In addition to the protocols below, all Girl Scout policies and procedures must be followed, including Safety Activity Checkpoints when applicable. Troop leaders and families should thoughtfully discuss if they are ready to meet in person. Caregivers who are not ready to meet should be provided a way to stay connected to the troop.
In-person troop meetings are not required. Each troop/family should weigh their participation based on their own health concerns and tolerance for risk. Members and troops who prefer to continue with virtual meetings and activities may continue to do so.
Use these questions and reminders to help decide how and when to return to troop activities.
Troop Meeting Space. Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for meetings. Get advance permission from the property owner or the jurisdiction that provides the location.
For meetings held at public facilities, 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)?
Then, consider whether you can supplement any practices that are less ideal. For example, if you will arrive after another user group, plan to bring sanitizing wipes to get the space ready for your troop. Another example: if faucets are manual, take some time to show girls how to shut them off with a paper towel. Use paper towels for doorknobs whenever possible.
· Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for meetings when weather permits.
· No personal items should be shared.
Meetings may not be held in fitness centers or gyms, where a greater risk for contracting the virus may exist. Schools or churches may not permit outside groups on premises, so always check and confirm ahead of time.
Troop Meetings in the home. GSCI prohibits meetings held in homes. Troops having difficulty finding space to meet should contact their Membership Manager or Help Desk.
Troop Meeting Size. As the state opens up, in person gathering sizes have expanded.
To enable safety while participating in events/activities in a large group, please break up into smaller patrols (such as 10 or less) to control the social distancing for your group. Patrols are a long-standing Girl Scout tradition, and this is the perfect time to use them!
Also adhere to the following protocols:
· 6-foot social distance between individuals must be adhered to, and all participants are strongly encouraged to wear facemasks.
· Bring plenty of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for the group, and use liberally and often.
· If anyone is exhibiting symptoms prior to the meeting, they should not attend. For additional information see guidelines regarding return to actitivites after Covid - 19 illness.
· Attendees must wash their hands when arriving and before leaving. If a handwashing station is not available, hand sanitizer is required.
· Troops should follow the no touch rule. No friendship squeeze, high-fives, handshakes, hugs, or other physical contact. No personal items should be shared.
· No shared water coolers or shared drinking stations.
· Serve only prepackaged food and beverages.
· Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms while at the meeting/activity.
· If you have a troop larger than 10, break up into smaller groups—such as age-level groups or patrols. Adults can rotate between stationary groups to facilitate activities “round-robin” style.
If an attendee tests positive or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 after the meeting, the troop leader should notify GSCI. GSCI will take care of notifying all attendees of the event without divulging the identity of the affected person.
Transportation. Individual parents drop off and pick up their own girls from meetings. Carpooling and public transportation should be avoided to maintain social distancing.
Virtual meetings. Meeting options may need to be flexible based on the fluid nature of COVID-19 risk. Troops that are able to run online meetings as needed (or wanted) should do so. GSUSA recommends maintaining a virtual to in-person ratio of at least 20/80, which means to maintain virtual troop meetings at least 20% of the time to keep tech skills and virtual meeting habits fresh. Use the Safety Activity Checkpoints for Virtual Meetings, to guide your meeting plans.