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COVID-19 Important Updates & Frequently Asked Questions

At Girl Scouts, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers, and council staff. We have been continuing to monitor communications from the governors’ offices, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, among others.

UPDATE 5/26/2021: Since the release of our last mask-wearing guidance on Monday, May 24, 2021, we have received questions asking for clarification on the use of masks indoors versus outdoors. Please see the below amended guidance.

Indoors:

  • When meeting with girls under 12: Because girls under 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination, girls and adults are required to wear masks and practice social distancing as mandated by the CDC and local government guidelines, regardless of adult vaccination status, while meeting indoors.
  • When meeting with girls 12 and older: Fully vaccinated adults and girls 12 and older are no longer required to wear masks indoors, so long as everyone—girls included—are fully vaccinated.
  • Please be aware that some businesses and meeting/activity locations may still require masks to be worn inside, regardless of vaccination status. We ask that you follow their rules, respectfully.

Outdoors:

  • While your state may advise you to continue to wear masks outdoors, they may not be required. With that advisement in consideration, we do not require masks for outdoor gatherings/meetings but still recommend non-vaccinated persons (of any age) to wear them.

UPDATE 5/24/2021As COVID-19 vaccines continue to be administered and more and more people are getting inoculated, restrictions are beginning to lift surrounding COVID-19 safety practices across the country. We ask that you continue to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and your state and local government’s guidelines and restrictions. The following rules are immediately valid for Girl Scouts in our council in Rhode Island and Connecticut and valid in Massachusetts beginning May 29:

  • If girls are under 12 years old, everyone—girls included—are required to wear masks and practice social distancing as mandated by the CDC and local government guidelines, regardless of adult vaccination status.
  • Fully vaccinated adults are no longer required to wear masks with girls 12 and older, so long as everyone—girls included—are fully vaccinated.

The CDC and local authorities have defined a person as “fully vaccinated” 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series (such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines) or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine (such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine). Please see our Vaccination FAQs for Volunteers and Parents for more information.

As stated previously, so long as you are following all required protocols as they are outlined by your respective state and local governments, and CDC guidelines, we hope you enjoy continuing to meet in person! With mask mandates lifting, please keep in mind that your meeting or activity location may have additional rules that must be followed.

As a reminder, if you are meeting in a home, you must complete a permission request for at-home meetings in the forms for at-home meetings. Please note that a COVID-19 screening questionnaire still needs to be completed by anyone attending in-person meetings.

Still meeting virtually? No problem! If you are a troop leader, your Service Unit Manager still has access to your community’s Zoom license, so you may continue meeting virtually. To access the service unit Zoom account and set up your meetings, please reach out to them directly to coordinate your next meeting.

We will continue to update this page with the most current policies and procedures pertaining to this ever-evolving pandemic.

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility, and happy spring!

UPDATE 4/22/2021: As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available, we wanted to provide you with GSSNE and GSUSA guidance about vaccinations. Please see our Vaccination FAQs for Volunteers and Parents for more information. 

UPDATE 1/7/2021: We hope you had a restful and safe holiday break! We know so many of you are anxiously awaiting the ability to meet in person again and as you know, we’ve been monitoring and will continue to monitor the situation regularly. We understand that it has been a long haul with virtual meetings being the only method for “gathering” for so long. With that being said, after contacting the Rhode Island governor’s office and reviewing current Massachusetts and Connecticut guidelines, you may meet in person, so long as you are practicing appropriate social distancing and other required protocols as they are outlined by your respective state and local governments, and CDC guidelines. Naturally, you’ll need to be masked at all times and utilize hand sanitizers, wash hands frequently and whenever necessary. 

If you are going to have in-person meetings/troop activities, we ask that you continue to follow the above guidelines. Protocols outlined in the forms for at-home meetings can be found below. Also, click here for the form where you can complete your permission request for at-home meetings. Please note that a COVID-19 screening questionnaire needs to be completed by anyone attending in-person meetings. That form can be found here

Please continue to reference this page for the most current policies and procedures pertaining to this ever-evolving pandemic.

Also, please note that if you are a troop leader, your Service Unit Manager has access to your community’s Zoom license, so you may continue meeting virtually. To access the Service Unit Zoom account and set up your meetings, please reach out to them directly to coordinate your next meeting!

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility, as we all continue to navigate this ever-changing world we’re living in together!

Meeting in Homes Guidance

Whenever possible, Girl Scout troop meetings should take place in safe, community settings that are accessible to all members e.g. schools, community centers, libraries, churches/synagogues, etc. We recognize that due to the extenuating circumstances presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, your troop’s access to public settings may be limited or impossible. To help support troops who wish to meet in person, GSSNE has elected to grant temporary permission for in-home Girl Scout meetings to those who meet the criteria. 

Prior to selecting the best meeting space for your troop, leaders should consider girls’ accessibility and allergy needs (food, pets, etc.) to ensure the physical space can accommodate those needs and it is free from anything that presents a hazard. Troops wishing to meet in a home must request permission from GSSNE by submitting the form linked below. 

While we are granting this temporary permission to troops who would like to meet, we recognize that not all volunteers, caregivers, or girls are comfortable with meeting currently. Individuals should decide what is best for themselves and their families when considering whether to meet in homes or any other in-person setting. 

Click here to request permission to meet in homes.

We have put together a document of frequently asked questions, but if you have additional questions, please reach out to GSSNE Customer Care at CustomerCare@gssne.org or 401-331-4500.

 


Below are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. We will be adding frequently asked questions to this page as they come up. For more information about coronavirus (COVID-19), please follow the Centers for Disease Control's guidance and updates , including about prevention  and travel . Please continue to follow Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and/or Connecticut state guidelines. 

Questions? Please email customercare@gssne.org or call 401-331-4500.

How is GSSNE communicating about COVID-19 to members?

GSSNE is continually evaluating and updating guidance regarding this ever-evolving pandemic. All updates will be posted in the news section of our homepage (gssne.org), communicated through email to members, and posted on our social media channels. If you have any questions about our COVID-19 guidance, please contact CustomerCare@gssne.org or 401-331-4500. 

Will you be issuing refunds for canceled programs?

Many programs are being offered virtually when they are not able to be held in person. We will be refunding any programs that we need to cancel if they cannot be held virtually in place of in-person. We’ll be processing everyone’s refunds as quickly as is possible, but ask for your patience, as the volume of requests will be higher than usual.

Are you currently offering virtual programs and trainings?

We are offering many virtual programs and trainings right now, and we're regularly adding more! Check out our Event and Program Calendar to see all our offerings! 

You can find additional activities for girls through GSUSA's virtual programming and on our Girl Scouts at Home page!

How do I join a virtual troop?

GSSNE welcomes girls to join our first-ever council-led virtual troops! We will be offering Troop 1912 for Daisy and Brownie Girl Scouts (Grades K-3) and Troop 500 for Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts (Grades 4-8)! In these troops, girls will learn about being a Girl Scout, earn badges and awards, and will be able to participate in Girl Scout Product Programs! Weekly meetings for Troop 1912 will be held on Wednesdays from 4-5pm and weekly meetings for Troop 500 will be held on Wednesdays from 5-6pm. 

To get started with us virtually, please register your daughter for the upcoming Troop Year by clicking HERE. When prompted to search for a troop, just place 1912 or 500 in the search box and proceed with registration. If your daughter is already a member, or if you have any trouble renewing or purchasing membership, please reach out to Customer Care at customercare@gssne.org to request the transfer of your daughter’s membership to Troop 1912 or Troop 500. We can’t wait to have you join us! 

Where can I find information about safely participating in the 2021 Cookie Program?

All updates about the 2021 Cookie Program can be found at gssne.org/cookies. There, we have resources for girls & caregivers and resources for volunteers

What digital platforms can my troop use to connect?
Holding virtual troop meetings is a great way for troops to stay connected and continue to support each other while social distancing! All service units have been provided with a Zoom license for troops to continue to hold meetings virtually. To access the Service Unit Zoom account and set up your meetings, please reach out to them directly to coordinate your next meeting!
 
Here are some other video chat options to check out: 

Helpful Hints for a Virtual Meeting

  • Hold a digital parent meeting before meeting with the girls to work out technology roadblocks
  • Plan well in advance with a wide variety of activities (send links out beforehand to parent emails if you can)
  • Engage the girls equally and by name so they are acknowledged and so they know you can see them
  • Create a group agreement with ground rules in your first meeting (be respectful, keep microphone muted unless you are talking, etc)
  • Incorporate traditions, even if it feels awkward (the girls will appreciate and love this part)
  • If a leader is also a parent/caregiver, encourage them to log on separately from their girl if technology allows 

Here are some additional safety resources for conducting virtual troop meetings. 

Can I still make shop purchases?

The GSSNE Shop in Warwick is open by appointment only. You will be able to make appointments between 11:00am to 4:00pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Each appointment will be for 30 minutes. Submit our form to make your appointment today!

We are also continuing to do curbside pick-ups. To place a curbside pickup order, please submit this form or email shop@gssne.org or lmoore@gssne.org. Shop staff will prepare the order, call for payment information, and will have the order ready for curbside pickup or shipment at your request. 

You can also make purchases online girlscoutshop.com from the safety of your home! All efforts are being made to process and deliver orders. There may be delays but you will be kept informed of any delays in your order. 

The GSSNE Shop in Warwick is open by appointment only. You will be able to make appointments between 11:00am to 4:00pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Each appointment will be for 30 minutes. Submit our form to make your appointment today!

We are also continuing to do curbside pick-ups. To place a curbside pickup order, please submit this form or email shop@gssne.org or lmoore@gssne.org. Shop staff will prepare the order, call for payment information, and will have the order ready for curbside pickup or shipment at your request. 

You can also make purchases online girlscoutshop.com from the safety of your home! All efforts are being made to process and deliver orders. There may be delays but you will be kept informed of any delays in your order. 

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