For troops who are looking for ways to reconnect in person, we have put together a list of recommendations based on the current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).
Before resuming Girl Scout activities, Troop Leaders must complete this short online form acknowledging their understanding of the GSGI Guidelines for Troop Activities and intention to educate and enforce the safety protocols for all in-person troop activities. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the community and volunteers should take all reasonable precautions to limit potential exposure for girls, volunteers, and families. These guidelines are in effect until further notice. If you have already submitted the acknowledgement form, you do not need to resubmit.
- Outdoor meeting spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended.
- Volunteers must ensure meeting spaces are clean and touch surfaces (i.e., tabletops, chairs, etc.) have been sanitized.
- UPDATED: Any troops planning on meeting in a private residence should submit the In-Home Meeting Application , provided all of the requirements listed can be met.
- Meetings may not be held in fitness centers or gyms, where a greater risk for contracting the virus may exist.
- UPDATED: For any overnight trips or travel, follow the current guidance from the CDC. This includes aligning mats or bed so that individuals are sleeping head-to-toe at least 6 feet apart, monitoring and enforcing social distancing and healthy hygiene behaviors throughout the day and night, and cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms regularly.
- Participants should stay at least 6 feet away from others. Mark six foot intervals when possible. This means that physical touching, including hugs, holding hands, or friendship circles should be avoided.
- Teach and reinforce the use of cloth face coverings. Wearing cloth face coverings is most important when physical distancing is difficult.
- Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used.
- Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible. For example, have each girl bring her own supplies, or limit the use of supplies and equipment by one group at a time and clean and disinfect between use.
Monitoring and Preparing
- Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa covers portions of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Please refer directly to your state and county public health departments for the most up-to-date information and guidance.
- Communicate with families about when their girls should stay home. Anyone who is sick or had close contact with a person with COVID-19 in the last 14 days should stay home.
- In the event of a positive COVID-19 test result within your troop, please contact GSGI, and a council staff member will be responsible for contacting anyone who may have been exposed. To report a positive test result contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (800) 342-8389 and let us know that you would like to report a COVID-19 case, so that you can be referred to the appropriate staff member. Due to the confidential nature of personal health information, do not contact families or troop members directly.
- Every registered Girl Scout is covered by a basic accident insurance plan. The plan is designed to help pay medical expenses if an accident occurs during a supervised Girl Scout activity. Girl Scout insurance does not cover healthcare or illness.
Some troops may still be developing your troop meeting plans for Fall 2020 and beyond. Troop Leaders will be hearing from your Volunteer Experience Manager about updating your troop information for the year. On your Troop Catalog Update Form, you can indicate if your troop is planning on meeting in-person, a hybrid blend of in-person and virtual, or primarily meeting in a virtual space.
Keep in mind that some families may choose not to participate in in-person activities at this time. Please consider creating ways to help keep those girls involved as members of your troop.
Looking for other ways to keep Girl Scouts strong in your community? We have yard signs to distribute across our 70 counties, inviting new girls and volunteers to get involved. To request a yard sign for your community please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com. (Please include in your message whether you'd be able to pick up from one of our Leadership Centers -- we'll coordinate a no-contact pickup time with you!)
Do you have additional questions or concerns about navigating health concerns with your troop? Please let us know by submitting the form here. All of GSGI’s COVID-19 updates can be found on that page as well.
GSGI camp properties will reopen for group rentals on September 1, with limited capacity and extended period between rentals. Booking information will be available online soon.
Thank you so much for all of the ways you’ve already innovated with your troops this year – with virtual meetings, outdoor meetings, sharing at-home activities with your girls, and finding other ways to stay connected, in this time where connections feel more important than ever. Thank you for keeping Girl Scouting alive and well in your community.