GSNWGL Guidelines for In-Person Troop and Service Area Activities (meetings, cookie activities, programs, etc.)
This guidance is being provided as of March 1, 2022. 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 with these guidelines. GSNWGL will continue to modify this guidance from time to time as circumstances change.
Know your COVID-19 Community Level | COVID-19 Community Levels are a new tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by the use of hospital beds, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. Take precautions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 based on the COVID-19 Community Level in your area.
What prevention steps should you take based on your COVID-19 Community Level:
- Wear a mask indoors in public | note, many communities throughout our Council are currently at a High Community Level.
- If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
- Get tested if you have symptoms
People may choose to mask at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.
Meeting Place Guidelines:
- Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are a great option.
- For meetings held in public facilities, call
ahead to prepare.
- Be aware of any local guidelines or organization policies regarding COVID-19.
- 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. 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:
- Practice physical distancing—stay at least 6 feet apart.
- Outdoor activities are better than indoor activities.
- When you are indoors, meet in spaces that have a larger capacity than your group size. Another option, if you have a bigger group, is that you could meet in smaller groups or patrols.
- According to the CDC, face coverings are recommended for all indoor activities, regardless of vaccination status, in communities with a High COVID-19 Community Level. Use masks that cover the 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.
- Minimize meals and snacks if masks are necessary. Having Girl Scouts bring their own food or providing individually wrapped items are still the safest options.
- Remind participants to stay home if they or a household member feel ill.
- 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 gathering, 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.
- 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.
- Be sensitive that girls who are medically vulnerable might not be able to attend troop activities. Please be sensitive that families will have varying levels of comfort with gathering.