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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 2/21/2022, Masking Update Effective March 4: With the decrease in COVID-19 cases, removal of some local masking policies, and increase in vaccination rates, Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England is providing updated masking guidance for Girl Scout activities in our council, effective starting March 4, 2022.

Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England still supports the wearing of masks, especially for those who are not yet vaccinated. However, mask wearing will no longer be mandatory unless a troop leader or meeting location has different rules. We recognize that some volunteers may not be comfortable with their troops/groups being unmasked. With that in mind, if volunteers/leaders would prefer to have their groups masked, they are permitted to put that requirement in place. If the location you are utilizing for meetings or activities has more stringent policies in place than the current GSSNE guidance, you must follow the location’s policies.

This guidance also applies to visitors and staff at any GSSNE facilities. Masks are highly recommended, especially for those who are not yet vaccinated, but they are not going to be required. However, for personal reasons, some staff may request that you wear a mask when you are meeting with them, and if you would prefer staff be masked when you are with us, we are more than happy to wear a mask at your request!

As part of the Girl Scout Law, we pledge to respect ourselves and others, and we ask that you continue to be respectful of an individual’s masking decision. As always, we ask that you continue to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and your state and local government’s guidelines and restrictions as they change. Please continue to practice good handwashing, sanitizing, and social distancing practices.

We will continue to update this COVID-19 Info page with the most current policies and procedures pertaining to this ever-evolving pandemic.

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility.

UPDATE 2/8/2022, Troop and Group Rentals at Camp Hoffman and Camp Rocky Farm:  There are currently no group size regulations or restrictions for any of our properties. All participants are required to follow council masking guidance. 

UPDATE 1/7/2022, Vaccine Information:  We originally released vaccine FAQs in March 2021, but we have been receiving questions recently about our current vaccination guidance now that vaccines are more widely available. Please review our updated Vaccine FAQs for Volunteers and Caregivers , updated for January 2022. 

UPDATE 8/17/2021, Meetings In Homes Policy:  We know how excited everyone has been to get back to some sort of normalcy and yet the new COVID strain has many anxious about a return to normal.  With that in mind, here is our revised temporary policy on meeting in homes:

We encourage troops to hold troop meetings in public spaces like places of worship, schools, and other community locations whenever possible.  However, we realize that due to continued COVID restrictions, many regular meeting spaces may not yet be available to the public. If troops have expended all possibilities and are still unable to find a meeting space, we will continue to honor the temporary permission that many of you received last year to meet in homes if the adult named on the permission request has a current Girl Scout membership and background screening(s) AND sends us a copy of their updated homeowner’s/renter’s insurance policy (email a copy to CustomerCare@gssne.org). Troops seeking first-time permission may apply to meet in homes for the upcoming membership year (October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2022).  All temporary permissions will expire on September 30, 2022.  We ask that as soon as meeting space becomes available, troops shift from meeting in homes to public locations. Full protocols outlined in the forms for at-home meetings can be found below. 

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.  

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.

Vaccine FAQ for Girl Scout Volunteers & Caregivers

As COVID-19 vaccines have 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. 

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, posted on our social media channels, and posted on this page, gssne.org/covid19info. 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, as well as some in-person trainings! Check out our Event and Program Calendar to see all our offerings! 

You can find additional activities for girls through GSUSA's virtual programming!

How do I join a virtual troop?

GSSNE welcomes girls to join our council-led virtual troop! We are currently offering Troop 1912 for Daisy, Brownie, and Junior Girl Scouts (Grades K-5)! In this troop, girls will learn about being a Girl Scout, earn badges and awards, and will be able to participate in Girl Scout Product Programs! 

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

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. 

Is the GSSNE Shop in Warwick open?

The GSSNE Shop in Warwick is open, but with new hours:

The GSSNE Shop will be open to the public/walk-ins on Thursday and Friday from 9am-5:30pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm.

The shop is closed to the public/walk-ins Tuesday and Wednesday. However, depending on staff availability, we may be able to serve you on these days. Please call ahead to see if someone is available in the shop if these are the days you wish to visit.

The GSSNE Shop will be completely closed on Mondays.

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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