Monday, September 17, 2012

Permission Slips: The Necessary Evil

We don't have many hard and fast rules in our troop, but permission slips are one of them - and our parents know it. If we don't have a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian (along with a current health history), that girl is not going on the field - no ifs, ands or buts.

But it took us a few years to realize that our  Council's standard permission slip wasn't quite working for us. On the whole, it's a good form that covers all the details, and it's convenient because it's already attached to the health history that the girls complete at the beginning of the year. But for us, it had a few drawbacks:
  1. The spaces were small and had to be handwritten. It was sometimes hard to squeeze in all the necessary details. In addition, with the exception of scanning in the form, there was no way to easily email it out to parents.
  2. Parents didn't copy down the details. Because the form was turned into us, it usually meant we had to make a copy or create a separate sheet with the necessary details, so that parents would know when to drop off, pick up, etc.
  3. It was hard to keep track of who was going. We usually distribute permission slips well in advance of a trip or event. But if a form hadn't been signed yet, did that mean the girl wasn't going? Or did we need to remind the parents? Often, we were sending out separate RSVP emails just to get a headcount so we could plan.
So I did a little hunting around, and sure enough I found a variety of permission slip templates from other councils. Pulling from these, and adding some info of our own, I created this template. It gives us the option of typing in the details and printing, or writing them out. All of the important info for parents is captured in the top half, allowing them to keep that portion. All of the information we need is in the bottom, and we carry these along with their completed health histories on each field trip or event. It means a bit more paperwork in the end than a single form, but it seems to work for us.

What about you? Do you have a template that you prefer?

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