August 21, 2020
Dear Girl Scouts, Volunteers, and Family Members,
It has never been more important to remember that Girl Scouting is not just what we do, it's about who we are. The health and safety of our members and volunteers, their families, and our staff are of utmost importance. It is more vital than ever before to "be a sister to every Girl Scout" and support our communities by helping prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
We know this is a difficult time for families, and especially our girls. Now more than ever, we must all follow the Girl Scout Promise and Law. We must be responsible for our own health and for our impact on the health of others. National, state, and local health and safety protocols continue to evolve, and we all must monitor them carefully. With this in mind, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida has updated the guidelines for returning to in-person meetings and activities, which will be effective September 1, 2020. I have summarized the key updates below, but please review the Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Volunteers and Families on our website for details.
NEW: On September 1, 2020, in-person Girl Scout meetings and one-day activities may resume-at the discretion of all participants involved-for groups of 12 or fewer. Girls should be given priority as participants, as this maximum number includes the entire group of girls and adults. All guidelines outlined in Safety Activity Checkpoints must be carefully adhered to in conjunction with CDC, state, and local health guidance and directives. We encourage meetings and activities to take place outdoors or, if not possible, in locations that are larger and have good ventilation. Large troops may gather up in smaller groups, such as age-level groups or patrols. No overnight activities are permitted.
NEW: On September 1, 2020, reservations will open at GSGCF properties for in-person Girl Scout troop meetings-at the discretion of all participants involved-for groups of 12 or fewer. Girls should be given priority as participants, as this maximum number includes the entire group of girls and adults. From now until September 15, we will only be accepting requests for regular troop meetings. After September 15, reservations for one-time day activities will be accepted. If your reservation request is approved, Monday-Friday meetings may start on September 14; Saturday and Sunday meetings may start on September 19. All guidelines outlined in Safety Activity Checkpoints must be carefully adhered to in conjunction with CDC, state, and local health guidance and directives. We encourage meetings and activities to take place outdoors or, if not possible, in locations that are larger and have good ventilation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to request troop meeting space.
For members who are not comfortable to meet in person, GSGCF and GSUSA will continue to offer virtual and at-home programs and activities to keep our members and families engaged. Please check our event calendar regularly for new programs. We also encourage troops to meet virtually using online meeting tools.
UPDATE: Overnight activity and domestic and international travel remain suspended until further notice. Only single-day activities and trips will be reviewed for approval. We will re-evaluate this guideline when Florida enters Phase 3 of reopening, with updates from CDC, GSUSA, and State of Florida.
GSGCF members acknowledge COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily through person-to-person contact in the community. Everyone must take all reasonable precautions to limit exposure for girls, volunteers, families, and the community. As with any social activity, participation in Girl Scouts could present the risk of contracting COVID-19. While Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida takes every safety and preventative precaution, in no way can we guarantee that COVID-19 infection will not occur through participation in Girl Scout program activities.
Although our offices will remain closed to the public until further notice, the mission-critical business of the council will continue, and our staff is available to assist you via phone or email during our regular administrative hours, Tuesday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. If we can be of further assistance, please contact email@example.com, or 800-232-4475. Contact the Shop at firstname.lastname@example.org for orders and assistance. The last day to place shop orders is October 23, 2020.
We ask that you regularly monitor our website, social media, and email for further updates and directives. Please be sure to check your email "spam" boxes as well.
Girls need Girl Scouting right now, and we are excited and committed to the success of Girl Scouting in our communities this coming year. We are all anxious to get back to normal and resume additional in-person activities, and we will do so as soon as it is safe. If you have not already done so, please be sure to renew Girl Scout membership for the 2020-2021 year.
Thank you to our dedicated volunteers and families-Girl Scouting is able to fulfill its mission during these challenging times because of you. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and know that you have the courage, confidence, and character to get through this crisis as only Girl Scouts can!
Returning to In-Person Troop Meetings and Activities Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Volunteers and Families
Note: we will keep this page updated as situations change, so please check back if you are looking for the most up-to-date information.
For additional information and resources about COVID-19, we recommend the following:
- Florida COVID-19 Resource Center—Includes links to Florida’s “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step.” re-opening plan, COVID-19 executive orders, Florida Department of Health resources, and more.
- CDC website—The CDC is publishing its latest updates, health tips, and country-specific travel information.
- WHO coronavirus Q&A—The World Health Organization has published a helpful Q&A addressing many of the common questions about this virus.
- How to Talk to Your Girl About Coronavirus—Tips from the GSUSA Raising Awesome Girls page about how to talk to girls not by avoiding the topic, but by tackling it head-on. Tambien en Español: Cómo Hablar Con Su Niña Sobre El Coronavirus