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COVID-19 Updates

At Girl Scouts of Connecticut, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers, and staff. In order to keep our communities healthy, we have put the following guidelines in place.

General Safety Guidelines for All Girl Scouts

In order to keep our girls and Connecticut families healthy, we ask everyone to:

  • Maintain 6-feet social distance among all participants (girls and volunteers) when possible.
  • Wash hands regularly and wipe down high-touch areas before and after use.
  • Non-vaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks covering their mouth and nose, except during vigorous activities when individuals are spread apart, and during eating, drinking, and sleeping.
  • Never attend an in-person Girl Scout meeting, event, or other activity when exhibiting a fever or other indications of illness, while waiting for COVID test results, or if under quarantine.
  • Maintain existing family, troop and/or social groups, where possible, when dividing up groups at larger activities.
  • Limit shared items that are touched by participants, including food, to greatest extent possible.
  • Discuss these requirements and troop plans with parents and caregivers to get their support or to allow them to make other choices for their girl.
GSOFCT Offices & Shops

Our GSOFCT offices are open!  In compliance with Governor Lamont's recommendations for nonessential businesses and nonprofits, GSOFCT staff will continue to operate with the flexibility to work remotely.


Customer Care

We are answering your calls and emails Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. |  (800) 922 - 2770 or email us at customercare@gsofct.org


GSOFCT Retail Shops Page

For shop hours and our latest promotions, visit our Shop Page Here.

Meeting & Event Guidelines

These guidelines have been created in accordance with GSUSA guidance and current CDC and Connecticut State guidelines. It is to be expected that these guidelines will change with the uncertain progression of the pandemic and the ever-evolving recommendations from these governing agencies. Please be sure to check the GSOFCT website for the latest COVID-19 updates.

Many of our troops and service units are eager to conduct in-person meetings given that the current State guidelines suggest in-person meetings are now possible.

Indoor troop meetings in the home are allowed, as long as they adhere to State, local, and GSOFCT guidelines, including social distancing and mask usage. 

The following recommendations serve to illustrate the guidelines under which GSOFCT troops may consider participating in the following:

  • In-person Meetings
  • Troop Trips
  • Service Unit Events and Activities

GSOFCT’s in-person and virtual troop activity guidelines have continued to evolve, following the State of Connecticut and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations outlined in Connecticut’s Reopening Plan.

Consent to Participate
Before troop meetings take place, the caregiver/parent will be asked to sign a NEW, updated Annual Consent Form that has additional language regarding exposure to illness through in-person Girl Scout activities prior to a girl’s participation at an in-person event.  Please be sure to review additional details on the required troop cleaning, mask, social distancing, and troop travel protocols outlined in the other sections.  

Documentation Prior to Meeting
Any meeting to be held in a location other than your troop’s normal meeting place will require a “Troop Trip Application” form completed.

Any meeting that is to be held on private home property must also complete a Private Residence Authorization Form to be attached to the Troop Trip Application. Among other things, this form alerts the homeowner that their personal homeowner’s insurance is responsible for any accident/incident occurring during an event on their property. 

Private Residence Annual Authorization Form

Logistical Recommendations
At all troop meetings, at any level, the co-leaders are responsible to see that all COVID-19 safety measures, including maximum number of participants, social distancing, wearing of masks, and appropriate hygiene are adhered to.

Resources to Support Virtual Troop and Girl Activities
We are excited to announce that GSUSA has entered into a partnership with Zoom and we are now able to offer Girl Scout volunteers the opportunity to purchase an enterprise Zoom license for $40 for the year. This license is normally $20/month so this is a savings of $320 over what the normal cost would be. This is a single user license that provides the user the opportunity to have 500 participants in the Zoom meeting which can run up to 24 hours.

If you are interested in a Zoom license through GSOFCT, please purchase your license here.

Your girls can stay connected, continue building their skills, and have a blast no matter where they are. Learn about the benefits of having a Girl Scout Zoom license.

Each Monday, the purchased licenses will be sent onto Zoom for issuance. We expect that the invitation to set up the license should be sent by week’s end to the user. Please watch for an email from Zoom if you are the purchaser of the license. Just a reminder that this license is for Girl Scout use and is an accepted use of troop funds.

Don’t know how to use Zoom? There are a series of short ‘how to’ videos in gsLearn to help you utilize this platform. Sign into gsLearn through MYGS on gsofct.org and then enter “ZOOM” in the search function and start learning about this new platform. Co-leaders or adult troop helpers can practice the ins and outs of Zoom and other digital tools by registering one of the Adults sessions found in Doubleknot, our Event registration system. Check out our event calendar!

Still have more questions, please reach out to Customer Care at 1-800-922-2770.

Transportation
The CDC has provided guidance on how to carpool safely, View Here. Public transportation is allowed following CDC Guidelines, View Here.

Attendance
Troops must take attendance at each troop meeting or event in order to insure there can be adequate contact tracing if a participant is later diagnosed with Covid-19.  Attendance can be recorded by a troop adult in their person cell phone, on paper and kept in the troop notebook, or recorded in the Volunteer Toolkit.  The troop leadership team is responsible for insuring that this information can be made available if needed.

First Aid / CPR Training:
Keep skills up-to-date for any emergency.

Service Unit Events
The number of people and illness prevention measures should be reviewed as well as proper girl to adult ratios. It is strongly recommended to meet outdoors and only when social distancing can be maintained. For more people or large gatherings, when the time is safely appropriate, follow the CDC guidelines: Large Gatherings and Community Events

Other COVID-19 Precautions to be Observed

  • Hand sanitizer or hand washing must be available for use before, during, and after all troop activities
  • Disinfecting wipes or sanitizing procedures must be followed to clean all high touch areas prior to the girls’ arrival, during activities and at conclusion of the troop meeting. See cleaning and disinfectant information at the end of this document.*
  • Food should either be brought by each girl for their sole use, or pre-packaged and handed out to participants wearing mask and gloves
  • Buffet or Family style meals may be served by one or a limited number of adults wearing masks and gloves.
  • If cooking is involved, see tips under the Food drop-down. 

Due to their age, caregivers/parents of Daisies & Brownies should review social distancing with their girl prior to the meeting to make sure she understands how to interact with others at the meeting. Co-leaders should plan for enough volunteers to support safe behaviors.

Meeting & Event Capacity

Troop Meeting Size
In-person meetings must strictly follow state guidelines in place at the time of the meeting and as articulated by the State of Connecticut and CDC. It is the responsibility of the co-leader to be aware of all current guidelines. Bookmark this link for the most up-to-date State of Connecticut Guidelines.

Large troops can create ways to break themselves into smaller groups, such as: to gather in age-level groups, use patrols, or gather groups of girls around a particular badge they’d like to work on.

Meeting & Event Locations

Troop Meeting Space

Indoor troop meetings in the home are allowed, as long as they adhere to State, local, and GSOFCT guidelines, including social distancing and mask usage. 

Troops may also meet in outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained. Troop co-leaders must receive advance permission from the property owner or the jurisdiction that provides the location. For additional details of state guidelines please check here.

Troop Meetings in Public Facilities
Troop volunteers should contact the facility ahead of time and ask:

  • Is the space cleaned, and touch surfaces (i.e., tabletops, light switches, chairs, etc.) sanitized, at least daily?
  • Who else uses the space (how often, what size is the group)? Is the space cleaned between groups?
  • What type of faucets / soap dispensers are available in the restroom (sensory or manual)?
  • Are there safety and mask requirements?

Troop co-leaders may need to supplement any practices that are less than required. For example, if the troop arrives after another user, troop volunteers should plan to bring sanitizing wipes to get the space ready for their troop. Another example: if faucets are manual, troop volunteers must take some time to show girls how to shut them off with a paper towel and to use paper towels for doorknobs whenever possible.

Meetings may not be held in fitness centers or gyms because the atmosphere in sports facilities is aerosolizing making them a higher risk for contracting a virus.

Troop Meetings in the Home
Indoor troop meetings in the home are allowed, as long as they adhere to State, local, and GSOFCT guidelines, including social distancing and mask usage.

Troop meetings in the backyard of a member home may be allowed if the space is appropriate and the homeowner is aware that their insurance will be covering the gathering. Private pool use is allowed at this time, even in a member’s private pool with a lifeguard on duty. A troop trip application must be completed at least 2 weeks prior to the event for approval. See above documentation requirements for meeting on private home property.

For outdoor meetings:

Once participants are in their specific location for the duration of the activity, and are socially distanced, they may remove their masks, unless otherwise prohibited by the venue.

Personal space can be shared with others in the same household but socially distanced from others in the group.  All participants but must put their masks back on when moving to a new location, getting supplies, going to the restroom etc. if others are present. Social distancing is defined as at least 6 feet between participants of family groups. Any participant that wishes to keep their face covered during troop activities will be respected.

Insurance Information

What liability do I have as a homeowner/renter when a Girl Scouts activity/event/meeting happens on my personal property?

Homeowners or renters must have adequate insurance on the property and accept the potential liability of having Girl Scout activities at their residences. Personal property damage or loss due to Girl Scout activities is the responsibility of the homeowner/renter and not of Girl Scouts of Connecticut. Furthermore, the homeowner/renter may be liable for accidents or injuries that occur in the home.

Can I purchase additional Plan 2 insurance to cover non registered members participating in Girl Scout activities/events/meetings on my personal property?

Yes, Plan 2 insurance can be purchased to cover those participants that are not registered.  Coverage may not be purchased for individuals not participating in the Girl Scout activities, i.e., younger siblings, friends, other adults present in the home etc. The plan covers all participants of a chartered Girl Scout Council activity for whom an Enrollment Form has been submitted and premium paid. Coverage is provided while: (a) attending or participating in any approved and supervised Girl Scout activity; or (b) traveling directly to and from any approved and supervised Girl Scout activity.

What should I do if there is an accident on my personal property during a Girl Scout activity?          

Please complete the Accident/Incident/Injury Form as completely as possible and return within 24 hours to customercare@gsofct.org.  

Food

When food is required at a meeting or event, we recommend serving pre-packaged food, or having girls bring their own food from home.

Food should not be shared. When eating, leave space between Girl Scouts.

When preparing food during activities such as camping, it is best to consider mitigating risk by limiting the number of people making and serving food. Consider:

  • If serving family or buffet style assign one person with gloves & mask to serve portions onto individuals’ plates
  • When cooking, consider single serving cooking options such as foil packet, freeze dried meals, eggs in a bag, or stick cooking. If ingredients need to be distributed, they are done so by an individual wearing mask and gloves.
  • It takes longer for one person to prepare, but Girl Scouts may still assemble their own food to cook. Prepackage ingredients into single servings. Examples include a bag of marshmallow, graham cracker, and chocolate for a S’More; baggies of proteins, veggies, and starches for Girl Scouts to select and put inside foil packets; or pre-made bowls of lettuce with optional bagged toppings for a salad. These packets should be handed to individuals by a limited number of people wearing gloves and a mask.
  • One-pot meals such as taco mix or meatballs and sauce may be prepared, but must be served as mentioned above, by one person. That person serves onto an individual’s plate or into a “Walking Taco” bag. 
Face Masks & Face Shields

For more information on face masks and face shields, please refer to the following resources from the State of Connecticut guidelines:

Reporting a COVID-19 Exposure

If you have had symptoms of Covid-19, tested positive for Covid-19, and or been around others who have had symptoms of Covid-19 or tested positive for Covid-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for current information - Click Here.

In the Event of a Positive COVID-19 Case

An individual/caregiver/parent should contact the GSOFCT Chief Mission Delivery Officer to begin the council’s COVID-19 protocols if an individual who attended an in-person Girl Scout activity either:

  • Experiences Covid-19 symptoms that are later confirmed as Covid-19 or
  • Is administered a Covid-19 test which is later confirmed to be positive. 

within 48 hours of attending the activity.

Tracy Knofla, Chief Mission Delivery and Inclusion Officer
tknofla@gsofct.org
1-800-922-2770 ext. 3306

More information on contact tracing is available on the CDC website, View Here.

Please note: Reporting and communicating a positive COVID-19 test to membership should be managed by a council staff member. Volunteers do not manage COVID-19 communication responsibilities. All health information is private/confidential. GSOFCT staff will manage communications in compliance with laws and regulations governing sharing of health data. 

Program Updates

We're excited for the 2020-2021 membership year—and with a new year comes new program events and opportunities!

All council-sponsored events will be listed on the Events section of the GSOFCT website. We continue to add events, so be sure to visit the website often.


Virtual Programming

All girls – even if you’re not a Girl Scout yet – are invited to participate in virtual events offered through Doubleknot, our event registration system. Check out our event calendar, a (V) means an event is virtual! Looking for things to do on your own? You’ll find DIY activities at  GSOFCT at Home . Girl Scouts and their families can join our  GSOFCT @ Home Facebook Group which features activities and the opportunity to connect to your Girl Scout Community.

In person programming

Socially distanced programming is happening at our camp properties and with community program partners. Many of the events on our properties are open to all family members, others are geared towards Girl Scouts and an adult, or troops. Check out our event calendar!


Resources to Support Virtual Troop and Girl Activities

We are excited to announce that GSUSA has entered into a partnership with Zoom and we are now able to offer Girl Scout volunteers the opportunity to purchase an enterprise Zoom license for $40 for the year. This license is normally $20/month so this is a savings of $320 over what the normal cost would be. This is a single user license that provides the user the opportunity to have 500 participants in the Zoom meeting which can run up to 24 hours.

If you are interested in a Zoom license through GSOFCT, please purchase your license here.

Your girls can stay connected, continue building their skills, and have a blast no matter where they are. Learn about the benefits of having a Girl Scout Zoom license.

Each Monday, the purchased licenses will be sent onto Zoom for issuance. We expect that the invitation to set up the license should be sent by week’s end to the user. Please watch for an email from Zoom if you are the purchaser of the license. Just a reminder that this license is for Girl Scout use and is an accepted use of troop funds.

Don’t know how to use Zoom? There are a series of short ‘how to’ videos in gsLearn to help you utilize this platform. Sign into gsLearn through MYGS on gsofct.org and then enter “ZOOM” in the search function and start learning about this new platform.

Still have more questions, please reach out to Customer Care at 1-800-922-2770.

GSOFCT Camp Properties
  1. Masks must be worn inside
  2. Sleeping in a tent or indoors requires that you are 6 feet away social distant (Face to Face)

For everyone's health, please maintain social distancing when possible. When it's not possible to social distance from others, wear a mask. Some people will choose to continue to wear a mask and that's okay! 

All Beds/Mats/Sleeping bags must be 6 feet apart at all times. All indoor sleeping must use cross ventilation including opening of all windows and doors if possible. Cabins or A Frames should have window and screen doors opened. Platform Tents should keep sides rolled up to offer a cross breeze. Same households can sleep in one unit with the usual capacity limitations. Masks can be removed when sleeping but must be worn when moving about buildings, tents, cabins & A frames.

Sleeping spaces – Sleeping outside of the platform tent!

Consider using this opportunity to think of additional overnight sleeping options. For many Girl Scouts this is an exciting opportunity.

Porches- as long as you aren’t blocking exits, stairs, or ramp, use the covered porches as sleeping areas.

Tents – Put small tents in and among the established platform tents/cabins or create a field unit on a flag or play field (be sure to pick up all your stakes). Keep in mind that you’ll want to be near a porto or sharable bathroom. 

Ask families in your Service unit or troop if they have a tent to be borrowed. Even if it is an older tent, a tarp can be placed over it, to make it rain-ready.

Places like REI rent camping equipment, including tents.

Tarps – Run a line between trees and place a tarp over it. Stake out the tarp to secure your sides, creating a “tarp tent”

Screen house or shade tent with sides – place an old tent underneath or set up your sleeping area underneath the pop-up. Remember to stake out your shelter.

Hammocks – be sure to be kind to the trees as you securely attach your hammock.  Create a sleeping space that is cozy and off the ground. In our camping units, there are usually trees on the edge that will accommodate this.

Empty Tent Platforms – Use this flat space to put up a few one or two-person tents. In case of wind, be sure to weight your tent down with gear or lash it down.

Sleep under the Stars – Head for the field with a sleeping pad or yoga mat and sleeping bag. 

Covid-19 Guidelines for Public Swimming and Boating Activities
Swimming:
  • When using changing areas, allow three at a time if using a shared space.
  • Swimmers must be 6 feet apart when swimming and no shared/multi touch toys or flotation devices are allowed.
  • Bather load is 1;25 including  2 lookouts The changing room and if applicable, pool deck entrance/exit stair handles will be disinfected, using materials provided by GSOFCT, following each group as per guideline.
  • Lifeguards will be masked only when campers are entering and exiting the swim area. When guarding, as long as there is a 6’distance, masks on staff do not have to be worn.
Boating:
  • Maximum capacities: 2 in a canoe, 1 in Kayak, 1 on SUP (Stand up Paddle Board)
  • Masks must be worn while entering the small craft and removed while on the water. We suggest bringing a sealable plastic bag for your mask and tuck it into your bathing suit or bag.
  • Staff must wear a mask. Campers must wear a life jacket. Life jackets are to be cleaned when dirty and sanitized after each use. The canoe oar handles and gunwales must be sanitized between each use. SUP paddles must be sanitized after each use. Kayak gunwales and paddle handles must be sanitized between each use. SUP and kayaks are only for single person use.
  • Masks must be worn while entering the small craft and removed while on the water. We suggest bringing a sealable plastic bag for your mask and tuck it into your bathing suit or bag.
  • All participants must wear a lifejacket. After each use, all lifejackets must be cleaned when dirty and sanitized using GSOFCT sanitizing spray and hung in an appropriate space.
  • Between each use, using GSOFCT provided spray: The canoe paddle handles and gunwales must be sanitized, SUP paddles must be sanitized, kayak gunwales and paddle handles must be sanitized.
Troop Travel (Updated 10.27.21)

Troops must complete the appropriate troop travel paperwork and all Girl Scouts must have a NEW Annual Consent Form on file with their troop co-leaders to participate.  This updated Annual Consent Form has replaced the Covid-19 Informed Consent Form. If non-registered family members are participating in troop activities, Plan 2 Supplemental Insurance must be purchased.

Basic, overnight, and high adventure troop travel is allowed.  Please adhere to the trip submission deadlines. Face mask guidance is based on the location they are visiting.

Parades

GSOFCT members may participate in parades provided that current local, state and CDC Guidelines are followed.  If the organizing agency requires that masks be worn during the parade for participants, then masks must be worn. Please reach out to your local organizing group for guidance. For information from the CDC regarding large events, please see more information here

All of these changes do not mean that Girl Scouting stops. We encourage you to use webinars, teleconferences and other technologies to engage girls and adults. We also look to support you through virtual and socially distanced opportunities. 

The health and safety of our entire Girl Scout family is so important to us. We will continue to update you regarding critical information and further impacts to Girl Scout programming and operations. Thank you for your patience and steadfast support as we navigate this unprecedented and quickly evolving situation. We appreciate your commitment to Girl Scouts and we remain committed to you!

Thank you for exhibiting extraordinary Girl Scout spirit in these unprecedented times.