GSNorCal Volunteer Essentials


Quick Links to ABOUT GSNorCal Chapter Topics: Your Council | Office & Retail Locations | Property & Rental Information | Publications | Reporting Concerns | Staff | Governance & Operations |

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

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

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

Please visit the GSNorCal website for hours for all offices, service centers, and stores:

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


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Visit: for office and service center hours.
Field based staff are located throughout Northern California.
Contact Member Services to find out which Volunteer Development Manager serves your area.
800-447-4475 Ext 0, or
Retail Store Locations

(Scroll to the right if entire table doesn't display on your screen)

Greater Bay Area

North Central Area

North Coast Area

Redwoods Area

Alameda Office & Store
1650 Harbor Bay Pkwy
Suite 100
Alameda, Ca 94502-3013
Phone: (510) 562-8470 or
(800) 447-4475
Shop: (510) 562-8470
ext. 7093
Fax: (510) 633-7925

Chico Office & Store
50 Landing Circle
Chico, CA 95973
Phone: (530) 343-1904 or
(800) 447-4475
Shop: (530) 343-1904
ext. 7097
Fax: (530) 343-6465

Santa Rosa Office & Store
4825 Old Redwood Hwy
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
Phone: (707) 544-5472 or
(800) 447-4475
Shop: (707) 544-5472
ext. 7091
Fax: (707) 544-5477

Eureka Office & Store
3203 T Street
Eureka, CA 95503
Phone: (707) 443-6641 or
(800) 447-4475
Shop: (707) 443-6641
ext. 7099
Fax: (707) 443-0496

San Jose Office & Store
1310 S. Bascom Avenue
San Jose, CA 95128-4502
Phone: (408) 287-4170 or
(800) 447-4475
ext. 7096
Fax: (408) 287-8025

Redding Office & Store
1670 Market Street
Suite 248
Redding, CA 96001
Phone: (530) 221-6180 or
(800) 447-4475
Shop: (530) 221-6180 ext. 7098
Fax: (530) 221-5340

Girl Scout stores offer more than just Girl Scout handbooks and clothing; they offer the latest information about what’s going on in Girl Scouting, from resource materials to membership and council news. With stores in San Jose, Alameda, Santa Rosa, Chico, Eureka, and Redding, it’s easy to get what you need at your local Girl Scout shop! You can also order uniforms, supplies, GSNorCal T-shirts, sweatshirts, patches, pins and more by mail or through our online store.

Order by Mail, Email, Fax or Phone:
Girl Scouts of Northern California Council Shop
1650 Harbor Bay Pkwy Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94502-3013
     Phone: (800) 447-4475 ext. 7090
     FAX: (510) 633-7925


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Discover the fun of camping, overnights, or other group activities with your friends! Girl Scout groups can enjoy special and affordable getaways at one of tthe eight council camps located throughout northern California. Experience the adventure of cooking out, sleeping in a cabin or tent, gazing at the stars or learning about nature. Each council site offers something unique, from old growth redwoods and the Pacific coast to trails that have sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay!

Visit  for
a rental directory, more information on rental sites and a link to online reservations.
Each rental property has a webpage with a summary of facilities, pricing, camp map, links to local attractions and a slide show featuring facilities, trails and landscape.
Reservations can be made online, by fax or by mail. Reservations cannot be taken over the phone. Mailed and faxed reservations may take two to three weeks to process.  

Fees are based on a tiered system:

  1. GSNorCal groups
  2. Other non-profit groups (including out-of-council Girl Scouts)

Questions? or call (800) 447-4475 ext. 0

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GSNorCal Property Overview

Please visit for detailed information and to reserve a property today!
Site Day Use Overnight Use Kitchen Use Ropes Course Hiking Nearby Fire Circle Showers

A Girl's Place
Fairfield, CA


Fairfax, CA


Fairfax, CA


Butano Creek
Pescadero, CA


Hidden Falls
Soquel, CA

Closed for renovations!

Ida Smith
San Francisco, CA


Lou Henry Hoover Scout House
Palo Alto, CA


Rainbow's End
San Jose, CA


Skylark Ranch
Pescadeo, CA


Sugar Pine
Dorrington, CA


Twin Canyon
Lafayette, CA


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Reservation Periods

SiteCheck In timeCheck Out Time
Bothin, Butano Creek, Hidden Falls, Skylark Ranch 4:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m.


A Girl's Place, Arequipa, Cordelia, Hayward Cabin, Ida Smith, Rainbow's End, Twin Canyons

10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.


A Girl's Place, Arequipa, Cordelia, Hayward Cabin, Ida Smith, Lou Henry Hoover, (Saturday only), Rainbow's End, Twin Canyons

5:00 p.m. 9:30 a.m.

Lou Henry Hoover

(Friday and Saturday night rentals listed above)

Friday night 6:00 p.m.
Saturday Day 10:00 a.m.
Sunday Day 10:00 a.m.

9:30 a.m.

4:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.

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Reservation Opening Dates/Process

Reservation DateOpening DateUser Group Process
Now - Dec 31, 2016OpenAllOnline and Offline

Jan 1, 2017 - Dec 31, 2017

Sept 1, 2016AllOnline and Offline

Jan 1, 2018 - Dec 31, 2018

Aug 1, 2017Service Unit and Volunteer-Run Camps renting entire siteService Unit Property Reservation Request Online Form

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Ropes Course Rentals

We offer different options for groups to choose from when renting the ropes course at either Camp Bothin or Skylark Ranch. Unique opportunities are available to build teamwork with your group, develop climbing skills, participate in an individual challenge, and more through this ultimate high adventure activity!

Dynamic Course: High Elements  Participant is attached to a dynamic rope that passes through a pulley or karabiner above them and is kept tensioned by a belayer or belay team. Participants must be in 4th grade or higher.

Challenge Course: Low Elements An element for which safety is achieved through safe and effective spotting. Participants must be in 2nd grade or higher.

Static Course: Participant attaches themselves to various anchor points. This involves the use of a pair of karabiners, attached to the climbers harness with loops of webbing. Participants must be in 4th grade or higher.

Zip Line: Girls will develop courage and confidence in participants as they climb through the cargo nets and descend the zip line through the trees. Participants must be in 4th grade or higher.

For more information and fee information: or contact:

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Property Reservation FAQs

Q. Must I rent an entire site?
A. Smaller groups can plan their own special trips by renting unit areas within the larger site, and service units and large groups may rent entire campsites for their events. 

Q. May we exceed the stated capacities for sites?
A. No. Day use and overnight capacities at each site are based on several factors, including American Camping Association safety standards and may not be exceeded.

Q. Where can I find out what the rental fees are for properties?
A. Go to, email, or phone (800) 447-4475 ext. 2091

Q. How can I tell if the site is available for my desired dates?
A. Go to, email, or phone (800) 447-4475 ext. 2091

Q. How will I know if my reservation has been accepted?
A. Online reservations are confirmed at the time of reservation. Paper reservations are sent a confirmation within 5 business days if the site is available, or you will be informed that the site is not available for the dates requested.

Q. How do I reserve a ropes course?
A. Ropes course information can be found at or you can contact


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GSNorCal Publications

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

*To subscribe or unsubscribe from GSNorCal electronic mailings


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Reporting Concerns

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

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

We promote direct “open door” communications with our volunteers, parents/caregivers and staff. Volunteers' Concerns or suspected violations can be reported directly to her/his Council representative, the Chief Mission Delivery Officer or the CEO.

If you are not sure who to report to or want to report anonymously,  call our confidential third party automated telephone service, available 24/7: (877) 767-7781

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


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GSNorCal Staff

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

First Point of Contact: Member Services Department
For questions and assistance, please contact our Member Services Department. All calls and emails are tracked to ensure a world class level of customer service.

1 (800) 447-4475 ext. 0

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

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

  • Any questions about Girl Scout Programming
  • Adult screening process or status
  • Online membership registration and renewal
  • Troop Banking
  • Program and Event Guide: program event information and registration
  • Camp information and registration
  • Property information and reservations
  • Online and In-person adult learning course information and registration

Council Support

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

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

Organizational Development and Learning: Responsible for administering employment processes, including job posting, recruiting, and performance evaluation systems, as well as managing employee on-boarding and benefits. OD & L also addresses employee relations programs such as diversity, health and safety and employee policies and procedures. The e-learning team creates and maintains e-learning modules for volunteers and staff.

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

Mission Delivery

Our Mission Delivery departments work together to plan and determine how best to support our volunteers and provide the best service possible to each area.

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

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

Product Sales: Responsible for our two largest girl programs, focused on financial literacy and entrepreneurship. The Product Sales Department supports volunteers and girls in achieving their goals through the Fall Sale and Cookie Sale programs.

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

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

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

Risk Management & Travel: Responsible for Risk Management, Insurance and the Travel Pathway. Can assist you with trip approval process, travel questions, high-adventure approved vendors, purchasing insurance for non-members/members, Certificate of Insurance requests, rental vehicles, council sponsored trips and more. Contact for any insurance or policy questions. Contact for travel questions.  


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How are decisions made?

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



Big picture decisions and direction


Carrying it out:

implementing decisions and direction


People in governance:

·   Board of Directors

·   National & Regional Delegates

·   Members of the Board Development Committee

·   Members of board committees and task groups

People in operations:

·   Leaders and other volunteers working directly with girls

·   Service unit team members and others working with operational adults

·   Council staff


People in governance are concerned with:

·   Setting policy and long-term direction (strategic goals)

·   Establishing priorities

·   Ensuring financial and organizational stability

People in operations are responsible for:

·   Day to day management

·   Implementation of policy

·   Carrying out strategic goals

·   Providing feedback to the governance arm on progress and future needs


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

  • Become a delegate adults and girls 14 or overRegional Delegates
    Regional Delegates attend our council’s annual meeting, vote on any amendments to our Council Bylaws and elect the Board of Directors, Board Development Committee and National Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the National Council of GSUSA.
  • Board of Directors
    The Board of Directors are volunteers who are nominated by the Board Development Committee, a group of volunteers who take great care to make sure that the Board of Directors represent the council in terms of geographic representation, as well as demographically.
    Regional Delegates Each of our fourteen regions may elect up to eight delegates, including at least two girl members aged 14 or older. Remaining nominees may be elected to serve as alternate delegates. Visit our Volunteer Learning Portal for information about the Delegate positions. Nominations are open each year in October. Visit the council website for more information about our Board of Directors and Regional and National Delegates.


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

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


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