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GSNWGL Summer Camp 2020 Cancellation- Frequently Asked Questions

The decision to cancel our programming for the 2020 camp season was heart-wrenching, to say the least. It was not a decision we chose to make, rather it was a decision we had to make.

Like you, we have an emotional connection to camp. It’s not just the time outdoors amongst friends. It’s part of who we are. It was a tough decision, but it was the right decision. At Girl Scouts, we must always lead with the health and safety of our girls first and foremost and for a variety of reasons, we could not guarantee that health and safety if we delivered camp programming this summer. We know you have many questions, so we have compiled a frequently asked questions document to try and provide answers. If you have additional questions that are not answered in the FAQ, we are here to assist you.

Which camps are canceled?

Camp Birch Trails-Weeks 1-8, Camp Winnecomac Weeks 1-8 (including troop programs), Nawakwa and Sacajawea Outdoor Extravaganza, and Camp Nesbit.

Camp is what we look forward to every summer. What were the factors that went into this decision?

We look forward to camp too. It’s part of what makes Girl Scouts great. We looked at several factors as we reviewed several scenarios about camp programming this summer. As mentioned, the guarantee of the health and safety of our campers comes first. This is a guiding point in all decision making at our Council and we could simply not guarantee that health and safety in a camp setting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, our camps rely on a certain level of staff to safely deliver programming and care for our campers. Due to restrictions on international travel, we are unable to staff camp at the level required to safely and successfully deliver programming to girls.

I have already paid for camp. When can I expect my refund?

We understand you are anxious to receive your refund. Understandably so! Refunds take several steps in our internal processes and you should expect your refund in about 4 weeks. We will be processing them in the order of camp sessions. So, if you enrolled in one of the earlier camp sessions, your refunds will be processed first. We will have a singular staff person dedicated to processing these refunds until they are complete, but please note that there are several departments, systems, and steps that need to take place to complete the process.

A camp scholarship (or the gift of camp) was given in my child’s honor. What happens to that?

Any camper attending camp via a gift (paid for by someone else), the individual making the payment will be receiving the refund – not the camper. Refunds are refunded in the manner they were received. The individual who gave the gift will receive the refund.

My daughter earned a camp certificate/cookie dough during the 2020 cookie program that she was planning on using for 2020 summer camp, what happens with that?

Camp certificates that are earned during this year’s cookie program will be valid for Summer 2021 camp programming.  Special exceptions may apply, please call customer care.

Cookie dough earned during this year’s sale cookie program will have an extended expiration date of March 31, 2021, and can be used to pay for Summer 2021 camp programming (plus GSNWGL programs, destinations, and retail purchases.)

if you had a cookie dough or camp session extension applied to your 2020 camp session payment, the extension will be updated automatically to expire a year from the original date.

What happens if part of my camper’s fees were paid with financial assistance?

For camper’s registration paid via financial assistance, those dollars will simply go back into our camp financial assistance fund.

Can I apply my camp payment to camp next year or another program?

We will not hold camp funds to apply to next year. All campers can expect a refund of their paid fees (unless donating those fees to our Council). Families may certainly save those funds for next summer.

My daughter earned a camp certificate/cookie dough during the Cookie Program that she was planning on using, what happens with that?

Camp certificates can be used for a 2021 camp session.

I already purchased a camper kit. Can I get a refund?

Yes. You can receive a full refund for your camper kit. Watch for our Happy Camp’IN camper kit option available this summer – shipped right to your home!

Will there be online Trading Post?

Yes. Watch for our Camping at Home Trading Post catalog. Campers can submit their orders via phone or email to be shipped right to their home!

Can I still order/get a camp shirt?

Yes. We will be refunding all apparel orders at this point, but you will have the option to order a Happy Camp’IN t-shirt or sweatshirt to remember your unique summer camping at home and in your community. 

Is there a possibility that camp will still happen this summer if things change?

If restrictions are lifted and large gatherings can safely take place, our first priority will be to try and reinstate GSNWGL camp opportunities if at all possible.

Will there be any alternative camp offered?

We are pleased to be able to offer alternative camp programming free for all girls via our Happy Camp’IN online programming. Happy Camp’IN will provide a fun, interactive live platform for girls to watch and learn, connect with other “campers”, explore nature right outside their door and see some familiar camp faces.

What if we wanted to do Troop Camp if limitations on gatherings are lifted?

If restrictions are lifted and large gatherings can safely take place, our first priority will be to try and reinstate GSNWGL camp opportunities

Are GSNWGL camp facilities also closed?

Right now, we have only canceled property reservations through May 31. We take it month by month and if the situation changes so that we can safely accommodate small gatherings and larger groups, we will do our best to accommodate.

Does this mean volunteer-led camps have to be canceled?

Right now, troop and Service Area activities are to be halted through May 31. The council made this determination based on the best information from the CDC and health departments. We canceled camp sessions beyond the May 31 date because our planning time is much longer than a few weeks. We also wanted to give word to camp staff as soon as possible and to make refunds as soon as possible. When planning a volunteer-led camp, take into consideration the planning that goes into it- staffing, contracts, and purchasing supplies all typically have important dates connected with them. Determine a “decide by” date and make plans with the decision-makers to assess the landscape on that day and to discuss and decide that day. If you would like any assistance with what to consider and how to determine that “decide by” date, call or email customer care- our staff would be happy to assist you.

Are all council events for the summer canceled?

Again, this is a fluid situation and we are doing our best to plan with many unknowns. Right now, the council events for the month of June (Girl Scouts at the Ballpark- Eau Claire Express, Green Bay Sail and Paddle, and Open House at Camp Birch Trails) are canceled. (As well as all council events through the end of May.) As of right now, we are planning to hold the council event in July (Wisconsin Woodchucks) and the council event in August (Green Bay Sail and Paddle). We will closely watch recommendations by experts as we get closer to these events and communicate that to you!

Can my troop or Service Area visit one of our GSNWGL properties as a group or to host an event this summer?

Right now, property usage is halted through May 31. The council made this determination based on the best information from the CDC and health departments. We canceled camp sessions beyond the May 31 date because our planning time is much longer than a few weeks. It is our hope (and surely yours!) that troops and Service Areas will be able to have activities this summer- especially outdoor activities at our beautiful GSNWGL properties! If we need to extend the restrictions on property usage beyond May 31, we will communicate that as soon as possible and continue to process full refunds on reservation fees paid.

Will there be camp next year?

We sure hope so! Our strategic planning will include camp. There are many unknown factors which may come into play so we will do our best with the information we have when we have it. We just cannot predict how this virus will change things, but we will make camp happen if we can do so safely!

Are other Girl Scout camps in Wisconsin also canceled?

Each council is making their own decisions regarding camp programming this summer. For information about other Wisconsin and Michigan council camps, please reach out to those organizations directly.