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About GSNorCal

Girl Scouts of Northern California council serves approximately 41,060 girls and 29,000 adult members in 19 counties in Northern California which include: Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, and Trinity Counties. Each county is further divided into service units, smaller geographic regions in which our communities participate in Girl Scouting together. GSNorCal is the fourth largest council in the country, and we are viewed as leaders by other councils.

Volunteers are welcome to visit whichever office, service center, or retail store is most convenient to them. Staff are assigned to work in offices according to the regional area they serve, but staff members in any office are eager to assist you.

All offices, service centers, and shops are closed on Thursdays. If you need to meet with a staff person on a Thursday, please make an appointment with them.

Please visit the GSNorCal website for hours for all offices, service centers, and stores: www.gsnorcal.org

We have 83 local service units to serve our 19 counties. Service units are led by local volunteers who will be able to assist and support you. Contact Member Services to find out which service unit you belong to. 1-800-447-4475 ext. 0 or info@gsnorcal.org

GSNorCal Publications

Girl Scouts of Northern California offers a variety of publications to inform girls, adults, volunteers, donors, funders, staff, and community partners of our program events, membership plans, and council business. The following is a listing of council publications:

  • Camp Brochure (camps.gsnorcal.org): This brochure houses all available programs for our resident summer camps - Bothin, Skylark Ranch, and Sugar Pine. The brochure is available online in October and is mailed to returning campers, troop leaders and Girl Scout families.
  • The Guide (gsnorcal.org/theguide): The Programs & Events Guide is GSNorCal's annual one-stop-shop for the year's council-run programs. The Guide is published every year in mid-to-late August and is mailed to every Girl Scout family and troop leader.
  • The Trailhead (trailhead.gsnorcal.org): GSNorCal's troop leader and volunteer support blog. From quick and easy tips to fun and creative activity ideas, the Trailhead will provide you with exciting new content every Tuesday and Thursday that will help you on your leadership journey.
  • GSNorCal websites
  • CEO Update: The electronic message from our council CEO, Marina Park, is sent to all registered adults. We publish all previous emails on our website at gsnorcal.org/publications.
  • Volunteer Essentials (ve.gsnorcal.org): This online guide is a great resource for all questions related to Girl Scouting. We call it the encyclopedia to Girl Scout volunteering. The guide is fully digital, searchable and printable.
  • GSNorCal Annual Report (gsnorcal.org/annualreport): Mailed and/or emailed to all donors and available on our council website

*To subscribe or unsubscribe from GSNorCal electronic mailings   www.gsnorcal.org/subscribe

Reporting Concerns

Volunteers and employees are expected to report serious concerns.  Concerns may include:

  • Suspected fraud or questionable or improper accounting
  • Abuse or misuse of the GSNorCal’s resources or assets
  • Dishonest actions or deeds, including theft
  • Suspected conflict of interest
  • Experienced or awareness of harassment or discrimination of any kind
  • Safety concerns, including child endangerment
  • Violations or suspected violations of the Council’s policies
  • Illegal activity

If you become aware of any of the above types of serious concerns, please report them to our Member Services Department at info@gsnorcal.org and we will direct them to the correct person for handling.

If you want to report anonymously, call our confidential third-party automated telephone service, available 24/7 at TellGirlScoutsNorCal@getintouch.com or 877-767-7781.

Handling of Concerns All reports received will be treated seriously and investigated to the extent possible to determine the facts and circumstances. GSNorCal will contact the individual within five business days, if possible. It will not be possible to acknowledge receipt of anonymously submitted concerns. Actions taken by the Council will include follow-up with the complainant for complete closure.

GSNorCal Staff

Our GSNorCal staff are extremely dedicated and committed to making Girl Scouting available to all girls in our nineteen counties. Staff provide services to members and perform council support roles.

Member Services
For questions and assistance, please contact our Member Services Department. All calls and emails are tracked to ensure a world class level of customer service is being provided.

1 (800) 447-4475 ext. 0

info@gsnorcal.org

Much of our staff spends a great deal of time “in the field” away from their email or phones. Each Member Services Specialist has information at their fingertips via an extensive solutions database. In the unlikely event they are not able to answer your question, they will forward your inquiry to a staff person who can. Help is also available in Spanish.

Our friendly Member Services staff can help you with your needs and questions including:

  • Any questions about Girl Scout Programming
  • Adult background check process or status
  • Online membership registration and renewal
  • Troop Banking
  • The Guide; program event information and registration
  • Camp information and registration
  • Property information and reservations
  • Online and In-person adult learning course information and registration

Here is an alphabetical listing of other departments within GSNorCal:

Camp and Adventure: Responsible for the summer council-run and volunteer-run Day and Resident Camps. If your service unit or region is interested in or is running a camp, Camps and Adventures can assist and support you. They are also responsible for the operation of our ropes courses and school-year outdoor experience programming. Visit camp.gsnorcal.org for more information.

eLearning: Responsible for creating and maintaining e-learning modules for volunteers, including fall and cookie product training. 

Finance: Responsible for paying the bills and keeping track of our income, as well as managing the reporting process for grant projects.

Fund Development: Responsible for soliciting grants and individual gifts to support our girl program. If you plan to solicit donations of goods, services, or funds, you should check with our Fund Development Department before doing so. They can assist you with solicitation and/or acknowledgement letters and ensure that donations are tax deductible for your donors. (info@gsnorcal.org)

Human Resources: Responsible for administering employment processes, including job postings, recruiting, and performance evaluation systems, as well as managing employee on-boarding and benefits. They are also responsible for employee relations programs such as diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, health and safety, and employee policies and procedures. 

Marketing/Communications (MarComm): Responsible for recruitment of new members, as well as all interaction with social, print, radio, or television media. They also produce The Trailhead, Volunteer View and other communication pieces. If you’ve been approached by the media, or would like to place articles in your local media, MarComm can help.

Product Program: Responsible for our two largest girl programs, focused on financial literacy and developing an entrepreneurial mindset. The Product Program department supports volunteers and girls in achieving their goals through the Fall Take Action and Cookie Programs, both providing exceptional opportunities for girls to develop life skills, such as resiliency, teamwork, and commitment, along with entrepreneurial skills such as innovation, strategic risk taking, and social impact.

Program: Responsible for ensuring that all girls in GSNorCal have the benefit of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE). Program staff partner with service units to deliver program opportunities for girls, manage council-run events offered in the Guide, oversee girl awards, run girl training courses and in-person adult learning courses, and supply Green by Nature (environmental) and Girls Go Tech (science, technology, engineering, & math) program boxes. Staff also serve girls directly through Discover Together (a program for girls in low-income communities), Got Choices (a program for girls involved with the juvenile justice system), and Daughters of Farm Workers (a program for girls and their families in migrant communities).

Property: Responsible for maintaining GSNorCal’s nineteen properties (council camps and program centers). If you rent any of our camp properties, you will meet our friendly site managers.

Retail Stores: Responsible for running our retail stores in the Alameda, Chico, Eureka, Redding, San Jose, and Santa Rosa office locations. They also bring mini-stores to major events in the council. Shop online anytime: www.girlscoutshop.com/NORTHERN-CALIFORNIA-COUNCIL

Risk Management: Responsible for trip and high adventure approval process, management of the Volunteer Essentials, purchase of additional insurance for members/non-members, management of the high-adventure approved vendor list, signing agreements and contracts, fulfillment of Certificate of Insurance (COI) requests, forms creation and editing, and management of the Safety Activity Checkpoints. Contact insurance@gsnorcal.org for any insurance or policy questions. Contact travel@gsnorcal.org for trip or adventure planning questions.  

Membership Experience: Responsible for supporting members and volunteer recognition. Your local Volunteer Development Manager (VDM) or Membership Manager (MM) can assist with many basic questions or can help you find who can. They support the volunteer teams that provide services to leaders and girls in local areas and attend Service Unit Team and Leader meetings.

Governance & Operations

How are decisions made?

Two categories of decisions are made in the Girl Scout organization - governance decisions and operational decisions. Both types of decisions are based on the belief that members should have a voice in major decisions that will have an effect on all or a large part of the membership.

     

 

Governance

Big picture decisions and direction

Operations

Carrying it out: implementing decisions and direction

Who

People in governance:

  • Board of Directors
  • National Delegates
  • Service Unit Delegates
  • Delegates-at-Large
  • Members of the Board Development Committee
  • Members of board committees and task groups

People in operations:

  • Leaders and other volunteers working directly with girls
  • Service Unit team members and others working with operational adults
  • Council staff

Responsibilities

People in governance are concerned with:

  • Setting policy and long-term direction (strategic goals)
  • Establishing priorities
  • Ensuring financial and organizational stability

People in operations are responsible for:

  • Day to day management
  • Implementation of policy
  • Carrying out strategic goals
  • Providing feedback to the governance arm on progress and future needs

Governance

Governance decisions are broad policy decisions made by the Board of Directors to provide stability within the council and to give direction for the way Girl Scouting is implemented in the council jurisdiction. Governance decisions relate to strategic planning, fund development, fiduciary oversight, selection and evaluation of the Chief Executive Officer, and organizational performance appraisal.

  • Service Unit Delegates
    Service Unit Delegates give input to the Board of strategic priorities, attend our council's annual meeting, vote on amendments to our Council Bylaws and elect the Board of Directors, Board Development Committee and National Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the National Council of GSUSA. Service Unit Delegates are elected by members 14 years or older in the Service Unit they are representing. Both adults and girls, 14 or older, may serve as Service Unit Delegates. Nominations are open each year in October. Visit our Volunteer Learning Portal for information about the Service Unit Delegate position. www.training.gsnorcal.org

  • Delegates-at-Large
    Delegates-at-Large have the same responsibilities as Service Unit Delegates, but they represent constituent groups established by the council that are not Service Units. The Board appoints Delegates-at-Large, who can be adult or girl members. Visit our Volunteer Learning Portal for information about the Delegate-at-Large position.

  • Board of Directors
    The Board of Directors are volunteers who are nominated by the Board Development Committee, a group of volunteers who take great care to make sure that the Board of Directors represent the council geographically and demographically. The Board sets the strategic direction and goals for the council. They are responsible for setting policies, fiduciary oversight, ensuring compliance with GSUSA charter requirements, oversight of the management of the organization and review of the CEO. The Board also supports fund raising efforts and opens doors to resources in the community.

  • National Delegates 
    National Delegates represent the council at the National Council Session and convention held every three years. They gather input and vote on proposals that impact Girl Scouting across the country. They also elect the National Board of Directors and Board Development Committee.

  • Visit the council website for more information about our Board of Directors, National Delegates, Service Unit Delegates and Delegates-at-Large www.GSNorCal.org/en/our-council/leadership/board-ceo.html

 

Operations

Operational decisions relate to annual planning, budgeting, the selection, placement, and supervision of operational volunteers and staff, the development of systems to ensure the effective delivery of Girl Scout program to all girls within the jurisdiction, oversight of fiscal and physical resources, and the implementation of policies and standards established by the Board of Directors.

Operational decisions are made by the Chief Executive Officer and are concerned with the organization and management of all operational work within the framework of the council’s goals. They are based on governance decisions made by the Board of Directors, as well as reflecting input from volunteers and staff who bring ideas from their experience.