For a printable version of In Person Meeting Guidelines, click HERE.
Many of us are anxious to get back to a more normal routine in Girl
Scouts and the rest of our lives, and so we are considering
face-to-face Girl Scout meetings and activities. When deciding whether
to host an in-person meeting, consider the make-up and size of your
troop or group, including attendees, their families, and their current
comfort level with in-person activities. Our top priority is always
keeping everyone safe throughout the Girl Scout experience. In-person
activities or plans should take into consideration all families and
members of the troop or group.
Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia (GSHG) encourages individuals who
may be more susceptible or at a higher risk of
contracting COVID-19 (including individuals age 65 and older or those
with serious underlying health conditions) to carefully consider and
weigh all risks when deciding whether participating through in-person
meetings is appropriate at this time. Each family and volunteer must
determine for themselves the risks of attending in-person troop or
group meetings and decide when the time is right to participate.
Virtual troop meetings and service area meetings are still strongly
encouraged, and when in-person meetings are held, a virtual option
should also be made available if possible. GSUSA recommends
maintaining a virtual to in-person ratio of at least 20/80, which
means to maintain virtual troop meetings at least 20% of the time to
keep tech skills and virtual meeting habits fresh. Safety
Activity Checkpoints for virtual meetings and the Girl Scout Internet
Safety Pledge should be followed to ensure the continued safety
and well-being of girls and volunteers while meeting virtually.
Virtual meeting information can be found on gsLearn and GSHG staff
members are available to assist with virtual meetings when needed.
Use these guidelines and reminders to help decide how and when to
return to in-person troop and group activities.
COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the
community. Take all reasonable precautions to limit potential exposure
for girls, volunteers, and families.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change as infection rates rise
and fall in different areas. There may be regional differences or
developments since this guidance was published. Continue to follow
local and national directives. Discuss plans with families.
No set of guidelines can cover every troop or group meeting
situation. If you have a question about your meeting environment
that is not covered in this document, please reach out to your
Membership Support Manager for guidance.
Adults are responsible for monitoring social distancing.
- No physical contact between non-related members is
- Troops may meet provided social
distancing guidelines of maintaining at least 6 feet of distance
between non-related members is followed.
- The current
suggested maximum for in-person meetings is ten (10) people (eight
(8) girls and two (2) unrelated adult volunteers). However, check
your local restrictions for small gatherings. If more restrictive,
follow the local restriction. Restrictions vary greatly from state
to state, county to county, and even from town to town--and
- Larger troops may break into
smaller groups, such as grade-level groups, patrols, or groups of
girls with a particular badge they’d like to work on. Each group
can meet at the same time. Girl/adult ratios must be followed in
each individual group. Girls in each group must remain static
(girls do not move from one group to another during the meeting or
from one week to the next). Adults could move from one group to
another (mask must be worn). Groups must stay 30 feet away from
each other. Girl/adult ratio must meet the minimum standard
for program grade level.
- Hugs, handshakes,
“high-fives,” and even activities like the friendship circle or
squeeze can transmit COVID-19 from person to person. Refrain from
these gestures for the time being. Create a safe way for girls and
volunteers to greet and end meetings instead (like tapping elbows).
Note: Use culturally appropriate messages, materials, and
Personal Safety, Health and Hygiene Practices
Face Coverings. Everyone must wear a mask or face covering.
Volunteers should remind girls that Girl Scouts wear face coverings
(masks) not only to protect themselves but to protect others. Face
coverings are a civic responsibility and a sign of caring for the
community. Girls can bring their own face coverings. Have
disposable masks on hand for those who need them. Volunteers can
teach girls how to handle their face coverings so that the coverings
- All participants must wash or sanitize their
hands upon entering the meeting site, often during the meeting and
just before leaving.
- Meetings should include
training of participants on appropriate cleaning and
disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
- Parents should ensure their child does not have a temperature or
feel ill prior to coming to a troop meeting. Anyone who has tested
positive for COVID-19, has symptoms of COVID-19, or who has
been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 within the past 14
days should not attend troop meetings. You can find up-to-date CDC
guidance on returning to troop meetings after testing positive for
COVID-19 here. Find guidance on isolation and self-quarantine
after exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
At this time, we highly recommend
in-person meetings take place outdoors.
strongly encourages no meetings in the home at this time
because of the greater risk of exposure to other family
- For meetings held in public areas, volunteers must
ensure the space is clean and that high touch surfaces (tables,
chairs) have been sanitized.
- Consider keeping meetings
short to limit the number of bathroom trips. Many public bathrooms,
such as in parks, are not currently open.
- Ensure there is
at least 30 feet of distance between your troop/group and any other
group that may be meeting in the area.
- If meeting in the
same space as another troop/group, the groups must remain static; no
mixing of the people from the two troops/groups.
- Girl Scout
meetings may not be held in gyms or fitness centers.
your group is meeting outside, there is no limit to the number of
smaller groups (10 people or less) that may meet at one time,
providing there is at least 30 feet of distance between each small
- If your group is meeting inside, it is strongly
recommended each small group (10 people or less) has its own room.
If more than one small group meets in a large room, 30 feet of
distance between each group must be maintained. In no event should
there be more than 50 people in one room.
Mask Outdoors and for Water Activities
- When outside in groups, masks should be worn. They may be
removed for a "mask break" when participants are at least
6 feet apart.
- Masks should NOT be worn when participating
in water activities such as swimming, canoeing, paddle boarding, and
other activities where falling into the water may happen (life
jackets should continue to be worn per Safety Activity Checkpoints
for activity). For these water-based activities, practice social
distancing while engaging in the activity; maintain 6 or more feet
of distance between people who are not in the same family
- Masks can be highly flammable, and therefore should not be
worn when doing activities with or around fires and open flames.
Social distancing should still be maintained around fires and
flames. Girls younger than 4th grade (Juniors) should not
participate in fire activities at this time unless they are with a
parent or guardian who can safely, closely monitor them. All girls
doing fire activities should be trained in fire safety
Meeting Space Safety and Cleanliness
- Follow the resources developed by credible public health
sources such as CDC or your local health department. Share these
with girls and volunteers and ensure that they are practiced during
meetings and activities. Place signs in the meeting or activity
space to remind girls and volunteers to engage in everyday
preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Handwashing supplies and/or hand sanitizer must be available and
easily accessible. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies should be
brought to each meeting.
- Identify high touch areas of your
meeting location such as door handles, toilet handles, faucets,
tables, etc. Wipe down these surfaces prior to first use and after
each person touches it.
- Minimize the use of shared
materials such as markers, crayons, scissors, etc. by having each
girl bring her own box of identified items. This box can be brought
to and from each meeting by the individual girl. If stored in one
location, boxes should be wiped with a sanitizing wipe before being
- If there are shared items, sanitize after each
individual uses the item.
- Troop First Aid supplies should
include COVID-19 prevention items including hand sanitizer (at least
60% alcohol), tissues, disposable facemasks, and disinfectants.
Trash baskets or bags should be supplied for meeting and activity
spaces, if not already available. Make sure that the trash baskets
(or bags) are easily accessible for girls. Disposable or no-contact
thermometers may be added to supplies if available and not cost
prohibitive, however, parents should be checking temperatures and
allowing their girl(s) to join group activities only when
temperatures are normal. Keep First Aid/CPR skills up to date for
- For more information on readiness,
see CDC Planning Tool for Events and Gatherings.
- When transporting girls for a meeting or outing, the driver
and all passengers in each vehicle are limited to a single
- Troop Volunteers should meet the girls at a
designated drop off location where parents can drive up and
drop-off/pick-up their Girl Scout. This prevents group gatherings
before or after meetings.
- Parents dropping off girls
should have face masks available in case they need to interact
closely with a Troop Volunteer.
Food, Snacks, and Drinks
- Each participant should bring her/his own filled water bottle.
Large water coolers may be used for refilling individual water
bottles at meetings and events. Practice safe surface touching
protocol: consider having one person in charge of refilling water
bottles from the cooler who is wearing gloves and a mask. If
individuals are allowed to refill their own water bottles, masks are
required when filling, handwashing and/or hand sanitizing or gloves
are required before filling, and hand washing and/or sanitizing
supplies should be nearby. Water fountains remain off limits at this
- If serving snacks, they should be prepackaged
individual snacks, or have each participant bring her/his own
snack. Homemade foods and treats for sharing are not permitted at
this time. Do not share dishes or utensils.
Day Trips and Activities
- Follow the same guidance as those listed here for Meeting
Space Safety and Cleanliness.
- Call ahead to the facility or
vendor to confirm they are following CDC and state health department
Overnight Trip and Travel
Troops (arranged in family groups), families and adult groups may
spend the night at council properties and other Girl Scout approved
troop trip locations if it is possible to do so in a safe, socially
distanced way, outlined in the bullet points below. All usual troop
readiness and preparation steps should be taken before any overnight
trip is taken. As always, submit a Troop Trip
Application before planning any overnight stays and follow
guidance in Safety Activity Checkpoints. You can find
complete Troop Trip Guidelines HERE.
- Sleeping locations are divided by family group. This means
each family group or individual adult has their own tent, cabin,
room, or section of a larger room that is at least 30 feet from
others. These guidelines mean each girl is accompanied by an adult
from her own family group.
- All other COVID guidelines
should continue to be followed regarding mask wearing, handwashing,
travel arrangements, and social distancing while meeting as a
- If there are family adults attending with
your troop/group who are not Girl Scout members, remember that you
will need to purchase supplemental insurance or ask them to become
members, so they will be covered by Girl Scout Activity and Accident
insurance during the event. The link to purchase the inexpensive
supplemental insurance is HERE. Also, remember that any
adult who is not a GSHG approved volunteer (whether they are a
member or not) may not be left alone with any child that is not his
or her own family member.
If You or Someone in Your Girl Scout Troop or Group Tests
Positive for COVID-19:
In the event of a COVID-19 positive test result, do NOT contact
the parents or troop members. Promptly complete an incident
report (ASAP but no longer that 24 hours following the
notification) and submit to Mary Hurst, Senior Director of Membership
at email@example.com. Include the name of the person with the
positive test result, any other people present in the meeting with
that person, the date of the meeting, the name and address of the
meeting site, and the site contact person and their phone number. A
council staff member and NOT volunteers, will then be responsible for:
- Confirming and tracing the positive tester,
- Contacting the parents of anyone who may have been exposed (or
- Notifying a facility or homeowner where
the troop has met, and
- Alerting the state department of
Council staff, NOT volunteers, will notify parents and others
about a positive test result. The tester’s identity is
confidential. Remember that girl and volunteer health information
is private and strictly confidential and should be only shared on a
need to know basis with a council staff member. Questions should be
directed to Mary Hurst firstname.lastname@example.org or 478-973-7651.
These guidelines will be adjusted and updated as additional
recommendations and protocols are released. Our council leadership
team continues to evaluate the current state of COVID-19 in each
council region. We currently anticipate that these guidelines will
remain in place until further notice. We will evaluate the impacts of
students returning to school before updating in-person meeting