Holiday parades are right around the corner!
We’ve gathered helpful information to make your parade appearance enjoyable, safe and successful.
Holiday parades are excellent opportunities to “suit up and show up” in your communities. When participating in parades it is important to represent Girl Scouts in the best possible way.
- Girl Scout uniform, pin, or some other means of group identification
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Banner, sign, or poster board identifying the troop or service unit
Preparing for the parade:
- Submit a Troop Travel form (https://girlscoutshs.wufoo.com/forms/girl-scout-travel-approval-form/), to the council at least 5 business days prior to the event.
- Inform the girls’ parents/guardians about the activity, including details of location, time, drop-off and pick-up procedures, along with safety precautions and any appropriate clothing or supplies that may be necessary.
- Make arrangements in advance for all transportation and confirm plans before departure.
- Girls plan the activity. Keeping their grade-level abilities in mind, encourage girls to take proactive leadership roles in organizing details of the parade such as costumes or decorations.
- Arrange for transportation and adult
- The adult-to-girl ratio is two non-related
adults, including one woman, for every:
- 6 Girl Scout Daisies
- 12 Girl Scout Brownies
- 16 Girl Scout Juniors
- 20 Girl Scout Cadettes
- 24 Girl Scout Seniors
- 24 Girl Scout Ambassadors
- There should be one extra adult for every additional:
- 1–4 Girl Scout Daisies
- 1–6 Girl Scout Brownies
- 1–8 Girl Scout Juniors
- 1–10 Girl Scout Cadettes
- 1–12 Girl Scout Seniors
- 1–12 Girl Scout Ambassadors
- The adult-to-girl ratio is two non-related adults, including one woman, for every:
- Familiarize yourself with the parade route. Most cities or towns will publish the parade route online or have it in the parade application packet. Know where the line-up location is and communicate with families where and when they should meet. Select a location and time for girl pick-up if parents are not participating in the parade.
- Make appropriate plans for walking a parade. Find out the total distance of the parade route and determine if it is an appropriate distance for girls to walk. Share the distance with parents/guardians to see if they believe their girl could walk the distance. Have a plan if girls become too tired to continue. Be mindful of costumes, props or decorations that may impair a girl’s ability to easily walk. If your parade allows walkers to pass out candy, make sure adults are paired up with girls to ensure safety as they pass candy out to spectators. Communicate with girls with disabilities and/or their caregivers to assess any needs and accommodations.
- Make appropriate plans for parade floats. Floats drawn by trucks and automobiles are covered by automobile insurance in the name of the vehicle owners. Make sure float construction is safe, using no toxic nor highly flammable materials, and secured to the body of the float and the vehicle. Floats should be equipped with portable ABC fire extinguishers. Riders on floats must have secure seating, or a secure handhold or safety harness if standing. Ensure floats are not overcrowded. Participants cannot walk close to moving floats. Some adults should accompany girls on any moving float. Any coupling of a trailer to a vehicle must be appropriate to the load and have a safety chain. Nothing should be distributed to onlookers from a moving vehicle or a float, including candy. Communicate with girls with disabilities and/or their caregivers to assess any needs and accommodations.
- Prepare for emergencies. Ensure the presence of a first-aid kit and a first-aider with a current certificate in First Aid, including Adult and Child CPR or CPR/AED. Volunteers should have an up-to-date, emergency-contact phone number list for all girls who are participating in the parade in their possession throughout the parade.
On the Day of the Parade:
- Get a weather report. On the morning of the activity, check www.weather.com or other reliable weather sources to determine if conditions are appropriate, and make sure that the ground is free of ice. If severe weather conditions prevent the activity, be prepared with a backup plan or alternate activity, or postpone the activity.
- Use the buddy system. Girls are divided into teams of two. Each girl chooses a buddy and is responsible for staying with her buddy at all times, warning her buddy of danger, giving her buddy immediate assistance if safe to do so, and seeking help when the situation warrants it. If someone in the group is injured, one person cares for the patient while two others seek help.
- Take safety precautions. Instruction is given on safe pedestrian practices, when applicable. Adults know girls’ location at all times. Advance arrangements are made for picking up the girls after the event and parents and girls understand the arrangements. Adults and girls pick a place to meet in case of separation from the supervising adult or the group.
Lastly, have a great time! Parades are a special event for girls, filled with fun, holiday memories, and a great way for them to raise awareness in their communities. Make sure to take pictures and submit to the council to share! Email pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.