COVID-19 Information
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COVID-19 Important Updates

The safety and welfare of our girls is Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia’s top priority. We are hearing from our community, and many families and volunteers are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in our state. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. We will be adding frequently asked questions to this page as they arise. Please also see the letter below from Sue Else, CEO of Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia.

Check out our Virtual Programs for fun Girl Scout activities to do while official activities are suspended! 

Need help explaining the situation to your children? Here's how to talk to your kids about coronavirus.

If you have questions, please email customercare@gshg.org or call 1-888-689-1912.

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What is GSHG doing in response to COVID-19?
  • All camps are closed until June 1, 2020. We will issue refunds to all individuals and groups scheduled to attend programs and events through this date.
  • All in-person council-sponsored girl and volunteer programs, trainings and events are cancelled through June 30, 2020. We will issue refunds to all individuals and groups scheduled to attend programs, trainings and events through this date.
  • No trips will be approved through June 30, 2020.
  • Council offices will be open on June 1. To adhere to social distancing rules, staff will be in the offices on a rotating basis. Please contact Customer Care or the staff member by phone or email.
  • Our customer care line is open! You may still contact us with questions or concerns during regular office hours at customercare@gshg.org or  1-888-689-1912.
  • All in-person troop meetings, service area events and other volunteer-led programs are cancelled through June 30, 2020.
What events are cancelled? Will we receive refunds?
  • All council-sponsored girl and volunteer programs, trainings and events are cancelled through June 30, 2020. We will issue refunds to all individuals and groups scheduled to attend programs, trainings and events through this date.
  • No trips will be approved through June 30, 2020.
  • All in-person troop meetings, service area events and other volunteer-led programs should be cancelled through June 30, 2020.

 

COUNCIL UPDATE REGARDING TROOP AND SERVICE AREA MEETINGS:

Our national organization has issued a statement that troop and service area meetings are to be cancelled.

From GSUSA:

As federal guidelines currently limit gatherings to fewer than 10, the national office advises that all Girl Scout in-person activities, including troop meetings, be cancelled effective immediately.

As a national Movement, we must prioritize the health and safety of all girls and speak with one voice in doing so. At GSUSA, we stand in partnership with councils across the country that are making difficult decisions to protect all girls and families. We, as a Movement, are committing our collective resources to support all families during these stressful times. 

Can we meet virtually?

Stay tuned to our council website and social media for other virtual program opportunities developed by our Program team.

While we cannot endorse or support specific online meeting tools for your use, see below for a list of free and low-cost tools that could be useful to you.

Video and Audio-Conferencing Tools with free versions 

While all of these options have a free version, please note you may be prompted to consider their upgraded versions for a subscription fee.

  • Zoom - FAQ
    Note: Meetings durations maximum of 40 minutes in free version
  • Skype - Support
    Note: Up to 10 participants free
  • Webex – Help Center
    Note: Limited file and content sharing in free version

Chat and Collaboration Tools with free versions

Additional low-cost tools for collaboration and conferencing to consider if the above options do not meet your group's needs.

What steps can girls and volunteers take to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Please remember that the best protection is self-protection and self-monitoring, especially in this flu season. Health officials recommend the following measures to minimize your risk of contracting any virus: 

  • Wash hands frequently especially after sneezing, shaking hands/bodily contact with another individual, and before eating. Use soap and water for 20 seconds or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. 
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick – health officials call this “social distancing” and recommend staying about three feet away from someone who is sick. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like your phone or computer. 
  • Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing then throw the tissue in the trash, or as a last resort cough into the elbow 
  • Get plenty of sleep, good nutrition, stress-relief, and exercise – a healthy body is the best defense against illness. 
  • For the latest information, please consult the CDC website.


Greetings,

As we gear up to return to the offices in June, there remain questions about troop activities and travel.  We have heard from many of you about other councils and their practices, which ranged from fairly flexible guidelines to no troop activities through August.  The variance in policies is indicative of the difficulty of the decision within these uncertain times.  We  have consulted with others, considered variables, and have made the following decisions with girl safety first and foremost in mind.

Council Sponsored Travel:
There will be no council sponsored trips this summer.  Unfortunately, this means no cookie trips this year, which we know is disappointing for the girls who earned them.  However, no cookie trips does not equal no fun or recognition.  These stellar sellers will be given the opportunity to choose from a few fun outings to take with their families.   Girls and their families are being contacted by our Product Program staff with details.

Troop Travel:
Troops who would like to travel during the summer can make plans to do so after June 30th, provided CDC and local public health officials’ guidelines allow it at that time.   Leaders are still required to follow the guidelines outlined in Volunteer Essentials, which includes: 

  • submitting a troop trip application to the membership manager;
  • maintaining adequate adult to girl ratio;
  • abiding by the GSUSA prescribed travel progression recommendations
  • obtaining parent/guardian permission form for each girl traveling.
    Each parent/guardian should be informed of all trip details in advance.

Troop Meetings (face-to-face):
Troops will be able to meet face-to-face after June 30th, provided CDC and local public health officials’ guidelines allow it at that time.  Group gatherings should be less than 10 (total), as recommended by public health officials, and social distancing should be maintained.  

A few additional things to keep in mind:

  • Girls are not required to participate in any activity.  It is the sole discretion of the parent(s) and their comfort level with the planned outing or meeting.  Consider planning meetings that girls can participate in virtually or in person, according to each family’s circumstances and comfort level.
  • Leaders are expected to abide by the safety guidelines established by public health officials which include:

      ~ Wearing masks in public places where contact with others is unavoidable (e.g., stores, libraries, etc.).

      ~  Making sure girls are able to wash their hands frequently; have hand sanitizer available.

      ~  Practicing social distancing.

  • Groups cannot exceed 10 individuals - this includes adults.
  • Sick girls and adults must be excused from the activity and encouraged to stay at home. 

Additionally, we ask that all adults familiarize themselves with the CDC website prior to troop travel or activities to ensure they have the most up-to-date information (click here: CDC guidelines)

Finally, over the last few months, we have learned that we are functioning in an ever-changing environment.  Given the circumstances, please know that these standards are subject to change at any time.  Also, when planning a troop trip or meeting, please consult reliable news sources like the CDC or your local public health department.  There is a lot of misinformation being shared and posted on social media, as well as other forums.  Please trust only reputable sources, everyone's health depends on it!

Thank you for cooperating over the past several weeks.  We will get through this challenging time in our history together - Girl Scouts always prevail.

Thank you,

Sue Signature + Text
ceoletter

Click the link above for the previous letter from the CEO!