COVID-19 Updates | Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa
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COVID-19 Updates

Our most valuable resource is and always will be our people, including our volunteers, girl and family members, and our employees. GSGI is committed to actions that maintain the health and well-being of our community. As Girl Scouts, we have a responsibility to our community to help limit the spread of this illness and set an example for others. Times like this are hard, we’re navigating territory that is unprecedented. We appreciate the patience and grace you’ve shown us as we work through the resources and data to make the most informed decisions.

Recent Communication Regarding COVID-19

Please note, earlier communications on this list may now be out-of-date. Please refer to the most recent communications for current information and recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa doing in response to COVID-19?

GSGI has developed a dedicated coronavirus task force to examine prevention and potential impact. The task force will ensure that Girl Scouts are prepared for potential short-term and long-term implications, as well as partner with and provide guidance to staff and, where appropriate, girls and volunteers.

We have been listening to our members and staff and their questions and comments, and are taking the following steps:  

  • Starting on March 17, 2020, we are cancelling all council-sponsored programs, events, and activities through May 31, 2020 (previously through May 3). We will provide full refunds to any registrations fees collected and be in communication soon with specific event information.
  • Our guidance to Girl Scout Troops is to also cancel all events, activities, and troop meetings through that time.
  • The Girl Scout Cookie Program is still open for online sales and individual friends and family sales through April 26. If you choose to continue selling cookies to your friends and family, please do so taking the guidance of the CDC for social distancing and preventing the spread of germs. Based on the current guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health, the suspension of booths and lemonade stands will continue through the end of the 2020 Cookie Program.
  • All camps are closed through May 31, 2020 (previously through May 3). We will issue refunds to all individuals and groups scheduled to attend programs and events through this date.
  • GSGI offices will be closed until June 1, 2020. Remember, you can always shop online.  
    • You can call or email us at  info@gsiowa.org or 800-342-8389. We’re looking closely at shipping alternatives and discounts with more information to come as soon as possible.
    • All council staff are being instructed to work from home through May 31, 2020 during regular business hours to prioritize social distancing.
Will you be canceling any programs or camps? How much notice will you give if you cancel any programs? Will we receive full refunds?

All GSGI programming, both council-led and volunteer-led, is canceled through May 31, 2020 (previously May 3). Our resident and day camps, troop camps, and camp rentals at all GSGI camp properties are canceled through August 31, 2020.

For specific information on our camp closures, please visit our camp page.

If you were registered for an event, you do not need to contact us for a refund. We are working through each event to process refunds, in the order that the events were to occur. (Meaning events scheduled on May 15 will get a refund faster than events scheduled on May 31.) In most cases, fees will be refunded directly back to the card or account that you used to originally pay your fees.  However; if you paid by one of the following methods, you will be receiving a check in the mail:

  1. Fees paid more than 6 months ago
  2. If you paid in a GSGI Leadership Center shop
  3. If you paid in cash or with a physical check

Checks will be mailed to the address that you entered during registration.  Refunds may take up to two weeks to process. We appreciate your patience during this time.  

What’s happening with the Cookie Program?

GSGI still wants to support our Cookie Bosses while keeping safety and health in mind during this uncertain time. The Cookie Program end date has been extended to April 26 for girls who still want to participate. Girls who choose to continue sales by arranging for deliveries and porch pick-ups are advised to follow social distancing and hygiene practices outlined by the CDC.

With that in mind, we will be spreading the word through the community that there are other options to purchase Girl Scout Cookies:

  • We are encouraging those who know a Girl Scout to purchase from that girl directly. You can watch this video from our CEO Beth Shelton about why purchasing cookies makes a difference for all of us.
  • For those customers who may not know a Girl Scout, they can purchase cookies here. These purchases help support the GSGI Outreach Program.
  • We’re also taking donations to the Cookie Relief Fund. We've taken this step only because of this extremely unusual situation. All donations to the Cookie Relief Fund help support our council programming, including camp, STEM opportunities, and more, while providing cookies to the military, emergency, and relief workers.

If you receive a request for cookie purchases but you are not participating, please direct customers to another Girl Scout or the GSGI website.

Our most recent communications about the Cookie Program for Girl Scout Volunteers can be viewed on The Bridge.

Does Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa have an online conferencing tool that my Troop or Service Unit can use to meet virtually while public gatherings are discouraged/prohibited due to COVID-19?

Thank you all for taking steps to ensure the safety of girls in this difficult time. While we cannot endorse or support specific online meeting tools for your use, we are aware of several tools troops and Service Units are using for virtual meetings. See below for a list of free and low-cost tools that could be useful to you. We encourage troop leaders to look at these and alternative options and discuss with parents and girls to determine what the best solution is for your troop’s needs. 

Video and Audio-Conferencing Tools with free versions 

While all of these options have a free version, please note you may be prompted to consider their upgraded versions for a subscription fee.

  • Zoom - FAQ
    • Note: Meetings durations maximum of 40 minutes in free version
  • Skype - Support
    • Note: Up to 10 participants free
  • Webex – Help Center
    • Note: Limited file and content sharing in free version

Chat and Collaboration Tools with free versions

Additional low-cost tools for collaboration and conferencing to consider if the above options do not meet your group's needs.

Where can we find out more information about COVID-19?

We recommend that members regularly visit the COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and your local state and county public health departments.  

 

Questions or concerns?

We know Girl Scouting is unique for each girl and volunteer. Feel free to reach out anytime.

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