Thank you for your continued patience during this unprecedented and stressful time. We know there is a lot of challenges and uncertainty right now, both at home and at work. We have been working hard to get you answers to many of the questions you have about Council operations and programs. We want to make sure your role as a volunteer with us is not adding additional stress during this time, and we also want to make sure we are thinking things through carefully and giving you accurate information.
We know that our Girl Scouts and Troops have a desire to be successful in meeting their cookie goals and we want to make sure you have every opportunity for success. We also want to keep you safe and healthy. So, we have been working on ways to reduce any financial hardships your troop might incur as a result of this year’s Cookie Program while acting in accordance with local and federal health agency best practices during this pandemic. Safety and success--these two factors are driving the decisions we make. Below is an update on the progress we are making, as well as some of the decisions we have made.
- ONLINE COOKIE SALES: The cookie program has moved to a completely online format and has been extended through Sunday, April 5. Public, face-to-face sales - Keep Goal-ing, booth sales, and walkabouts - are all suspended.
- Girls should sell online through SmartCookies. When selling online, girls should approach people and businesses directly, not through sites like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Craigslist. As with all cookie sales, online sales should be led by the girls. You can find more information on selling cookies online.
- DIRECT SHIP & SHARE: Direct ship and Cookie Share are great options to continue working towards troop and girl goals. You can also call or email businesses to “buy out” troop inventory for you to donate later or for businesses to use/give away. Quick reminder, businesses cannot resell cookies. Be considerate when contacting businesses; many local businesses are also struggling.
- Assuming the current situation has improved, we hope to hold a cookie booth blowout week in mid-May. Troops could use any remaining inventory that they have or can check out cookies from cupboards.
- We plan on accepting cookie returns from troops if needed once the national and state emergencies have ended. We will keep you informed as things progress.
- Rewards would be calculated on any inventory as we close out the cookie program the week of April 6. Please do not distribute inventory in Smart Cookies that you plan on returning to our Council.
- Reminder from our previous communication: The initial withdrawal will take place on Tuesday, March 24 for 50% of current balance due. Email the Product Program team at email@example.com with any questions you may have.
- The final withdrawal date will take place no earlier than Friday, April 24. As always, there will be opportunities to adjust your payment amount.
PROGRAM, EVENT & TRAINING UPDATES
In our last communication we reported that troop and service area meetings and events were suspended through April 6. With more information coming out each day, we add to that message that these activities are suspended through the duration of the public health emergency. You might notice the Council programs are cancelled through the end of May. This is for our own planning as we manage the changing circumstances and the uncertainty of how long this public health emergency will last.
- All Girl Scouts of Distinction events are being rescheduled for later this summer or early fall so long as the situation allows.
- Any online volunteer trainings already scheduled will continue.
- Please note, depending on how you registered, you will be contacted about options for refunds or donations. Programs registration that was handled outside our Council will receive information directly from those partnering organizations. We ask for your continued patience as we process this increased volume of refunds.
ETROOP & ONLINE RESOURCES
Beginning the week of March 23, Membership Engagement staff will contact all members with options for eTroop participation and other fun, online ways to engage and stay active with Girl Scouts! Stay tuned!
Brick and mortar locations remain closed however GSUSA has now waived shipping costs for ALL online orders. Shop online ANYTIME!
No changes have been made to scheduled camp programming at this time.
If you have an existing property reservation through April 30, please expect a call from our Council.
While our buildings are not open. We are here for you. All staff are working on ways to help ease your challenges in this difficult time, whether that be creative ways to connect remotely with others or ways to support your troops to be successful at the end of the cookie program. If you have any questions or concerns not addressed here, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at any time firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you. We just can’t say it enough. Thank you for your patience and for giving us time to discuss and vet all our options and make the best decisions for Girl Scout members and our communities. It’s times like these, we’re reminded that we are Girl Scout strong!