For a roundup of our most up-to-date information, visit our COVID-19 Updates page.
3/19/2020 4:00 p.m.
On March 19, we shared updates to the 2020 Cookie Program with our Troop Product Managers via the Shout Out! newsletter
Based on the public health guidance, there will be an extension through April 26 to the amount of time girls have to sell to friends and family, as well as the availability to direct ship online orders. Girls who choose to continue individual friends and family sales by arranging for deliveries and porch pick-ups are advised to follow social distancing and hygiene practices outlined by the CDC.
Please visit The Bridge for our most recent communications regarding the Cookie Program
3/13/2020 5:30 p.m.
Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa members,
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.
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 April 4, 2020. We will provide full refunds to any registrations fees collected and be in communication soon with specific event information, including alternative celebrations for those we planned to honor at Circle of Excellence.
- Our guidance to Girl Scout Troops is to also cancel all events, activities, and troop meetings through that time including the Girl Scout Cookie Program. We know that Girl Scout Troops have cookies on hand right now and we are working on a contingency plan for the Girl Scout Cookie Program that will extend the time when booth sales can take place to allow troops to manage their remaining inventory. Details of that plan are being worked out and will be shared next week.
- From now (March 13) until March 16, we want to accommodate planning and next steps for troops and families. We recommend that troops cancel booth sales previously scheduled for this weekend and through March 29, 2020. 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.
- All camps are closed through April 4, 2020. We will issue refunds to all individuals and groups scheduled to attend programs and events through this date.
- GSGI offices will be closed until April 6, 2020. Remember, you can always shop online.
- You can call or email us at email@example.com 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 April 4, 2020 during regular business hours to prioritize social distancing.
These are unprecedented times, and we are taking strong measures to limit transmission of COVID-19. It is in times like this that I turn to the Promise and Law…we are courageous and strong, we are responsible for what we say and do, and together, we will get through this stronger and wiser. Thank you all for your leadership and commitment to our vision and mission!
Yours in Girl Scouting,
Beth Shelton and the entire team at GSGI
* A specific messsage about this issue went out to our product program volunteers. View it here.
With the recent news about COVID-19 cases in Iowa, we wanted to take the opportunity to update our members with how we can all help prevent the spread of this, and other viruses. The safety and welfare of our members is Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa’s top priority.
First and foremost, we recommend that members regularly visit the Centers for Disease Control website for updated information on preventative measures when out in public.
At Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa (GSGI), we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the state and local public health departments within our council boundaries. Currently, we are proceeding with business as usual for all programs, events, camps, and property reservations as planned. As usual, if your child is sick, please keep them home to prevent the potential spread of illness.
Per the CDC, children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus. As much as possible, children should be allowed to carry on with their education and normal activities.
We understand that some children have underlying health conditions, such as weakened immune systems, that put them at higher risk. Parents and caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with healthcare providers about whether their children should stay home.
Event Refund Policy Changes
- To help families in the decision-making process for attendance at GSGI events, we are immediately putting into place a full refund policy if a family must cancel a Girl Scout’s event attendance at a GSGI Event in March and/or April 2020.
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your refund request. Requests must be received at least 24 hours in advance of the event start time.
Troop Meeting Advice
- Have supplies available for Girl Scouts to wash their hands – this can simply mean easy access to soap and water at your meeting site or extra sanitizing wipes or hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (per CDC guidelines.)
- Remind girls (and adults!) to sneeze or cough into tissues or into their elbow, and then wash their hands immediately.
- Temporarily discontinue activities that include hand holding, etc.
- If your troop has planned a troop activity at a Senior Center or Retirement Home, call ahead to see if they have changed their policies on guests.
- Please do not offer samples at Cookie Booths unless you are using food-safe gloves and providing samples in individual portion cups.
- You can see more information in this week's Shout Out newsletter!
As circumstances change, we will continue to seek guidance from these agencies and public health officials and are prepared to immediately follow the recommendations of the CDC and local health departments to ensure the health and safety of our members. This page will be updated as things change.
As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions. email@example.com or 800-342-8389.