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. Given the recent decision to close schools in the coming weeks along with the advisement to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, GSSNE will be suspending all Girl Scout activities, including meetings, events, programs and cookie booths through April 3rd, effective immediately. As this is an ever-changing situation, rest assured that we will be monitoring the situation closely and will follow guidance by informed decision makers and take into consideration what is best for our communities and the country at large.
Additionally, the Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England office and shop will be closed to visitors starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Essential employees will be working from the office to assist our Girl Scout community during this time by email or phone, while most staff will be working remotely. Please continue to follow all official regulations in your communities.
We will be refunding any programs that we need to cancel in the coming weeks as well as our daytime April vacation programs. 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. We will do our best to reschedule as many programs as possible, but are taking this on a week by week basis. Additionally, the Girl Experience team is currently working on putting together activities for girls to do on their own from home while out of school. These packets will be available early this week. Stay tuned for more info!
We, as you, realize the timing during cookie season is not optimal. But we can all agree that public health safety and the health of all our families is and will remain our top priority, and these actions are necessary until there is official word that this pandemic eased or ended. Based on the information currently available, Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England will pause the booth sale portion of the 2020 Cookie Program through April 3rd. We will extend the cookie program through April 12th to allow troops to reschedule any booths that may have been canceled or postponed. Final payments and recognition orders will now be due by troops on April 13th. Payments for all sales that have taken place to this point should be submitted to your troops. We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes as needed.
We know many of you look forward to Cookie Season and have great adventures planned with your cookie proceeds. We’d like to share some great ways we’ve heard about for girls to participate in the virtual aspects of the Cookie Program while practicing good social distancing:
- Work on the new Cookie Entrepreneur Family Pin and pieces of the Cookie Business and Entrepreneurship Badges
- Utilize the “Girl Delivered” option in ABC Smart Cookies:
- "Porch Package": Customers are encouraged to buy cookies for in-person delivery and the girl will deliver them by leaving them on the customer's porch. Then people can get their cookies and avoid contact!
- "Click and Collect": Customers buy online and the girl will leave the package on her porch for pickup by the customer. Promote Direct Ship to friends and family near and far who may want cookies delivered to them while they are spending more time at home!
- Cookie Share is also a great way for troops and girls to meet their goals! For Traditional Cookie Share, girls/troops collect money from customers and use it to purchase cookies that they will donate to local charities at a later date. For Virtual Cookie Share, girls/troops collect money, but then Troop Leaders enter it as “cookie share” in ABC Smart Cookies. GSSNE will collect that money from troops as part of the final payment and GSSNE will donate cookies to local nonprofits at the end of the cookie program. Customers can also donate to Virtual Cookie Share through a Direct Ship order.
For more information about coronavirus (COVID-19), please follow the Centers for Disease Control's guidance and updates, including about prevention and travel. Click here to view GSUSA’s article that focuses on how to talk to girls about coronavirus.
These are extraordinary times, we understand your concerns and we are constantly monitoring the national and local situation, talking with troop leaders and caregivers, and making decisions based on facts and recommendations from government officials and the CDC. As things evolve, we will continue to communicate updates and necessary changes to our members. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all navigate through this uncertainty.
Questions? Please contact GSSNE Customer Care at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-331-4500.