Page last updated 8/19/2020 at 8:30 p.m.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present significant health and safety challenges for communities across our council. After a careful review of current conditions and up-to-date guidance from local health authorities, GSOSW has made the decision to extend the cancellation of all in-person Girl Scout meetings and activities through at least November 1, 2020. Additionally, Girl Scout properties are closed to all users through at least December 31, 2020 (see details below).
This decision was informed first and foremost by GSOSW’s continuing commitment to prioritize the safety of our members, staff and community. We also carefully considered the following factors:
Current health and safety data for counties throughout our region. While some improvement has been measured, Oregon and Washington states have not yet seen sustained and substantial improvement in COVID-19 public health conditions.
Schools are staying virtual. Key school districts in all corners of Oregon and SW Washington are beginning their school years online to minimize COVID-19 transmission and protect students and staff.
Member sentiment. In a recent survey of service unit teams, a majority of volunteers indicated that their service unit had a low desire to begin meeting again immediately based on COVID-19 conditions. We will continue to seek member sentiment and feedback going forward as we consider reopening plans and timelines.
The matter of reopening is an incredibly complex issue with many variables. GSOSW will continue to evaluate the factors above, along with guidance from national and local health authorities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Girl Scouts of the USA. It is important to us to identify the right time for Girl Scouts in our council to come together again safely.
With this announcement, there are several updates and opportunities we’d like to share with you:
Thank you to all who attended the Q&A session on August 25!
Girl Scout adult members joined GSOSW CEO Karen Hill and other council leaders for a live Q&A about COVID-19 and Girl Scouts. Questions and answers from the call have been compiled into a Frequently Asked Questions document. If you missed the call, future Q&A opportunities will be available—stay tuned!
Virtual tools, free resources and programming are available for Girl Scouts. In an effort to support Girl Scout troops in successfully starting their Girl Scout year online, a variety of new tools and resources are available. Troop leaders are encouraged to take advantage of Virtual Troop Leadership Training and explore virtual meeting support and adapted curriculum in the Volunteer Toolkit. And this year, all troops who renew by September 30, 2020, (including all who renewed during Spring Renewal) will receive a FREE Zoom Pro account for virtual troop meetings and activities. Stay tuned for more details on this offer from GSOSW. And be sure to check out the lists of resources for families and Girl Scout volunteers below!
Draft In-Person Troop Meeting Guidelines. As shared in an earlier communication, an interdepartmental team at GSOSW has developed draft guidelines for how our council might resume in-person troop meetings and programming when the time is right. The guidelines cover topics like meeting space, group size, face coverings, physical distancing and sanitation, and are informed by guidance from national and local health authorities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Girl Scouts of the USA. We are grateful to the many service team volunteers who contributed thoughtful feedback during our recent review and survey process. We are carefully reviewing and applying feedback, and look forward to sharing these draft guidelines with all members soon.
At this time, GSOSW has not identified a reopening date, nor a date by which in-person troop meeting guidelines will be implemented. November 1, 2020, is a target date on or before which we will communicate with members about current conditions and any updated reopening plans.
Thank you for your continued resilience and flexibility in the face of challenge! We are in this together, and GSOSW is with you as you find new and creative ways to nurture friendship, discovery and leadership development in the virtual space. We hope you will join us for our Q&A on August 25!
TROOP AND SU MEETINGS AND EVENTS
All troop meetings, service unit meetings and Girl Scout activities must be cancelled or held virtually through at least November 1, 2020. Find helpful virtual meeting tips and tools and Girl Scout program resources below.
OTHER RECENT COVID-19 COMMUNICATIONS
Guidelines for 2020 Girl Scout Cookie Program Reward Distribution (released 6/12/2020)
Summer Program FAQs (released 5/8/2020)