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It’s no secret the leaders of tomorrow are the girl scouts of today – 72% of female U.S. senators and 58% of women serving in the House of Representatives are Girl Scout alums. If you’re a troop leader, the health and safety of your girls is naturally a top priority. By taking the time to familiarize yourself with key health and safety principles, you can successfully create a safe and supportive environment for your troop.
A troop first aider must be present on every overnight trip, as well as any activity held outside your regular venue. Although six out of ten deaths can be prevented with basic first aid, shockingly, only one in twenty people know what to do in a first aid emergency. You can either complete a first aid certification course yourself on your own schedule, or you can find someone already qualified to accompany your trips.
A basic first aid kit should also be available at your meetings and activities (don’t forget to take it on outings, too). If there’s no kit already provided at your meeting space, you’ll need to bring one yourself.
In addition to first aid skills, it’s also important to be aware of the health issues and needs of everyone in your group. So, for example, you’ll need to have up-to-date info on any disabilities, food allergies, and medications. As such, you’ll need to take time to gather this data from the girls’ parents or guardians (you’ll find the necessary forms on the Girl Scouts website).
Similarly, in the Safety Activity Checkpoints manual right from GSUSA, you’ll find key requirements relating to permission slips, adult supervision, transport, and overnight trips – it’s important to review this manual before organizing any trip.
Health and safety should be one of your top priorities as a Girl Scout troop leader. By taking the time to learn first aid and understand your group’s health needs, you can best look after the wellbeing of your girls and make it a group they truly want to be a part of.
Of course beyond there being a adult on trips qualified to do first aid there are also a number of First Aid Girl Scout Badges worth doing with your girls. Here are some ready for your meeting printables to get you started.
Enjoy every minute being a leader and continue to inspire your girls!
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