The health and safety of our Girl Scouts living overseas remains our top priority. As such, we ask that Overseas Committee Management Teams and Girl Scout troops review the following guidelines regarding changes to operating procedures for those overseas communities affected by the Coronavirus. As reports of Coronavirus increase, institutions are taking precautionary steps to assist with containment measures and to protect their populations. USA Girl Scouts Overseas (USAGSO) urges our girls and families to make themselves aware of and compliant with any measure their sponsoring institution deems necessary. For those of you in our Girl Scout family near areas of reported cases or in areas of high concern, we ask you to take these additional steps:
- Follow the lead of your schools and local institutions. If your meeting location is closed, do not meet with your girls and alert families immediately that meetings will be canceled. Note to our members living in China, particularly to those members living in Beijing, Shanghai, and other possibly affected cities, we strongly recommend not to hold troop meetings at the current time.
- Large events should be canceled until further notice.
- If your meeting location is not closed, and you are meeting with girls, please follow the health and safety precautions in regards to handwashing, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, urging parents to keep sick children at home, and avoid touching your or their face. Please also sanitize all areas prior to and following your meetings.
- This is a great time to remind girls about handwashing and hygiene—this is also a time to discuss these measures in conjunction with the First Aid Badge or as part of a Journey session.
We know canceling Girl Scout activities for an undetermined amount of time will be a huge disappointment for the girls we serve and our dedicated adult volunteers. We thank you for taking this issue seriously and for understanding it is important to take precautionary steps to protect the health and safety of our girls, adults, and families around the world. If your meetings are canceled and you want to continue to provide programming to your girls, please consider the following:
- Send activities to the girls via email.
- If your girls meet the minimum age requirements, considering using a free online meeting platform such as Google Hangouts and/or Zoom.
- Encourage girls to collaborate via phone to discuss their projects.
- Send tips to parents on how they can help engage girls while their meetings are canceled. Share your ideas on social media!
We know that some families are staying while others have decided to leave. For families who are in transition, and wish to stay connected to Girl Scouts, we have resources available for you:
- For families who want to continue the Girl Scout Leadership Experience in the United States, you can transfer to a new council at the following link: Transfer to the United States.
- For families who will be relocating to a different country, outside of the United States, you can transfer to new overseas community: Transfer to Other Overseas Community.
- Regardless, our hope is that everyone stays safe and healthy. We look forward to welcoming girls back to meetings as soon as possible. Any members who will be returning to China later this year, can Transfer Back from the United States.
Be sure to keep the most current contact information for your girls and their families with you to communicate with them in case of an evacuation and to alert them when schools in your area resume.
Monitor your local embassy, State Department, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and local and national news outlets for updates and travel advisories. Please follow the guidelines and information provided for monitoring and responding to concerns of the Coronavirus outbreak.
As always, if we can provide additional information or support, please reach out to the USAGSO staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly to your USAGSO staff representative.