. The service unit team will determine use.
Step 6 – Complete a final Troop Financial Report.

May I accept donations (sponsorships) to my troop?

Youth 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, the leader or treasurer should consult Volunteer Essentials for current guidelines and procedures. To report donations or in-kind services/items, complete a Money-Earning, Fundraising, or Sponsorships Application/Report.

One of the adults in my troop works for an employer that offers matching gifts and volunteer service hours. How do they 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. Leaders should consult Volunteer Essentials for current guidelines and procedures related to corporate or volunteer matches. 

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

The troop should submit a Money-Earning, Fundraising, or Sponsorships Application/Report to request approval.

What can Girl Scouts use Program Credits for?

Program Credits earned by members through their participation in the cookie program may be used for approved service unit events, troop trips, GSUSA Destination trips, GSCTX council sponsored trips, council events, GSCTX camp, and/or the GSCTX shop. For more information, visit our Program Credit page.

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 members 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?

Typically, a troop selects the uniform pieces they wish to wear (for example, sash versus vest) and determines whether Girl Scouts will wear full uniform or only certain uniform pieces.

If you have specific questions regarding uniform pieces, the GSCTX shop staff are very knowledgeable and carry everything needed for each level of Girl Scouting. The GSCTX shop (austinshop@gsctx.org) offers shipping, and orders can be placed over the phone or via e-mail. There is also an online shop through GSUSA in New York.

Does the GSCTX shop carry Girl Scout t-shirts and other items besides uniforms?

The shop carries the full line of core items like uniforms and badges, and they also carry Girl Scout and Girl Scouts of Central Texas t-shirts, 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 shop carries cookie selling support items such as cookie t-shirts, cookie booth items, yard signs, buttons, and other tools to help Girl Scouts reach their sales goals.

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

The online shop sales also benefit the Girl Scouts of Central Texas 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 GSCTX shop can ship items. Send an email to austinshop@gsctx.org to place an order.

Can I use Program Credit online?

GSCTX Program Credits cannot be used on the GSUSA online shop. However, the GSCTX shop is able to process your order and ship if you cannot get to a GSCTX shop. Remember GSCTX Program Credits can be used for troop trips, GSUSA Destination trips, GSCTX council sponsored trips, council events, GSCTX camp, and/or the GSCTX shop.

 

Product Program (includes Cookies)

How do Individually Registered Girls (IRG) participate in fall/cookie product programs?

Individually Registered Girls (IRG) can participate in product programs. Reach out to your service unit fall product manager or service unit cookie manager for more information.

What is the Fall Product Program?

The Fall Product Program allows Girl Scouts the opportunity to sell nuts, candy, magazines, and more! Troops earn start-up funds: 35 percent on nut and candy items; $2 for each magazine subscription.

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. Girl Scouts 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 Girl Scout have to sell cookies?

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the world. Through this program, Girl Scouts learn entrepreneurial and financial literacy skills including decision making, goal setting, money management, people skills, and business ethics. In addition, Girl Scouts have the opportunity to earn Program Credits, which they can use to pay for program materials in the council shop, GSCTX programs and camps, and troop travel. However, Girl Scouts and caregivers 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/caregivers should not contact any possible booth location(s); all location(s) are obtained by the service unit cookie manager or service unit booth manager.

What is the Cookie Captain Program?

The Cookie Captain Program provides service-oriented Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors with 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 five 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 and our cookie captain pin.

What are Program Credits?

Program Credits are credits that Girl Scouts earn during our cookie program. They can be used for approved troop trips, GSUSA or GSCTX Destinations, GSCTX-sponsored trips, GSCTX events/programs, GSCTX camp, and/or the GSCTX shop. Our Program Credits page has more information.

What should Girl Scouts do when earning money for their troop outside of council-sponsored product program?

When additional forms of money earning are needed, troops should follow the money earning guidelines found in the Troop Finances section of Volunteer Essentials and complete the Money-Earning, Fundraising, or Sponsorships Application/Report.

What should Girl Scouts do when earning money for their troop outside of council-sponsored product program? What can a troop leader do if a Girl Scout is not participating in the cookie program?

There are several ways a Girl Scout can participate in the cookie program even if they choose not to sell cookies, such as by making signs, leading a calling campaign, helping with pickup and delivery, and participating in the troop’s cookie booths. It is important to remember that all troop proceeds are for the entire troop, not just the Girl Scouts who sold product.

My Girl Scout sold over enough boxes of cookies to earn a free week of camp. How do we redeem it?

Congratulations to your Girl Scout. We know how much effort your family and you must have put in to support them reaching their cookie goal.

In order to register your Girl Scout for their free week of standard camp, please visit our camps page on the website. From there, you can view our camp guide and all camp registration information. We recommend that you register your Girl Scout as early as possible for the best camp selection. Note that you will be required to pay a $50.00 deposit to register; this deposit will be fully refunded.  If the $50.00 deposit presents a financial hardship to your family, please contact us for assistance.

 

Summer Camp (Resident and Day)

How do I register for summer camp?

Prior to registering for summer camp, please make sure to fully review the Summer Camp Guide.

Registration for 2023 summer camp will be in the gsEvents platform. More details will be available in winter 2022.

What forms do I need to complete before camp?

Health forms and caregiver guides will be emailed to all campers who are registered for summer camp several weeks prior to their camp session. These forms are also included in the Additional Documents section in your camp registration in myGS.

All camp forms must be completed and brought to camp to be collected at check-in. Do not mail or email them. This includes health forms and waivers. Additional staff will be available during camp check-in to help with the process.

If a session is full, can my camper get on a waitlist?

Yes. GSCTX summer camps have limited waitlists for camp sessions.

Registrants will need to pay the $50 deposit to hold their spot on the waitlist. If the registrant does not move from the waitlist into the camp session, the deposit will be refunded.

During the initial phase of registration, all campers will be limited to one week of camp which includes waitlists. Anyone registered for more than one week of camp (registered or waitlisted), will have all but the first registration canceled without notification.

Is there financial assistance for summer camp?

Yes. If you need financial assistance for your camper to attend summer camp, please complete the Financial Partnership Form, selecting Financial Partnership for GSCTX Summer Camp.

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

If you have more questions regarding financial assistance, please check the Financial Partnership page or contact us.

Can I use my Girl Scout’s Program Credits to pay for camp?

Yes. If your Girl Scout has Program Credits that they earned from the cookie program and would like to use it to help pay for their camp session, please complete the Girl Scout Program Credits Request Form. Once completed, it will be automatically sent to our events & reservations department for processing. We will send you an email after it has been applied.

Please note, Girl Scout Program Credit cannot be used for camp deposits.

What is the cancellation/refund policy?

Girl Scouts of Central Texas requires written notification for all cancellation requests. Cancellation requests received more than two weeks before the start of the camp session will be refunded minus the $50 non-refundable deposit. Cancellation requests received less than two weeks prior to the start of the camp session are not eligible for a refund of any fees paid unless there is a medical reason for the cancellation and a note from a medical provider is provided. All requests can be sent to customercare@gsctx.org.

Official cancellation/camp closing:

Caregivers are notified by phone if camp is officially closed due to severe weather conditions, emergency repairs, etc. (may be on a last-minute basis). An alternate date or full refund will be offered.

No refund will be issued if camp is not officially closed and a camper chooses not to participate for any reason.

Does my camper need to be a Girl Scout to attend camp?

Yes. If your camper is not a registered Girl Scout, they will need to purchase a Girl Scout membership prior to registering for camp. New members may join through the registration portal, or former members can login to myGS and renew their membership.

Can I register my camper for a camp session that is designated for Girl Scouts older/younger than they are?

No. Camp coordinators and staff 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. The gsEvents registration system will not allow you to register a camper for a session that does not match the grade level in their Girl Scout profile. If your camper’s grade level is incorrect in their profile, please contact us immediately to have it corrected.

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

With proper hydration, campers have a safe, enjoyable summer camp experience. Staff encourage all campers to drink plenty of water throughout the day. All program areas have access to shade.

Campers swim at least once each day and have down time after lunch where they can rest in their air-conditioned lodging. If lodging does not have air conditioning, campers can enjoy activities in a building that does. At times, campers can play water games or even get an extra session in the water. We encourage campers staying in non-air-conditioned units to bring a small, portable fan to help them keep cool.

 

Weekend Camping

How do I make a reservation for weekend camping?

Troop Campouts

Our weekend camping season runs from September through the first weekend in May. Reservations for the upcoming season typically open on May 1.

You can make a reservation for your troop to go weekend camping from the weekend camp page of our website. Prior to reserving at Camp Texlake, Camp Kachina, or Zilker Cabin, please read through the Weekend Reservation Guide.

If you are a Girl Scout troop or service unit, you can use our online system, Doubleknot, to make a reservation for Camp TexlakeCamp Kachina, or Zilker Cabin during the months of September through May.

Instructions for making the reservation in Doubleknot can be found on the screen of each camp reservation page.  If you want to default view), or if you have a certain lodging in mind, select Search By Lodging. This view will show you when that lodging or activity is next available.

Service Unit Campouts

Entire Camp reservations for service unit campouts start in April for the season starting that September. Reservation requests can be made by opening a case via the contact us page. Type “Service Unit Campout” in the subject line and supply up to three dates.

Non-Profit Organizations and Local Businesses

If you are not a registered Girl Scout member, please contact us at (800) 733-0011. We will be happy to assist you with lodging and non-member pricing information.

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

We offer a variety of activities at Camp Kachina and Camp Texlake. All activities are offered a la carte. Troop leaders will be able to select the activity and the exact session time they want during the registration process so that you can better plan your day. A list of all the activities can be found in the Weekend Reservation Guide. Our general activities are offered in 50-minute sessions.

Some activities are considered special activities and have longer session times and different start times than the general activities. These include horse riding, kayaking, climbing wall, challenge course, high ropes, and zip line. These activities are offered in 80-minute sessions.

We recommend no more than three general activities and one special activity for troops who have weekend reservations. If you want to participate in more than one special activity in addition to general activities, we recommend no more than one or two general activities. It is important to be aware of the start times and session lengths of all your activities when planning your schedule. We recommend that troop leaders plan out their schedule before beginning the reservation process. Be sure to allow time to get from one activity to another and allow time for your group to relax and rest.

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

We recommend reserving passes for as many participants as you think will attend. Estimate on the high end since it is easier to release passes than order more later in the season when they may no longer be available. You can adjust the numbers up to 21 days prior to your campout. Any deposits paid for extra passes will be applied to your camp balance.

Can adults participate in camp activities?

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

My Girl Scout has special dietary needs, can we still purchase a meal pass?

Yes. Our camps are able to handle gluten free and vegetarian diets. You can notify us of any dietary requirements during the reservation process. We require notification of the request no later than two weeks prior to your camp out. After that time, we cannot guarantee that we can accommodate the special request.

Are weekend camping reservations only available to Girl Scout members?

Non-member groups are welcome to make reservations at our facilities. However, if their reservation is on a weekend, they must reserve the entire camp. We do not allow non-member groups to share the camp with our Girl Scout troops. Reservations for less than the entire camp may be made during the week only. To request a reservation for a non-member group, contact us.

Can I see photos of the camp facilities?

Photos of individual lodgings are available during the reservation process if you click on more at the end of each lodging's description. You may also call our events & reservations department at (800) 733-0011 or view our Weekend Reservation Guide for more information.

How do I pay the balance due on my camp reservation?

You can pay your balance from any one of the emails you receive from Doubleknot. On the initial email receipt, or any payment reminder email you have received, scroll down towards the bottom. Under the yellow section is a link to make payment. Alternately, you can go directly to Doubleknot and log in.

Once logged in:

  • You will see an upcoming payments section with all registrations with outstanding balances listed.
  • Click Pay Now next to the event you would like to pay for.
  • Click Checkout.
  • Enter your payment information and click Make Payment.
What is the cancellation/refund policy?

Cancellation Policy

If you would like to cancel a camp reservation, cancellation requests must be received in writing 60 days prior to the camp start date in order to receive a full refund.

If the cancellation request is received less than 60 days prior to the start date, your deposit will be forfeited.

If the entire camp has been reserved and more than 25 percent of camp is released, the deposit will be forfeited regardless of when the cancellation request is received.

Any cancellation request received less than 21 days prior to the campout is non-refundable and all fees paid are forfeited.

Changes to Reservation

For troop campouts, any changes to a reservation, including activity passes, must be completed 21 days prior to the reservation date and are subject to availability. We cannot accommodate any changes after that date. For service unit campouts, any change requests should be made 30 days prior to the reservation date.

Payment in full is due 21 days prior to the reservation date.

Official Cancellation/Camp Closing

If camp is closed due to severe weather, emergency repairs, or other circumstances outside our control, the main contact for the reservation will be notified, and an alternate date or full refund will be offered.

No refund will be issued if camp is not officially closed and a camper chooses not to participate for any reason.

Where can I find a map of the campsite?

Maps of Camp Texlake, Camp Kachina, and Zilker Cabin are located in the Weekend Reservation Guide.

What forms do Girl Scouts need to complete before camp?

Troop leaders should submit an Activity and Travel Application (ATA) for their campout. As with any outing, troop leaders should bring all health history forms and permission slips. If Girl Scouts are participating in special activities such as horse riding, ropes courses, climbing wall, and zip line, each Girl Scout must have additional waivers completed. For horse riding, we require the Horse Waiver and for the ropes courses, climbing wall, and zip line we require the High Adventure waiver. These forms will be sent to the main contact for the reservation in advance of your campout. They can also be found on the weekend camping page.

 

Girl Scout Higher Awards

What are the Bronze/Silver/Gold Awards?

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

Then, meet with a Silver Award Consultant (SAC) who works with your service unit or with your Silver Award Manager (SAM) who works with your troop to develop your project idea and proposal.  All Silver Award Projects need to be approved by a SAC or SAM.

Please review the Silver Award page and select Find your Nearest Silver Award Consultant or Manager under the resources tab.

Where can I find my Silver Award Consultant?

Please review the Silver Award page and select Find your Nearest Silver Award Consultant or Manager 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 take the Gold Award Workshop online and complete the evaluation.

All Gold Award projects are approved by the Gold Award Committee (GAC).  If you have questions or need additional assistance, Girl Scouts may email mygoldaward@gsctx.org or use Sign Up Genius to schedule time with the GAC.  

Does GSCTX offer scholarships for Gold Award recipients?

GSCTX offers scholarship opportunities to graduating high school seniors in our council. GSCTX also posts additional scholarship opportunities on our website. For information on how to apply or to view additional opportunities, visit our Scholarships page.

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

Please click on our Awards 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: Girl Scouts have until September 30 of the year they finished grade 8 to submit their final report.

Gold Award: The deadline for Gold Award proposals to be submitted by high school seniors is July 1 and final reports must be submitted by September 30. In order to be included in the spring ceremony, final reports must be submitted and approved by April 1.

How do I get my award letter and pin?

Troop leaders for Bronze Award recipients must submit the Bronze and Silver Award Request form.  Silver Award Consultants must submit the Bronze and Silver Award Request form on behalf of the recipient. Troops are responsible for purchasing their own pins at the Girl Scout shop.