Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes is proud to be part of an organization that has a 100 year + history of being welcoming and inclusive. Our policies of inclusion align with those of our national organization, Girl Scouts of the USA. We value diversity and inclusivity and do not discriminate or recruit on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, national origin, or physical or developmental disability. Through our programming, called the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, girls develop skills to advance diversity and promote tolerance in the twenty-first century.
The safety and support of all of our girls are the top priority. The inclusion of transgender girls is handled at a council level on a case-by-case basis, with all members' welfare and best interests as a top priority. If a girl is recognized by her family, school, and community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.
Should any girl requiring special accommodations wish to camp or participate in an overnight activity, GSNWGL will make accommodations regarding changing, sleeping arrangements, and other related activities. All Girl Scouts are entitled to privacy, and we encourage everyone to practice privacy strategies that include access to private changing spaces and times for all individuals when requested. Members can use the facility they choose (men's, women's, or gender-neutral facilities where available).
Concerning volunteers, Girl Scouts welcomes male and female adult volunteers and has developed appropriate safeguards regarding roles and responsibilities to ensure that girls receive the proper supervision and support.
Girl Scouts of the USA and Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes do not discriminate against LGBT youth or volunteers. We are a welcoming and inclusive organization. We value diversity and inclusivity and do not discriminate or recruit on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, national origin, or physical or developmental disability. The safety of our members is always a priority. All volunteers must pass a careful screening process which includes interviews and a criminal background check.
Girl Scouts of the USA and Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes do not have a relationship or partnership with Planned Parenthood or similar organizations. Girl Scouts is a non-profit, non-political organization and we do not take positions on such topics as reproductive rights or establish partnerships with organizations that might be controversial to our diverse member base. Girl Scouts of the USA and Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes do not advocate one way or another with regard to what we perceive as personal and private issues best handled by families. We believe discussions regarding sexuality, sexual health, and reproductive rights should be between a girl and her caregiver. We do not take a position or develop materials on these issues. We feel our role is to help girls develop self-confidence and good decision-making skills that will help them make wise choices in all areas of their lives.
Parents or guardians make all decisions regarding participation in programs that might be considered of a sensitive nature. Consistent with that belief, our Council directs volunteer leaders, to get written parental permission for any locally planned program that could be considered sensitive.
Girl Scouts is a nonpolitical, nonpartisan organization. We have girls in every zip code representing every political, religious, economic, and ethnic background. And the reason we have been able to serve 59 million girls over the past 100 + years is because we have stayed true to our core beliefs and values and not taken a stand on political issues. The mission of Girl Scouts of the USA is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. This is not political.
Girl Scouts encourages girls to develop connections to their own spiritual and religious beliefs by earning recognitions offered by their faith-based communities and by earning the My Promise, My Faith pin, which helps a girl deepen the connection between the Girl Scout Law and her faith. We support the right of faith leaders to verify that the program delivered to girls in their places of worship is consistent with their faith’s teachings.
Girl Scouts supports girls from all backgrounds and beliefs. We believe that the motivating force in Girl Scouting can be a spiritual one, and we greatly value our longstanding partnerships with religious organizations across many faiths that share the values of the Girl Scout Promise and Law.
Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes has an obligation to its girl members and their families/guardians, volunteers, and staff to maintain a drug-free and alcohol-free environment. We prohibit the use of alcohol or being under the influence of alcohol when carrying out a Girl Scout program or an event where girls are the primary attendees. Alcohol may be served at primarily adult fundraising/donor events or gatherings because it is more geared towards raising the visibility of Girl Scouts from a financial perspective and getting sponsors/donors to support the organization financially. Participation by girls at a fundraising event with the possibility of alcohol consumption by adults must be for the parents to decide. We as a council will make sure all events with alcohol have a proper disclosure. When considering the environments, you place your children in, we ask that all parents recognize that alcohol is the most widely misused substance among America’s youth. Consumption of alcohol by anyone under the age of 21, also known as underage drinking, remains a considerable public health challenge. Adolescent alcohol use is a serious threat to their development and health.
Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes supports and maintains environments free of child abuse and neglect as defined by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. Child abuse and neglect are unlawful acts, and it is against our council’s policy for any adult to physically, sexually, verbally, or mentally abuse or neglect any girl member. Our council reserves the right to refuse membership endorsement or reappointment and to dismiss or to exclude from affiliation with our council any staff or volunteer who threatens the health and welfare of girls. Staff or volunteers witnessing abuse or obtaining information about abuse should promptly inform their local Child Protective Services office. If you need assistance reporting abuse, please call 888.747.6945 for help.
Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes performs a background check on all staff and volunteer applicants. This includes motor vehicle and criminal records. The safety and well-being of Girl Scouts is our top priority.