About Service Areas
GSNWGL is divided into 64 geographic areas known as Service Areas that are managed and staffed by volunteers and have three primary functions:
- To deliver and extend the Girl Scout program to all girls ages 5 - 17 in all socioeconomic, religious and ethnic groups within the jurisdiction
- To give ongoing support to adults who work with girls
- To offer and promote opportunities for troops in the Service Area
Although not required, members of the Service Area usually live within the Service Area's boundaries.
Volunteer positions at the Service Area level fit all skill types and interests. From Service Area Manager (SAM) to Troop Product Program Manager, there's a place for everyone interested in volunteering at this level.
Service Area Leader Meetings (SALMs)
Most Service Areas meet monthly during the school year and all Troop Leaders (01 and 02) are encouraged to attend. If no Troop Leaders can attend, a member of the Troop Committee should attend.
During meetings, Troop Leaders:
- Network with each other
- Give input and help make decisions about Service Area program opportunities for troops
- Receive information from Council staff, community and Service Area
- Receive brief, informal training
- Receive pre-ordered items from the Council Shops
There will be Service Area, Council staff and community information at the Service Area Leader Meetings. At every Service Area Leader Meeting, there are also copies of forms that leaders use the most (these forms are also in The Source - Section F).
The volunteer Service Area Manager (SAM) and the Service Team assume the administrative responsibility of Girl Scouting in the Service Area, working within policies, standards and procedures set by GSUSA and GSNWGL. The Service Team is a group of volunteers recruited by the SAM to help deliver services to girls and volunteers in the Service Area.
Service Team PositionsResources & Orientations
All Service Team appointments are one-year terms with yearly reappointment. All Service Team members are required to attend training for their positions and to attend Service Area Leader Meetings.
In the fall of 2012 GSNWGL launched a survey to ask volunteers about how Service Area Leader Meetings, Service Teams, and council services could better meet their needs. After gathering data and having follow-up conversations with volunteers, we will have conversations with Service Teams about how to put the recommendations into practice for the 2013-2014 troop year.
Here's what volunteers told us:
- Volunteers want training offered in various formats, especially online.
- Overwhelmingly, volunteers want to participate in leader meetings.
- Volunteers need more tools about event planning, journeys and policies/procedures.
- The usability of the web site could improve.
- Volunteers find a lack of volunteers in the Service Area to be a challenge.
- Communication between volunteers and with community development staff members is timely and effective.
- Volunteers read the Connect newsletter and find it relevant to their volunteer roles.
- Overwhelmingly, volunteers want to communicate through personal emails.
- The ways that Service Teams are using their Service Area allocations (the money that GSNWGL allocates to each Service Area to do Service Area work) are terrific. Volunteers shared hundreds of examples of how allocations are being used for the girls and volunteers of their Service Areas.
Click here to see the full results of the survey.