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Renew

You are more than a Girl Scout. You’re a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)

We believe there’s no such thing as too much. That there’s no excuse for making excuses. Our strength doesn’t come from how much we can lift but from how often we can lift ourselves back up. We are everyday optimists. Adventure seekers. Problem solvers. We are girls, troop leaders, mentors, advocates, parents, Girl Scouts. We are G.I.R.L.s (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, and Leader). We will not stop. In fact, we’re just getting started. Renew today.


Renewal Season is HERE!  

Renewal season is here! Renewing your Girl Scout membership(s) early is important for many reasons.

  • Registering early secures your spot, whether you are planning to participate in the same way as this year, or in a new troop/role.
  • Early renewal allows your co-leaders and volunteers to make plans, knowing just how many girls they will have returning for the upcoming year.
  • Renewing in the spring also helps council staff make plans to be able to support all families that are interested in participating in Girl Scouts.

Whether you are renewing to your existing troop, taking on new pathways to participation, or seeking out new volunteer experiences, this can all be done in early renewal.

We have compiled this guide to help you with the process of renewing your Girl Scout membership for the upcoming year.  While we have worked to include most scenarios and provide steps and answers to a variety of renewal questions, we are always available to help at any point in time.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to a member of our Care Team at any point by email, web or phone.

We're so excited about next year that we're offering some incredible incentives to renew! Click on the arrows for each category below to see what you could earn or win when you renew today, and scroll down to view our 2018 Renewal & Registration Guides to answer any questions you may have about the online renewal process.

renew

2018 Renewal & Registration Guide for Parents/Individual Members

My GS - Where to Log In for Renewal

My GS- Where to Log In for Renewal

The Girl Scout Member Community, My GS, is your one-stop shop to renew Girl Scout membership online, update your contact information, and make sure we have the correct information about your Girl Scout participation. To access your My GS account, go to the Girl Scouts Heart of the South website at www.girlscoutshs.org and click on “My GS” from the tabs list to log in. Your username will be your email address and your password will be whatever you previously set it as.  If you have trouble signing in, please contact a member of our Care Team for assistance.

Wait! Before you begin the renewal process for yourself or other members of your household, check with your leader. Many troops plan to renew all of their members at once. If you start this process on your end, they will be “locked out” of any member’s renewal where this is the case and will not be able to complete the process for 35 days.

When is Renewal?

Renewal season opens on April 1st and runs through September 30th; however, we strongly advise that you register as early as possible.  We’ve even got some great incentives to support you with early renewal!  Anyone who has not renewed membership by October 1st is considered a lapsed member and will automatically set to “Inactive” in the system and will not be able to renew without contacting a member of our Care Team for assistance. Girls and adults with lapsed memberships are no longer considered members of Girl Scouts, are not covered under accident insurance, and cannot participate in any Girl Scout programming, including the Fall Product Sale and Girl Scout Cookie Program.

Avoid the rush and save your spot by registering early!

 

Lifetime Members

Lifetime Members DO need to renew each spring. While they will not need to purchase a membership, they will need to select one of the following options for each role they have listed in their profile: “Renew”, “I’ll Decide Later”, or “Don’t Renew”. We also ask that our Lifetime Members take this opportunity to review and make any updates to their contact information in their My GS accounts.


Individually Registered Members (IRMs)

 

Individually Registered Members are members who have chosen to participate on their own. Individually Registered Members are members of Girl Scouts who are participating in a non-traditional manner.  This may be because their schedule does not allow for regular troop meetings, there is not an available troop in their area, or perhaps they just prefer to participate as an individual. When parents/guardians search for troops in their area, Individually Registered Member will always be one of the options. If selected, the girl member will be entered into a virtual “troop” for her area, with a corresponding troop number. If you receive a confirmation email saying she has been registered with Troop #99xxx, this is not an error. Our #99 troop series is designated for girls participating as Individually Registered Members.

Individually Registered Members are active Girl Scouts; and, as such, they have some of the same opportunities as girls in troops. They are able to earn badges and awards, take part in the Fall Product Sale, attend resident camp, be a part of the Girl Scout Cookie Program and participate in council activities. In some areas, Individually Registered Members are also invited to participate in locally-organized events.  Participating as an IRM can provide an excellent alternative to exploring the power of G.I.R.L. in a manner that works best for your family.

 

Paying for Memberships

For the upcoming 2017-2018 membership year, the annual membership dues collected by Girl Scouts of the USA will increase to $25 for both girl and adult members. The annual membership dues are determined by GSUSA’s National Board of Directors. A Girl Scout membership is one of the most valuable investments anyone can make in a girl’s life. The additional funding provided by the membership dues increase will ensure this important programming endures and thrives.

Membership dues go directly to GSUSA and are not retained by Girl Scouts Heart of the South. Membership fees paid to GSUSA cover accident insurance for members participating in approved Girl Scout activities, program development, research, resources, training, services to councils, and protection of the Girl Scout brand. Membership dues also help fund the implementation of new technologies to improve the Girl Scout experience for girls, volunteer and parents.

National Membership Dues Scholarship

In some families, there are circumstances that prevent them from being able to pay GSUSA National Membership Dues, in full or part. In these cases, a National Membership Dues Scholarship may be available from Girl Scouts Heart of the South, to ensure that girls are able to participate regardless of their financial situation.  The capacity to provide a scholarship for GSUSA National Membership Dues is a benefit for our council. Not all councils are able to give such a valuable resource to their members; and, as with any resource, we want it used with the greatest level of honesty, fairness, and stewardship. 

Our National Membership Dues Scholarship program is currently under review and updates will be made as soon as possible. Please be aware that any members receiving a National Membership Dues Scholarship will not be eligible for Early Bird renewal incentives.  If you need to request funds to cover GSUSA National Membership Dues for any member of your family, please contact a member of our Care Team for more information on this process and the availability of funds.

Passport Bucks and Girl Scout Memberships

Passport Bucks can be used for council activities and events, council travel expenses, summer camp, in-store council shop purchases and camp trading posts. Unfortunately, GSHS Passport Bucks cannot be used to purchase GSUSA Girl Scout memberships.


Things to Note

Participating with Your Girl's Troop

We know that girls have a better experience in Girl Scouting when the family is involved. Make it a family affair! Troops are run solely by volunteers and cannot function without adults taking on the various responsibilities. As a volunteer, you’ll introduce girls to new experiences and help them unleash their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader)™ to take the lead and change the world.

You’ll be their cheerleader, guide, and mentor, helping them develop crucial skills and confidence to launch them into a lifetime of leadership. Imagine the excitement, the memories made, and the impact—this is what you’ll share as a Girl Scout volunteer.

Check the online Opportunity Catalog for available volunteer roles, or ask one of your girl’s troop co-leaders what you can do to help. Volunteer positions vary in the amount of responsibility and time commitment, so there is something for everyone. Below is a brief description of the opportunities and an idea of the level of involvement.

Troop Co-Leader


2 required

Troop Co-leaders pave the way for the next generation of girl leaders!  In collaboration with another volunteer, they work directly with girls at the troop level, planning activities and learning opportunities, mentoring them as they make new friends and helping them to learn new skills that will last a lifetime.  

Troop Cookie Manager


1 required

Do you love Girl Scout Cookies?! Help coordinate the annual cookie sale at the troop level. This position assists with training and communication to parents/caregivers, schedules the troop for community booth sales, manages inventory and money, and watches the girls light up when they earn the rewards for being the best cookie sellers ever! This position helps the troop most from January through March.

Troop Driver/Chaperone


Requirements vary depending on troop size

Girl Scouts like to take trips and we want the adults who drive them to have a good time, too! Drivers/Chaperones for Girl Scout activities must be at least 21 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, and carry the minimum vehicle insurance required by law.

Troop Fall Product Sale Manager


1 required

Troop Fall Product Sale Managers provide overall guidance and support to the Girl Scout fall product sale at the troop level.  This includes training and communication with parents/caregivers, coordinating the efforts of girls, helping with goal setting, and managing orders through online sales systems.  This position helps the troop most from September through November.

Troop First Aider


1 required

Troop First Aiders let girls have fun they can imagine, while keeping them safe. They hold current, council-approved certification in First Aid/CPR/AED for both children and adults. First Aiders are required for troop travel and participation in some events and activities.

Troop Support Volunteer


Requirements vary depending on troop size

Do you want to help out your girl’s troop on occasion?  As a Troop Support Volunteer, you won’t have any supervisory responsibility of girls or money, but you’ll be ready to pitch in with an extra set of hands, when needed.

Troop Treasurer


1 required

The Troop Treasurer helps to manage the FUNds in Girl Scouts! This position maintains a troop bank account and accurate troop financial records and oversees compliance with council financial procedures for the troop.

Adult Member

If none of these volunteer roles fit your needs, we still invite you to become a registered member of Girl Scouts. Aside from receiving the benefits of membership, such as activity insurance when participating in Girl Scout activities with your girl, you will also be doing your part in helping to grow the entire Girl Scout movement. Membership dues collected from members help fund new technologies, research, training, and program development.

Changing Grades

There is no need to update a girl’s grade at the end of the year (unless it was in error for the current school year). The system will automatically transition grades over the summer and each girl member’s grade will be automatically advance by one before the new school year begins. If you do notice an incorrect grade, please notify a member of our Care Team so that we can assist you in getting that information updated.

Graduating Seniors

Girls who will be graduating from high school in the spring will no longer be able to have their membership managed through their parent/guardian’s household. Over the summer, they will be moved to their own household where they will become the primary account holder.

“School Not Found”

If you are unable to locate a girl’s school, please use the “School Not Found” option. We also ask that you contact a member of our Care Team so that we can contact GSUSA to add the school to our list, and appropriately update your girl’s contact record.

Paper Registration Forms

Registration for councils nationwide has gone digital. Paper registrations will not be accepted. If you do not have a credit/debit card to pay for membership online, please make arrangements to pay the membership fee to the troop co-leader so that she can register your daughter through her own My GS account using the troop’s card.  If you have any questions about online registration or renewal, please contact a member of our Care Team.

Follow-up Emails

If you start the registration/renewal process for a member and do not complete this, you will receive automated emails reminding you of the membership in progress. Click the link from any of these emails to complete the membership. If you have any difficulty getting registered/renewed, simply reply to the email you received or contact a member of our Care Team for assistance.

Updating Household Information

Should you need to update any of your household information, simply log in to your My GS account. From here, you will see the option to “Edit Profile Details for/of Household Members”. You will be able to edit all of your contact information, address, and opt in/out of email and text messages. Unfortunately, updates to Date of Birth, Grade, and Membership Years cannot be made in your My GS account and will have to be made by council staff. Contact a member of our Care Team for assistance with this.  We encourage members and families to use the renewal process as a time to annually review and update household information.  However, updates can be made to household information at any time of the year.

What to do if you don’t see a troop in your area:

If you are looking to change troop participation in your area and nothing comes up in the search, select the Unsure campaign and a member of our Placement Team will follow up with you to provide assistance.  If you are looking for a specific troop number and do not see it in the online Opportunity Catalog, contact a member of our Care Team for assistance.

Membership Years Discrepancies

If you find your membership years are incorrect in your profile, please accept our apologies.  Unfortunately, this particular field got jumbled in the transition to our new system.  Please contact a member of our Care Team, and we will be delighted to correct this for you.

Do's and Don'ts for Renewal Season

  • DO make sure you have the names of all members in the household spelled correctly. A slight change in the spelling, or going by a name other than what we already have in the system, will create a duplicate record, which will delay renewal/registration as these situations must each be corrected by council staff. Please DON’T use nicknames.

  • DO select the correct membership year/product. Both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 membership years will be open through summer and early fall, so please pay close attention to this. If you do not change the options in the dropdown menu to reflect the upcoming membership year (October 1, 2017- September 30, 2018), you will end up with a membership that expires on September 30, 2017. Should this error occur, please contact a member of our Care Team for assistance. After the new membership year begins on October 1st, we can no longer assist with correcting this mistake and an additional 2017-2018 membership will have to be purchased at the parent’s/troop’s expense.

  • DON’T start a new registration or renewal and then stop before completing the payment. Depending on where you back out of this process, it may make the member show as “Inactive” and you will have to contact our Care Team to start this process over again. Once you start a registration or renewal, be prepared to carry it all the way through to the confirmation screen following payment.

  • DO make sure you check with your girl’s troop leader before beginning her membership renewal. Many troops choose to renew all of their members at once, and if you start this process on your end, troop leadership will be locked out of this member’s renewal for 35 days and will not be able to complete it. If you find that this situation has occurred, contact a member of our Care Team for further assistance.

  • DON’T select Do Not Renew unless you are absolutely positive the member will not be returning to Girl Scouts, in any capacity, this upcoming year. If you are unsure at the time, please select I’ll Decide Later. If the member is planning on returning, but will be with a different troop or volunteer role, add the troop or role to the member’s profile in the Household tab. Selecting Do Not Renew will result in the member showing as “inactive”, and will take away the ability to renew/register with any troop for the upcoming year. Once selected, this option cannot be reversed by families or volunteers, and must be corrected by council staff.

  • DO verify that all of the information for your household is correct.

  • Please DON’T create fake profiles in the member community to test it out, or for any other reason. If you’re curious about how something works, we ask that you contact a member of our Care Team and they will be happy to walk you through the process.

  • DO contact our Care Team if a girl member changes troops after registering for the year, or if a volunteer in your household is no longer holding a specific role.

How to Renew Membership(s) for your Family

  1. Log in to the member community (MyGS) with your username and password.

  2. You will arrive at the Household tab. This is where you will be able to see all household members.

  3. On the right-hand side of the screen, there is a box that gives you two membership year options: Current Year (2016-2017) and Next Year (2017-2018). Be sure to select Next Year.

  4. For each member in your household, set their renewal option to one of the following:

    1. Renew- select for members you would like to pay to renew at this time.

    2. I’ll decide later- select for members you are not sure will be returning, or will not be renewing at this time.  If you are unsure about whether the member will be returning to Girl Scouts at all, select this option.  This will keep the renewal option open until a decision has been made. However, any member who has still not renewed by October 1st, will be considered a lapsed member and show as Inactive in your My GS account.

    3. Do not renew- select for members you are sure are not returning at all, to any troop or as an individual, for the 2017-2018 membership year.  Selecting this completely removes the option for the girl to renew to Girl Scouts for the upcoming year.  A member of our Care Team must be notified to reverse this, if chosen in error.

  5. Select “continue” to proceed to the acceptance screen.

  6. Please read and accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law, then click “continue”.

  7. Select a donation amount, if desired.  (All donations made through this option will stay local to Girl Scouts Heart of the South and support our council’s efforts in providing Membership Dues Scholarships and quality programming for our girls.)

  8. If adult renewals are included in your transaction, you will have the opportunity to upgrade those to Lifetime Memberships by selecting “Yes”.

  9. Review your transaction summary and when ready, select “Submit” to process renewals.

  10. A Thank You page will appear once the transaction has been processed and an itemized receipt will be emailed to you. You also have the option to “Print Itemized Receipt” from the Thank You page.

  11. Don’t forget to share your renewal update on social media! You can do it right from the Thank You page.  


How to Add a New Girl Member to your Household

 

Note: New members cannot be added in the same transaction as your family renewal. This will need to be done separately. In addition, each new membership must be completed as a separate transaction.   

  1. Ensure you have selected the appropriate year, in the top right-hand corner of your MyGS account. You will have two options: Current Year (this membership, expiring on September 30, 2017) and Next Year (this membership is valid from October 1st, 2017 through September 30, 2018).

  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to Add a New Member, choose “Girl” from the dropdown menu, and select “Go”.

  3. Complete the Girl Registration form and click “Continue” to be taken to the membership screen.

  4. Complete the selection of the opportunity that fits how your girl wants to participate.

    1. If you know the troop number, use the Troop # search box to locate the troop in the opportunity catalog. If you do not see it listed, please contact a member of our Care Team for further assistance.

    2. To search for troops in your area, use the zip code search option.

    3. If you do not see an option that fits your current needs, select the Unsure option and a member of our Placement Team will follow up with you to provide assistance.  

  5. After selections have been made, click “Continue” to proceed to the Membership Information form.

  6. Complete the Membership Information and Parent/Caregiver Information sections. Click on “Continue” to proceed.

  7. Accept the Girl Scout Promise & Law and click “Continue” to proceed to the confirmation page.

  8. Select a donation amount, if desired. (All donations made through this option will stay local to Girl Scouts Heart of the South and support our council’s efforts in providing Membership Dues Scholarships and quality programming for our girls.)

  9. Renew and confirm your transaction, then enter in your payment and billing information.

  10. Select ”Submit” to process the transaction.

  11. A Thank You screen will appear once the transaction has processed. An itemized receipt is automatically sent to the household’s primary contact, but there is also an option to print a copy of the receipt from this screen.

  12. From the Thank You screen, you will have the opportunity to share your membership purchase on social media by clicking Share on Facebook and/or Share on Twitter to post respectively on each site.

 

How to Add An Adult (non-volunteer) Member to your Household

Note: New members cannot be added in the same transaction as your family renewal. This will need to be done separately. In addition, each new membership must be completed as a separate transaction.   

  1. Ensure you have selected the appropriate year, in the top right-hand corner of your MyGS account. You will have two options: Current Year (this membership, expiring on September 30, 2017) and Next Year (this membership is valid from October 1st, 2017 through September 30, 2018).

  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to Add a New Member, choose “Adult” from the dropdown menu, and select “Go”.

  3. Complete the Adult Registration form, select Add as an Adult Member, and click “Continue” to be taken to the membership information screen.

  4. Complete the Become a Member form. Click on “Continue” to proceed.

  5. Accept the Girl Scout Promise & Law and click “Continue” to proceed to the confirmation page.

  6. Select a donation amount, if desired. (All donations made through this option will stay local to Girl Scouts Heart of the South and support our council’s efforts in providing Membership Dues Scholarships and quality programming for our girls.)

  7. On the same page, you will have the opportunity to upgrade to a Lifetime Membership.

  8. Renew and confirm your transaction, then enter in your payment and billing information.

  9. Select “Submit” to process the transaction.

  10. A Thank You screen will appear once the transaction has processed. An itemized receipt is automatically sent to the household’s primary contact, but there is also an option to print a copy of the receipt from this screen.

  11. From the Thank You screen, you will have the opportunity to share your membership purchase on social media by clicking Share on Facebook and/or Share on Twitter to post respectively on each site.

 

 

How to Add a Volunteer to your Household

Note: New members cannot be added in the same transaction as your family renewal. This will need to be done separately. In addition, each new membership must be completed as a separate transaction.   

  1. Ensure you have selected the appropriate year, in the top right-hand corner of your MyGS account. You will have two options: Current Year (this membership, expiring on September 30, 2017) and Next Year (this membership is valid from October 1st, 2017 through September 30, 2018).

  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to Add as a Volunteer, choose “Adult” from the dropdown menu, and select “Go”.

  3. Complete the Adult Registration form, select Add as an Adult Member, and click “Continue” to be taken to the membership information screen.

  4. Tell us how the volunteer wants to participate.

    1. If you know the troop number, use the Troop # search box to locate the troop in the opportunity catalog. If you do not see it listed, please contact a member of our Care Team for further assistance.

    2. To search for troops in your area, use the zip code search option.

    3. If you do not see an option that fits what you are looking for, select the Unsure option and a member of our Placement Team will follow up with you to provide assistance.

    4. Additionally, if you are interested in a role outside of a Troop, please contact a member of our Care Team and we will help identify a role that will allow you to best serve as a GSHS volunteer.

  5. Once the volunteer opportunity has been chosen, click Next to proceed.

  6. Complete the Become a Member form. Click on “Continue” to proceed.

  7. Accept the Girl Scout Promise & Law and click “Continue” to proceed to the confirmation page.

  8. Select a donation amount, if desired. (All donations made through this option will stay local to Girl Scouts Heart of the South and support our council’s efforts in providing Membership Dues Scholarships and quality programming for our girls.)

  9. On the same page, you will have the opportunity to upgrade to a Lifetime Membership.

  10. Renew and confirm your transaction, then enter in your payment and billing information.

  11. Select “Submit” to process the transaction.

  12. A Thank You screen will appear once the transaction has processed. An itemized receipt is automatically sent to the household’s primary contact, but there is also an option to print a copy of the receipt from this screen.

  13. From the Thank You screen, you will have the opportunity to share your membership purchase on social media by clicking Share on Facebook and/or Share on Twitter to post respectively on each site.

 

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How to Change a Girl's Troop or Participation

 

  1. Log in to your My GS account with your username and password.

  2. You will arrive at the Membership tab. This is where you will be able to see all household members.

  3. On the right-hand side of the screen, there is a box that gives you two membership year options: Current Year (2016-2017) and Next Year (2017-2018). Be sure to select Next Year.

  4. Next to the girl’s name, under her current troop assignment, you will see an option to Add/Change Troops. Select this to proceed to the opportunity catalog where you can view additional participation options.

    1. If you know the troop number, use the Troop # search box to locate the troop in the opportunity catalog. If you do not see it listed, please contact a member of our Care Team for further assistance.

    2. To search for troops in your area, use the zip code search option.

    3. If you do not see an option that fits your current needs, select the Unsure option and a member of our Placement Team will follow up with you to provide assistance.

Once the new opportunity has been selected, please contact our Care Team so that we can end her participation in the troop she originally registered with. This last step is very important, as it will affect how she is loaded into our Fall Product Sales and Cookie Program systems.

 

How to Add and/or Change Volunteer Roles

  1. Log in to your My GS account with your username and password.

  2. You will arrive at the Membership tab. This is where you will be able to see all household members.

  3. On the right-hand side of the screen, there is a box that gives you two membership year options: Current Year (2016-2017) and Next Year (2017-2018). Be sure to select Next Year.

  4. Next to the adult’s name, you will see any roles the member is currently participating with.

  5. Select the Add Role option under these current roles.

    1. If you know the troop number, use the Troop # search box to locate the troop in the opportunity catalog. If you do not see it listed, please contact a member of our Care Team for further assistance.

    2. To search for troops in your area, use the zip code search option.

    3. If you do not see an option that fits what you are looking for, select the Unsure option and a member of our Placement Team will follow up with you to provide assistance.

    4. Additionally, if you are interested in a role outside of a Troop, please contact a member of our Care Team and we will help identify a role that will allow you to best serve as a GSHS volunteer.

  6. Choose the new volunteer role you wish to add from the results page.

  7. If this role is replacing one the volunteer had already register for or renewed, please contact a member of our Care Team so that we can end participation for the former role in the system.

Glossary of Renewal & Registration Terms

Glossary of Renewal and Registration Terms

Adult member: Adult members differ from volunteers in that they simply are registered Girl Scouts and do not hold an active volunteer position.

Case: When you contact a member of our staff, a case is created with your inquiry or concern. As soon as we have an answer for you, or are able to address your concern, you will receive an email notifying you that the case has been closed.

Case Closure Email: When an issue has been resolved, a question answered, or other support has been given, we will close the related case. If you originally reached out to the Care Team by sending an email to CustomerCareWeb@girlscoutshs.org or by sending a message through the Contact Us page on the council’s website, you will receive an automated message with the resolution as soon as one has been provided. If for some reason this resolution is not satisfactory, or you still have questions, simply reply to the case closure email and we will be happy to continue working on the matter for you.  

CBC Expiration: If you are a troop co-leader, you will see this in your My GS account in the Troops tab. CBC expiration is referring to the date on which a volunteer’s criminal background check is set to expire.

“Current” member: Members who have the status of “current” have registered or renewed their Girl Scout membership for the year, and are considered active members.

“Don’t Renew” renewal option: This option will show as one of the three renewal choices for all members. It should only be selected if the girl will definitely not be returning to Girl Scouts at all this year, whether with her current troop or a new one. For volunteers, this means they will not be returning to the specific role for which they made this selection. In both instances, this action cannot be reversed by families or volunteers. If this option is chosen in error, or if there is a change of plans later on in the year, the Care Team should be contacted to update the record.

Household: A household refers to everyone living at a single address.

“I’ll Decide Later” renewal option: This option should be chosen whenever a person is unsure of a member’s future participation in Girl Scouts, or is just not planning to renew the member during this specific transaction.

“Inactive” member: Members who have the status of “inactive” do not have a current Girl Scout membership.

Individually Registered Member (IRM): Individually Registered Members are members who have chosen to participate on their own. This may be because their schedule does not allow for regular troop meetings, there is not an available troop in their area, or perhaps they just prefer to participate as an individual.

“Lapsed” member: A lapsed member is one who has participated in Girl Scouts in previous years, but did not renew for the current membership year, prior to October 1.

Lifetime Member: Graduating Seniors and adult members have the option of becoming Lifetime Members by purchasing a membership that never expires.

Member Community: “Member Community” and “My GS” are terms that are used interchangeably. These refer to the online community where Girl Scout membership and participation can be managed, both by families and troop co-leaders.

Membership tab: Located in your My GS account, this is where you will find all information on your Household’s Girl Scout membership and participation.

Membership Years: When viewing/editing the members of your household or troop, you will see their “Membership Years”. This field refers to the number of years a member was active as either a girl or adult. It does not distinguish between years as an active volunteer and years as simply a registered member.

My GS: “Member Community” and “My GS” are terms that are used interchangeably. These refer to the online community where Girl Scout membership and participation can be managed, both by families and troop co-leaders.

Participation: In your My GS account, the term “participation” refers to how the member is participating in Girl Scouts. Here you will find which troop a girl is registered with, as well as all of the roles an adult member/volunteer holds.

“Payment Pending” member: Members with “Payment Pending” as their status are those who have begun the registration or renewal process, but abandoned the transaction prior to paying their Girl Scout membership dues.

Registration: Registration refers to the process of obtaining a Girl Scout membership for new members, or members who were not active the previous year.

“Renew” renewal option: This is the renewal choice that should be selected when you are ready to renew membership for a girl or adult.

Renewal: Renewal simply means extending your Girl Scout participation for another year. Renewal is only an option for members who had an active membership the prior year. All other members are considered “new” and will have to register after June 30th.

Renewal choice: Next to each member, there will be three renewal options for the upcoming year: Renew, I’ll Decide Later, and Don’t Renew.

Status: This field, found in your My GS account, refers to a member’s status in Girl Scouts. You will typically see one of three statuses in this column: Active, Inactive, or Payment Pending.

Troops tab: Troop Co-Leaders can access their troop information using the Troops tab in their My GS account. Here you will find your troop roster, each member’s participation, their status as a member and CBC expiration dates for adult members. New girl and adult members can be added by troop leadership through the Troops tab. Troop meeting information can also be updated from this location, as well as members’ contact information.

Verified Volunteers: Verified Volunteers is the company Girl Scouts Heart of the South uses for volunteer screening. 

Real-Time Video Demonstration of Renewing an Individual Member Online
renew

2018 Renewal & Registration Guide for Troop Co-Leaders

Spring renewal is the opportunity for Girl Scout troops to renew their girls and parents/volunteers during the spring, keeping them engaged in the program and to reserve their spaces for the upcoming year. By renewing in spring, you will have a better idea of who is returning early, which will allow for some extra planning time. With online registration through My GS, you no longer have to coordinate getting with parents to collect membership forms. You can register your whole troop all at once, in just minutes!

My GS - Where to Log In for Renewal

My GS- Where to Log In for Renewal

The Girl Scout Member Community, My GS, is your one-stop shop to renew Girl Scout membership online, update your contact information, and make sure we have the correct information about your Girl Scout participation. To access your My GS account, go to the Girl Scouts Heart of the South website at www.girlscoutshs.org and click on “My GS” from the tabs list to log in. Your username will be your email address and your password will be whatever you previously set it as.  If you have trouble signing in, please contact a member of our Care Team for assistance.

 

 

 

When is Renewal

When is Renewal?

Renewal season opens on April 1st and runs through September 30th; however, we strongly advise that you register as early as possible.  We’ve even got some great incentives to support you with early renewal!  Anyone who has not renewed membership by October 1st is considered a lapsed member and will automatically set to “Inactive” in the system and will not be able to renew without contacting a member of our Care Team for assistance. Girls and adults with lapsed memberships are no longer considered members of Girl Scouts, are not covered under accident insurance, and cannot participate in any Girl Scout programming, including the Fall Product Sale and Girl Scout Cookie Program.

Avoid the rush and save your spot by registering early!

Lifetime Members

Lifetime Members

Lifetime Members DO need to renew each spring. While they will not need to purchase a membership, they will need to select one of the following options for each role they have listed in their profile: “Renew”, “I’ll Decide Later”, or “Don’t Renew”. We also ask that our Lifetime Members take this opportunity to review and make any updates to their contact information in their My GS accounts.

Paying for Membership(s)

Paying for Membership(s)

For the upcoming 2017-2018 membership year, the annual membership dues collected by Girl Scouts of the USA will increase to $25 for both girl and adult members. The annual membership dues are determined by GSUSA’s National Board of Directors. A Girl Scout membership is one of the most valuable investments anyone can make in a girl’s life. The additional funding provided by the membership dues increase will ensure this important programming endures and thrives.

Membership dues go directly to GSUSA and are not retained by Girl Scouts Heart of the South. Membership fees paid to GSUSA cover accident insurance for members participating in approved Girl Scout activities, program development, research, resources, training, services to councils, and protection of the Girl Scout brand. Membership dues also help fund the implementation of new technologies to improve the Girl Scout experience for girls, volunteers and parents.

National Membership Dues Scholarship

In some families, there are circumstances that prevent them from being able to pay GSUSA National Membership Dues, in full or part. In these cases, a National Membership Dues Scholarship may be available from Girl Scouts Heart of the South, to ensure that girls are able to participate regardless of their financial situation.  The capacity to provide a scholarship for GSUSA National Membership Dues is a benefit for our council. Not all councils are able to give such a valuable resource to their members; and, as with any resource, we want it used with the greatest level of honesty, fairness, and stewardship.  

Our National Membership Dues Scholarship program is currently under review and updates will be made as soon as possible. Please be aware that any members receiving a National Membership Dues Scholarship will not be eligible for Early Bird renewal incentives.  If you need to request funds to cover GSUSA National Membership Dues for any members of your family, please contact a member of our Care Team for more information on this process and the availability of funds.

Passport Bucks and Girl Scout Memberships

Passport Bucks can be used for council activities and events, council travel expenses, summer camp, in-store council shop purchases and camp trading posts. Unfortunately, GSHS Passport Bucks cannot be used to purchase GSUSA Girl Scout memberships.

 

Do's and Don'ts for Renewal Season

Do’s and Don’ts for Renewal Season

  • DON’T use your own personal information when completing another girl’s membership. This will place her into your household as a member of your family instead of her own.

  • If you don’t have a parent’s email address, DO use this format to fill in the field: firstname.lastname@noemailgshs.com.  If you don’t have a phone number, use this format: 000-000-0000.

  • When logged in to your My GS account, DON’T forget to pay attention to whether you’re in the Membership tab or Troop tab. It is possible to inadvertently add a new girl member to your own household when you really meant to add them to your troop.

  • DO make sure you have the names of all members and their parents spelled correctly. A slight change in the spelling, or going by a name other than what we have in the system, will create a duplicate record for this member, which will delay renewal/registration and must be corrected by Customer Care. The same holds true for email addresses. Verify all information and double-check it before proceeding, to avoid causing errors in the system.

  • DON’T use nicknames.

  • DO select the correct membership year/product. Both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 membership years will be open through summer and early fall, so pay close attention to this. If you do not change the options in the drop down menu to reflect the upcoming membership year (October 1, 2017- September 30, 2018), you will end up with a membership that expires on September 30, 2017. Should this error occur, please contact a member of our Care Team for assistance. After the new membership year begins on October 1st, we can no longer assist with correcting this mistake and an additional 2017-2018 membership will have to be purchased at the parent’s/troop’s expense.

  • DO make sure that any lifetime members renew their membership. They/you can do this by simply choosing to renew any roles they wish to continue in, or add any additional/different roles for the upcoming year.

  • DON’T start a registration/renewal and then stop before completing the payment. Depending on where you back out of this process, it could potentially cause the girl/adult show as “Inactive” and you will have to contact a member of our Care Team to start this process over again. Once you start a registration, be prepared to carry it all the way through the payment screen.

  • DO make sure you communicate with your parents/guardians about whether or not you plan to renew the troop or would like for them to each go in and renew their own girls. Once a parent/guardian starts this renewal process, troop co-leaders are automatically locked out of the girl’s renewal for 35 days and, should the parent not complete the transaction, you will not be able to renew the girl until this time has passed. Contact a member of our Care Team for assistance if a parent/guardian starts a renewal that should have been completed by the troop.

  • DO review your meeting location/dates/times, troop description, and size. Make any necessary changes through your My GS account. There are a few fields you will need to contact the Care Team to have updated. Those are listed in the Updating Troop Information section of this guide, along with detailed directions on how to make the updates.

  • Don’t select Do Not Renew unless you are absolutely positive the member will not be returning to Girl Scouts at all this upcoming year. If you are unsure at the time, please select I’ll Decide Later. Selecting Do Not Renew will take away the ability to renew/register with any troop or volunteer role for the upcoming year. Once selected, this option cannot be reversed by families or volunteers, and must be corrected by council staff.

  • After you have completed the renewals for girls in your troop, DO have their parent/caregivers log in to their family My GS accounts and verify that all of their Girl Scout’s personal information is correct.  You could also have them look over their information at a troop meeting.

  • DO use the spring renewal season to clean up your troop roster. Make sure volunteers are all registered to the correct roles, and let us know if we need to make any updates or adjustments for you.  

  • Please DON’T create fake profiles in the member community to test it out, or for any other reason. If you’re curious about how something works, we ask that you contact a member of our Care Team and they will be happy to walk you through the process.

 

Things to Note

Things to Note

Important Reminder for Troop Co-Leaders

You must complete your own registration prior to attempting to renew members of your troop. Please also be aware that if you have a background check that expires prior to October 1st, you will have to renew this screening as part of your membership renewal, which could cause some delay in getting the troop renewed.

Changing Grades

There is no need to update a girl’s grade at the end of the year (unless it was in error for the current school year). The system will automatically transition grades over the summer and each girl member’s grade will be automatically advance by one before the new school year begins. If you do notice an incorrect grade, please notify a member of our Care Team so that we can assist you in getting that information updated.

Graduating Seniors

Girls who will be graduating from high school in the spring will no longer be able to have their membership managed through their parent/guardian’s household. Over the summer, they will be moved to their own household where they will become the primary account holder.

“School Not Found”

If you are unable to locate a girl’s school, please use the “School Not Found” option. We also ask that you contact a member of our Care Team so that we can contact GSUSA to add the school to our list, and appropriately update your girl’s contact record.

Paper Registration Forms

Registration for councils nationwide has gone digital. Paper registrations will not be accepted. If you do not have a credit/debit card to pay for membership online, please make arrangements to pay the membership fee to the troop co-leader so that she can register your daughter through her own My GS account using the troop’s card.  If you have any questions about online registration or renewal, please contact a member of our Care Team.

Troop Rosters

Troop rosters found in your My GS Troops tab only allow for up to 100 members. If your troop size is any larger, there will be members that you are unable to see. For assistance in renewing these members, or for a complete and current troop roster, please contact a member of our Care Team. If your troop has 100 members, it will also be encouraged that the troop be split into smaller, grade-level troops.  

Troop Participation Status

Every person listed on the troop’s roster will have one of three statuses next to their participation in a particular troop.

Current: This status shows the member has an active Girl Scout membership

Inactive: This status shows the member does not have an active Girl Scout membership

Payment Pending: This status shows the member, their parent/guardian, or their troop co-leader has started the process of registering or renewing, but has not completed the transaction. This transaction cannot be managed through the member community without following the link included in the reminder email that was sent to the person who began the transaction.  By following the link provided, the membership can be picked up and completed, right where it was left off, assuming this occurs within 30 days of the link being issued.

Troop Transfers

If a girl has already registered for the 2017-2018 membership year with another troop, but chooses to come into yours, the quickest and easiest way to get her membership moved to the new troop is to contact our Care Team for assistance. For any girl who has registered for the 2017-2018 membership year with your troop and then chooses to move to another troop, you will need to contact a member of our Care Team so that we may cancel her participation with the old troop. Girls who are actively registered with more than one troop during a given membership year will run into issues with our Fall Product Sale and Girl Scout Cookie Program systems.

Managing Multi-Level Troops

Multi-level troops are typically set up with a separate troop number for each grade level. If you have such a group, please make sure that each girl is in the correct troop number, depending on her grade.

Selecting Volunteer Roles

Each troop is set up with the following volunteer opportunities:

  • Troop Co-Leader (2 required)

  • Troop Support Volunteer (number in troop should mirror the number of girls)

  • Troop Cookie Manager (1 per troop)

  • Troop Driver/Chaperone (number in troop should mirror the number of girls)

  • Troop Fall Product Sale Manager (1 per troop)

  • Troop First Aider (1 per troop)

  • Troop Treasurer (1 per troop)

  • Adult Member (unlimited)

Available volunteer roles will show in the opportunity catalog to be selected by adult members. Though volunteers can certainly register for more than one role, being a Troop Co-Leader can be a big job! Share the load by leaving the additional opportunities available for others. If you register as the Troop Co-Leader or any other volunteer role, it is not necessary to also select Adult Member. This role is designed specifically for those adults who are not volunteering with the troop at all and simply want to be registered members. If you need additional opportunities to be made available (perhaps you have a 2-person Cookie Team), contact a member of our Care Team and we will be happy to make this adjustment for you. If you are having trouble recruiting parents to help with troop operations, please let us know and we will be happy to request additional support from them and promote additional volunteer participation on your behalf.

Follow-up Emails

If you start the registration/renewal process for a member and do not complete this, you will receive automated emails reminding you of the membership in progress. Click the link from any of these emails to complete the membership. If you have any difficulty getting registered/renewed, simply reply to the email you received or contact a member of our Care Team for assistance.

Membership Years Discrepancies

If you find your membership years are incorrect in your profile, please accept our apologies.  Unfortunately, this particular field got jumbled in the transition to our new system.  Please contact a member of our Care Team, and we will be delighted to correct this for you.

How to Renew Your Troop in One Easy Transaction

How To Renew Your Troop in One Easy Transaction

Note: New members (anyone who did not have a membership in the 2016-2017 membership year) cannot be renewed. These will need to be added to your troop in a separate transaction. Details on this process will be provided ASAP.  Additionally, while multiple members from the same troop can be renewed in a single transaction, multiple troops cannot be renewed in the same transaction and will have to be done separately. 

  1. Log in to the member community with your username and password.

  2. Click on the “Troops” tab.  This is where you will see your current troop roster and renew or add new members to your troop.

  3. If you have multiple troops, confirm in the dropdown box, on the left-hand side, which troop you would like to renew.

  4. On the right-hand side of the screen, there is a box that gives you two membership year options: Current Year (2016-2017) and Next Year (2017-2018). Be sure to select Next Year.

  5. For each member in your household, set their renewal option to one of the following:

    1. Renew- select for members you would like to pay to renew at this time.

    2. I’ll decide later- select for members you are not sure will be returning, or will not be renewing at this time.  If you are unsure about whether the member will be returning to Girl Scouts at all, select this option.  This will keep the renewal option open until a decision has been made. However, any member who has still not renewed by October 1st, will be considered a lapsed member and show as Inactive in your My GS account.

    3. Do not renew- select for members you are sure are not returning at all, to any troop or as an individual, for the 2017-2018 membership year.  Selecting this completely removes the option for the girl to renew to Girl Scouts for the upcoming year.  A member of our Care Team must be notified to reverse this, if chosen in error.

  6. Select “continue” to proceed to the acceptance screen.

  7. Please read and accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law, then click “continue”.

  8. Select a donation amount, if desired.  (All donations made through this option will stay local to Girl Scouts Heart of the South and support our council’s efforts in providing Membership Dues Scholarships and quality programming for our girls.)

  9. If adult renewals are included in your transaction, you will have the opportunity to upgrade those to Lifetime Memberships by selecting “Yes”.

  10. Review your transaction summary and when ready, select “Submit” to process renewals.

  11. A Thank You page will appear once the transaction has been processed and an itemized receipt will be emailed to you. You also have the option to “Print Itemized Receipt” from the Thank You page.

  12. Don’t forget to share your renewal update on social media! You can do it right from the Thank You page.  

Follow these same steps, at any time, to renew any additional members who were not renewed in the initial transaction.

 

How to Add a (new or transferring) Girl Member to Your Troop

How To Add a Girl Member to Your Troop (new to Girl Scouting or transferring from another troop)

Note: New members cannot be added in the same transaction as troop renewal. This will need to be done separately. In addition, each new membership must be completed as a separate transaction.   

  1. Log in to the member community with your username and password.

  2. Click on the “Troops” tab.  This is where you will see your current troop roster and renew or add new members to your troop.

  3. If you have multiple troops, confirm in the dropdown box, on the left-hand side, which troop you would like to renew.

  4. On the right-hand side of the screen, there is a box that gives you two membership year options: Current Year (2016-2017) and Next Year (2017-2018). Be sure to select Next Year.

  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to Add a New Member, choose “Girl” from the dropdown menu, and select “Go”.

  6. Complete the Girl Registration form and click “Continue” to be taken to the membership screen.

  7. If the girl is already a member of Girl Scouts, a  message will pop-up indicating this. To add this existing member to the troop, simply select “Yes.” (Failure to correctly respond to this pop-up could lead to a duplicate record and membership being created.  In this instance council staff would need to be notified to correct.)

  8. Another pop-up will confirm the addition. Click on Close to return to the transaction.

  9. Complete the Membership Information and Parent/Caregiver Information, clicking “Continue” when finished to proceed to the acceptance screen.

  10. Please read and accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law, then click Continue.

  11. Please read and accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law, then click “Continue” to proceed to the confirmation page.

  1. Select a donation amount, if desired. (All donations made through this option will stay local to Girl Scouts Heart of the South and support our council’s efforts in providing Membership Dues Scholarships and quality programming for our girls.)

  2. Review your transaction summary and when ready, select “submit” to process the membership payment.

  3. A Thank You page will appear once the transaction has been processed and an itemized receipt will be emailed to you. You also have the option to Print Itemized Receipt from the Thank You page.

 

Note: If this girl has registered with a troop, but is transferring to another troop  for the 2018 membership year, please contact a member of our Care Team so that we may end her participation with the other troop in our system. Failure to do so will result in errors with both the Fall Product Sale and Girl Scout Cookie Program systems.

 

 

How to Add an Adult Member to Your Troop

 

How To Add an Adult Member to Your Troop

Follow these steps for an adult who is NOT volunteering with the troop and is new to Girl Scouting or coming from another troop.

Note: New members cannot be added in the same transaction as troop renewal. This will need to be done separately. In addition, each new membership must be completed as a separate transaction.   

  1. Click on the “Troops” tab.  This is where you will see your current troop roster and renew or add new members to your troop.

  2. If you have multiple troops, confirm in the dropdown box, on the left-hand side, which troop you would like to renew.

  3. On the right-hand side of the screen, there is a box that gives you two membership year options: Current Year (2016-2017) and Next Year (2017-2018). Be sure to select Next Year.

  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to Add a New Member, choose “Adult” from the dropdown menu, and select “Go”.

  5. Complete the Adult Registration form, select Add as an Adult Member, and click “Continue” to be taken to the membership information screen.

  6. If the adult is already a member of Girl Scouts, a  message will pop-up indicating this. To add this existing member to the troop, simply select “Yes.” (Failure to correctly respond to this pop-up could lead to a duplicate record and membership being created. In this instance, council staff would need to be notified to correct.)

  7. Another pop-up will confirm the addition. Click on “Close” to return to the transaction.

  8. Complete the Membership Information Form, clicking “Continue,” when finished, to proceed to the acceptance screen.

  9. Please read and accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law, then click “Continue.”

  10. Before proceeding, you will have the opportunity to upgrade to a Lifetime Membership by selecting “Yes,” if desired.

  11. Select a donation amount, if desired. (All donations made through this option will stay local to Girl Scouts Heart of the South and support our council’s efforts in providing Membership Dues Scholarships and quality programming for our girls.)

  12. Review your transaction summary and when ready, select “Submit” to process the membership payment.

  13. A Thank You page will appear once the transaction has been processed and an itemized receipt will be emailed to you. You also have the option to Print Itemized Receipt from the Thank You page.

 

How to Add a New Adult Volunteer to Your Troop

 

How To Add a New Adult Volunteer to Your Troop

Follow these steps for an adult who IS volunteering with the troop and is new to Girl Scouting or coming from another troop.

Note: New members cannot be added in the same transaction as troop renewal. This will need to be done separately. In addition, each new membership must be completed as a separate transaction.   

 

  1. Click on the “Troops” tab.  This is where you will see your current troop roster and renew or add new members to your troop.

  2. If you have multiple troops, confirm in the dropdown box, on the left-hand side, which troop you would like to renew.

  3. On the right-hand side of the screen, there is a box that gives you two membership year options: Current Year (2016-2017) and Next Year (2017-2018). Be sure to select Next Year.

  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to Add a New Member, choose “Adult” from the dropdown menu, and select “Go”.

  5. Complete the Adult Registration form, select Add Member as a Volunteer, and click “Continue” to be taken to the membership information screen.

  6. If the adult is already a member of Girl Scouts, a  message will pop-up indicating this. To add this existing member to the troop, simply select “Yes.” (Failure to correctly respond to this pop-up could lead to a duplicate record and membership being created, which staff would need to be notified about and correct.)

  7. Another pop-up will confirm the addition. Click on “Close” to return to the transaction.

  8. Select a volunteer role for the member by using the troop number to search for available options.

    1. If you do not see the volunteer opportunity(ies) listed that you are looking for, please contact a member of our Care Team for further assistance.

    2. Additionally, if you are interested in a role outside of a Troop, you may search by changing the zip code field and removing the Troop number.  You may also contact a member of our Care Team and we will help identify a role that will allow you to best serve as a GSHS volunteer.

  9. Select the preferred opportunity and click “Next.”

  10. Complete the Membership Information, clicking “Continue,” when finished, to proceed to the acceptance screen.

  11. Please read and accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law, then click “Continue.”

  12. Before proceeding, you will have the opportunity to upgrade to a Lifetime Membership by selecting “Yes,” if desired.

  13. Select a donation amount, if desired. (All donations made through this option will stay local to Girl Scouts Heart of the South and support our council’s efforts in providing Membership Dues Scholarships and quality programming for our girls.)

  14. Review your transaction summary and when ready, select “Submit” to process the membership payment.

  15. A Thank You page will appear once the transaction has been processed and an itemized receipt will be emailed to you. You also have the option to Print Itemized Receipt from the Thank You page.

 

How to Add a Role for a Current Adult Member

How To Add a Role for a Current Adult Member

  1. Click on the “Troops” tab.  This is where you will see your current troop roster and renew or add new members to your troop.

  2. If you have multiple troops, confirm in the dropdown box, on the left-hand side, which troop you would like to renew.

  3. On the right-hand side of the screen, there is a box that gives you two membership year options: Current Year (2016-2017) and Next Year (2017-2018). Be sure to select Next Year.

  4. Scroll down to the adult members in your troop, select “Add” (on the right-hand side) next to the volunteer choosing to serve in an additional role.

  5. Type in the troop number and click “Search” to find available roles.

    1. If you do not see the volunteer opportunity(ies) listed that you are looking for, please contact a member of our Care Team for further assistance.

    2. Additionally, if you are interested in a role outside of a Troop, you may search by changing the zip code field and removing the Troop number.  You may also contact a member of our Care Team and we will help identify a role that will allow you to best serve as a GSHS volunteer.

  6. Check the box to the left of the desired role and select “Next.”

  7. You will now see this role added to the volunteer’s name.

How to Update Household Information for Troop Members

How to Update Household Information for Troop Members

The beginning of the membership year is the perfect time to make sure members have current information on record with Girl Scouts. However, updates can be made to contact information at any time during the year.  As a troop co-leader, you can update many of these fields through your own membership community by following the steps below. Updates can only be done on one member at a time.

  1. Log in to the member community with your username and password.

  2. Click on the “Troops” tab.  This is where you will see your current troop roster and renew or add new members to your troop.

  3. If you have multiple troops, confirm in the dropdown box, on the left-hand side, which troop you would like to renew.

  4. Click “Edit” next to the member’s name to change any household information.

  5. Make any necessary changes and click “Save” to return back to the troop roster in the Troops tab.

Note: All fields are editable by the troop co-leader and/or parent/guardian except gender, date of birth and grade. To update these fields, contact a member of our Care Team and we will gladly make these changes for you.

How to Update Troop Information

How to Update Troop Information

Renewal season is also a perfect time to update your troop information!  This allows a great checkpoint to ensure that council staff have the correct information about when and where your troop meets, the GSLE Program Grade Level and grade(s) that your troop operates with and what size troop you have and/or desire to have.  Editing this information ensures that our online Opportunity Catalog will hold accurate information for new families searching for the best fit for their family.  Communicating this information and keeping it up-to-date can eliminate miscommunications and longer than necessary wait times for new members as they seek troop placement in Girl Scouts.  To update this information, follow the steps below.

  1. Log in to the member community with your username and password.

  2. Click on the “Troops” tab.  This is where you will see your current troop roster and renew or add new members to your troop.

  3. If you have multiple troops, confirm in the dropdown box, on the left-hand side, which troop you would like to renew.

  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on View/Edit Troop Information.

  5. Information will dropdown on this same page, reflecting the current information that is on file for the troop.

  6. Edit any necessary fields on the right and click “Save.”


Note: Edits to this information (including Program Grade Level, Desired Total Number of Girls, Meeting Location Name, and Address) require council review and are not automatically updated. Changes may take up to a week. Additionally changes for the upcoming membership year will not be made until the end of June or early July by council staff, as new members might still be joining for the remainder of this year.  If you need an update quicker, please contact a member of our Care Team for assistance.

Displaying Your Troop in the Online Opportunity Catalog

 

Displaying Your Troop in the Online Opportunity Catalog

As an organization that teaches girls to be inclusive, friendly and welcoming, troops are strongly encouraged to include their troop in the online Opportunity Catalog. In this spirit, we display all troops in our catalog at GSHS unless Troop Co-Leaders request otherwise and speak to a member of our support team regarding their request.  These requests are processed on a case by case basis.  This operating standard allows new girls access to the Girl Scout experience that your current troop members are currently enjoying. Troops are set up with a maximum number of girl members, and once this has been reached, the troop will be “closed” and no longer display in the catalog as an option for new/transferring members (unless the number of openings is manually increased by council staff at the request of troop co-leaders).

 

 

Healthy Troop Size

Healthy Troop Size

Our troops are automatically set up for a specific number of members. Girls in much smaller troops do not always get the full Girl Scout group experience, and very large troops can be harder to manage and make it more difficult to ensure girl safety. Troops for this past membership year were set to 12 girls.  In the upcoming 2018 Girl Scout year, troops will be set up in our system with the following number of spots:


  • Daisy troops- 10 girls

  • Brownie troops- 12 girls

  • Junior troops- 12 girls

  • Cadette troops- 8 girls

  • Senior troops- 5 girls

  • Ambassador troops- 5 girls


Troop leaders are always welcome to make adjustments to their desired troop size in order to accommodate more girls. This change can be requested through your My GS account, under the Troops tab. Once the request is received, a staff member should be able to update the troop size within a few days. If you need adjustments to be made sooner, contact a member of our Care Team for assistance. When increasing your troop size, make sure that you have enough registered, screened volunteers to always meet GSUSA’s guidelines on girl-adult ratio.  If you wish to request that your troop be smaller, please contact a member of our Care Team to discuss your needs.


If your troop decides that they will not be able to accommodate the number of girls that is displaying in the Opportunity Catalog, please contact council staff to make this update immediately.  Otherwise, families and staff may unknowingly continue to place girls in the troop.


Background Screening

Background Screening

To ensure the safety of our members, Girl Scouts Heart of the South requires every adult working directly with girls to pass a background check. This includes every volunteer in the following roles:

  • Troop Co-leader

  • Troop Driver/Chaperone

  • Troop First Aider


Girl Scouts Heart of the South also requires background screening for all adults working with money, including:

  • Troop Fall Product Sales Managers

  • Troop Cookie Managers

  • Troop Treasurer


All Service Team positions also require background screening. These include:

  • Service Unit Manager

  • Service Unit Community Relations Coordinator

  • Service Unit Cookie Manager

  • Service Unit Development & Advancement Manager

  • Service Unit Fall Product Sales Manager

  • Service Unit Finance Coordinator

  • Service Unit Learning & Support Coordinator

  • Service Unit Program & Events Coordinator

  • Service Unit Recruitment Coordinator

  • Service Unit Registrar



Frequently Asked Questions about Background Screening

For additional assistance, contact our Care Team at CustomerCareWeb@girlscoutshs.org or 800-624-4185

Question

Answer

Who conducts background screening for GSHS?

GSHS uses Verified Volunteers for all volunteer background screening. You can learn more about Verified Volunteers at www.verifiedvolunteers.com.

How long is a background check good for?

Background checks expire after two years. When your background check is close to expiring, you will receive an email prompting you to renew the screening.

How will I know when my background check expires?

You can find this information in two different places:

1- You will be able to see the date of completion by logging into your Verified Volunteers account. All background checks are good for two years, so yours will expire two years from the date of completion.

2- If you are a troop co-leader, you will see all registered adults at the bottom of your Troops tab. Each of these will show a CBC (Criminal Background Check) expiration date. If you’re a troop volunteer but not a co-leader, your co-leader can locate this information for you.

What is the cost for a background check?

Background checks are only $8 for two years. That breaks out to only $4 a year, which is very affordable when background screening for other organizations can run upwards of $25-$50.  

What is the benefit of me purchasing my own background check?

Verified Volunteers is a screening company that is used by many service organizations in the education, social & human services, health care, sports, religious institutions and youth development sectors. Once you have an account and an active background check, you can choose to share this with any of the other organizations you donate time to. There’s no need to complete new screening, pay for another background check, and wait on your results to come back. You can simply log in to your Verified Volunteers account and share your results with another organization.

I’m already volunteering my time. Why do I have to pay for my own background check?

We want to be able to provide as much programming and support as possible to our girl and adult members, and that takes money. As a nonprofit organization, we always try to make the best decisions on how we allocate our limited resources, and it’s just not feasible to cover background screening for hundreds of volunteers each year. However, as mentioned, the background check you purchase is yours and can be shared with other organizations, which saves you both money and time.


Can background screening be considered a troop expense?


Absolutely! Troop’s cannot operate without adequately screened adults. Because of this, troops may make the decision to count screening as an operating expense. Please keep in mind that this decision should be made by the girls, as they are to always be included in their own budgeting.

How long does it take to process a background check?

Most background checks are completed within 2-3 business days, but because screening is run through multiple layers and pulls data from multiple counties and states, results can occasionally be delayed.  

How do I start my background check?

Once you’ve selected a volunteer role that requires background screening, you will receive an email invitation from The Advocates at Verified Volunteers prompting you to complete your background check.  Contact a member of our Care Team, at any time, if you need assistance with this.

I can’t find the email invitation to complete my screening. Now what?

First, check your spam. Because these are system-generated invitations, they are sometimes caught by filters. If you still do not find your invitation, contact a member of our Care Team to have the invitation sent again.

When I try to complete my background check, it tells me the information I’m entering isn’t correct. Why is that?

The information in Verified Volunteers must match the information we have for you in our membership database. If you’re getting this error and know that you are putting the correct information into Verified Volunteers, we likely need to update your record. Please check your information in your My GS account and if there is something that needs updated and you don’t have an option to edit it on your end, contact a member of our Care Team for assistance.

I already have a current background check through work. Can I use this for Girl Scouts, as well?

You may be able to use the same background check, as long as it matches or exceeds our guidelines for volunteer screening. To determine whether or not your background check can be used for volunteer service with Girl Scouts Heart of the South, contact a member of our Care Team.  Please note that pursuing this option typically takes longer than 2-3 days, as each request must be processed manually on a first come, first served basis.


Troubleshooting


 

Troubleshooting

For additional assistance, contact our Care Team at CustomerCareWeb@girlscoutshs.org or 800-624-4185.

Problem

Solution

I have a member who is showing as “Inactive.”

There are a number of reasons why this may be the case. Contact the Care Team for additional support.

I’ve completed my registration and background check, but still cannot see my Troop tab.

Potential Reason 1) Background checks typically take 2-3 days to process but some may take longer. The Troops tab will not be available until your background check has cleared.


Potential Reason 2) The background check in your record has expired. Until this is updated, you will not be able to access the tab.  


Potential Reason 3) If you are the only Troop Co-Leader for the troop, the troop is still “In Formation.”  All troops require two troop co-leaders. Once a second troop co-leader has completed the registration/screening process, your Troop tab will become available.


Potential Reason 4) You are not registered in the role of Co-Leader for the Troop in question. Please review your profile to see if you have Troop Co-Leader for this troop included. If so, confirm that the status is active. If you do not have this role included in your profile, you can add it by selecting the “Add Role” option.


Contact the Care Team for additional support, if none of these reasons seem to apply to your situation.

I have girls showing up in my Troops tab who are not returning this year, or who registered with my troop and then quit/changed troops.

Girls who were in your troop last year will remain on your troop roster through the end of the next membership year. After September 30th, any members who have not renewed their membership will show as “Inactive”.


If a girl registers with your troop and then moves to another troop, she will remain “active” on your troop roster for the remainder of the year. “Active” means she’s an active Girl Scout, and since she was with your troop when she completed her registration, she will remain on your roster through the following membership year.

What happens if i don’t see a girl listed on my troop roster?

If you do not see a girl on your roster who should be, contact a member of our Care Team for assistance. It may be that she registered under the wrong troop number, or doesn’t have a membership at all.


I have a member on my roster being prompted to register for the 2016-2017 membership year instead of being given the option to renew. Why is that?

Chances are, this member may have participated as a Girl Scout last year and never registered. Because their membership lapsed and therefore was not active, you will not be able to renew them until their membership is brought current. They will need to pay for the 2016-2017 membership year in which they participated before being given the option to renew.


If you have a member who did not participate in 2016-2017, but did in previous years, they are considered new members in the system and will not have the option to renew. However, we do ask that you please use caution when adding lapsed members as new members in the system. The lapsed member’s  information (and the parent’s information for lapsed girl members), needs to be entered exactly as it already appears in the family’s My GS account. Even the slightest typo or change from what’s in the system will create a duplicate record for the member that will then need to be corrected by council staff. As a best practice, we ask that you contact the Care Team for us to process these registrations for you/them.  We will be more than happy to get the membership started and either send the link to complete payment or take the payment over the phone.

I want to start another troop. How do I get a troop number?

To start a troop, log in to your My GS account and select Add Role. Search by zip code for troop co-leader positions in your area and select the grade level you want. Troops that show they need 2 volunteers are troops that currently have no leadership. Troops that show 1 volunteer are only waiting on the second co-leader they need to get started.  If you still don’t see an option that fits your needs, contact the Care Team and staff will be happy to upload an opportunity that fits your needs.

I paid for my membership but I’m still showing as inactive in my My GS account. What happened?

This may have happened for a number of reasons. Please contact a member of our Care Team so that we can look into this for you.

I see a membership in my Membership or Troops tab that is showing up as “payment pending”. Why is that?

This status indicates the membership was started but not completed and payment is still due. The member (or the parent of the member or troop co-leader) should have received an email prompting them to complete the registration. This email will include a link to log back in and pick up where they left off.  If you need help completing these types of registrations and can’t locate the link to do so, our Care Team will be happy to provide you with that information.

I cannot enter the expiration date on my credit card. How should I proceed?

If you are experiencing this issue, the Care Team will need to assist you. Please contact us so that we may do so.

My card is showing an error when I try to process the payment for my registration/renewal.

First, try to re-enter the card number again. If this doesn't work, you will want to call the Care Team for assistance.

Can I pay for my registration/renewal with cash or check?

No. All councils across the nation went to online registration over the past few years. If you are a co-leader and your troop does not already have a credit/debit card, you will need to secure one as soon as possible.  If you are a parent/caregiver who does not have a credit/debit card, we encourage you to pay your troop and have them process your registration/renewal online.  If you do not yet have a troop, contact the Care Team for assistance.

Can I pay the $25 Girl Scout membership dues directly to the co-leader?

Possibly. If you are a parent without a debit/credit card, talk to your troop co-leader. She may permit you to pay the $25 membership dues directly to her so she can then register the member through her My GS account using the troop’s debit/credit card. Please remember to get a receipt when dealing with cash. You should also receive a notification by email as soon as the member is registered.

I paid the troop co-leader and my membership is still showing as inactive. What do I need to do?

Please contact the Care Team for assistance with this issue.

My number of membership years is incorrect. How can I get this updated?

Should you find your membership years are incorrect in your profile, please accept our apologies.  Unfortunately, this particular field got jumbled in the transition to our new system. Please contact a member of our Care Team, and we will be happy to correct this for you.

I paid for the wrong membership year. How can I correct this?

If you have registered for the wrong year the Care Team will be able to correct until September 30th (when the membership year ends). After September 30th, we will not be able to exchange the membership years and you will need to purchase an additional 2018 membership in order to participate for the next membership year.  

I have more than one troop and one or more of the members are listed in the wrong troop. How do I get them moved to the correct troop?

Please contact the Care Team for assistance in getting this straightened out.  We are happy to help!

How do I remove a member from my household in my My GS account?

If  a correction of this sort is required, you will need to contact the Care Team for assistance.


 

Glossary of Renewal & Registration Terms

 

Glossary of Renewal and Registration Terms

Adult member: Adult members differ from volunteers in that they simply are registered Girl Scouts and do not hold an active volunteer position.

Case: When you contact a member of our staff, a case is created with your inquiry or concern. As soon as we have an answer for you, or are able to address your concern, you will receive an email notifying you that the case has been closed.

Case Closure Email: When an issue has been resolved, a question answered, or other support has been given, we will close the related case. If you originally reached out to the Care Team by sending an email to CustomerCareWeb@girlscoutshs.org or by sending a message through the Contact Us page on the council’s website, you will receive an automated message with the resolution as soon as one has been provided. If for some reason this resolution is not satisfactory, or you still have questions, simply reply to the case closure email and we will be happy to continue working on the matter for you.  

CBC Expiration: If you are a troop co-leader, you will see this in your My GS account in the Troops tab. CBC expiration is referring to the date on which a volunteer’s criminal background check is set to expire.

“Current” member: Members who have the status of “current” have registered or renewed their Girl Scout membership for the year, and are considered active members.

“Don’t Renew” renewal option: This option will show as one of the three renewal choices for all members. It should only be selected if the girl will definitely not be returning to Girl Scouts at all this year, whether with her current troop or a new one. For volunteers, this means they will not be returning to the specific role for which they made this selection. In both instances, this action cannot be reversed by families or volunteers. If this option is chosen in error, or if there is a change of plans later on in the year, the Care Team should be contacted to update the record.

Household: A household refers to everyone living at a single address.

“I’ll Decide Later” renewal option: This option should be chosen whenever a person is unsure of a member’s future participation in Girl Scouts, or is just not planning to renew the member during this specific transaction.

 

“Inactive” member: Members who have the status of “inactive” do not have a current Girl Scout membership.

Individually Registered Member (IRM): Individually Registered Members are members who have chosen to participate on their own. This may be because their schedule does not allow for regular troop meetings, there is not an available troop in their area, or perhaps they just prefer to participate as an individual.

“Lapsed” member: A lapsed member is one who has participated in Girl Scouts in previous years, but did not renew for the current membership year, prior to October 1.

Lifetime Member: Graduating Seniors and adult members have the option of becoming Lifetime Members by purchasing a membership that never expires.

Member Community: “Member Community” and “My GS” are terms that are used interchangeably. These refer to the online community where Girl Scout membership and participation can be managed, both by families and troop co-leaders.

Membership tab: Located in your My GS account, this is where you will find all information on your Household’s Girl Scout membership and participation.

Membership Years: When viewing/editing the members of your household or troop, you will see their “Membership Years”. This field refers to the number of years a member was active as either a girl or adult. It does not distinguish between years as an active volunteer and years as simply a registered member.

My GS: “Member Community” and “My GS” are terms that are used interchangeably. These refer to the online community where Girl Scout membership and participation can be managed, both by families and troop co-leaders.

Participation: In your My GS account, the term “participation” refers to how the member is participating in Girl Scouts. Here you will find which troop a girl is registered with, as well as all of the roles an adult member/volunteer holds.

“Payment Pending” member: Members with “Payment Pending” as their status are those who have begun the registration or renewal process, but abandoned the transaction prior to paying their Girl Scout membership dues.

Registration: Registration refers to the process of obtaining a Girl Scout membership for new members, or members who were not active the previous year.

“Renew” renewal option: This is the renewal choice that should be selected when you are ready to renew membership for a girl or adult.

Renewal: Renewal simply means extending your Girl Scout participation for another year. Renewal is only an option for members who had an active membership the prior year.

Renewal choice: Next to each member, there will be three renewal options for the upcoming year: Renew, I’ll Decide Later, and Don’t Renew.

Status: This field, found in your My GS account, refers to a member’s status in Girl Scouts. You will typically see one of three statuses in this column: Active, Inactive, or Payment Pending.

Troops tab: Troop Co-Leaders can access their troop information using the Troops tab in their My GS account. Here you will find your troop roster, each member’s participation, their status as a member and CBC expiration dates for adult members. New girl and adult members can be added by troop leadership through the Troops tab. Troop meeting information can also be updated from this location, as well as members’ contact information.

Verified Volunteers: Verified Volunteers is the company Girl Scouts Heart of the South uses for volunteer screening.  

 

Real-Time Video Demonstration of Renewing a Troop Online

AVAILABLE ON THIS PAGE SOON.

renew

Still Have Questions?

Our dedicated Care Team is here to provide support to our members. If you still have questions or need assistance with anything, let us know.

Office Hours: Our office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to Noon. However, we have extended office hours of Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during Girl Scout Recruitment Season and during the the Girl Scout Cookie Program - dates vary annually but are typically in February and March and July through October.

Phone: 1-800-624-4185  

During peak seasons and hours, our phones can get very busy. If you are directed to voicemail, please leave us a detailed message so that we may assist you. Our team works hard to ensure that all voicemails are returned as quickly as possible throughout the day.

Email: CustomerCareWeb@girlscoutshs.org

Online: Simply click on “Contact Us” in the upper right-hand corner of the council’s website- www.girlscoutshs.org.

Meet the Care Team:

 

file

The 2018 Renewal & Registration Guide is also available as a PDF to view in full online or to download and print. Click here to access this valuable resource.

(coming soon)