Democratic Process

The democratic process has been part of the basic beliefs characterizing the Girl Scout movement since its inception. While this does not mean that every member of the council can vote on everything or make final decisions about policy, it does mean that members will be well informed about major issues affecting the council. The council’s board of directors, which are elected by the voting members, makes the final decisions for the organization. 

The purpose of the council is to further the development of the Girl Scout Movement in the United States; to establish local responsibility for leadership, administration, and supervision of the Girl Scout Movement; and to develop, manage, and maintain Girl Scouting in accordance with the terms of the council’s charter. 

The members of the council shall be all active adult volunteers and all active girl members 14 years of age and older who are registered in the Girl Scout Movement through the council. An active adult volunteer is a member of Girl Scouts of the USA who has been appointed or elected, including board members, to serve in a specific volunteer position.

The voting members of the council shall be the members, determined as of the first day of the fiscal year in which a meeting is being held; The members shall comprise the majority of the voting members. 

In accordance with the procedures set forth in the Bylaws, the voting members of the council shall elect the officers of the council, the board of directors, the board development committee, and the delegates and alternate delegates to the National Council. Each voting member of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is entitled to one vote.

National delegates whom the council is entitled to elect to the National Council shall be elected for a term of three years or until their successors are elected. Alternates may be asked to fill possible vacancies among the National Delegates to the National Council and are elected at the same time and in the same manner as the National Delegates to the National Council. 

National Council Delegates influence policy by holding elections, amending the Constitution, establishing requirements for credentials, and determining the general lines of policy of the Girl Scout Movement. In addition, they consider and act upon proposals directed toward the fostering and improvement of Girl Scouting, receive and act upon reports of the National Board of Directors, and give guidance to the national Board upon general lines of direction of the Movement and program.

The board of directors is elected to ensure that the council continues to operate effectively over the long term. Specific responsibilities include policy-making, planning, review, funding, community relations and, assuring that the chief executive officer’s performance is effective. The board must ensure that the council is operated in compliance with Girl Scouts of the USA charter requirements and state and federal laws.

The board governs with an emphasis on outward vision rather than internal focus, strategic leadership more than administrative detail, clear distinction of board and CEO roles, collective rather than individual decisions, future rather than past or present, and proactivity rather than reactivity. On any issue, the board must ensure that all divergent views are considered in making decisions, yet must resolve into a single organizational position.

Click here ​for a list of current board members.