GSNWGL Guidelines for In-Person Troop and Service Area Activities - COVID-19 Guidance for Volunteers
This guidance is being provided as of August 1, 2020. GSNWGL may modify this guidance from time to time as circumstances change. These guidelines were pulled together from recommendations of GSUSA, Wisconsin and Michigan health departments, CDC guidelines, and advice from Council advisors. We thank you for your commitment to safety by complying to these guidelines.
Guidelines for Safer Gatherings:
- Online meetings are the first choice.
- If you make the choice to gather in person, follow the guidelines below and require the girls and all adult volunteers to wear masks.
- Follow all current state and local guidance.
- Develop and communicate a plan that families are comfortable with.
- Be sensitive that girls who are medically vulnerable cannot attend. Be sensitive that families will have varying levels of comfort with gathering.
Meeting Place Guidelines:
- Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained is the best option.
- For meetings held in public facilities, call ahead to prepare- Is the space cleaned and sanitized at least daily? Is the space cleaned between groups?
- Do not hold meetings in fitness centers or gyms.
- Frequently disinfect surfaces and equipment touched by the girls.
- As they are normally, meetings in the home are discouraged. However, we acknowledge it may be difficult to find public meeting places this year. We are temporarily lifting the restriction of not meeting in homes to give troops more options. When meeting in a home, pets may not be in the same area where the meeting is taking place, only adults who are approved volunteers can be present, and the families of your girls must be notified and approve of the troop meeting location.
Guidelines for Troop and Service Area Activities:
- Virtual meetings are still an option. If your troop cannot meet virtually, encourage girls to participate in eTroop, our council digital troop meetings, free and available to all girls.
- Practice physical distancing- stay at least 6 feet apart.
- The bigger the group, the bigger the risk. Meet in groups of 10 or less, including the adult volunteers. If you have a bigger group, it is recommended that you meet in smaller groups or patrols.
- Outdoor activities are better than indoor activities.
- Girl Scouts show care and concern for others. Wear masks to reduce spread of the virus to others. Use masks that cover nose and mouth. A CDC reminder is to make sure you can breathe through your mask. If you need masks, call customer care at 888.747.6945 to request masks.
- Do not include meals or snacks as part of any activities. If the time requires food, have girls bring their own food or provide individually wrapped items utilizing proper precautions.
- Arrive in separate cars, by household.
- Call ahead to field trip locations and inquire about their COVID19 safeguards and ensure you and your families are comfortable.
- Travel/trips are suspended until further notice.
- Overnights are suspended until further notice.
- Our council facilities will be available for limited rentals with restrictions for safety, watch our website for up-to-date information.
- Remind participants to stay home if they or a member of their household feel ill. Encourage participants to take temperatures before they leave home and stay home if they exceed temperatures of 100.
- Wash your hands frequently. Use soap and water for 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Remind the girls to avoid touching their faces, eyes, nose, and mouth. And ask them to wash their hands immediately if they do.
- For the time being, refrain from hugs, handshakes, and the Friendship Circle. Create a safe way for the girls to end a meeting without personal contact.
- If, after your gather, a participant or a member of their family becomes ill, do NOT contact the parents or troop members. Contact your local health department, which will lead to applicable contact tracing. Please also call our Council at 888.747.6945 to let us know that you called the health department. Remember that girl and volunteer health information is private and strictly confidential.
Note: Our Council will have additional resources on our website for in-person troop meetings - a troop readiness guide, meeting signage, and a tool to communicate with parents- and additional resources for service area events.
You can find resources about talking to girls about Coronavirus on GSUSA’s Raising Awesome Girls.